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May 06 2013

OMG! The Pentagon is Going to Court Martial Christians!

That’s the latest freakout from the usual suspects (Todd Starnes, Breitbart, etc), the claim that a new policy on proselytizing is going to lead to the military court martialing anyone who expresses their Christianity. Like every other freakout they have, it’s total nonsense. Here are the actual regulations from the Air Force:

2.11. Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.

2.12. Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation. Supporting the right of free exercise of religion relates directly to the Air Force core values and the ability to maintain an effective team.

2.12.1. All Airmen are able to choose to practice their particular religion, or subscribe to no religious belief at all. You should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own.

2.12.2. Your right to practice your religious beliefs does not excuse you from complying with directives, instructions, and lawful orders; however, you may request religious accommodation. Requests can be denied based on military necessity. Commanders and supervisors at all levels are expected to ensure that requests for religious accommodation are dealt with fairly.

Fascism! Hitler! FEMA camps! The problem, which is finally beginning to be addressed, is that many officers have abused the authority over their subordinates to force their religious beliefs on them in multiple ways, from punishing those who don’t attend church on Sunday (by making them clean the barracks and do other duties instead) to forcing them to attend prayer services and other religious events. It depends greatly on what unit you’re in, of course; some officers understand the boundaries and some don’t.

There is no end to the imagined persecution in the minds of these people. Once you believe that dragons are haunting you, you see dragons everywhere.

97 comments

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  1. 1
    tubi

    I’ll never get over how being asked to follow the rules constitutes oppression and persecution to some people.

  2. 2
    Argle Bargle

    tubi,

    You have to remember that Christians are the most persecuted group in history. Just ask any fundamentalist. Also the majority of Americans are Christians, which gives them the right to persecute non-Christians. Again any fundamentalist will confirm this.

  3. 3
    Christopher Denney

    All of the people I know who are freaking out about this are emphasizing “Sharing their religion” as what is being banned. Implying that letting other people know what your religion is is what is being banned. It is most insane.
    Thanks muchly for the actual text.

  4. 4
    heddle

    Ulysses

    You have to remember that Christians are the most persecuted group in history. Just ask any fundamentalist. Also the majority of Americans are Christians, which gives them the right to persecute non-Christians. Again any fundamentalist will confirm this.

    Sorry, I am of that group but I would not attest (by a long shot) that Christians are the most persecuted group in history (neither are atheists, btw). And I would not confirm that we have the right to persecute non-Christians.

    So you statement is demonstrably false.

  5. 5
    Draken

    you may request religious accommodation.

    Yay! Finally that altar to sacrifice infants on!

    Requests can be denied based on military necessity.

    Well ok, no altar then. What if I ask for a tank?

  6. 6
    dugglebogey

    Nobody ever read these idiots the story of the boy who cried wolf?

  7. 7
    whheydt

    Re; Christopher Denney @ #3:

    You have to remember to translate “share my religion” out of fundie-speak. The rest of us call it “aggressive proseletizing”.

  8. 8
    Ichthyic

    Sorry, I am of that group but I would not attest (by a long shot) that Christians are the most persecuted group in history (neither are atheists, btw). And I would not confirm that we have the right to persecute non-Christians.

    So you statement is demonstrably false.

    goddamn you’re an idiot, Heddle.

    one, “the most persecuted group in history” is both sarcasm, and a reflection of what most christians DO think.

    two, YOU ARE NOT MOST CHRISTIANS, so would you kindly stop flapping your lips as if speaking for them all?

  9. 9
    John Pieret

    Warren Throckmorton, who did such good work debunking Barton’s Jefferson Lies, has four posts at his website doing the same for this bullshit:

    http://wthrockmorton.com/

  10. 10
    heddle

    Ichthyic,

    He wrote ask any. I’m an any. I clearly spoke only for myself, dumbass. You’ve been kissing PZ’s butt so much you are not getting any O2 to your brain, and it is in desperate need of some. Probably it is too late.

  11. 11
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #4

    From the context of Ulysses’ @ #2 comment, I think it is fairly obvious that he was referring to fundamentalist Christians. Like Heddle, I don’t think that members of mainline churches believe any such thing.

  12. 12
    Kevin

    Heddle: Fucking satire…how does it work?

  13. 13
    iknklast

    re slc1: Define mainline churches. My father is a member of a ‘mainline’ church (Disciples of Christ) and he most distinctly believes that. As do many other members of my family. However, my moderate religious friends for the most part think it’s OK not to persecute us if we STFU. I rarely meet one that thinks we have the right to speak out firmly and confidently about what we (don’t) believe. There are exceptions – such as Barry Lynn, for example. But those exceptions are too far between.

    Most moderates would deny believing that; but when it comes down to an atheist actually speaking up, they usually do get into a snit. After all, we’re not ‘being nice’ if we point out that we believe something different than what they’ve based their entire lives on.

  14. 14
    prestonstafford

    It is normal for the ranking officer in a combat zone to issue an order titled “General Order Number 1.” A quick Google search will turn up several examples.

    It’s a housekeeping kind of thing that applies to all personnel, military or civilian, of all nationalities subordinate to that commander.

    Something that’s almost always in there is “no proselytizing.” It will specifically exempt chaplains and their staff but does apply to everyone else.

    And that’s a common sense kind of thing. The USG sent you to x-istan to do a job. Do that job. Don’t do the chaplain’s job, that’s what the chaplain was sent to do. Do your job.

    In Muslim countries it can be downright dangerous to the safety of US forces for individual members to proselytize to host nation personnel. It may sound crazy, but the crusades are talked about like they happened yesterday. Well meaning nitwits can do a great deal of harm handing out those badly translated copies of the KJV that some churches send over.

    I don’t think you can be courtmartialed for violated the proselytizing provision of GO-1 because I’ve tried to get a troop punished for it and couldn’t.

  15. 15
    busterggi

    Heddle – you say you’re a Chrisitan but how can we know you’re a REAL Christian or just one of those phonies like Obama who only claims to be one?

