The crazy, it’s coming!

So, we’ve had a series of e-mails from some little troll (who may be a Poe or genuinely in need of psychiatric treatment) who clearly hates me. The brief summary (of what must be closing in on many dozens of printed pages of nastiness) is this:

1. Guy writes to explain how much I suck and how great everyone else on the show is.

2. Jeff and a few others rip into him, a bit, for some of his comments.

3. Guy writes in to explain why he hates me so much. It turns out he thought I was too nice to Ray Comfort and that I’m disgusting for letting this vile individual who protests soldiers’ funerals get off without a rant.

4. I explain that he’s a supreme idiot, because he stupidly confused Ray Comfort and the Phelps family and that he should try to know what he’s talking about before he opens his mouth

5. He writes back, falling all over himself to apologize for the mistake and notes that he’s especially embarrassed that he’d already contacted a lawyer to try to get me off the air or force the ACA to fire me. (Seriously. He was trying to legally limit my free speech because I wasn’t enough of an asshole to someone whose free speech he found offensive.)

6. I send back a quick note explaining that given his complete misunderstanding of 1st Amendment rights, I’d rather have Shirley Phelps on the show than continue talking to him. This puts him over the edge and the lawyer threats are followed by threats of making YouTube videos to expose us…

And now, we got this. I’m posting it, unaltered and my only comment (other than LOL) is: aren’t you glad you don’t have to deal with this? (Apologies to some of my friends who probably do have to deal with stuff like this.)

The irony that this was spawned by an accusation that he didn’t understand free speech is particularly amusing. He reminds me a bit of a Bond villain, thwarting his own plan via exposition:

You know what, you guys are right… Free speech conquers all!

Angry sickening hateful people should be able to dance on the coffins of dead veterans at the funeral, according to you. In fact, they should be able to piss on the coffins, right in front of the grieving family. According to you, people should be able to do whatever they want, no matter who they hurt, so why not, right?

You’re absolutely right about everything. It’s ok to verbally abuse people. It’s all right to call them every name in the book, swear at them, belittle them, etc. So I suggest that you start treating your children in such a manner, if you truly feel there’s nothing wrong with it. Free speech, right?

Would you treat your children in the same way you treat some of the callers? If not, then… why not? It’s fun, evidently, and those spoiled little brats probably deserve it.

If you believe totally in free speech, then you won’t mind if I write up an internet article exposing Matt Dillahunty as a 4-time convicted pedophile who has a thing for little boys, Russell Glasser as a transvestite who loves to sniff old men’s armpits, and Jeff Dee as someone who likes to fuck cows and then roll around in their shit.

You want to take this to extremes? Fine. Get ready for the greatest demonstration for free speech you’ve ever seen.

Forget the show. I’m not even going to mention it by name. You don’t deserve the publicitiy. Any clips I use in my documentary will have the title of the show and organization blurred out. Any vocal mention of the names will also be removed.

But as far as the hosts, I will name names. First and last, and their home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc.

I will provide all those details. Free speech, right?

This is going to be fun!

According to you guys, my free speech trumps all your other rights, so don’t you dare worry about those. You wouldn’t let me worry about other people’s rights when it came to OTHER PEOPLE. So now that this principle is going to be applied to you PERSONALLY, you have NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN.

Fair is fair, right?

You want to mock people’s other rights so badly, or minimize them, or pretend they don’t exist… fine. The gloves are coming off. You’re going to learn the hard way just how important your OTHER rights are.

You want privacy? Fuck that. Your full contact information is going up for all to see, as well as your relatives’ information. We wouldn’t want to leave them out. I’ve already got it all looked up and saved in Word document, for the 3 hosts I will be focusing on.

I could focus on Jen Peeples, too, since she is a lesbian who was once a girls swim coach, convicted of sexual abuse after she was caught fingering one of the underage girls after practice…

And let’s find out what happens when the job market learns that Russell Glasser CHEATED to get his Master’s Degree!

