Notpology From Kieffe & Sons Ford

The local Bakersfield station quotes Rick Kieffe:

Rick Kieffe, owner of Kieffe and Sons Ford, said he doesn’t regret running the ad, which aired on radio stations in eastern Kern County and the Antelope Valley, but he does apologize for offending anyone.

Why did he issue the apology if he does not mean it? Doesn’t he have the courage of his convictions? Why be so cowardly? I guess he will do and say whatever he feels in order to make a sale.

Rick Kieffe said, “I do not regret it, it’s simply how we feel. We feel that one child shouldn’t keep the other 29 children in class from saying the pledge of allegiance. We feel it should say, In God We Trust should be on the money, and there’s these things where the majority feels one way but a smaller group tells them to sit down and shut up and that’s where the unfortunate language came into this ad. The sit down and shut up part kind of got by me.”

If he really feels this way, why apologize? Keep on saying what you believe, Rick Kieffe, you have every right to say it, just as I have every right to point out the hypocrisy and criticize the ad.

He is also missing the point. The current pledge is is now a prayer. Why single out school children who don’t want to or can’t say it? This is really all about enforcing community conformity and civic religion. These Christians don’t care if you don’t believe in Jesus, they just want you to pretend and outwardly show that you do in order to reinforce their own beliefs.

This past winter, our neighborhood had a potluck dinner like it always does. There has never been a prayer said before. One guy, who is always trying to show how pious he is decided to enforce a group, Christian, prayer. I, along with several others refused to bow my head. The host also refused to bow his head in support, and made a wisecrack to the group afterwards. Later, I overheard someone saying “Why don’t they just go along and pretend?”

Is this what Christianity’s founder wanted for his followers? That they go around enforcing compliance? Is this what Christianity is all about, all show and no substance? And those who don’t go along with it need to “shut up and sit down” so that Christians with flimsy faith can feel all comfortable in the delusion that everyone thinks and believes just like they do? If there is no one whose difference arouses questions and doubts, then those pesky questions and doubts can be safely ignored. Perhaps those Christians who scream the loudest about enforcing their religion are really the ones with the greatest doubts and the flimsiest faith.

What Happens When You Don’t Sit Down & Shut Up

Charming news from the Antelope Valley today. The Valley Press has an article in today’s paper entitled Vandals Target Citizen Who Spoke Up.

A Lancaster woman’s home was vandalized overnight Wednesday with “In God We Trust or ?” painted across her windows in what she believes is retaliation for speaking out against placing a similar phrase in City Council chambers.

So, is this what happens to those who don’t “sit down and shut up”? Wow, sharing God’s Love is a wonderful thing.

Phillips believes the vandals found her home after Mayor R. Rex Parris told her she had to announce her home address during the meeting, which is televised.

“I believe the two are linked,” Phillips said.

She questioned the legality of forcing a speaker to provide an address to talk to the council. When she filled out a speaker card in order to address the council, she said she omitted her home address, but Parris asked her for her address when she stepped up to the podium.

This mayor will do and say anything to advance his political career. If sucking up to the Christocrats running Lancaster will advance his career, then he will do it.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Phillips told the council that displaying the motto, “at the very least, implies that nonbelievers are unwelcome or unsuitable to appear before the council.”

“I don’t believe that motto should be brought into a public venue,” she said.

Phillips said she is a “reluctant activist,” but felt strongly about the council’s proposal.

“I believe in God, but I don’t even want my religion shoved down other people’s throat,” she said.

Phillips said she sent Parris, via e-mail, a list of secular slogans to put in place of “In God We Trust,” but had received no response from the mayor.

Parris said he hoped the vandalism wasn’t related to her speaking out.

Why aren’t other non fundy Christians stepping out to support her? Why do they let the right-wing Christians run the Antelope Valley? Why do they stick their heads in the sand? Even if there are very few atheists, at least we support her, as she is supporting us.

He described the vandalism as an atypical incident since the vandal painted Phillips’ windows with shoe polish.

Sheriff’s officials are investigating the vandalism, Parris said.

I hope she didn’t do this herself to get attention.

First Amendment expert Jim Ewert, legal counsel and legislative advocate for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, said no case law exists to indicate that a speaker must provide his or her home address to talk to a city council.

“I fail to see the nexus between providing an address and being able to speak at a council meeting,” he said.

Under the Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s opening meeting law, Ewert said, the council can’t pose unreasonable restrictions on individuals who want to speak to it.