  16. 16
    Kevin

    Heddle is just frustrated because he’s been predestined to be a clueless gobshite since before he was born — from the inception of the universe, actually.

    Sucks to be you, heddle.

  17. 17
    heddle

    Kevin,

    Are you sure? Why don’t you ask iknklast who seems to be accepting it more or less on face value.

    busterggi,

    Do you think Obama is a liar? I don’t.

  18. 18
    baal

    Heddle can be accused of not reading Ulyses the ‘right’ way (a single counter example doesn’t disprove a comment that is really about a group average) but the piling on and name calling is not proportionate. The whole, “oh you here again” (cracks knuckles) mindset is awful. We decry it when it happens in RL at a bar when done by the local thug. We should also decry it on-line in comment threads. While Heddle is often trollish, that doesn’t seem to be his primary goal. As such, disagree with him and move on. If a few folks have already done so, move on. His still a person even though his ideas lead to increased net harm.

    But I didn’t come here to defend Heddle. I actually posted for this:

    “Once you believe that dragons are haunting you, you see dragons everywhere.”

    Yes exactly! My personal dragons are people asserting that reality doesn’t exist (or that the supernatural exists). I might have to add a dragon for name calling and piling on. I’ll own being haunted by the former and am now considering if I’m haunted by the later.

  19. 19
    heddle

    Kevin,

    Sucks to be you, heddle.

    Actually it’s great to be me. I have the best job in the world and a hawt wife.

  20. 20
    slc1

    Re iknklast @ #13

    Are you telling me that most members of mainline Christian churches (e.g. Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, ECLS, Church of Christ, etc.) consider themselves to be persecuted in the US? If so, we are in more trouble thin I imagined.

  21. 21
    Anthony K

    You’ve been kissing PZ’s butt so much

    That’s the giveaway. Heddle likes to play physicist and God-whisperer, but it’s at the end of the day you see him for what he really is: no different than any fourteen-year-old YouTuber.

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    Actually it’s great to be me. I have the best job in the world and a hawt wife.

    David, Mom says you need to get off the internet and wash-up for dinner, NOW! She’s not going to tell you again.

  23. 23
    slc1

    Re Anthony K @ #21

    Heddle also plays mathematician as he currently is the chairman of the math department at Christopher Newport Un.

  24. 24
    heddle

    David, Mom says you need to get off the internet and wash-up for dinner, NOW! She’s not going to tell you again.

    Wow Anthony! You are suggesting I live in my mom’s basement! What an original and devastating criticism! You must be, like, a genius! A savant of perception! Hitchens-esque in your ability to craft a witty insult! I don’t dare engage you (whoever you are) in any sort of repartee. It would be hopeless.

  25. 25
    Anthony K

    You are suggesting I live in my mom’s basement

    Wrong again. You suggested it, with your as-predictable-as-taxes yawn about brown-nosing at PZ’s place, followed by your online puffery.

    I just filled out the narrative in case any Calvinists are around.

    I don’t dare engage you (whoever you are) in any sort of repartee.

    Whoever I am? I’m Anthony K, dumbass. It’s right there above my comment. How many kinds of stupid are you?

  26. 26
    heddle

    Whoever I am? I’m Anthony K, dumbass.

    Oh, sorry! You are Anthony K! (*swoons*) I mean, I didn’t realize you were the Anthony K. How could I not know who you are? That really does make me feel dumb. I must be the only person in the world who didn’t realize that it was really, really you! I am so sorry.

    BTW, do you say “I’m Anthony K, dumbass” with the same cadence as “I’m gumby, dammit!”

  27. 27
    Anthony K

    Oh, sorry! You are Anthony K! (*swoons*) I mean, I didn’t realize you were the Anthony K. How could I not know who you are? That really does make me feel dumb. I must be the only person in the world who didn’t realize that it was really, really you! I am so sorry.

    Then why did you write “(whoever you are)” as if whoever I am matters to you?

    Oh, right. It’s because you’re heddle, and when somebody doesn’t suck your cock in the matter in which you like it sucked, you lose your shit and start swinging wild haymakers, regardless as to whether or not they make any sense in the context of what you’ve already written.

    BTW, do you say “I’m Anthony K, dumbass” with the same cadence as “I’m gumby, dammit!”

    Is this another one of those issues in which you don’t really want to know the answer, because at the end of the day, you’re a fundamentally dishonest little shit who doesn’t give a fig for truth?

    Besides, I thought you weren’t going to engage with me in any sort of repartee, what with my Hitchens-esque wit. With your best-job-in-the-world and a hawt wife, one would really think you’d have better things to do with your time.

  28. 28
    gshelley

    Religious liberty groups have grave concerns after they learned the Pentagon is vetting its guide on religious tolerance with a group that compared Christian evangelism to “rape” and advocated that military personnel who proselytize should be court martialed.

    OK, so he’s lying about the second bit, but comparing evangelism to rape? Did the MRFF do anything that could even be twisted to that?

  29. 29
    heddle

    Anthony K #27,

    You are a loser extraordinaire, (whoever you are).

    BTW have you just mastered the phrase “at the end of the day?” Maybe you don’t want to use it a third time on this thread.

  30. 30
    Kamaka

    @ Heddle

    I haven’t read you in a thread for quite a while.

    Name calling? Claims of ass kissing PZ?

    This behavior is beneath your dignity, my circular-arguing companion.

    Go back to making shit up about gawd.

  31. 31
    Anthony K

    You are a loser extraordinaire, (whoever you are).

    And yet you feel compelled to continue this tête à tête with me, when you could be spending hawt wife time or conducting your best-job-in-the-world.

    Are you really this unaware of how inconsistent your actions and words are?

  32. 32
    coryat

    Heddle:

    I’m confused as to how you can say that the Bible is written for intelligent readers*+ but you yourself insist on reading Ulysses @2′s “You have to remember that Christians are the most persecuted group in history. Just ask any fundamentalist.” as *literally* all fundamentalists rather than as a general point. Surely this is as wrongheaded as if I took your suggestion that Icthyic@10 had been kissing Pz’s butt to the point of asphyxiation as a literal truth claim?