What will the public do when they learn that Jeff Dee once robbed a convenience store at gun point, and then beat up the OLD WOMAN minding the store, so badly that she was hospitalized for SIX WEEKS. He got off on a technicality after only 30 DAYS IN JAIL.

You want to see free speech, well you’re going to get a huge dose of it!

And if, incidentally, the rage of the public mounts against all of you… oh well, at least my right to free speech has been upheld!

I’m going to dig up (or make up) stories about all your family members, too, young and old, to expose them for the nazi-loving, terrorist supporting little delinquents they all are.

Free speech, right?

You have nothing to say against any of this. You condone and support the right of sick religious scumbags to harass a veteran’s grieving family, so you have to support my rights now, to do what I AM GOING TO DO.

Don’t tell me I can’t do this. I am doing it whether you like it or not.

I know the law surrounding slander and libel, and I know exactly how to frame and phrase everything so that it is legal and untouchable in a court of law. Sometimes a question mark in place of a period in the right place is all it takes! So don’t think for a second that I haven’t considered all the angles.

You obviously think that free speech is more important than other rights. Good.

Support my free speech in my documentary and internet expose… or you are all hypocrites.

See you at the movies!

“They’re the crazy ones, not us!”

Harold Camping’s May-21-Rapture nonsense is so ubiquitous that there’s no point in doing anything other than rolling with it at this stage. American Atheists will be holding Rapture parties in several cities. Matt is attending one in Oakland, in fact. Meanwhile, Tracie and I will be on the show Sunday, holding down the post-apocalyptic fort and taking calls from our far-flung global correspondents (i.e. you) reporting on the Rapture’s impact on your own towns and countries. How many Christians have vanished in your area? None? But since the 21st is absolutely and without question the day of the Rapture, won’t that mean that Christians have been worshiping a false god all this time…?


“Boy, won’t my face be red!”

Someone else isn’t pleased about this little media circus, however, and that would be the folks at the Christian Worldview Network. The CWN is Brannon Howse’s House of Paranoia, basically, and they’re a funny bunch, because they disdain other “loons” on the right-wing fringe — they absolutely cannot stand the “deceptive” teachings of Glenn Beck and Rick Warren — while at the same time embracing no end of fringe lunacy themselves. I think at various points in time they have accused Obama of being a communist, a socialist (actually, Howse prefers the term “Fabian Socialist” because it makes his flock think he’s really read up on the subject), a Marxist, a terrorist, and possibly even a reptilian space invader. They’re birthers too, which, compared to all the rest of it, is fairly tame.

In an article in their most recent newsletter with the weary title “Will This Ship of Fools Sink May 22?”, Jan Markell minces no words. Camping is totally cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs, and she’s upset that he’s given us annoying atheists such fuel for mirth.

There’s going to be a party given by “heathens and skeptics” and I hope you have no desire to attend it. They intend to get together to mock the rapture. After months of enduring the unnerving dogmatism of Harold Camping’s billboards, signs, cars, radio commercials and bumper stickers heralding the end of the world as we know it on May 21, American Atheists have announced that they are planning “rapture parties” in Oakland, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale on May 21-22.

The atheists boast of their own billboards which state, “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense. Learn the Truth at our Party.” The billboard is designed to knock two millennia of false predictions that the world was about to end. So, they are having a party to celebrate another rapture that wasn’t. And the atheists will be more accurate than the Christians because they are going after the date-setters.

Catch that last bit? See, what’s wrong with Camping is that he was incautious enough to set a date. And that’s what makes Christians look stupid. Because you can only control people effectively through nonsensical, superstitious prophecies of future events if you leave them vague and nebulous. Even Vito Corleone knew the psychology involved in keeping people wondering: “Someday — and that day may never come — I may come to you for a favor.”

Markell wants Christians to be clear on one point: there totally is going to be a Rapture. We are in the “end times,” and the clock is ticking. Naturally, she’s just making this up no less than Camping is, but she’s leaving herself endless wiggle room. “We cannot know!” But Jesus is coming. For realz. Just…whenever.