Providing one’s name is not an unreasonable restriction, but being forced to state one’s home address out loud might be, Ewert said.

“It all boils down to whether forcing the speaker to give out her address constitutes reasonable restrictions,” he said.

Phillips said the vandalism demonstrates “there are repercussions in speaking out against them (the city council).”

“It’s an invasion of freedom of speech and privacy,” she said.

I wonder why the mayor insisted she give her address. Hmmmmm, it makes one think.

Kieffe & Sons Ford Apologizes for Offending Nonbelievers

The Kieffe & Sons Ford Dealership has issued a public apology at their website.

“For 15 years, Kieffe and Sons Ford has run ad campaigns that focus on current events. We have chosen to do this rather than presenting typical car sales ads. We do this through an agency that develops the material and sends us a package of commercials to review. From this, we select commercials that we distribute to area radio stations. Frequently we emphasize humor and patriotic themes, as we are located adjacent to two military bases. Public response over these 15 years has been hugely positive, often eliciting calls and visits from appreciative individuals. Regrettably, the commercial that has prompted the current objection to religious sentiment (“Under God”, “In We Trust”) was not closely reviewed by our dealership before it went live. The commercial has been replaced. We apologize to all who were offended. It is Kieffe and Sons’ intention to support America and the freedoms that make this country great.”

Rick Kieffe, President

Perhaps they will review the ads that they pay for in the future. They ended up with a lot of egg on their faces this time. I emailed them weeks ago about how the ad was offensive to nonbelievers, especially atheists. The portion of the ad that offended me was the “shut up and sit down” portion. The arrogance and condescension I can put up with, but not being told to give up my right to free speech.

If I were them, I definitely would screen future ads. There is a person calling himself J W Horne who claims to have made the ad. He seems to be cluelessly making himself look like an ass, both here and on his blog.

The Bakersfield Californian has the story as well.

A radio ad that tells non-Christians to “sit down and shut up” has prompted a flood of phone calls to the Kern County car dealer who paid for the ads and now regrets airing them.

Rick Kieffe, owner of Kieffe and Sons Ford in Mojave and Rosamond, insisted Wednesday that he does not remember approving the ad, which he said was written by his longtime advertising writer and producer in Oklahoma.

“It’s just something that went by us,” said Kieffe, who does not attend church but considers himself “a Christian spirit.” “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”

Airing on local AM and FM radio in eastern Kern County and the Antelope Valley, the ad has gained a lot of attention on the Internet, where blog posts go on and on about its pro-Christian, anti-atheist message.

Kieffe said he has received “an incredible amount” of calls from people as far away as Australia and England, most but not all of them from “very articulate, nice people.”

Way to go everyone.

Kieffe and Sons has contracted the same Oklahoma ad producer for 12 to 15 years, Kieffe said. Most of the ads are humorous but a minority are patriotic, “flag-waving” messages that don’t necessarily push car sales, he said.

The dealership also advertises on television and in print, although the ad in question was limited to radio.

I wouldn’t call an ad that told 14% of the population to “sit down and shut up” very patriotic. The ad is also discussed over at Way of the Woo.

Poem by the Digital Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish has written a new poem especially dedicated to our friends at Kieffe & Sons Ford.

When the rapture sweeps the planet
I know Heaven’s my reward,
But for now my piece of paradise
I bought from Henry Ford

It’s a broken-down jalopy;
It’s a rusted piece of junk;
But there’s Jesus on the dashboard
And a fishy on the trunk

Sure, it leaks a little oil,
And it doesn’t “turn”, but “lurch”,
Seven miles to the gallon
But it gets me to my church

You can hear me from a block away
And smell last weekend’s skunk,
But there’s Jesus on the dashboard
And a fishy on the trunk

Got a brand-new bumper sticker
Saying “What Would Jesus Do?”
Now it’s holding up my tail light
With some duct tape and some glue

You can almost hear the “Kieffe and Sons”
In every “Rattle-Clunk”,
But there’s Jesus on the dashboard
And a fishy on the trunk.

I saw a car that had a fish–
A Darwin fish, with legs!
I fixed it, with a wrecking bar
And half a dozen eggs

Don’t mess with me or with my God
You heathen, godless punk–
I’ve got Jesus on my dashboard
And a fishy on my trunk.

Thanks Cuttlefish, I’ve just added you to my blogroll.