    *I think I’m paraphrasing you fairly on that but I can’t get the search function to work properly right now
    +I’m not saying that blog posts have the status of scripture but that a principle of reading should not be employed selectively.

  33. 33
    JD

    Ed said:

    which is finally beginning to be addressed, is that many officers have abused the authority over their subordinates to force their religious beliefs

    Who are these many officers? Your friends at the MRFF make many accusations, but surely you’re intellectually consistent enough to admit an accusation is proof of nothing. If there are many, it should be easy to rattle off a couple we can verify, right?

    @gshelly
    Weinstein called “proselytizing” “spiritual rape.” He also said Christians are trying to take over the military so they can re-institute the Holocaust. Seriously.

  34. 34
    Anthony K

    This behavior is beneath your dignity, my circular-arguing companion

    No it isn’t. It’s actually quite typical of him.

    He likes people to think he’s above it all, but he’s not. He’s a tiny little man who plays pretend on the internet.

  35. 35
    heddle

    coryat,

    Actually it is fair and legitimate to criticize me for taking Ulysses’s comment hyper-literally. That was a mistake. I tend to jump in when I think people are making sweeping generalizations about Christians, but in hindsight I should have let that one go.

    THE Anthony K,

    And yet you feel compelled to continue this tête à tête with me, when you could be spending hawt wife time or conducting your best-job-in-the-world.

    Are you really this unaware of how inconsistent your actions and words are?

    You really are a dumbass. It is a completely stupid comment on every level. Does it actually make sense to your pea brain that a) if my wife is hot (she is) and b) if I have the best job in the world (mod hyperbole, I do) that I am inconsistent if I do something else? Really? “At the end of the day” you actually believe that?

    He likes people to think he’s above it all, but he’s not. He’s a tiny little man who plays pretend on the internet.

    I think you fancy me.

  36. 36
    Kamaka

    @ Anthony K

    Remember me? I’ve been kissing PZ’s ass for years now. I took to lurking a year or two ago.

    I know heddle all too well. If heddle was put on this Earth to annoy us atheistic types, perhaps god is indeed all-powerful.

    For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.

    I hate to think of the latrines I would be made to clean if some CO ordered me to go to a religious service. I’m guessing COs dislike being asked if they are “some kind of fucking theocrat”.

  37. 37
    Anthony K

    I know you fancy me.

    Great job, great wife, great life: and yet you choose to spend your time with a loser extraordinaire like me.

    Alas, poor heddle, I should inform you that your feelings for me are not reciprocated. Not only are you a fundamentally dishonest and self-deceiving person, but your competition is stiff–I have many admirers, some of them are even honest men.

    You don’t stand a chance.

  38. 38
    Owlmirror

    @heddle: Do you in fact consider yourself a fundamentalist?

  39. 39
    Owlmirror
    This behavior is beneath your dignity, my circular-arguing companion

    No it isn’t. It’s actually quite typical of him.
    He likes people to think he’s above it all, but he’s not. He’s a tiny little man who plays pretend on the internet.

    If you try to discuss issues with him, he (usually) argues maturely in return. If you play the dozens, he plays back.

    Ironically enough, I just now was trying to figure out when you and he first started arguing (at least 2007, by an admittedly lazy google), and in one of the first threads that came up, he politely made his comment, and you politely agreed with what he wrote.

  40. 40
    heddle

    @Owlmirror,

    It is hard to say, there are so many definitions. On this site I am sometimes viewed as a fundamentalist when it is convenient, and sometimes as an outlier when it is convenient. If affirming that the bible is the inspired, inerrant word of god makes one a fundamentalist, then I am. If instead, or in addition, it requires that one be passionate about the culture wars, right-wing politics and expect an imminent rapture, then I’m not.

  41. 41
    Anthony K

    Don’t feel bad, kamaka. He calls a lot of people that. It’s one of his favorite go-tos when he’s not hypocritically calling out others for a perceived lack of originality.

    He’s a spiteful, weak, dull little man.

    At the end of the day.

  42. 42
    Anthony K

    Ironically enough, I just now was trying to figure out when you and he first started arguing (at least 2007, by an admittedly lazy google), and in one of the first threads that came up, he politely made his comment, and you politely agreed with what he wrote.

    I politely agreed with him on a thread here last week.

    On this site I am sometimes viewed as a fundamentalist when it is convenient, and sometimes as an outlier when it is convenient.

    And conveniently, he decided it was convenient to call himself one for the purpose of trolling Ulysses in comment #2.

  43. 43
    busterggi

    heddle – stop picking on Anthony K!

    As a Calvinist you belive he’s predestined to be doing this so blame your god for making Anthony do this.

    And yes, you are a fundie.

  44. 44
    gshelley

    @JD
    do you have a reference from someone who isn’t as deranged as the christian fighter pilot? Anyone who can write about Chris Rhodda “whose poorly supported internet ramblings resemble essays by high school freshmen ” is clearly either utterly dishonest, or totally incapable of critical thinking

  45. 45
    d cwilson

    I think a lot of fundjelicals suffer from martyrdom envy. They do love their persecution stories, especially the ones that say they more persecuted they are, the closer we are to the time when they get to watch the rest of us heathens be killed by fire from the sky.

    But much their frustration, no one is throwing them to the lions any more, so they have to keep inventing these imaginary cases of persecution to fill the void.

  46. 46
    grumpyoldfart

    #45
    I think you are right.

  47. 47
    M can help you with that.

    gshelley @ 44 –

    do you have a reference from someone who isn’t as deranged as the christian fighter pilot?

    IIRC, JD is “the Christian fighter pilot”. And yes, most of us here are quite taken by the hilarity of the irony involved in that particular national disgrace demanding evidence that officers use their position to inappropriately bully enlisted servicemembers in terms of religion.