Markell sees a lot of negative fallout when May 22 rolls around, and the world (yay!) and all its Christians (sigh) are still here.

What can we know for sure will result from Camping’s prediction?

  • He will be proven wrong.
  • He will put all who long for the Lord’s return in a bad light.
  • This will push many more away from considering end-time issues as they will not want to be lumped into such a questionable category.
  • Church pulpits will grow even more silent on this topic right at a time when a countdown has truly begun and it is nearing midnight.
  • The mockers and scoffers will grow stronger and more vocal.

As to that last, of course we will, because all of this is pants-on-head, paste-eating stupidity, and when grown adults exhibit this sort of thing, mockery and scoffing is the absolute least it deserves. What Markell can’t see is that she is sailing, if not on Camping’s same “ship of fools,” in the same fleet. What exactly gives her eschatology any more basis in reality than Camping’s, apart from the fact that Camping’s will be decisively proven to not have happened when there’s no global earthquake this Saturday? The Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice, and while Camping can play with interpretations to work out that the end will come May 21, and Markell clings to Matthew 24:36, there is also Matthew 24:34, in which Jesus makes it clear he expected the end times to begin in the lifetimes of his disciples. (And I guess he was wrong, which would make the Son of God Himself one of the “false prophets” the rest of Matthew 24 warns against, eh?)

Markell worries that “Jesus is coming again! But thanks to Harold Camping and friends, on May 22, more may be laughing and scoffing than anticipating.” The lesson Markell ought to take from this, but won’t, is that as long as she devotes her hopes and wishes and goals towards a vague promise of future divine salvation, instead of breaking away from the shackles of such irrational nonsense and embracing reality, and real solutions to real-world problems, then her ship of fools will itself keep sailing on…right over the edge.

We get the most amazing e-mails…

The following is an anonymous e-mail (wall of text, really) we just received. It was addressed to Jeff, so I won’t waste time responding (hurray)…but this is one tiny segment of what we deal with. It may be a Poe, but the author certainly seems to have all the answers. Enjoy:

