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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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31 Responses to 976

  1. chris says:


  2. sunil says:

    Hahahaha. Was God TV his father’s house or sumfin’?

  3. Tiggy Sagar says:

    The skiiing toaster dog has shuffled off disappointed, thinking his owner had said ‘Dog TV’.

  4. goodfield says:

    He gone to watch doG TV. :-)

  5. jonbirch says:

    oh, what a bunch of comedians you all are… not! :lol:

    sunil… yes indeed. :-)

  6. becky says:

    I’m with Tiggy – in 975 toaster dog is looking at his master as if to day – yep, don’t answer the door. But in 976 the doggie can’t stomach God TV so he turns his back away. :)

  7. becky says:

    I meant to say as if to say not as if to day. :)

  8. linus says:

    I can just imagine what the programme’s producer is thinking: Bloody religious extremists. Why can’t they just leave us in peace? We’re just trying to make a living after all, aren’t we?

  9. JF says:

    I watched some God TV last night. Couldn’t get off the sofa at the end of an exhausting day, so was flicking through channels. The ‘preacher’ I saw came across as a total fraud. He even talked about a leg-lengthening phenomenon… which I know has been covered on here before, so I smiled an inward ASBO smile.
    How do believers feel when watching God TV? Are these guys doing good work and talking about the same things you believe? Or is this some kind of perversion of faith?

  10. jonbirch says:

    ooh man… i now feel a rant comin’ on! haha! :lol:
    my view? it is an horrendous pile of bilge and hogwash! ripping off the vulnerable and exploiting the needy! it makes me want to vomit, weep and curse all at the same time! i can’t answer for what others believe, but not only is it a grave distortion and hideous perversion of what i believe, i think it is a hideous thing full stop! money grabbing thieves and scoundrels in my view. having said all that, i do believe they are often sincere. but then, extreme capitalists always are… even if shallow.
    best stop now. :-)

  11. jonbirch says:

    …well, what did you expect me to say?.. ;-)

  12. JF says:

    I guess they deliberately blur the lines, but the words they say are those I have heard a hundred times from the pulpits of real churches. Where is the distinction? Do you think they are wilfully misleading people for their own profit? Where does that leave our views of other clergy?

  13. linus says:

    There isn’t particularly a distinction between God TV and the church communities and individuals that fund it. At least i assume there isn’t – it would be strange for a bunch of people to fund a tv station which broadcasts a message totally different to their own.

    There is a very big distinction between God TV (as it has been described to me) and, say, Greenbelt for example. I would therefore expect to see a fairly big distinction between the church communities and individuals involved in Greenbelt (again for example) and those involved in God TV.

    That leaves my views on other clergy as being imperfect human beings who should be treated as individuals rather than pigeonholed based on their clergy-ness. You will have to take each as you find them, just like everyone else.

  14. The best thing I’ve seen on God TV was an interview with a guy that believed in UFOs. Area 42 and Genesis 6 in the same sentence! It was strangely fascinating, hilarious and disconcertingly worrying all at the same time. Even more so than usual!

  15. Hazel says:

    Totally off topic, but the man has painted the room a darker shade and got a different coloured chair since cartoon 975. Or is it not meant to be the same guy?! ;-)

  16. AnneDroid says:

    Why is so much of GodTV so excruciating? I don’t understand it. I may be atypical or very lucky, but most of the Christians I know are sane and, whilst not perfect, are generally admirable and inspirational and lovable and genuine and honest and real. Why can’t we have a Christian channel for such people? Why do we have to have money-grubbing charlatans giving us a bad name?

  17. JF says:

    Linus, you’re right of course: clergy are just people like everyone else… on one level. On another level, I have had it suggested to me by a C of E vicar that not believing in God is “not necessarily a barrier” to becoming a vicar, as long as you are “right for the job”.

    What do i think of people who peddle ideas in which they themselves do not believe? Not much.

    If you can identify someone who, through your giving and that of your fellow believers, is enjoying material trappings (including housing etc., whether owned or loaned) beyond those that you and your fellow believers enjoy, then I think it is only right to be wary. They are, as you say, only human. This is not only true at the very top (the Archbishop of Canterbury is spoilt for choice of palaces… yes, palaces!… to live in), but down to every parish and church community in the land. The link between material trappings and a role in preaching seems very strong, but I cannot find any reason in the bible as to why this should be so. Indeed, it seems almost counterintuitive.

  18. Botticelliwoman says:

    I was wondering if Lawrence LLywellyn Bowen had been in, Hazel…..perhaps it was him at the door earlier, with the 60 minute make-over team

  19. markk says:

    Annedroid, I know those Christians as well, and suspect that they don’t need a ‘Christian’ tv channel because they are just getting on with being in the world but not of it. ‘Christian’ this that and the other is in danger of being of the world but not in it.

  20. laura says:

    It’s the same man and dog but they are in a different room which is visible just through the doorway on the other image.
    I think that it’s a bit odd he has the same paintings in both rooms though, don’t you?

  21. subo says:

    isn’t that what telly does to nearly everyone?, suddenly people think their really important – because they made it onto the box

  22. Carole says:

    I consider myself fortunate indeed, to have never seen God TV…or Dog TV for that matter!

  23. linus says:

    BW: Can’t be Lawrence: no floral patterns.