  48. 48
    JD

    @gshelley

    The original comments are indeed deranged, but if you follow the links, you see Weinstein made them himself:

    Every time radicalized Christianity has engaged the machinery of the state and the armed forces, we have ended up not with puddles and little streams, but with oceans and oceans of blood…I’m not just talking about the Holocaust or the Inquisition or the four Crusades, I’m not just talking about the Black Plague; it’s the transition from Plan A to Plan B.

    In Plan A, evangelical Christians with a smile on their face will ask you to please, please, please accept their biblical worldview of Jesus. The problem with that is, inevitably, Plan A morphs into Plan B. They stop asking so nicely, and then you have the Holocaust, the pogroms, the Inquisition…

    This country is going through—right now—a transition from A to B. (Weinstein quoted in the Colorado Springs Independent, 02 Mar 06)

    Evangelical Christians executing Plan B, in Weinstein’s own words.

  49. 49
    iknklast

    slc1 @20:

    I don’t know that I can speak for most Christians – I only know some Christians, and they all have a different religion from each other, as far as I can tell. But the one thing I have noticed is that when someone takes away one of their special privelages, or when someone suggests that there might be another way to look at things, most of them seem to become highly offended, claim they are being “bashed”, and begin playing the persecution card. Keep in mind, though, I do live in a midwestern red state, and many liberal Christians also feel under siege from the conservative Christians, so I don’t consider my experience with Christians to be universal.

    But it does seem that I hear an awful lot from people about how they are being courageous to speak up as Christians, they have the guts to stand up and speak out about God, etc. Some of these are very moderate Christians, not fundamentalist, so I can only go by what I’ve seen. And I sat there not too long ago watching e-mail after e-mail go by on my writer’s group listserve praising Congress for finally standing up to the non-believers by reaffirming “In God We Trust” – as though it were in danger of going somewhere! But they felt like they were persecuted because a few non-Christians suggested that wasn’t an appropriate motto for a secular nation full of diverse religious backgrounds, and these people would all consider themselves moderate.

  50. 50
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    Ed Brayton said:

    Fascism! Hitler! FEMA camps! The problem, which is finally beginning to be addressed, is that many officers have abused the authority over their subordinates to force their religious beliefs on them in multiple ways, from punishing those who don’t attend church on Sunday (by making them clean the barracks and do other duties instead) to forcing them to attend prayer services and other religious events. It depends greatly on what unit you’re in, of course; some officers understand the boundaries and some don’t.

    There is no end to the imagined persecution in the minds of these people. Once you believe that dragons are haunting you, you see dragons everywhere.

    LOL at Fascism and Hitler, because what they are doing actually is very similar to some fascist movements (although not fascist, of course): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Guard

    We just need to turn up the dial on the HAARP machine after asking our Reptile overlords permission to do so! It seems the mind control is not working and the giant three mile high PZ Myer statue on the secret base in the snowy mountains, broadcasting PZ Myer Cult Borg acceptance messages to all of Humanity on behalf of the secret FemiNazi agenda, is malfunctioning!! Someone call the tech team :D

  51. 51
    tbp1

    @ 48: There’s nothing at all deranged about Weinstein’s comments. If you look at history, whenever any church becomes entangled with the state to any significant degree the result is oppression and bloodshed. “Oceans and oceans of blood” is hardly an exaggeration in the history of Christendom (and hardly confined to Christendom, to be fair).

    And he didn’t say they evangelicals were executing Plan B. He said that society is morphing from Plan A to Plan B, a very different claim. I’m not entirely sure I agree with him, given the ever growing numbers of non-believers and religiously disaffected in the country, but the radical religious right types are fighting a hell of rear guard action.

    @49: Yes, it’s very amusing watching certain Christian types congratulating themselves for bravely proclaiming what everyone in their own circle believes too, and then taking the slightest disagreement or criticism as “persecution.” There are place in the world where Christians are persecuted. The USA isn’t one of them.

  52. 52
    democommie

    “Anyone who can write about Chris Rhodda “whose poorly supported internet ramblings resemble essays by high school freshmen ” is clearly either utterly dishonest, or totally incapable of critical thinking.”

    gshelley, it IS, after all, JD and both dishonesty and lack of critical thinking skills have been demonstrated by him on EVERY FUCKING COMMENT HE’S EVER MADE HERE. Sorry, I got a little carried away.

    JD:

    You traitorous fucking piece-of-shit, lyin’ for JESUS scumbag:

    I must have missed your comment with the name of your boss and his contact info (I mean the one who’s a few pay grades above you, not your imaginary skybuddy). I’m sure that I’m not the only person that would like to let your superiors know what a bang-up job you’re doing–prolly on gummint time–to protect the ALMIGHTY GOD of your imaginings.

    @51:

    Rational arguments will have precisely the effect on JD, JESUS own fighter pilot, that my curses and insults do. I find it much more enjoyable to NOT waste my time being logical or rational with fucktwits like JD. He already feels superior to other humans ‘cuz 900′ JESUS with the lazer beam eyes has his back WHILE at the same moment feeling like he’s having his flesh peeled by demons ‘cuz he’s not allowed to forcibly convert his fellow airmen. Not all assholes are godbots but all godbots are assholes.

  53. 53
    slc1

    I’m sure that the blogs resident physics professor would apply his no true Scotsman shtick to JD.

  54. 54
    gshelley

    Yes, saying that “Every single time radicalized Christianity has engaged the machinery of the state and the armed forces, we have ended up not with puddles and little streams, but with oceans and oceans of blood” is a little excessive, even if he does specify radicalized
    I found the spiritual rape comment
    http://www.pjvoice.com/v32/32300words.aspx
    By last week, over 6,800 active duty members of the United States Marine Corp, Navy, Army and Air Force have come to our foundation pretty much as spiritual rape victims/tormentees and the shocking thing is 96% of them coming to us are Christians themselves. Roughly three-quarters are traditional Protestants, like Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodist. We get Mormons, we get Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Southern Baptist. One-fourth of that 96% percent of that total universe of 6,800 — more each day — one-quarter of that 96% are Roman Catholic. About 4% will be Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Jain, Shinto, Native American spirituality or atheist or agnostic. , so yes, the people claiming that he merely said discussing religion is spiritual rape are lying.