Hello, Jeff Dee. I would like to ask you a few questions about your video that was done 6 years ago about same-sex marriage. The first thing you said is that it is not bad for the kids. This is wrong. Every child deserves a mother and a father. The only time a child might not have either a father or mother might be because the parent leaves them (which is wrong) or one or both parents die (which is a tragedy). Gay couples go into a relationship knowing they cannot produce offspring so they should not have the right to adopt kids. Just like an old couple that might be 70 years old should not be allowed to adopt because they are near the end of their lives. And Matt said that nothing bad has happened since gay marriage has been allowed but what if 50% of the population was gay. Don’t you think
there would be something wrong in that situation? Matt also said that Rosie O’Donnel is single and she adopted a child. That is wrong as well. Just because she was able to do it does not mean it was right. And then you said that gays not being able to have kids isn’t a good reason why they shouldn’t get married because there are infertile couples that get married. Well, how would a couple know that they are infertile until they actually get married and try to have kids? Gays automatically know that it is impossible for them to have kids. They know it. Infertile couples do not. Then you said that because animals are gay, that makes homosexuality natural. Well, dogs also sniff each others butts. When some animals are born, the mother will
eat the placenta off her newborn. Does that make it natural for human beings to do that as well? You can’t compare animals and humans. What is natural for an animal may not be natural for a human. As well, animals can’t think. They don’t have the thinking power that humans do. They don’t know that homosexuality is wrong and they don’t need to care about that. When an animal dies, it dies. It doesn’t go anywhere. They rely on instinct. They don’t have rules like humans do. When animals kill other animals, does that make it okay for humans to kill humans? But then why did you say that because animals commit homosexual acts that it is okay for humans to do so as well? And then you used that left-handedness argument which was so pointless. God never said it’s a sin to write with your left hand. No one gets hurt from someone writing with their left hand. And then you said the word “bigots” but that would mean you’re a bigot too since you are intolerant of my religion. Bigot does not just apply to people who are against homosexuality. And just because someone isn’t in favour of homosexuality, it does not make that person a bigot. And the reason AIDS affects gay people is because they can only do anal. In the Bible, anal and oral sex is a sin. That is why even straight people are not allowed to practice that type of sex or else it is a sin. God is smarter than you think. And then you brought up the “small people” argument but that’s a physical trait. Even if they can change it, they shouldn’t because that is how they should be born into this world. Homosexuality is a choice. You can choose on your own if you want to be with the same or opposite sex. But that child in the uterus cannot choose if he/she is born small or regular. And then you said how just because a dictionary defines marriage as man and woman that it can change to say man and man or woman and woman. Well, Christians don’t follow the dictionary. We follow the Bible, and in the Bible it is defined as man and woman. So your dictionary argument was bad. And your legal/law argument as well. Just because the law says something is right that does not make it right. Laws and dictionary definitions change all the time but the Bible stays true, unless God changes it. And then Matt made that horrible argument how if a gay couple secretly gets married that live next door that it wouldn’t affect you because you don’t know about that. So something is okay as long as you don’t know about it? Well, what if the next door neighbour was a father and son and they both went off to get married secretly? So do you think incest is okay? Because who are they hurting this “father and son”. From Matt’s standpoint, if he wants to be consistent, then he can’t say that it is wrong for a father and son to go off and get married secretly. Also, what if the next door neighbour has sex with his dog yet no one knows about it? Does that make it right for that person to have sex with his dog? So do you think it’s okay for your next door neighbour to have sex with a dog since that doesn’t affect you, especially if you don’t know about it? And then you said just because the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, that doesn’t make it true. Well the Bible says incest is wrong. So you, as an Atheist, can have no right in saying that incest is wrong. Because if society said incest is okay, would you then be in favour of incest? And you brought up the “trade deal” argument. Doesn’t that happen in society today where the man pays for the wedding, the ring, etc? It was just a different way of paying back then because there was no money. They had animals so they had to use that. And then lastly, you said there are no secular reasons why gay marriage should be against the law. But if you think about it, what is gonna stop incest from becoming allowed in law? What about pedophilia? Don’t you think society is getting out of hand? Sure, the gay couple next door may not affect my straight marriage directly, but it does affect it indirectly because it ruins society. Soon it could be allowed that you can have sex with animals. Is it okay to get married to an animal just because it is legal? Nah.

Ray Comfort, pathological liar

Once again, Ray Comfort is telling the readers of his absurd blog that the only reason he has not called into the Atheist Experience is because we have not extended an invitation to him.

But of course, we have. I did so here. This was nearly a year ago. Hilariously, Ray dodged my invitation by linking me to his interview request page. This is typical of his dishonesty.

Another thing that is typical of his dishonesty: If you go to the original post on his blog, you won’t see the comment exchange detailed in my own post that I link to above. Because Ray has completely scrubbed his post of almost its entire comment thread.* (Unfortunately, the post is a little too old to find a cached copy of the original version with comment thread intact, but if any of our readers have l337 internet skillz and know how to dredge one up, by all means have a go.)

So you see, this is Ray’s little game. If we go to his blog and extend an invitation, he will simply delete it, thus enabling himself to continue claiming that we just aren’t inviting him, or maybe we’re scaaared of him, or whatever sustains the deluded fiction upon which he has constructed his life.

Ray Comfort is a liar. The proof’s in the proverbial pudding.


* I’ve been informed (in the very first comment below) that the comment thread was disappeared not by any duplicity on Ray’s part, but by the installation of a new comments module, which can have the effect of losing all your past comment threads. (It’s a reason I don’t switch us to Disqus here.) So, thanks to BathTub and my apologies for the error. Still it does not change the point of the original post: Ray’s continuing claims that we have not made any attempt to contact him are flat lies. According to Jen we’ve had an even more recent exchange with his staff.

Fan mail…oh the irony…

I wont bother ripping this to shreds, because the author doesn’t care to hear from us (yet we’re the closed-minded ones)…so, enjoy:

I am not Theist.

