Thursday, July 06, 2006


One of the best e-mails we've received comes from a skeptic who urges, "Don't believe the hype."

Hype, as in crowd estimates for the James River Assembly of God "I Love America" show, held on July 4.

Our reader writes:
So, the James River guy says 115,000 people attended the event - that's basically more than two-thirds the population of Springfield and some 45,000 more than attended Firefall.

The event is on two acres. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre, or 87,120 total.

Now, my math ain't the best for sure, but ragged computation leads to about 3/4 of one square foot per person, right? Hardly enough room for some of the large Americans who attend that sort of thing to sit their butts on the ground.

Why doesn't anyone in the media apply any critical thinking to these numbers or ask for some substantiation??
Because that would require critical thinking on the part of reporters. Math, too. Way too difficult.


Anonymous said...

perhaps your reader needs to do some math. the springfield underground area is more than two acres. you couldn't fit the james river congregation on two acres--give me a break.

Anonymous said...

While strongly agreeing that reporters need to do more critical thinking (and math), I'm curious from where your skeptical reader got the 115,000 people on 2-acres information. According to an article in Wednesday's News-Leader:
". . .a crowd estimated at 150,000 and growing just before the fireworks were to begin.

"What began as a church holiday gathering now is drawing throngs of celebrators to the 200-acre venue in northeast Springfield."

The crowd size is from James River Assembly. The "200-acre" size is used twice.

I'm skeptical of the crowd size, but not having attended or viewed the fireworks on television I cannot attest to its accuracy. I can only attest to the loudness of the fireworks and the concert which followed, which could be heard miles from the venue.

Anonymous said...

Its easier to count cars...i cant imagine that the land involved could hold the amount of cars necessary to have 150,000 attend. Too bad there isnt an arial photo then it would be easy to get a count....of course being held after dark hinders any accurate accounting...

Anonymous said...

Um... how many people were at the Million Man March?

Anonymous said...

The religious pretense grates on my nerves just a bit. The preacher who said they prayed that it wouldn't rain on their Come-to-Jesus Fireworks Day & then said their prayers were answered.

God knows how we needed that rain.

Anonymous said...

Woodstock for Jesus and the flag?

Well, at least we know where Fat Jack should plan the route for next year's nekkid bike run.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really give a flip how many people actually showed up for RighteousnessFest 2006?

Would it really shock anyone to find out that its sponsors would overstate the event's attendance, given their nature to overstate and demonize any number of societal issues with which they don't agree?

Anonymous said...

What I find offensive is that a church would spend all that money on a garrish "fireworks for Jesus" fest when the money could be better spent on folks who need it in our community. Wasn't Jesus all about feed the hungry, tend to the sick, help the poor ... not make lots of noise? I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister Amy!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's still the case, but for many years the James River congregation shunned participation in the Ozarks Food Harvest, while dozens of other local churches, large and small, of all denominations, participated.

Perhaps they were too busy erecting their megatemple, choosing coffee selections for their Jesusbucks cafe, and programming their electronic marquee to bother with raising food donations for needy locals.

Anonymous said...

It is always easier to talk about what others should be doing with their time and money. You might first look into where the congregation does send its money. They may not help Ozarks Food Harvest but they are the major underwriter of Convoy of Hope which helps poor/hungry nationwide and in Latin America. "Wasting money but not helping the poor" ... this is a favoriate complaint of my mother-in-law too but the irony is that she gives 0% of her funds to help anyone. At least Christians have a standard to meet: 10%. Not everyone meets that standard ... but is the goal and if it was achieved there would be plenty of funds to help those in need. Of course, lots of times those who say they support the poor are also very critical of those Christian organizations -- like Victory Mission -- that DO help the poor.

By the way, if you want to see a quick video about the I love America event, which includes ariel footage of the event, visit (I'm not a member and I don't attend there by the way).

I took my family to both Firefall and I Love America this year. The crowd for Firefall has gotten smaller over the years I've gone (parking issues and other non-family friendly issues). If there were 45,000 at Firefall (as reported) then there was easily 100,000 at I Love America. Everything is easily twice as big ... heck, the church had nearly 3,000 volunteers working.

Anonymous said...

It irritates the devil out of the left when a church can draw a crowd of people that large, on private property, and the ACLU can't get involved.

Always fun to watch them squirm.

Fabian Socialism is alive and well in the USA. It's because of these little "worker" socialists that we have to put up with the worn out argument of separation of church and state.

I can burn a flag but can't say a prayer in school. How screwed up is that? It's screwed up to me, but to a liberal, it's just a step closer to utopia.

Ron Davis said...

I can burn a flag but can't say a prayer in school.

Newtster, you're wrong. Since when can't you say a prayer in school? Coerced prayer is forbidden. But the Supremes have never prohibited students from praying.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps James River has improved in true outreach to the poor over the years, I don't know. It's good they sponsor Convoy of Hope. I do know that several years ago when James River sponsored numerous mission trips to third world countries a lot of their purpose and their $$ went to constructing buildings for Assembly of God religion students.