  55. 55
    Nick Gotts

    If affirming that the bible is the inspired, inerrant word of god makes one a fundamentalist, then I am.

    The question asked was whether you consider yourself one. The comment to which you objected referred specifically to fundamentalist Christians, so your response indicated that you do, but given your knee-jerk reaction to perceived slights, may just indicate that you didn’t read it carefully. Whatever, since the Bible is rife with contradictions and absurdities, affirming that it is “inerrant” certainly makes you a fool.

  56. 56
    slc1

    Re Nick Gotts @ #55

    Prof. Heddle once commented several years ago in response to a query of mine that, indeed, he believes that god did stop the rotation of the earth for a day, as claimed in the book of Joshua and that there might be a physical explanation which does not depend on miraculous claims. He has also admitted that he believes that god sent the asteroid 65.5 million years ago to eliminate the dinosaurs and open the way for the evolution of humans.

  57. 57
    heddle

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG),

    The question asked was whether you consider yourself one.

    And, you moron, before you answer such a question the proper thing to do is ask the speaker what his definition of a fundamentalist is, so that you can be on the same page. I don’t want to say “yes” if the person asking has a very different view. It’s pretty simple, jackass.

    slc1,

    Prof. Heddle once commented several years ago in response to a query of mine that, indeed, he believes that god did stop the rotation of the earth for a day, as claimed in the book of Joshua and that there might be a physical explanation which does not depend on miraculous claims. He has also admitted that he believes that god sent the asteroid 65.5 million years ago to eliminate the dinosaurs and open the way for the evolution of humans.

    Nope never said that, especially the first (stopping the earth). I defy you to provide the link where I stated that. As to the second, I say that (a la the Wesminster confession) that god ordains all that comes to pass in a way that does not (rather establishes) secondary causes. I would no more say explicity that god sent the asteroid than I would say that god moves the planets around. Gravity brought the asteroid.

  58. 58
    slc1

    Re heddle @ #57

    I am afraid that the blogs resident physics professor has a faulty memory. He indeed opined a decade or so ago, either on Brayton’s previous Scienceblogs blog or on Jason Rosenhouse’s Scienceblogs blog that the earth did stand still for a day and that there might exist a physical explanation that would explain why the expected consequences never occurred. He also opined that god set things up so that the asteroid collision would be just powerful enough to eliminate the dinosaurs but not so powerful as to eliminate the small furry mammals.

    Since the first comment was at least 10 years ago, I am certainly not going to spend time trying to chase it down as I suspect that the older posts on Scienceblogs are long gone. As for the second, that was somewhat more recent and, as I recall, was posted on this blog. Both comments by him were in response to questions which I posed, which is why I recall them.

  59. 59
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #57

    Well, what do you know, a Google search turns up a quote from the blogs resident physics professor in which he explicitly states that he believes that the sun stood still in the sky for a day. This was not the one I was looking for but it will do .

    As for parting of the Red Sea and the sun stopping, I do believe they occurred–so is yet another definition of fundamentalist one who believes in the miracles of the bible?

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/03/09/why-bible-courses-cant-work-1/

  60. 60
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #57

    I is my information that the current point of view, based on lack of evidence relative to the Exodus and the notion that Hebrew slaves built the pyramids is that neither happened. Yet another example of the dubious historiography of the Hebrew Bible.

  61. 61
    Anthony K

    And, you moron, before you answer such a question the proper thing to do is ask the speaker what his definition of a fundamentalist is, so that you can be on the same page. I don’t want to say “yes” if the person asking has a very different view. It’s pretty simple, jackass.

    So simple, and yet you failed to ask Ulysses’ definition of fundamentalist while placing yourself firmly in that camp out of convenience.

    You have to remember that Christians are the most persecuted group in history. Just ask any fundamentalist. Also the majority of Americans are Christians, which gives them the right to persecute non-Christians. Again any fundamentalist will confirm this.

    Sorry, I am of that group but I would not attest (by a long shot) that Christians are the most persecuted group in history (neither are atheists, btw). And I would not confirm that we have the right to persecute non-Christians.

    So you statement is demonstrably false.

    How come you didn’t ask Ulysses what was meant by fundamentalist here?

    (It’s pretty simple. It’s because you’re a liar.

    Just like any Christian, apparently.)

  62. 62
    heddle

    slc,

    Nope, never happened. I know because I never believed the earth stood still from the very first time I read the passage. But keep on repeating the lie.

    Anthony K, *yawn*. You already made your little point. Must you repeat everything? You are such an atrocious, pissant, tiny-clenched-fists, insignificant bore.

  63. 63
    Anthony K

    So, you’ll apologise to Nick Gotts for calling him a moron in 57, because it is in fact not a given that one asks what one means by fundamentalist before responding, as you yourself have shown in this very thread.

    Boring pissant or not, I will make sure that your dishonesty is documented, so that no-one here ever mistakes you as a reasonable, honest interlocutor again.

    You are such an atrocious, pissant, tiny-clenched-fists, insignificant bore.

    I’m honest. You are not. You can deride me all you want, but you won’t have an effect on me. You’re not a person worthy of respect.

  64. 64
    heddle

    Anthony K,

    No I will not, because the solution is obvious, though apparently beyond you:

    1) I consider myself a fundamentalist. Thus I can address Ulysses in #2 as a counterexample.
    2) If some asks me (such as Owlmirror), I want to make sure that I know what they mean by the word, before I answer yes or no.

    That makes everything consistent

    I’m honest. You are not.

    Actually, you are a stupid, lying sack of crap, worthy only of contempt.

  65. 65
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #62

    Excuse me, that excerpt was from a comment that you posted. Are you now claiming that someone posted a comment under your name or that it was another David Heddle? Just in case you overlooked it, it was in comment #42 on the link. Just so you can’t accuse me of quote mining, here’s the entire paragraph. I expect an apology from you for accusing me of lying.

