Oh Shay Carl, you done goofed.
On Shay’s June 5, 2013 episode of Shaytards he sets out to interview finance guru and radio host Dave Ramsey for his forthcoming documentary. As Shay prepares for the interview, he sits in Dave’s chair and excitedly reads over Dave’s “scripture of the day” (apparently for that day’s radio show) as well as the Mark Twain quote: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” Shay then begins to pontificate on the theorem for success, which is apparently, “Focused intensity over time equals unstoppable momentum …” He should have stopped there maybe, but swayed by a cameraman, he adds, “multiplied by God’s power — if you believe in God, some of you don’t because you’re stupid …” Ooh … so Christlike, right? (Jump to the 8:30 point in the top vid if you just want to hear him say it). Too bad Dave Ramsey’s quote of the day from Mark Twain wasn’t, “It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Shay knew the second he said it, that he’d erected a veritable lightning rod and sheepishly adds, “No, just kidding … Ahhh … let the comments come in now …” and, apparently, they have, as Shay has recently uploaded a video on his “When The Kids Go To Sleep” podcast titled “I Do NOT Know if God Exists!” The video, posted as a result of comments on the original post, is Shay attempting to explain where he comes from spiritually as a means of assuaging the hostiles maybe. He does explain a couple times that he was joking about the religion thing (it’s basically a half hour mea culpa of sorts), but here’s the thing: he shouldn’t have to admit he’s joking if he feels that way.
The problem with being a public figure is that you are constantly having to run around catering to different groups and sects, trying to be edgy and real, and yet, not so edgy that you lose your advertising appeal. Even Marilyn Manson had to toe that line back when he was trying to be shocking. Shay stands to alienate a portion of his audience by making his negative opinions known (he already cops to his religious beliefs, and good for him for doing that), and like many other YouTubers, he has to be careful. If you lean too hard one direction or another, you become a secularist, which leads to a much more niche appeal. Secularism is a hard road to walk when your company (Maker Studios) is beholden to venture capitalists.
I can’t forgive him for going on a half hour rant (that I had to listen to in its entirety) where the bottom line is “I can’t prove or not prove a God exists and neither can you” (nobody wins faith-based arguments, only fact-based ones), but I can forgive him for calling atheists stupid, because while his rant was the most base form of reasoning (God exists because it seems like he should), it’s an opinion and I respect the hell out of those — as long as they don’t stand in the way of basic human rights.
In the end, I find it fascinating that Shay Carl and Dave Ramsey both reference the Mark Twain quote along with the bible psalm. After all, it was Mark Twain who also wrote, “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be — a Christian.”
For more religion controversy, check out the following link: