David Silverman’s “Darwin Was Wrong” Moment

Surely New Scientist’s terrible choice in creating the “Darwin Was Wrong” cover happened not so long ago that the skeptical community has forgotten the sturm und drang that rightly came after it. And yet, here we are.

To explain: the science rag’s cover was designed to tease an article wherein the phylogenetic “tree” shape is explained to be less accurate than the more web-like structure with speciation and cross-pollination that we now understand to be the case today. So, Darwin was wrong, yes — but he was not wrong about evolution. And yet to this day, you will find creationists who use that misleading cover to suggest that evolution did not happen, therefore God. Despite being technically correct, the messaging was so poor as to cause splash damage, and atheists and skeptics were pretty mad despite the right-on-a-technicality nature of the problem.

So it’s honestly surprising to me that so many people are so bent out of shape over David Silverman’s poor messaging very recently at CPAC — no, not the people who are upset that what he said caused splash damage to women and was worth criticizing. I mean, the people who are bent out of shape over the CRITICISMS of such.
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The reason for the season: persecution complexes

Everything Is Terrible found a video about the persecution complex Christians have about Christmas, and they want you all to watch it.

Let’s count up the implausibilities. First, that anyone would make laws forbidding Christmas or Christian personal effects under any circumstances. Second, that someone would actually get fired for violating the Establishment Clause in a country that seems to love having public figures flout it publicly. Third, that anyone is actually attacking Christmas as a public holiday. Fourth, that a biker gang would be necessary to help lift a cardboard cross up to a building, or that lifting a five foot cross up the side of a building is even the best way of getting it to the top. Fifth, that a video ending with the main subject of the video getting blown up, and the cameraman too, would somehow be considered acceptable to display unscreened at a nativity play. Sixth, that Aron Ra would play God.

Okay, that last one, he might do it tongue-in-cheek.

You poor Christians, making up the majority of your country, are being persecuted, just by being forced to acknowledge that you don’t make up the ENTIRETY of your country and that forcing your religion on the rest undermines the whole reason your country was founded? Hah.

Nobody’s preventing you from worshipping privately however you want. The Establishment Clause just means you can’t do it on government grounds, using government taxpayer-derived funds, or in a way that encourages your religion over any others while doing work that nets you government pay, to steal Crip Dyke’s wording in comments. That’s not an abrogation of your rights — it’s a protection of them. And I know you get this, viscerally, because you absolutely hate the idea of a Muslim or, heavens forbid, an atheist in office. If you try to allow your government to enshrine your religion within it, that’s when you risk losing the most should some other person of some other religion comes into power.

Fischer: God didn’t stop Newtown shooting because he’s a “gentleman”

Bryan Fischer asserts that because Christianity isn’t taught in public schools, God was unwilling to step in and stop the shooting because he doesn’t appear where he’s not wanted. Never mind that students are (as always) free to pray as they see fit — they’re just not LED in prayer by school officials, forcing all students to either pray if they believe, or sit quietly in the hallways while public school time is wasted on prayer.

Explain, then, to me why the Colorado theatre shooting happened, when overtly Christian movies make the theatres all the fucking time?

Meet the new Mohawk saint

A reader named Dan sent in this tip, telling me that the Roman Catholic Church is about to pressgang their very first Aboriginal saint into service. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was baptized at age 20, declared herself God’s wife, fasted and self-flagellated and slept on thorns, and evangelized Christianity to her fellow Mohawks. And now, three hundred and fifty-odd years after she died, she’s apparently curing little boys of flesh-eating disease.

In 2006, a Washington State boy, about five years of age, hurt himself while playing basketball.
The young boy bumped his chin on the ground and ended up contracting Flesh Eating Disease.

Unfortunately, the only treatment for the disease is amputation and the doctors had gotten to a point where they couldn’t do anything for the boy after removing much of his face.

Eventually a priest was brought in to anoint the boy for healing purposes and then spoke with the parish, asking them to pray to Kateri, who is known as a healer.

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An MRA explains Christianity

Turns out Christianity was never a bid to control men by other men — it was invented by women as a way of subjugating them to the Gynocracy, according to an MRA that Dave Futrelle has so kindly pointed us all to.

But it’s not JUST that Mary Magdalene was the first wave of the feminazis, oh no. She did it after being impregnated by an ALIEN. That’s right. Shit just got REAL.

Sorry, xtainity was always a crock of shit, and I have seen inside it deeper than most….

Today, in the 21st century, we can for the first time create a pregnant virgin, so 2,000 years ago “god” was an alien, or a figment of imagination.

(trigger warning for the usual anti-woman “men’s rights advocate” bullshit.)
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Did Chick-Fil-A bear false witness not once but twice?

“Lying for Jesus” is not a new tactic, but it’s certainly a hypocritical one, if you’ve decided that it is more important to follow the rules set out in the Bible than to trust your basic human empathy to guide you in dealing with other human beings. It’s fascinating to me that someone can square a dogmatic need to force everyone to adhere to one lesser set of guidelines in the Bible involving where you’re allowed to put your penis, while completely failing to follow one major rule set forth as a Commandment: thou shalt not bear false witness. Bearing false witness means, in no uncertain terms, lying — the rule, therefore, means “do not lie”.

And yet, Chick-Fil-A has possibly lied twice in their recent PR campaign to weather a crisis caused by their anti-gay COO Dan Cathy.
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Ashu Solo increases pressure on Saskatoon prayer-mayor

I’ve covered previously Ashu Solo’s complaints to the mayor of Saskatoon for one of their councillors’ prayers during a volunteer appreciation dinner, and the CCLA asking them to stop it.

It appears that several days ago, Solo contacted me to let me know that he’s built a blog post regarding the media’s coverage of this ongoing issue, and of Atchison’s and Donauer’s odious and religiously-privileged responses. (My email has been inundated lately though, so it kinda got buried, and I’m only getting around to posting this now.)

That post is here, and includes an open letter to the pair that documents where they’ve doubled down publicly.
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