I was planning on posting this earlier, but I read one of Horne's comments on his second blog promising to provide a "tell all" on why he produced this ad. I'm not sure what I was expecting...maybe some revelation, maybe that there was some actual method to his madness other than the obvious bigotry. But in his 3rd blog (does he not know that a blog can consist of more than one post?) Horne has kept true to his disposition, just as Rick Kieffe had done with his non-apology apology. His is another case of stand your ground, make no apologies, admit no wrong, an' if you don't like it, well sir you ken jest sit yerself down and shut yerself up.
So why did he produce the ad in the first place? Turns out, he was engaged in a study of social behavior when confronted with controversy:
I wanted to get the attention of the 86 percent of Americans who say they believe in God. That includes Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans and Christians. I wanted to gauge their response. (ref)Breathlessly, we await publication of his results in the American Journal of Psychology. Whatever his hypothesis may have been, it sounds like he got the supporting data:
I wrote the ad and produced it to get the attention of the believers. It is as simple as that. It worked and the atheists helped. Thanks.I know I can be addle-brained so it's not surprising that I was just a little confused at how offending atheists would "get the attention of the believers" when starting the ad with "HEY CHRISTIANS! LISTEN UP!" would work just as well.
To give Horne the benefit of the doubt, I posed a series of questions on his blog which he happily answered with much magnanimity:
1) What is your opinion about atheists?
I dislike Atheists such as Madlyn Murray O'hare. Her son William described her as a vulgar and profane woman. I don't consider all Atheists to be that type of person. To me an Atheist is just another fellow human being. I may disagree with them but I respect their right to believe as they wish. My opinion of them is formed by how they conduct themselves as human beings, not by what they believe. I have friends who are Atheists and I respect them.2) Do you think the Kieffe & Sons ad was successful in attracting customers to their dealership?
The ad was not specifically designed to bring people to the dealership.It was not a promotion. It was more commentary than anything else. Many of the ads that I produce for the dealership are commentary. This particular ad was designed to get the attention of the listening audience and to cause people to think. It was successful in doing that. The number of positive calls and emails far out numbered the negative. With respect to that, it was successful.3) Did you consider the "shock value" of the ad when you produced it? Was that your intent?
Probably not as much as I should have, butI knew it would be controversial. What was not anticipated was the harshness in which some people responded. It is one thing to call and express an opinion of disagreement, but quite another to be vulgar and profane. Some of the calls were well beyond decency.4) Do you think the sentiment of the ad represents the majority of American Christians?
I can't speak for the majority. Each individual has to decide for themselves as to whether it reflects their sentiments. Obviously those that spoke in the negative were against it. Perhaps those that responded positively agreed with the sentiment, at least to some degree.5) If you could go back, what would you have done differently with respect to that particular ad (if anything)?
Yes to some extent. Had I given it more thought, I would have been sure to include the Jewish and Muslim faiths. There was no intent to offend the other faiths. That is what the dealership apology was about.6) Do you have any observations that you'd like to share since this all began?
Those that responded negatively chose to be offended. No one was singled out. Only the 14 percent was mentioned. Those that considered themselves a part of that group are the negative. Each person has to make their own choice.
I said it in the ad and I will say it again. There is a dangerous faction in our country that wants to be destructive. To me, it has been borne out by some of the threats and wishes of some respondents. To find out who some of those destructive individuals are, all one needs to do is read their responses. I think it is intolerable that some would find glee in the demise of a major corporation such as Ford Motor Company. Why would anyone want to see a good dealership destroyed? What is the satisfaction of destruction? That type of sentiment is what I wanted to point out. It exists. People need to wake up.
I have this observation.Remember what he said in the ad that he wrote and he produced:
Today in the United States there is a dizzying mixture of philosophies, races, religions and languages. We Americans are not connected by genealogy, but by a shared set of freedoms. We all have a right to speak and be heard, but no one individual or group of individuals has the right to coerce, intimidate or seek to destroy others.
From 1976 up to this day, dedicated men and women from all walks of life and beliefs have fought and died to ensure that those freedoms will be preserved. Each American is duty bound to one and other to see to it that this country is safe for everyone whether we agree or not.
When we allow vulgar and profane conduct to be acceptable, we are headed for failure.
"Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe and Sons Ford wonder why we don't just tell the other 14 percent to sit down and shut up."From #1, we learn that he has friends who are atheists and who he respects. This is respect?
From #2, we find out that the ad wasn't even an ad...it was a commentary designed to "cause people to think." According to Horne, the positive responses far outnumbered the negative and therefore the ad was successful. If you take this at face value and think about it logically, then the success of the ad shouldn't be measured by whether or not the responses were positive or negative. Rather, it should be based on the number of responses received because that indicates that people have given enought thought to the ad to warrant a response. But given that, as he says, the majority of the responses were positive, then what does that tell you about a society who praises the act of offending other segments of the population?
From #3, we see that Horne knew at the outset the ad would be controversial, yet he is surprised at some of the vehemence it illicited. Here, Horne is building his anti-atheist case and playing the part of the persecuted victim - you know, the nice guy who wants to live and let live, respect other people's opinions, take each person at face value. Or in other words, J W Horne is Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I, however, have tuned my senses to the frequencies of woo and Horne is transmitting at 3.7 jigawatts on all of them.
If the ad had instead been targeted at teachers, cat-lovers, accountants, Lithuanians, patriots, or Christians, he would have received just as many extreme responses as he did with Atheists. You can't use that argument to judge atheism by. That dog just don't hunt.
Regarding #4, he took a pass. I wanted to know what his perspective was regarding the general Christian population. Hell, it was a stupid question anyway.
As for #5, all logic plunges off the deep end. What I said for Kieffe also holds true for Horne: I can't expect them to understand the finer points of subtle concepts like BIGOTRY(!) or PISSING PEOPLE OFF! Somehow, I think even he has forgotten what the ad said. He wrote it to be controversial, knowing that it would offend atheists, but yet he says anyone offended made the choice to be offended because they chose to be an atheist. So...what? It's not his fault that some people disliked what he had to say? It's that "stay the course" mentality that makes him look like a fool.
Finally, #6: Read it to the tune of God Bless America. He has no point here.
In a nutshell, this is his line of reasoning:
1) A controversial ad was made targeting non-Christians
2) Non-Christians got angry.
3) See! See! Look at the angry non-Christians! That's why they should sit down and shut up. They're always so angry!!
Hopefully this is the last we'll hear from this group of sad sacks. Their vainglorious fifteen minutes of fame has run its course. Fools can't help but be fools and deciphering them quickly becomes a waste of time.