    Annedroid: I suspect its about Money and what people choose to invest in. I suppose Asbo and Proost and Ikon and greenbelt are examples of an alternative approach to media and the arts, and maybe blogs like those of don miller and pete rollins and kester brewin are an alternative to the ‘preaching and teaching’ type stuff that i think is a big part of what God tv does. They are cheaper, more diy, less in-your-face ways of putting across a message, but they are out there for people to find. I guess it would be cool to invest in all that stuff being available on cable tv, but not at the expense of people giving to tearfund or christian aid or their local soup kitchen or whatever (having said that, lots of people who invest in God tv also invest in charity work – probably to a greater tune than many bleeding heart left-wing liberals do).

    JF: are you seriously implying that all, or even anything but a small minority of, church leaders are in it for the money and don’t believe in God? If you’re not implying that, what’s your point?

  24. JF says:

    Linus, I would agree with you that it is only a very small minority who do not believe what they preach. I know from experience that there are very many sincere ministers leading churches. The fact that some clergy are ‘in it’ (to a degree at least) for the money is no surprise to anyone who assumes nothing much has changed since the days of 18th & 19th century literature. And it also signals that there is money there to be ‘in it’ for.

    My point was simply that the GOD TV phenomenon of using the christian message as a very emotively-charged wealth-gathering tool is just the extreme end of a model that is also used by what some would consider to be more ‘legitimate’ churches. The question I asked (previously) was where you draw the line between what is acceptable and what is excessive. And I would just encourage people to think – beyond the smoke from the censer and the lulling soft incantation – about where their money actually goes and whether it fulfils objectives that they consider worthwhile.

  25. jonbirch says:

    i think, what makes something like god tv different to most churches i’ve experienced is its tireless pursuit of money. plus, a give and you will get motif that seems to be their underpinning logic. i met a couple of wonderful old ladies many years ago, who were sincere in their faith and whose lives were devoted to helping people. they gave massive chunks of their money (they weren’t rich) to some guy in america with a ‘gift’ for prayer. he was promising blessings for money… he would pray for them upon receiving funds is how i guess it worked. this made me sad. good people exploited.
    if a church building is being used to resource and help the community and if the minister et al take great care of those in their parish and love and compassion are demonstrated to the surrounding area then i see that as a worthy investment and would not be at all critical of people giving money to it.
    another christian, nick park, has used his talents and obsession to bring smiles to the faces of millions… and still remains the most unassuming man you could ever wish to meet. he, i think, is a good model of how people with faith can use their talents to make the world a better place by improving the quality of what we watch. on the other hand, god tv programming is about the most unimaginative and poor quality programming i could possibly imagine… and goodness knows, there are some awful tv stations out there! :-)

  26. goodfield says:

    Once saw a documentary about private aircraft maintenance and valeting. They asked one of the engineers what was the most ostentatious/expensive private aircraft he had dealt with. This guy dealt with aircraft used by large multi-nationals and heads of state, including Saudi princes etc, but his answer was Louis Paula the evangelist. I remember he talked about the sheer number of all solid golf fittings and a marble topped bar and jacuzzi being in the plane! He said it was wonder it could take off.

  27. mmp says:

    i like telly as much as the next person, but the only time I have ever loved God TV was when i worked endless nightshifts……bible studies at 3.30 am was a good experience then!

    But if ppl don’t like it….
    Q: why watch it?….

    (or am i being dense)

  28. jonbirch says:

    mmp… occasionally i read the sun newspaper and even more occasionally i read the daily hatemail… i can’t stand both, but the odd read now and again tells me something about how people are getting their information, what informs their thinking, what panders to them, what is being sold etc… that’s why very occasionally, and i stress the word ‘very’, i take a look at god tv.
    a friend of mine jokingly calls it ‘worldview studies’… :-)

  29. linus says:

    mmp: If ppl don’t like the political situation in burma, why watch it? I think that if (and its a big if) something is truly exploitative and damaging, then people have a responsibility to protest about it. Otherwise, you’re right – invest your energy in a better alternative, rather than whinging about something you don’t like.

    JF, thanks for clarifying. That’s a great point. There’s principles of stewardship and acting wisely and responsibly here that apply to the money we give as well as the money we spend. I need to be more informed about what i do with my money.

    As for drawing lines… its tricky, and to a certain extent its for individuals to make their own choices what to do with the resources they are blessed with. I want to respect people’s free will to make their own choices, even if i think they’re bad ones.

    Its worth saying that i’ve more often seen employees and volunteers being undervalued/underpaid/taken advantage of by church communities/organisations rather than the reverse. Sometimes, though, I’ve seen people honoured and sometimes i’ve seen people give sacrificially out of choice rather than by being manipulated.

    I think i’d look to applaud best practice rather than draw a line at which bad becomes unacceptable. So i’d tentatively suggest Traidcraft and Tearfund as examples of organisations raising funds in a responsible (non-manipulative) way and doing a great deal of good with them, and Robb and Annedroid, both known to this community, as people who earn their living from pastoral/spiritual work, who appear to me from a distance to provide excellent value for money in terms of their dedication and the positive effect they have compared to the money and/or benefits they receive in order to be able to do the work they do.

  30. wondering.... says:

    world view studies :)

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