    As for parting of the Red Sea and the sun stopping, I do believe they occurred–so is yet another definition of fundamentalist one who believes in the miracles of the bible? Of course, you make a technical but fair point. When I wrote that the bible is historically accurate, I should have clarified that I didn’t mean that all of its historic references were proven true, but that none are demonstrably false.

  66. 66
    Anthony K

    No I will not, because the solution is obvious, though apparently beyond you

    1) I consider myself a fundamentalist. Thus I can address Ulysses in #2 as a counterexample.
    2) If some asks me (such as Owlmirror), I want to make sure that I know what they mean by the word, before I answer yes or no.

    Owlmirror asked:

    @heddle: Do you in fact consider yourself a fundamentalist?

    The thread’s available to read right here.

    Do you think that no-one here has seen your goalpost shifting before?

    You are a repugnant creature of a man.

    As for me being a liar, I can at least demonstrate why I think you are. All you can do is call me one. You got nothing. You are nothing.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    heddle

    slc1,

    No you are wrong (and your link proves it.) I have stated (often) that I believe in the miracles of the bible, which includes the sun stopping. I have also said, repeatedly, that I am not a literalist, and often do not affirm a literal interpretation. I believe in the miracle (God created the universe) but not the literal interpretation (in six days). Regardless of what you think of this position it has been the one I offered, consistently. Your original claim, in #56 (which you have now shifted) was

    Prof. Heddle once commented several years ago in response to a query of mine that, indeed, he believes that god did stop the rotation of the earth for a day,

    I never said this, and your link does not support that I said this. I never, ever said, as you claim, that god stopped the rotation of the earth for a day. I affirmed that the miracle occurred, without ever commenting on how. It is as if you misrepresented me by saying: heddle claimed that Jesus could increase the density of water beneath his feet at will! when in fact I only claim that Jesus walked on water. I never speculated as to how this or any miracle occurred, and I don’t know how. I could speculate on many ways that god might have made this happen, including using extra dimensions, but I never suggested any, including the one you (falsely) claim that I did, because there is no point in speculating.

    And like the little yapping purse-dog that he is, Anthony K has dishonestly championed your misrepresentation. Yap, yap.

    Anthony K,

    As for me being a liar, I can at least demonstrate why I think you are. All you can do is call me one. You got nothing. You are nothing.

    And you are lying by calling me a liar. And again, explanation makes perfect sense. I consider myself a fundamentalist, but before answering owlmirror I want to know his definition. If his definition of a fundamentalist includes one who fights the culture wars, a fairly common but not universal definition (and not mine) then it would not make sense for me to say yes until that was clarified. You really are a disingenuous, worthless, freaky little twit. A truly repulsive and detestable insignificant dullard. You are, as the drill-instructor saying goes, lower than whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

  69. 69
    Anthony K

    If his definition of a fundamentalist includes one who fights the culture wars, a fairly common but not universal definition (and not mine) then it would not make sense for me to say yes until that was clarified.

    Then that’s how you should have answered Ulysses, asshole.

    You really are a disingenuous, worthless, freaky little twit. A truly repulsive and detestable insignificant dullard. You are, as the drill-instructor saying goes, lower than whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

    Good. Then you know to fear me when we both end up in hell.

  70. 70
    heddle

    Then you know to fear me when we both end up in hell.

    Yes, you are so very scary.

  71. 71
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #68

    Heddle, you said that you believed that the Sun stopped and now you move the goal posts to claim that you didn’t mean to say that god was responsible. Well, since you believe that it happened, please explain how come the consequences of the earth ceasing its rotation and its revolution about the Sun also ceasing didn’t happen. Since you can’t produce any theory of physics to explain the lack of consequences, we are led to conclude that it was a miracle. Who produces miracles other then god? Zeus, the flying spaghetti monster? By the way, if in fact, the Sun did stop, explain how come no other civilization in existence at the time of Joshua observed this occurrence and made note of it. Did god put everybody to sleep, other then the folks in Joshua’s audience, for a day?

  72. 72
    Anthony K

    Yes, you are so very scary.

    Nah.

    But you remain a liar, no matter how you try to delude yourself.

    Because the one fucking person you didn’t drill for their definition of a fundamentalist before you answered is Ulysses.

    But you didn’t. Because it was convenient for your narrative.

    You are a weak man, heddle. Your bombastic hubris might impress your students, but I see right through you. You are scared.

    Don’t feel bad. Imposter syndrome is common among academics.

  73. 73
    Anthony K

    You know, heddle once tried to put other people’s words in my mouth and use them as an attack against me. When I pointed this out, he merely brushed it aside with his usual false bravado. He said I was using it as a ‘gotcha’.

    That’s how little this shithole cares for honesty.

    What a fucking waste.

  74. 74
    heddle

    slc1,

    Heddle, you said that you believed that the Sun stopped and now you move the goal posts to claim that you didn’t mean to say that god was responsible.

    Holy crap. Now where did I say anything remotely close to “god was not responsible?”

    Well, since you believe that it happened, please explain how come the consequences of the earth ceasing its rotation and its revolution about the Sun also ceasing didn’t happen.

    Um, you are begging the question. Since I never claimed, as you incorrectly asserted, that god accomplished this by stopping the earth in its tracks, then I am not obliged to explain how the consequences were mitigated.

    Since you can’t produce any theory of physics to explain the lack of consequences, we are led to conclude that it was a miracle

    You do realize (I can’t believe I have to ask) that I did not deny a miracle happened, and therefore it defies, even in principle, an explanation via the laws of physics. That is my definition of miracle. So however god did it, and for the nth time I never offered up a how, it would be a violation of the laws of physics.

    By the way, if in fact, the Sun did stop, explain how come no other civilization in existence at the time of Joshua observed this occurrence and made note of it.

    I don’t know, and doesn’t matter. What matters is this: I did not say what you claimed I said. End of story.

  75. 75
    Anthony K

    End of story.