I have never seen a bigger bunch of Cop-outs and evangelists such as yourselves. You feed on the blood of the ignorant with your rediculous commentary and outdated science and philosophy. Why not just state that you people are MAterialist, or naturalist, perhaps even objectivists ect. I have listened to the numerous arguments you have with believers, and your rediclous attitude gets worse as the shows go on. You people DO NOT have open minds, nor do you get your science correct.

This show, more-so these two idiotic hosts can be likened as the Alex Jones of Atheism. But it is not Atheism you people subscribe to, its naturalism, or at least in my opinion. One moment you make remarks, which are only half theories about Quantum mechanics, and then have the gaul to tell a caller that everything is made of Atoms? From which ERA were you people born into? Or from which era are you getting your scientific explinations. On top of which, you interperate this information as poorly as the man who said there was a God because a banana fits in your hand!

I could not care less what your response is, because you will speak more bullshit to me than you have anyone else. Your method is distasteful, your ideals are shallow, your science is dated and your philosophy is mangled. You only appeal to more ignorant fellows who are atheist rather then theist. Like a damn buzzard picking the eyes out of a half dead human. You are both the kind of people who believe the conversion to Atheist is the release of Ignorance. You only consider anti-materialists to be ignorant.

I wish you both the Utmost shame. You can wave the magic in your response to me, if any, but the issue remains in the back of your mind, and I hope these words haunt you forever.

I am not a Theist, but you both make me sick to my stomach, like a news reader using authority to establish truth, rather than the exposition of truth. Like a child wanting to be a rock star, you want to be Richard Dawkins, the copout version beta’s!

Enjoy your wasted time on Earth, preaching about humanity and REligion, when you have not even taken the time to study any of the scriptures. Your take on history is utterly bias, and I have yet to meet an educated fellow who takes this show seriously.

Kind Regards,
Someone much smarter than to abide by this crap.

P.S. You should become street preachers, so we can finally regard you as completley insane. Perhaps I will drop a coin into your hat.

Open Thread / Show #693: Jen & Tracie

As always, we air at 4:30-5:30 PM (CST) today (Sunday). You can watch live on ustream:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-atheist-experience

My plan is to discuss a few of the willfully ignorant things theists say in response to discovering people are atheist activists, including statements such as “why are you so angry at god?” and “I think you’re just searching for god.”

Example: Person X has a loved family member who swears by a particular homeopathic doctor, who is conning them out of their money and resources and “treating” them for a dangerous and potentially fatal illness. The family member will not seek demonstrated effective treatments from a conventional doctor, because the homeopath has convinced them that modern medicine is a hand-puppet of Big Pharma and therefore an untrustworthy conspiracy. Eventually the family member dies. Person X begins a blog and a youtube channel to tell their story to help expose the dangers of homeopathy. They are contacted by others with similar stories, and they form an association to spread information to people about the lack of support for homeopathic claims and hopefully to help others avoid the same suffering they have experienced at the hands of charlatans.

They should expect to get letters from believers expressing they are wrong. They should expect to be accused of being cogs in the Big Pharma conspiracy. They should expect to get testimonials from well meaning people with anecdotes about their “successes” with homeopathy and the “good” they are convinced it does.

But I’m sure they would never expect some willful idiot will suggest that they are fighting homeopathy because they secretly want desperately to find evidence showing it really works, or that they secretly already believe it does work, and are angry about the fact it works.

These particular rebuttals to the anti-homeopathy movement would be ridiculous. It seemed to me time to provide a link calling it out as “stupid,” for people to use. I’d rather atheist skeptics, anti-theists and activists spend their time letting theists provide their demonstrations for their claims of gods existence, than spend their time having to defend against accusations that even a fool should recognize as foolish.

