OZ: Date change prompts accusations of ‘Christian cleansing’

The Christian Post reports that Australian education officials are planning to edit the dates in textbooks by replacing the initials BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”) with the secular alternatives BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). Stop me if you’ve heard this one: local Christians are taking this move as a deliberate attempt to eradicate Christianity from Australia.

Fred Nile, a minister in New South Wales, told The Daily Telegraph that the announcement was a “final insult” to Christians in Australia and “an absolute disgrace.”

Nile said he feels the move is an attempt to remove any traces of Christianity from the country.

“The direction of the national curriculum is towards almost a Christian cleansing to remove from our history any references to the role Christianity had in the formation of Australia and still has today,” he told The Telegraph.

Personally, I don’t much care whether you say BC or BCE, any more than I care that Wednesday is a tribute to the Norse god Woden. Its mythological significance is too trivial to fuss over. But “Christian cleansing”? For a typographical substitution? That’s a bit over the top in my book. Save the “ethnic cleansing” insinuations for actual human rights violations please.

“Missing the Point” Department

TV Station WJHG reports that “several hundred” fans and football players staged an ostensibly defiant recitation of the Lord’s Prayer just before a high school football game.

Marianna- Just before Friday night’s football game at Marianna High School, students, parents, and even the players went through with reciting the Lord’s Prayer…

One student said it should send a strong message about prayer in public schools.

“It just shows that with God anything’s possible, nothing can stop us,” said Marianna High School student Trenton Nobles.

It also shows that prayer is not being repressed in the United States. What’s illegal is for the state (e.g. school teachers, coaches, principals, etc) to dictate to students when and how they must pray. But students themselves are free to pray whenever they like. As the TV station kindly noted in their online report, the ACLU confirmed the fact that public, student-led prayer cannot legally be discouraged by school officials.

The American Civil Liberties Union was not involved in the Jackson County School Board’s decision about pre-game prayers, but it said it’s against the law for school administrators and teachers to either encourage or discourage them.

Yep, those dad-gummed atheist liberals are standing up for believers’ civil rights again. Care to guess how many believers are going to thank them for it?

Gospel Disproof #1: Creationism

I was just reading a recent news story about how a creationist organization used a combination of deception and litigation to extort $110,000 from the California Science Center and its insurers—a reminder once again that creationism isn’t just a harmless delusion. There is one thing we can all agree with the creationists on, though. Evolutionary biology is far too sophisticated and elegant to have been invented by the crude and barbaric deity imagined by the writers of Genesis.

[Read more...]

Bigotry is as bigotry does

CNN reports that Rick Santorum isn’t too happy about being labeled a bigot.

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum defended his position on gay marriage Tuesday while speaking to students at Pennsylvania State University, and slammed CNN’s Piers Morgan for questioning him as a “bigot” in a pre-taped interview that aired Wednesday night.
“I had Piers Morgan call me a bigot, because I believe what the Catholic Church teaches with respect to homosexuality,” Santorum said, heatedly. “So now I’m a bigot because I believe what the Bible teaches.”

Yup. See, here’s the thing: “bigotry” is when you pick a certain group of people to treat as inferiors—denying them the same rights as everyone else—simply because they are different in some way. The question of “bigot vs. not-bigot” is not a question of where you get your ideas from, it’s a question of whether or not you do what bigotry does.

It is nice that he gives the Bible and the Catholic Church full credit as the source of his bigotry though.

 

Obama sued for picking which laws to enforce

Hot off the newswires, WorldNetDaily is reporting that the Department of Justice—sorry, make that BARACK OBAMA’S Department of Justice (very important to note that it’s his own personal Department of Justice)—is being sued again.

Barack Obama’s Department of Justice has been sued in federal court – again – for picking and choosing which of the nation’s laws it wants to enforce.

The newest case is being brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of the Family Research Council. It focuses on the announcement last winter from Attorney General Eric Holder that his department – assigned the responsibility of defending the U.S. and its laws – simply won’t do that when it comes to the congressionally approved and presidentially signed Defense of Marriage Act.

“When Barack Obama became president, he took an oath to uphold our laws – and not just the ones with which he personally agrees,” said FRC President Tony Perkins.

Yes, he did take an oath to uphold our laws, starting with the Constitution, which the DOMA and the PATRIOT Act both violate. He’s quite right to refuse to violate the Constitution when it comes to marriage. I wish he would be equally principled in refusing to violate the First and Fourth Amendments by enforcing the PATRIOT Act. Perkins is right about there being a problem, he’s just objecting to the wrong inconsistency.

How to pay for your homeopathic treatments

Yes, like everything else, homeopathic remedies and treatments are getting more and more expensive. But not to worry. Here’s how you can pay for all your homeopathic remedies, and have just oodles of cash left over.

