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How embarrassing

Republicans in Minnesota are endorsing Aaron Miller as a candidate to challenge Tim Walz, a Democrat in the first congressional district. What’s embarrassing about it is that Miller is a creationist kook.

Miller likes to repeat a story on the campaign trail about his daughter being driven to tears because her teacher taught evolution that day. According to the Mankato Free Press, Miller shared a story about his daughter telling the teacher she does not believe in evolution. The teacher replied that he or she didn’t believe it either, but was forced to teach it because of the government. “There’s a war on our values by the government,” Miller said. “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.”

These views have earned Miller an endorsement from former state Rep. Allen Quist (R). Mother Jones points out that Quist has argued that it is only reasonable that people and dinosaurs coexisted and that the Book of Job offers science lessons.

Yes, we have creationists here in the upper midwest, and the Republicans are their enablers.

Also on Miller’s agenda: repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a vague something based on free market principles, more religion in the schools, and smaller government, as always. Walz is a popular four term congressman, so we’re all hoping the embarrassment disappears after the election.

Comments

  1. woozy says

    Job offer science lessons? Is this the “leviathan was a dinosaur” business again? What I don’t get is don’t these conservatives and christians get that they are being manipulated? And shouldn’t that piss them off?

    I mean for thousands of years you have this holy book. Okay, it’s a little dense and the language is archaic and there’s some creepy bloody stuff in the middle. But for the most part it’s your holy book. Even if you don’t really know what this story about this poor guy covered in boils is about, you have some sense that it’s got to be about something. You’re sure it’s pretty deep ’cause otherwise what was the point of wasting all those sunny Sundays in dreary Sunday School? So this Book of Job is about something… “God is good” or “behave yourself” or something. It’s holy at any rate and it’s your holy book. So anyone wanting to make fun if it can fuck off, all right. Your holy book; fuck off. That’s all fine and good.

    And then this bozo from Australia, some guy you’ve never even heard of suddenly comes out of nowhere and starts spouting shit that human domisticated dinosaurs and used them for plowing fields and they were on Noah’s Ark. And in the book of Job? That “great beast” that’s mentioned? It’s a dinosaur, you betcha. Who is this jerk and why the hell is he shitting all over your holy book? And why the hell are you letting him?

    Seriously, I don’t get it.

  2. woozy says

    @3

    Wrong book. You are thinking of Jonah. Job’s the guy who got his family killed, his fortune destroyed, boils over his body, and all sorts of horrible things to which he kept saying “That God, what a mensch! Sure is a great guy” which really pissed the devil off. Apparently there’s a “great beast” in the book. Which could be anything. Maybe an auroch or a unicorn for all we know. But this bozo from Australia says it was a dinosaur so now, well, I guess Christians have no free will so they have believe what this bozo says and since “It’s a great beast” = “It’s might be a dinosaur” = “It’s *totes* a dinosaur” = “All sorts of fascinating dinosaur facts are contained in ‘it might be a dinosaur” = “Job is an excellent science textbook”, well, I guess Job is an excellent science textbook!

    Thus “Look at Behemoth,
    which I made along with you
    and which feeds on grass like an ox.
    16 What strength it has in its loins,
    what power in the muscles of its belly!
    17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
    the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
    18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
    its limbs like rods of iron.
    19 It ranks first among the works of God,
    yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
    20 The hills bring it their produce,
    and all the wild animals play nearby.
    21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
    hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
    22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
    the poplars by the stream surround it.
    23 A raging river does not alarm it;
    it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
    24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
    or trap it and pierce its nose?”

    tells you *everything* you ever needed to know about *anything* about dinosaurs!!! No need to read anything else! Cause that’s SCIENCE!!!!

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Ooops. Jonah/Job: I know better than that.

    Thank for setting me straight, woozy: it’s more than my mother could do.

  4. woozy says

    Ah. I made the mistake in referring it as “Leviathan” which is a sea critter. Behemoth is a land critter.

  5. Menyambal says

    I like the paranoia about being taught evolution. It’s like if they even hear about it, it will take over their soul.

    I don’t like sitting through sermons, but I’m not afraid to go to church.

  6. woozy says

    Yes, his daughter *cried* when she was taught about evolution. Because evolution is so sad? I can’t really think of anything in grade school that made me *cry*. The European slave trade made me angry but it didn’t make me cry and…. I mean, come on for fuck sake, evolution made her *CRY*?!?!? What on *earth* can possibly be cry-worthy about evolution?

  7. =8)-DX says

    Leviathan = whale
    Behemoth = elephant
    Unicorn = rhinoceros
    Dragon = komodo
    It’s not that difficult people.

    @woozy #2

    So this Book of Job is about something…

    I think the message of the book of Job is basically: you might as well live as if there were no gods, for all the good it’ll do you. Be good for good’s sake because when horrible things happen, there isn’t any cosmic meaning behind it, it might as well be chance.
    Oh and another message: don’t worry about losing your family, if the worst comes to the worst you can always find someone to love you. Um I think.

    But then the overarching message of the OT seems to be: Gods are total asshats.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    Actually the only message in the Book of Job is: “I’m GOD, and I can do whatever the fuck I want to you mere mortals! I brought you into this world and I can take you out! So shut up and get to worshipping and obeying ME… OR ELSE!!!”

  9. raven says

    What I got out of Job is that god and satan are good buddies. And there isn’t much difference between them.

  10. raven says

    Miller likes to repeat a story on the campaign trail about his daughter being driven to tears because her teacher taught evolution that day. According to the Mankato Free Press, Miller shared a story about his daughter telling the teacher she does not believe in evolution. The teacher replied that he or she didn’t believe it either, but was forced to teach it because of the government.

    That any of this happened is low. Fundies always lie about everything. It’s one of their three main sacraments.

    If his daughter is that sheltered, it is going to get worse. Wait until she finds out the universe is 13.8 billion years old and the Big Bang really happened. Followed shortly by realizing that the educated and intelligent segment of the population thinks she and her father are idiots.

    I don’t like sitting through sermons, but I’m not afraid to go to church.

    True. I’m not afraid that reading the bible will make me a xian. Reading the bible was a big part of what made me an…ex-xian.

  11. ck says

    smaller government

    So small it can fit in your bedroom, in your head, and, if you’re a woman, also in a uterus. The proper role for government is interfering with all those things you might do behind closed doors, and having nothing to do with anything you might do to your fellow humans (unless wealthy) in public.

  12. woozy says

    Leviathan = whale
    Behemoth = elephant
    Unicorn = rhinoceros
    Dragon = komodo
    It’s not that difficult people.

    Behemoth could have been a hippopotamus. (Or it could have been purely mythical. The river description seems hippo like to me. But the size and it’s bones and size seems like an elephant. Or a rhino.) A unicorn is almost certainly an auroch. Are there dragons in the bible? Dragons are myths pure and simple.

    I think the message of the book of Job is basically: you might as well live as if there were no gods, for all the good it’ll do you.

    The message of Job is, without irony, pretty simple. Praise God because he’s great and wonderful and created all things and don’t just praise him when things are going well for him; praise him when they are going badly as well. If you don’t take it literally it’s an okay message; don’t just look to religion when it’ll serve you; be righteous always– grateful when things go well and humble when they don’t. If you take it literally though it’s a pretty shitty message, and thus the irony. God’s a jerk.
    ==========
    Anyway, I’m half serious. If I were a conservative I’d be *really* pissed off that my stand on issues is that I’m expected to believe garbage and that garbage believing is a political agenda. And if I were a christian I’d be really, really, really, pissed that assholes like Ken Ham are coming from nowhere and shitting on my bible and saying idiotic things like the behemoth was a sauropod. Thomas Aquinas didn’t think it was a dinosaur, the King James translation committee didn’t think it was a dinosaur, no religious scholar ever thought it was a dinosaur, Jesus Christ didn’t think it was a dinosaur. But some whacko with an anti-science agenda who says that evolutionist are out to hurt the bible so I have to agree with every anti-intellectual ludicrous flash-in-the-pan flippant response just because Ham-boy has a feather up his butt and some weird personal dictate says that because kids like dinos and we want to win the kids I have to now think anything that refers to “an animal” has to be a dinosaur? Fuck that!