    Funny, when I did not say you claimed what I said you showed no contrition. The story did not end.

    You are the very definition of two-faced.

  76. 76
    slc1

    Re Heddle @ #74

    Let’s see if Ive got this straight. According to Prof. Heddle,

    1. The Sun stopped in the sky;

    2. It was a miracle.

    3. god did it somehow maybe

    4. Heddle doesn’t know why nobody other then the audience addressed by Joshua noticed this remarkable occurrence .

    5. Heddle denies that he implied that the Earth stopped its rotation and revolution about the Sun. How else would god have accomplished this feat? By hypnotizing Joshua and his audience into thinking that they observed the Sun standing still in the sky for a day which really didn’t physically happen?

  77. 77
    Michael Heath

    heddle,

    I suggest owning up to your old claim rather than playing cutesy. You’re better than this.

    I gotta admit, when slc1 made the charge and you denied it, my immediate response was that slc1 was wrong given his propensity for misrepresenting so many commenters here. But on this one he’s effectively correct, which means I was wrong on who is more trustworthy in this case.

    You claimed, “the sun stopped” in the context of the Bible also claiming that extended daylight supposedly allowed the tribe writing history to claim victory over the despised, ‘other’. Please describe how you defend such a preposterous claim as objectively true.

  78. 78
    Michael Heath

    I’m happy to see at least some of Ed’s scienceblog comment threads still exist. I was very disappointed to lose the wealth of falsehoods lancifer spewed on the state of climate science in a handful of threads I bookmarked, such as this one: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/03/tmlc_prepares_to_lose_another/

    Anybody know why some threads can’t be accessed while at least this one that slc1 linked to above is intact: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/03/09/why-bible-courses-cant-work-1/

    I notice the one I want doesn’t have a day as part of the notation of the URL; that’s the only essential difference I see.

  79. 79
    heddle

    Michael Heath,

    I did own up to my old claim. If slc had stated that I said that I believed the miracle of the sun stopping in the sky described in Joshua, I would have not (and you know this) have denied it. Or Jesus walking on water. Or the Red Sea parting. Or water to wine. Or feeding the 5000. Or the resurrection. Or the mother of all miracles, ex nihilo creation. You know quite well I would not have denied it. But what he claimed was that I stated how it happened. I never did. In fact I never believed what he claimed I said, for just the reasons that he mentioned, it is not recorded by any other people and the effects of the change in angular momentum would have been devastating. Maybe he did do it that way, but for whatever reason I never bought that theory. Quite simply, how do I know how it happened? I can speculate widely in a variety of ways. Maybe, locally, god unravelled a new time dimension from one of the compacted dimensions of String theory, orthogonal to the standard time dimension. That might have worked, I have no friggin’ clue. But I know I never said that he stopped the earth, because of the many ways I could idly speculate about this, I always, from the first day I thought about it, dismissed that explanation out of hand.

  80. 80
    Michael Heath

    heddle writes:

    I did own up to my old claim.

    I realized that prior to posting. I think and argued previously it’s a meaningless distinction. I realize you disagree, but what’s astonishing here isn’t your nuance, but that you actually believe that daylight was extended in order for one tribe to overcome another.

    heddle writes:

    If slc had stated that I said that I believed the miracle of the sun stopping in the sky described in Joshua, I would have not (and you know this) have denied it. Or Jesus walking on water. Or the Red Sea parting. Or water to wine. Or feeding the 5000. Or the resurrection. Or the mother of all miracles, ex nihilo creation. You know quite well I would not have denied it.

    Well actually I didn’t know this. You seem to think I know more about your beliefs than I actually do. Of course I know you are a biblical inerrantist, but I also know that you accept common ancestry and an old earth; both of which I think clearly contradict the Bible’s version of events if they’re to be taken literally.

    So I assume you have explanations to explain away the falsified creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2, which also contradict each other; how I don’t know. And I don’t recall you defending the false claim of a global flood a few thousand years ago. I do remember the question being raised recently but not your having directly answering the relevant questions (perhaps you did and I either forgot or didn’t stick with the thread long enough). So prior to this post, I would have assumed you saw the sun stopping story as metaphorical or some other explanation that denied the story actually happened. I’m surprised you believe this to be true, perhaps because I’m an optimist to a fault about people.

  81. 81
    Nomad

    Heddle, does your tiresome hairsplitting know no bounds? Seriously man, this was an embarrassment. You volunteer yourself as a fundy, then try to deny that you agree that you are a fundy and want to play word games with what the term means.

    You deny that you ever said that the earth stopped rotating, but oh yeah, you totally did say that the sun stopped moving through the sky. You’re supposed to be a god damned astronomer, but you want us to believe that there’s totally all sorts of possible ways that the sun could stop moving through the sky without the earth’s rotation stopping. Yeah, maybe god grabbed the Earth and dragged it around in its orbit super fast for a while so that we got to keep rotating. That’s a perfectly reasonable explanation compared to that ludicrous stopping the rotation thing.

    The game is up, man. We get it. You hold irrational beliefs that do not stand up to investigation, but you want to engage anyway, so you play word games. Endlessly. Oh yeah, everyone thought you said something, but you carefully weasel worded it so you claim to have said nothing of the kind, and you smugly rub it in everyone’s face.

    What does it say about you that you have to be this constantly evasive and take smug pleasure in appearing to make all sorts of claims but really saying nothing? What does it say about your god that it requires an infinite regress of goalposts ready made to fall back on when a claim fails inspection?

  82. 82
    Owlmirror

    Actually, since I’ve been thinking about the Joshua business, I’ll point out that it is not necessarily required for the earth to stop for the sun to (appear to) stand still in the sky. To put it in physics terms, earth-stopping is a huge problem in mechanics, while sun-appearing-still (in and of itself) could be a somewhat lesser problem in optics. As I wrote elsewhere, space mirrors might do the trick. Or wormholes.

    Or portals.

    And YHWH being GLADoS would explain so many other things about God’s psychotic behavior.