  1. Take a few sheets of newsprint and tear them up into squares about the size of your hand.
  2. Put the squares into a large garbage bag along with a dollar bill.
  3. Shake the bag vigorously at least 12 times (succussion).
  4. Reach in and pull out one of the squares, and dump the rest (save the dollar bill for later)
  5. Tear off a piece of the square, about as big as your thumbnail, and put it in a large garbage bag along with some fresh squares of newsprint. DO NOT RE-USE THE PREVIOUS SQUARES. This is very important.
  6. Go back to step 4, and repeat the whole process 6 times.
  7. The last time through, pull out the square and cut off a piece about the size of a dollar bill. Thanks to the principles of homeopathy, this little piece of paper is now worth about $284,500.
  8. Pay your homeopathic practitioner with the succussed newsprint, and make sure he or she gives you exact change.

Now you can not only pay for homeopathy, you should be able to afford a pretty nice house as well. Ask for your change in US currency, though. Banks don’t believe in homeopathy.

This is going to take some getting used to

Back at my old blog, I’ve always had a policy of “first time moderation,” meaning if you’ve never commented before, I have to approve you first before your comments get posted. It’s a great way to cut down on spam, but I’m beginning to wonder how well it’s going to work here. My apologies to everyone who had to wait in line.

It’s great to have so many people commenting, though—thanks everyone! If the first time moderation rule gets to be too much of a bother (read: if there’s more new comments than my laziness will conveniently allow me to process) I may bite the bullet and turn off the filter. I really do hate spam, though, so it’s likely to be a brief hiatus until the spammers notice we’re here.

I do, however, have a few favorite pieces of spam that I will always treasure. Here’s the subject line from one of them, word-for-word as it was delivered to me:

Having erection problems, Jenny?

Offered as partial atonement for having made you guys wait. Cheers.

An Alethian Worldview

Hello and welcome to Alethian Worldview. I’m Deacon Duncan, an ex-Christian with about a quarter-century’s worth of experience in preaching the Gospel, leading Bible studies, defending creationism, and arguing apologetics, all for the glory of God. I graduated with honors from a conservative midwest Christian college, and was getting good grades in my seminary-level extension classes when, well, reality finally caught up with me.

I’m glad it did! Oh, there was a year or so when I went through my “angry atheist” spell. I spent a lot of time on Usenet, in talk.atheism and other groups, picking on the crowd of fundamentalists who regularly trolled the group counting coup. I was venting, and I knew it, and I didn’t much care (at the time). I’d given Jesus the first 25 years of my adult life, only to find out I’d been swindled. Yeah, I was pretty ticked.

One of the regulars, a self-styled “pastor,” accused me of still being a theist. “You still believe in God,” he told me, “but your new God’s name is ‘Reality’.” Or words to that effect. He was trying to zing me for being some kind of fundamentalist, but instead of arguing with him, I decided to agree with him. I remembered some New Testament Greek from my college days, so I knew that the Greek word for “Reality” was aletheia, which coincidentally is also translated as “truth.”

I liked that. Reality is truth, truth is reality. I went back and told him he was exactly right: my new God was Alethea (simplified spelling), and She is the Truth. And I started in on all of Her divine qualities. Reality exists at all times and in all places—omnipresence and eternity! Truth comprises and transcends all knowledge—omniscience! Reality dictates what is and is not possible, what does and does not happen, irresistably—omnipotence! My new God was not only just as divine as the so-called pastor’s, but my God actually shows up in real life, which the Christian God is clearly unwilling or unable to do.

Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well with the pastor, especially when I tried praying to Alethea, just to see what would happen. Guess what? Alethea “answered” my prayers exactly the same way Jesus used to (and still does, in the minds of believers). I either got what I asked for, in which case She was blessing me, or else I didn’t, in which case Her ways are not my ways, and I just had to trust in Her wisdom that Her choices were better than mine. Alethea is a drop-in replacement for Jesus, only better.

Since then, I’ve learned to love my new God, and have cultivated an Alethian worldview, or in other words a reality-based worldview. It’s a tremendous improvement. Things that used to confuse and frustrate me suddenly turn out to be a lot more straightforward. There’s less that I have to just take “on faith,” and no more contradictions and inconsistencies to explain away. All in all it’s been a great change, and one that I wish I’d experienced sooner.

So welcome to my blog, and I hope that I can offer you some interesting insights into the Alethian worldview, along with suggestions on how to make the best use of it in a world full of faith-based ideologies. I’d also welcome your comments, critcisms, questions, and trolling—er, wait, not that last one. Anybody is welcome and even encouraged to disagree with me, but you have to argue in good faith and be willing to declare and defend an alternative point of view. That way the dialog can benefit everyone.

Cheers.