I have heard theists confuse hypothetical uses of “god” with belief in god. But I find this utterly dishonest, because we all use hypotheticals routinely. There is no reason someone should suddenly be unable to recognize a commonly used method of examining a claim. I might say to you I think a problem with your car is that you have an oil leak. But you know of some reason that isn’t correct. You say “If it were an oil leak, though, I would expect XYZ to be happening, too, right?” That does not mean you agree it’s an oil leak. And nobody should misunderstand that. In the same way if an atheist says “If there were a god that killed all these people that would be morally inexcusable,” the atheist is not asserting believe in god and belief in the claims of the Bible. It’s clearly a hypothetical, and even more-so due to the fact he wears the clear label “atheist” to alert the theist he doesn’t accept this god is real. There is no excuse for any misunderstanding in these dialogs. I’m convinced these “misunderstandings” are willful dishonestly and red-herrings to get the atheist off track and in a defensive mode so that the theist is then relieved of having to defend an indefensible position.

So, if it helps, save the link to this blog post. Whenever you’re told you “hate god” or are “searching for god,” copy-paste and tell them atheists are worn out arguing dishonest stupidity and unless they have something of actual substance to offer in support of their unjustified beliefs, you aren’t going to waste your time debating people who can’t grasp basic levels of communication such as how to recognize the use of a hypothetical, the meanings of common words (“atheist”) or how to apply the simplest context (“I don’t believe in god, therefore I cannot hate god”).

*Correction: I updated the headline to reflect Jen replacing Matt today as host.

What would a weekend be without wacky email?

LOVE! Could be Poe-y but it’s par for the course for the real crank ravings we get. And he even does the usual thing of signing off his ridiculous rant with “have a nice day!!” Just golden.

Hi my name joe Williams I’am writing this email , because I just have to say this because it needs to be said , you guys may think you absolutely know it all and think that you atheists are so intelligent and you think science completely backs up every thing you say , well , you guys talk on this so called important tv show from Austin texas called the atheists experience and try to talk very very sophisticated bullshit of why you think and believe that God does not exist , and try to use a so called lack of evidence or no evidence to prove your point it is very very easy to see that this is only in your mind , I personally think and believe that you guys are some of the most disrespectful people that I have ever seen and heard , it absolutely seems to me that you guys love to laugh at and make fun of every Christian caller that calls your show , every time I see your show I always see some stupid host with a goofy looking smile his or her face just waiting to insult the next Christian caller , just for the fun of it , I think these callers do not need to call in to the show oh yeah by the way , I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is absolutely real , and Jesus Christ is my savior , in fact I can name at least 100 major reasons why there is a God and bible is absolutely true , but the problem is this no matter what I tell you , chances are you still won’t believe these reasons that I speak of will take time to write down and send through email I do not have a lot of time right now , but I will send them to you show through email , but just wanted to say how feel about show have a nice day ! !

Also, today, we got a really cool email. But I’ll leave it to Matt to decide if there’s anything we wish to reveal there.

Presenting the most offensive email we’ve ever gotten

And it’s not even Christian hate mail. Hell, that stuff’s almost always penny ante.

No, this is someone who claims to be a fan, but who has his head…well, let’s just say that the attitudes expressed here reflect a level of clueless douchebaggery and stupidity that I’ve rarely seen. I suppose this way of thinking might fly in the Christian Quiverfull community, or among 13-year-old boys who’ve learned everything they think they know about females from torrenting Girls Gone Wild videos. But to hear it coming from an (choke) admirer of ours is creepy to say the very least. One gets the impression he’s the sort of fellow who wonders why women only want to go out with “jerks” and not “nice guys” like him.

Why post it here? Simply because I think this is the sort of thing that deserves public shaming. Rock-stupid condescension and male-entitlement attitudes like this continue to thrive when those who express them are brushed off with a “boys will be boys” dismissal, rather than being subjected to the castigation they deserve. So, castigate away.

Subject: message for jen peeps

hi,

I think you’re great, and your current look is excellent suits you very well.

I am only saying the following advice because you’re good and thus deserving of my advise

You look hot here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7w7hOv47Y4
this seems to be your current look

Long hair is very important.

