Senator seeks to “protect” churches

Oh, hey, there’s a cute story in TheBlaze.com.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would prevent the Obama administration from pressuring churches into recognizing gay marriage.

Yes, it’s very important to “protect” churches from having the president violate the First Amendment in ways he has no intention of doing. And while we’re passing frivolous, grandstanding laws, why not also pass a law protecting women and babies from Republican cannibalism? Yes, I know that doesn’t exist either, but you do oppose allowing Republicans to commit cannibalism right? If we’re going to protect things that aren’t in any danger, let’s at least be comprehensive.

AiG’s outreach to atheists

I actually got this off a friend, but it’s kind of fun. You know how Answers In Genesis likes to target most of their material at weak and wavering Christians (especially if they have too much cash on their hands)? Well, now they’re extending that same hand of duplicity fellowship to atheists as well, in the form of a post entitled “Dear Atheists,” by Bodie Hodge. And believe me, it’s everything you’d expect from a ministry like AiG.

[Read more…]

Feminism in outer space

I have a long-ish commute, and I drive an “affordable” car. Apparently, though,  it has a really good radio, because I think I was picking up a talk show from another planet. The guest and hosts were discussing feminism in the context of the guest’s new book about “God’s 10 Gifts for Women,” and the description of feminism was like nothing I’ve seen on this Earth. Did I mention it was a Christian radio station?

[Read more…]

Gospel Disproof #49: Maimed in heaven

In Mark 9:43-48, Jesus is reported to have said:

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.] If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

The idea of eternal punishment offends a lot of people today, even among believers. And not just today, either—a number of the ancient Church Fathers tried to soften this doctrine by turning it into a kind of pre-Catholic purgatory, where sinners go to get the sin burned out of them so that they then can enter into the eternal blessings of heaven. But Jesus wasn’t one to try and accommodate what you might call the harsh teachings of Christianity with the nice-guy sensibilities of the meek and moral. All of his reported teachings on hell, like the passage above, assume that once you’re thrown into hell, you stay there.

[Read more…]

New name, same old crap

OneNewsNow reports that the Alliance Defense Fund, whose defense of bigotry and discrimination has suffered serious setbacks in recent years, is hoping to win some new support by adopting a new name. And in the best conservative Christian tradition, they’ve decided to pick a name that completely misrepresents what it is that they actually do.

The new name is Alliance Defending Freedom — but president and CEO Alan Sears tells OneNewsNow the group’s purpose remains the same.

“Defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Only the name has changed,” says Sears.

“The change is to help more people easily understand the work that we do and why it matters…”

You know, that kind of reminds me of another C. S. Lewis quote.

[Read more…]

The third option

As a few people have pointed out, there’s something missing from my discussion of religion as the leading source of atheism. I said that when you find a mistake in your religion, you have two options: either leave the church, or become a hypocrite. The possibility of correcting the church’s error is not really an option, because the church’s whole authority system is predicated on the assumption that it cannot make any mistakes in the first place. Acknowledging the existence of an error means admitting that the church’s authority is based on a false premise.

Some people suggested that the third option is to start a new religion, or at least create a schism, but I would include that as a sub-category under the heading of leaving your old religion. When you start a new religion, or a new branch of the old one, you’re saying in effect that the old one is wrong and therefore you’re leaving it. I got to see this a lot in the Church of Christ: each half of the church split would promptly declare that the other half was on its way to hell, because they were rejecting the Bible’s plain declaration that _______ (fill in the blank: “communion is/isn’t one cup”,”missionary societies are/aren’t a permissible means of spreading the gospel”, etc). You may be staying within the broad outlines of religion, but you’re leaving your original faith.

[Read more…]

An honest creationist?

It’s nice to know there’s at least one honest creationist left. Or at least, partly honest. And he lives in Georgia.

Educators across the country are now developing what’s called the “next generation of science standards.”

A member of the Villa Rica Church of Christ told Channel 2’s Diana Davis evolution should not be a part of those standards…

[Church member Bob] Staples and his church are fighting for schools to include another view… Staples told Davis he believes in the literal meaning of the Bible: That god created heaven and Earth.  Although, he says, he does not expect public schools to teach the bible’s view of creationism.

None of this namby-pamby “teach the controversy” stuff. He wants evolution out and creationism in. He doesn’t expect to get what he wants, but he’s telling the plain and simple truth about his goals. Rather refreshing in a way.
[Read more…]

Missouri votes on redundant First Amendment amendment

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the voters in the state of Missouri will be voting this fall on a proposed amendment to the state constitution protecting the right to pray in public places.

While the U.S. Constitution protects the right to pray in public places, supporters of the Missouri ballot issue want to clarify those rights. In House committee testimony last year, they said there is increasing ignorance about religious expression. Opponents testified that the amendment adds nothing to existing law and may invite litigation.

Here Fido, here boy, who’s a good doggie then? Now roll over.

[Read more…]

The year of …?

Via Ed Brayton comes this report that the Pennsylvania House has declared 2012 to be “The Year of the Bible,” on the spurious grounds that “Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States” etc, etc. Which of course is why the three branches of American government are the king, the priesthood, and the prophets, just like the governments ordained in the Bible.

Anyway, I was just thinking: what year should 2013 be? The Year of the Koran? The Year of the Book of Mormon? The Year of Dianetics?

Or perhaps we should go with The Year of On Origin of Species? Or perhaps Demon-Haunted World? (One of my favorites.) Or how about Letter to a Christian Nation?

What’s your nomination?

 

“Nation” vs “government”

I see Vox Day is up to his usual form. Writing for WorldNetDaily, he tries to dilute the impact of the Treaty of Tripoli by a bit of heavy-handed framing.

[T]he argument that America was never a Christian nation relies upon a common atheist trick, in this case, the substitution of the word “nation” for “government.” What is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion? Is it “the United States of America”? Is it “the American people”? No, it is “the Government of the United States of America.”

Notice it’s the atheists who are trying to “trick” you into confusing the American nation with the American government. No Christian (like David Barton, for instance) would ever try to conflate “nation” and “government” in such a way as to make it sound like our laws and government institutions (e.g. public schools) had a right and/or obligation to give preference to Christianity.

[Read more…]