Monthly Archives: June 2009

Glad I’m not in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern has proposed what she calls the “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality.” The proposition, which can be read in its entirety here, is truly comedy gold. She claims that “our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis,” which (of course) can be blamed entirely on abortion, same-sex marriage, pornography, divorce, illegitimate births, and other favorite canards of the fanatically-religious right.

She whines and moans about how President Obama didn’t officially recognize the National Day of Prayer, but he did recognize a month of tolerance for the LGBT community.

But the real juicy idiocy is at the very end:

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the undersigned elected officials of the people of Oklahoma, religious leaders and citizens of the State of Oklahoma, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, solemnly declare that the HOPE of the great State of Oklahoma and of these United States, rests upon the Principles of Religion and Morality as put forth in the HOLY BIBLE; and

BE IT RESOLVED
that we, the undersigned, believers in the One True God and His only Son, call upon all to join with us in recognizing that “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord,” and humbly implore all who love Truth and Virtue to live above reproach in the sight of God and man with a firm reliance on the leadership and protection of Almighty God; and

BE IT RESOLVED
that we, the undersigned, humbly call upon Holy God, our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, to have mercy on this nation, to stay His hand of judgment, and grant a national awakening of righteousness and Christian renewal as we repent of our great sin.

Signed on the second day of July in the year of our Lord Christ Two Thousand and Nine.

Yowza. This from a woman who says she understands separation of church and state… and who has, in the past, said that homosexuals were a worse threat to America than terrorists. Does anything really need to be said here? She needs to be gone. Fast.

This kind of stuff needs to be shoved forcibly into the light of day. Thanks to the folks at Right Wing Watch for this one.

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So I had my first face-to-face theist/atheist discussion…

A few days ago at Starbucks I had a friendly discussion about atheism and skepticism with a barista. She noticed that I was reading Dan Barker’s Godless, which tells the story about how Barker, a former fundamentalist/evangelical Christian preacher, gradually lost his faith and became an atheist (and is now co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation). The book’s subject prompted her to ask if I was an atheist, and when I told her that I was, her reaction was reassuringly nonchalant.
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Lying for Jesus, Catholic style

I just briefly skimmed over an article called Atheism: a threat to civilization from Father Alphonse de Valk of Catholic Insight. It’s your typical anti-Atheist scare piece, calling up the specters of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and …

Wait a minute, they mentioned Hitler? As an atheist? Wow, that’s a surprise. I’m sure it would surprise him, too, seeing how he was a devout Catholic. Not that his religious beliefs are even relevant. Most of the atrocities carried out in the Holocaust were done by thousands of other good old-fashioned, God-fearing German citizens. Unless, of course, de Valk is insinuating that each and every person in Germany at the time was an atheist, I think he would do well to avoid mention of Hitler.
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Ray Comfort pisses me right the hell off.

This is from an excerpt (PDF) from a book written by Crocoduck enthusiast and creationist troll Ray Comfort, entitled Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups.

This book will no doubt be seen by some as “quote mining.” This is the practice of taking a quote (often out of its context), and using it in a way that was never intended by the author. However, every gold nugget is legitimately mined out of its context. No one seriously values the earth that encases the gold. So, when I uncover an evolutionary expert quietly admitting that he has no evidence to back up his theory, I don’t see any value in the soil of his surrounding words. I merely extract what I believe is of value for those who want to discover the truth about the theory of evolution.

That’s right, Ray, rationalize your deceptive behavior. After all, it’s okay to lie for Jesus, like when you introduce Charles Darwin as “a man who became disillusioned about God [and] formed a theory that all this amazing order and complexity came from nothing and randomly evolved over time.”

For a quick overview of the kind of idiocy Ray Comfort considers ‘evidence’ that evolution is a fairy tale, check out his blog post about the book. Skip right over mass of the nonsense and look for some comments by a user named ‘Carl’ where he shows precisely why Ray is such a fan of quote mining (or just making quotes up from whole cloth).

I almost wish there were a hell so that there could be special places reserved in it for people like Ray who fill other people’s heads with misinformation and who promote the “values” of gullibility and credulity.

Video: Open-mindedness – what it is and what it isn’t

I ran into this video a while ago and I really liked it. I bumped into it again while browsing Skeptoid and decided to share it. It gives a fantastic overview of the difference between the uncritical ‘believer’ definition of open-mindedness and what open-mindedness really should mean to skeptics and freethinkers.

I’ve been a bit lax on posting here lately. I hope to have something more substantive later tonight or tomorrow; I’m working on a video that gives a layman’s explanation of evolution and transitional forms, which rebuffs some common complaints made by creationists.