It’s a minority that look reasonably good with short hair, and even those that do, would almost always look better with long hair.

You look bad with short hair.. As in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsaOL85jx9Q
It might be better if I don’t elaborate on that or get too blunt, because women can burst into tears over that kind of thing.. and you’re nice I don’t want you to burst into tears or even to get upset. And there’s no reason to, this is a very positive message that you look hot -now-. and that it’s so easy for you just don’t cut your hair short. And since you’re so logical, I know you will take this message as a positive thing since it should be, and it’s not spun either.

A secondary issue, is your clothing in that older video is frumpy rather than modern-sexy.. women usually look sexier in a t-shirt than in frumpy clothing, and you are no exception. I know you’re not trying to look sexy even when you do.. but no point dressing in a frumpy way. Really since i’m a guy I don’t care about type of clothes.. but as a woman you’re familiar with clothes and you’d understand if I said your clothing there was frumpy.. and it was. The recent video where you wore the t-shirt is better than the frumpy clothes.. though you’d look hot either way.. since as I said clothing was secondary. From a guy’s perspective, something less frumpy might not hide you as much. I hope you get a nice partner, like Russel , a particular hero of mine, and have lots of intelligent logical discussion and kids like you two! or like almost any on AE, at least 5 or 6 of you are incredible and really leading atheist thinkers.

In 15 years you’ll look quite bad.. and after that you’ll look as disgusting to a man(A man with standards) as any other very middle aged woman is just expired and at different stages part their expiration date. So look good and sexy and enjoy the experience while you can. And be glad that you can..

I am very happy that you are hot, because you deserve to be!

Take note, Mr. Plait: This is “being a dick”

There has been some concern among certain folks in the skeptical community that “expressing an opinion strongly and with conviction” constitutes “being a dick,” because it might bruise the tender feelings of believers. This concern is misplaced. From England’s green and pleasant land we have a literally staggering act of actual dickishness. Said to be nearly 2000 years old and planted by Joseph of Arimathea (and whether that’s true or not really isn’t relevant to the situation), the Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury has been a popular destination for believers on pilgrimages. The other night, some vandals hacked off all its branches, leaving nothing but a naked stump.

That, I submit, is dickishness of the first water.

Nice to see so much money so wisely invested

By now, you all know that the Creation “Museum” has plans to build what they think will be a full-size replica of the mythical Noah’s Ark, in order to fleece the drooling, uneducated rubes, of whom there are an unlimited supply. Setting aside exactly how he knows this replica will be authentic (hey, maybe the original had racing stripes — were you there?), it occurs to me that this could be a prime opportunity to do some actual science.

The first thing that should be done is that the ship should not have any modern construction methods brought to bear. The whole thing must be assembled by one old man (it’s unlikely we’ll find a 600-year old, but we’ll split the difference and hire a septuagenarian) using nothing but pitch and hand tools. (Gen. 6:14) Next, assemble all the animals as described in Genesis, and tow the monstrosity out into the middle of the Atlantic, where it will be left for ten months without any resupplying while all of the animals are cared for by a crew of four men and four women inhabiting a grand total of three decks. Assuming the ship floats at all, we’ll see who’s alive at the end of that time. Deal?

Oh, what’s that? This isn’t a scientific enterprise at all, but a theme attraction? But gosh, isn’t the whole sales pitch of Answers in Genesis that science is really on their side? What a fine, fine opportunity to make a real experiment out of all this. Just think of the look on that crusty old fellow Dawkins’ face when it’s all been proved! He’ll be crying into his tea and scones, the blighter! Praise Jesus.

You know, take a minute to think of what $24.5 million would mean to — oh, take your pick. Research in childhood leukemia. Feeding the homeless. Getting people clean and sober and helping them with job training. Christians go on and on about how much more they’re about the milk of human kindness and charity than anyone else. I don’t see anyone being helped by this at all, except Ken Ham and Ken Ham’s checking account. Like so many in the evangelical world, he plays multiple choice with his holy book.