    [Voice=GLADoS] You will have to exterminate all of the people in the land, because they’re all terrible people, and they deserve it. You’re all terrible people too, but they are so much worse. They actually refuse to say my name when they kill things. Isn’t that terrible? Once you have finished slaughtering, the land will be yours. And then there will be cake. [/Voice=GLADoS]

    (Sorry, got a little distracted, there.)

  83. 83
    Owlmirror

    You’re supposed to be a god damned astronomer

    Particle physicist, actually.

  84. 84
    Owlmirror

    So I assume you have explanations to explain away the falsified creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2, which also contradict each other; how I don’t know.

    Framework interpretation!

    (No, I don’t know how it actually works either. But that’s what he’s said in the past.)

  85. 85
    Owlmirror

    And I don’t recall you defending the false claim of a global flood a few thousand years ago.

    Last time we discussed it, he seemed to be saying “local flood interpreted/claimed as global”, but I’m not sure I understood him, and the conversation stalled out before I got any details.

  86. 86
    heddle

    Nomad, Right. Because accepting something that I said even though I didn’t say it and in fact never believed it is “splitting hairs.” That makes sense. I am sure that you, not wanting be be an annoying hair-splitter, are always willing to admit saying things you never said or believed, becuase, you know, your just that kind of guy.

    By the way I wrote about precisely this miracle not long ago (Jan. 20013). I advise you to look at the footnote in this post. If you do not want to click the link, the footnote reads:

    1 As an aside, I am not accepting the argument that God stopped the earth’s rotation. Miracles tend to be local. When Jesus walked on water, the ship in the story did not rest on top of the sea. When he changed water into wine, the Sea of Galilee did not change into Pinot Noir.

  87. 87
    Owlmirror

    Regarding “fundamentalist”: I didn’t have a particular definition in mind, but I noticed that heddle’s response @#4 was ambiguous as to whether “I am of that group” referred to “Christians” or “fundamentalists”.

    The way that I’ve seen the term “fundamentalist” used strongly implies the connotations which he lists @#40, but denies are applicable to himself. And I would have hesitated to call heddle a fundamentalist, because I’ve inferred from more general usage that those connotations are usually implicit, and I didn’t think of them as applicable to heddle even before he denied them explicitly. But I also know that “fundamentalist” is a term that a group of Christians (whom I understood believed something very similar about Christian theology that heddle has stated he believes) first applied to themselves. So I asked.

    I think Ulysses’ comment @#2 implies the same usage of “fundamentalist” that heddle denies is applicable to himself, but I also think heddle’s qualified responses @#35 and @#40 implicitly acknowledge that. Given that he acknowledges (@#35) that he made a mistake @#4, I don’t think I have more to add (other than to post this clarification).

    I see that the Wikipedia page on “Fundamentalist Christianity” shows that the term is as contentious as this thread has shown.

  88. 88
    Owlmirror

    @Michael Heath:

    Anybody know why some threads can’t be accessed

    Whatever method they used to export comments from Movable Type to WordPress sucked gravel through a straw.

    I’m happy to see at least some of Ed’s scienceblog comment threads still exist. I was very disappointed to lose the wealth of falsehoods lancifer spewed on the state of climate science in a handful of threads I bookmarked, such as this one: [tmlc_prepares_to_lose_another]

    Learn to use the Internet Archive. Put “web.archive.org/*/” before the ORIGINAL URL you bookmarked (that is, don’t let it be rewritten by the blog engine/web site, or it will mung it)

    This snapshot of “TMLC Prepares to Lose Another Lawsuit” has 225 comments, which may be what you want.

  89. 89
    Owlmirror

    Followup to above @#88: Also, keep in mind that the blog software was changed over on May 22, 2012 (or a date very close to that), so any Internet Archive snapshots later than that date will be useless for retrieving comment threads.

  90. 90
    heddle

    owlmirror,

    But I also know that “fundamentalist” is a term that a group of Christians (whom I understood believed something very similar about Christian theology that heddle has stated he believes) first applied to themselves.

    And still do.

    I see that the Wikipedia page on “Fundamentalist Christianity” shows that the term is as contentious as this thread has shown.

    To a lesser extent, because it is not used as pejoratively, there is the same problem with the word evangelist. It used to be a synonym for Protestant, but now means to some a particular type of Protestant (like Billy Graham, or perhaps someone excessively zealous in their proselytizing). And in fact you can now find people who call themselves Catholic evangelists, or even atheist evangelists. And so even though I consider myself an evangelist, it may mean something different to me than it means to you.

  91. 91
    Nick Gotts

    heddle,

    I suggest owning up to your old claim rather than playing cutesy. You’re better than this.- Michael Heath

    No, he’s not. If they are not fooling themselves about him, anyone reading this thread can readily see that heddle’s both a liar – as clearly demonstrated by Anthony K, and a fool – as clearly demonstrated by heddle himself.

  92. 92
    heddle

    owlmirror,

    I meant evangelical not evangelist in #90.

  93. 93
    Lynn Turner

    To ALL,

    I have read a lot of your post, and respect your right to them. I am a follower of Christ I made that choice. I wish all would but realize they won’t. Christ gave me the freedom to choose and He gives you the same freedom. I just shared my faith with you am I guilty, in uniform our out of uniform, the choice is yours to make. That is the only tree freedom we have. The choices we make may affect others around us but I cannot force no-one to do anything, but all choices have consequences that we will have to live with and I’ve made mine. May God Bless and Keep you all!
    V/r
    FatherGump

  94. 94
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Lynn Turner

    What on Earth is a “tree freedom”?

  95. 95
    Owlmirror

    What on Earth is a “tree freedom”?

    Leaf and let leaf.

  96. 96
    dan4

    @93: “I just shared my faith with you I am guilty, in uniform out of uniform, the choice is yours to make.”

    Huh? And who/what is “FatherGump?”

  97. 97
    dingojack

    Dan – Based on the reading level, I’d say Forrest Gump in a dog-collar.
    Dingo

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