While we are on the subject, it never ceases to amaze me when churches like Second Baptist sponsor mission trips to Mexico under the auspices of helping the poor which also includes a push to convert. Mexican culture has been seeped in Catholicism since Spanish colonial days. You Baptists need to leave them alone or give them help with no strings attached.

Anonymous said...

That is what I meant.

And even though the Supremes haven't ruled on this yet, to my knowledge, why do some challenge the pledge? Why do they challenge, "under god." The reference to God was added by the Congress in the 50's, I think.

This is the type of attempted erosion I'm speaking about.That is the lynchpin of Fabian Socialism, to enact a slow rather than a revolutionary change in government.

Sorry if I got finger twisted in expressing myself.

Anonymous said...

School prayer is a rightist red herring. Students can pray at school: they can join hands and pray around the flagpole before school, and they can enjoy school clubs that are religion-oriented, so long as they meet after school and aren't endorsed by public employees. They can even be required to participate in a "moment of silence," so long as no one tells them to pray during that moment. You people won't be happy until they're praying to the Protestant lord and savior every time they open a book (a censored book, of course). I love my religion, but it's mine, not the Government's. I frankly can't believe you people want the Government involved in it. What can you be imagining?

"Under god" doesn't seem to be in much danger, either. Although the Court has not addressed it, it has looked at other "institutional religious speech" (prayer in Congress, for example), and held it constitutional. We can disagree about that, I guess. But I don't see a liberal victory in the offing. And, for that matter, how important is it. We can refuse to say the pledge or refuse to say the words "under god" if we choose. I think it's silly to include the language (it's history is sort of telling), but I'm not going to burn any flags over it :)

You folks on the right just like to get paranoid about stupid issues so you don't have to deal with real issues -- like who feeds the poor or whether it's moral or ethical to ask anyone to die on the battlefield based on a slew of misinformation or whether the planet can survive our constant mistreatment of it. You wanna show you're a religious person? Start taking care of the world you believe you were given.

Anonymous said...

OK. Let's talk about the mistreatment of the earth. I believe the US is doing far more to curb damage to the environment than any other country on the planet. Our emmission controls on automobiles far out weigh anything being done by counties such as China and India, whose consumption of oil is just as robust as ours, in some cases, even more so.

More and more you are seeing development of hybrid vehicles and consumers as we speak are buying them as well as more fuel-effecient cars and trucks.

So much so that in Oregon, the state government is concerned that they will be feeling the pinch over this change in buying habits as gasoline taxes begin to suffer. So, to make sure Oregon gets every penny they feel they have coming to them, they're trying something new. Every car will be fitted with a GPS gadget so Oregon can start taxing you by the mile. They are also going to up the tax if you drive in rush hour.

So, is this environmental crusade in danger of being put-to-death by those who cherish cleaner air, hydrogen cars and a brighter tomorrow for our kids just so government can gig you for more taxes?

What kind of mixed signal does this say? Yes, buy hybrid and pay twice the tax. It's not enough government gets the sales tax from the car, personal property tax, gas tax and excise tax on the tires. God Almighty. Care for some tea?

As for the rest of your comments, well, why bother.

Anonymous said...

What kind of mixed signal does this say? Yes, buy hybrid and pay twice the tax. It's not enough government gets the sales tax from the car, personal property tax, gas tax and excise tax on the tires."

You're speakin' my language. Amen and preach on.

Anonymous said...

How did this devolve into an argument about religion and hybrids?

Let's stay on point, people.
And the point is:
Ron posted an e-mail whining about the local media not checking their facts and he overlooked that the note itself was based on an obvious error.

2 acres?

That's what you get for dissin' your peeps, Red.

Instant Karma.


Anonymous said...

Way to not feed the salamander, JJ.

Anonymous said...

Way to split an infinitive, Doc.

Anonymous said...

Hey, shouldn't you be reading words on paper about now? ;->

Anonymous said...

Finished for the night, Dr.L.
Finished and eager to breathe the sweet air of freedom.
But before I go, here's some information on the above topic:

Mmmmm....stomach rot.

Anonymous said...

Why, thank you. And might I just add . . . . eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Anonymous said...

Newster, quit trashing Fabian. Have you ever recorded a song as good as "Turn Me Loose"? Just so you know I'm actually a Dion and the Belmonts Socialist.
And while I'm thinking of it, don't let me hear you say anything bad about Cliff Richard! Desdinova THe Eternal Light.

Anonymous said...

I know this is probably a random response, but I felt the need to state some fundamental problems with your post regarding the size of the I Love America site. I happen to work closely with the blue prints for the ILA site. I don't know where your 2 acre statement comes from. The Springfield Underground site that JRA is allowed to use has 200 Acres. Most of that is used for parking. However, from the plans I have, the performance site is 1300 feet wide and 750 feet deep. This would be 975,000 square feet, or a little over 22 Acres dedicated to audience seating. The News-Leader did misprint the attendance for ILA. The official church count (as stated during the ILA broadcast) is 115,000. The attendance for ILA is based off of cars parked in the parking lot. We can fit 35,000 cars in the lot with this years configuration. The lot was filled completely to capacity. We use the generally accepted crowd measuring rate of 3.2 people per car to figure attendance. I hope this clarifys some things.