Creationist conference to tackle “tough issues”

Science blogger Lofar Pilso reports that Discovery in Genesis and the Answers Institute are planning a major conference on creationism and intelligent design to be held at an undisclosed location in New Mexico some time next fall.

The conference, entitled “Hard Questions: God’s Glory,” will be a departure from creationist conferences of the past. “Evolutionists aren’t afraid to hold conferences where they tackle the tough issues in Darwinism,” said William Ham, of Discovery in Genesis. “This conference will prove that creationists are equally brave, and willing to confront the problems faced by modern creationist theory.”

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Ted Cruz supports — and opposes — a national marriage amendment

We’re used to politicians flip-flopping on the issues as public opinion shifts, but it takes real skill to flip to both positions simultaneously. According to advocate.com, however, Ted Cruz has managed to do exactly that. Faced with an impending Supreme Court decision that is likely to end marriage discrimination against gay couples, Cruz announced that he is absolutely opposed to having the federal government overrule state laws regarding marriage, while simultaneously supporting the idea of having the federal government overrule state laws regarding marriage.

“I’m a constitutionalist,” Cruz continued. “From the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question of the states, and we should not have the federal government, or unelected judges, setting aside the policy judgment of the elected legislatures and imposing their own instead.”

Cruz also confirmed to the D.C.-based LGBT outlet that he is still planning to introduce a federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage nationwide…

Ta-da! The amazing inverted double back flip with a front flip and a twist. So as long as the federal government is telling the states they must discriminate against gays, he’s for it, but if the federal government insists on justice and equality for gays, then he’s resolutely opposed. He believes states rights trumps the federal government while believing at the same time that the government should decide the issue for all 50 states. I’d give it an 8.4 out of ten. It’s a difficult move, and he did pull it off, but it still looks like shit no matter how you do it.

Obama’s evil, Christian twin

If you read the right-wing “news” outlets, you already know that President Obama is secretly a Marxist Muslim terrorist plotting to take your guns and force you to submit to Sharia law and possibly also gay weddings. But that’s not the true depth of his depravity, oh no. He, or perhaps his evil Twin President Obama, has an even darker secret.

President Obama’s out-of-the-blue statement voicing concern for allegedly growing religious intolerance in India is no surprise at all. There are reasons for this outburst. The US President is clearly under the superficial anti-India propaganda by a powerful network of the Christian lobby alleging that minorities face ‘existential challenges’…

Obama has shown himself to be more a Christian figure than statesman. Fact is that the missionary lobby fears an anti-conversion law that will prevent them from ‘harvesting’ Hindus as part of their demographic project. There were expectations during the Pope’s visit to India that he would advise evangelists to stop conversions. Far from it, he claimed conversion to be a right. Indian missionaries are perturbed by rising demands for a Central law against conversion. Obama’s statement is a part of the Vatican’s agenda in India.

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Ban the Ten Commandments

Judge Roy Moore has been in the news recently, agitatin’ and rabble-rousin’ and insisting that judges in Alabama resist any federal policy on gay marriage, and uphold only the Alabama state constitution. And you know, that’s not entirely a bad idea, now that the state has amended its constitution to explicitly forbid relying on any foreign law to decide court cases. As astute political observers may have noticed, the ancient theocracy of Israel, which produced the Commandments known as the Law of Moses, is not part of the United States. Alabama, technically, has banned the Ten Commandments.

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Lying about Heaven for fun and profit.

I bet this will come as a shock.

Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy’s story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

Oh, you knew that already?

The Second Coming

I’ve always said that, as a skeptic, I am willing to believe whatever is most consistent with the verifiable evidence, even if it contradicts beliefs I have long cherished. That commitment has probably never been challenged as strongly as it was the day Jesus did come back, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and, well, President of Presidents.

That was a shock, I must say, but seeing him on CNN and Fox News (of course) and even Al Jazeera, I had to face the evidence and admit that he was really real. God the Son had come down from heaven to dwell among men, and even the most die-hard skeptics had to agree. Fortunately (as he explained later), the Revelation prophecies were misunderstood predictions about Christian persecution in the Roman Empire, so we didn’t have a bunch of terrible calamities to worry about. But still, just having him be there, and be real, was a great shock.

The Christians, of course, were jubilant, or at least, at first they were. For the first few days, you couldn’t turn on a television or go to a news outlet on the web without some believer or another sitting there smugly wagging their fingers and telling us all, “See? We told you so.” Even people like Richard Dawkins were only on long enough to sheepishly admit they’d been mistaken. The Christians had all the microphones and camera time.

And then came the audience with the Pope.

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Fun with Santa

Re-posted from Evangelical Realism, 5 Dec 2007

Was Santa Claus a part of your childhood? He was definitely a big part of mine (bigger than Jesus for most of my very-young days, in fact). It was only natural, then, that my wife and I would want Santa to be part of our kids’ childhood as well. But therein lies the dilemma: Santa is not real, and we didn’t want to lie to our kids. So we found a way to have fun with Santa, without ever lying about him.

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A wasted debunking

Via Ed Brayton’s blog last Halloween, we have this story of Raelians attempting to debunk the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

In this study we tested the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation by DNA analysis. Results showed unequivocally that the rituals performed by the priests during the Eucharist sacrament have no detectable effect on the substance of altar bread at the DNA level.

Very amusing, but pointless. The reason the doctrine is called “transubstantiation” instead of “transformation” is because when Catholics say “transubstantiation” they mean something very different from transformation. And it all goes back to Aristotle.

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God’s justice: Giving the ACLU exactly what they want

There’s an amusing story on BizPac Review entitled “God’s justice: Jesus painting gets sweet neon revenge on ACLU.” The “revenge” in this case, consists of removing an overtly religious painting from a public school, and putting it on private property—just where the ACLU says it belongs.

An Ohio couple who got angry when their neighboring high school was forced last year to remove a religious painting that had hung for more four decades decided to take matters into their own hands.

The couple acquired the painting, which depicts Jesus as the “Good Shepherd” in a field with lambs and the first words of the 23rd Psalm (“The Lord is my Shepherd”) and placed it in a highly visible position in a yard that can be seen from the school.

Ah, sweet revenge. God should take equal revenge on all the Ten Commandments monuments and nativity scenes believers are trying to force onto the government. That’ll show the old ACLU!