    But then… I’m not a christian to begin with.

    Wait until she finds out the universe is 13.8 billion years old and the Big Bang really happened.

    Which is upsetting because ….?

    Anyway seriously, do we even believe this story? He refused to name the teacher. Did he even name the school? Does she even go to a public school?

  13. jefferylanam says

    Mr Miller’s current employer may want to have a word with him. He’s apparently an account manager with rEVO Biologics, an small French=owned biopharamaceutical company. Their stance on evolution is right there in their name.

  14. redwood says

    I was talking with a part-time colleague of my university who I know is a fundamentalist and he knows I’m an atheist. Somehow evolution came up and he said it was wrong because of all the gaps in it. I asked what gaps and he said something vague about how you can’t account for all the changes in animals, so evolution is wrong. He then said that the Book of Job explains about it. I was all ready to ask him to explain this when I just shut it down and decided this was a battle I didn’t want to fight at that moment. I guess now I know what he was talking about.

  15. robinjohnson says

    “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.”

    If we get to decide what reality is, why bother with schools at all?

  16. azhael says

    @14 woozy

    A unicorn is almost certainly an auroch

    Oh come on, a unicorn looks nothing like an auroch and europeans were pretty familiar with cattle anyway. A rhinoceros fits much better. It wasn´t native to the area, which lended itself to being modified into legend because the vast majority of people had never seen one, it has the horn and it is a perissodactyl…so it has that horse-like flavour (particularly the skull).

  17. says

    Before getting into what animal King James’ translators mistook a unicorn for, I need some edumacation on what word the Greeks had in their translation and what they thought they were talking about, and what the word in the original Hebrew was.

  18. robinjohnson says

    Surely if you have to go through a ‘textbook’ and replace all the references to made-up things with the nearest non-made-up thing you can think of, it’s not a very good textbook?

  19. carlie says

    What on *earth* can possibly be cry-worthy about evolution?

    The fact that her parents taught her that it was evil and of the devil and that she’d go to hell if she’d believe in it.

  20. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.”

    Yeah, sounds like a great idea.

    [W]e have creationists here in the upper midwest, and the Republicans are their enablers

    Unsurprising.

  21. azhael says

    What on *earth* can possibly be cry-worthy about evolution?

    I think in this particular, probably made up story, the point is that she cried because she and her teacher have to live in a country where the evil government is forcing them both to mencion evilution…How absolutely terrible…how tragic to be such victims…

  22. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    This is interesting, amusing, and relevant; and offers some insight into the unicorn/aurochs debate. Apparently the issue is tha translation of the word Re’em, which the KJV translates as “unicorn”, but most versions accept is some sort of large, primitive bovine. This source translates it directly from the Hebrew as a “wild ox”.

    Jewish folk-mythology on the Re’em is amusing, to say the least.

  23. sawells says

    Behemoth is a hippo – it’s a majestic plural for “cattle”. Leviathan is the Nile Crocodile. Read the descriptions again in the context of their being the two most dangerous and unkillable river monsters of the Nile, and in the context of the writer not having actually seen them.

    Also in the context of “tail moves like a cedar” actually meaning “penis extends like a treetrunk”.

    I hate literalists because of their total disrespect for the authors of the stories they fetishise.

  24. alkisvonidas says

    Miller shared a story about his daughter telling the teacher she does not believe in evolution.

    I don’t believe in it either. I understand it.

    What is the matter with these people? Do they really think they can just decide which aspects of the world they consider true and which they don’t, no reason given, as if they’re picking their favorite dish or color? “Oh, I took the bus to work this morning, I don’t really believe in the subway today.”

    I know, I know, I’m being naive. It’s just that I really don’t believe in such effing stupidity levels.

  25. alkisvonidas says

    # 19, NelC:

    Before getting into what animal King James’ translators mistook a unicorn for, I need some edumacation on what word the Greeks had in their translation and what they thought they were talking about, and what the word in the original Hebrew was.

    Which book? In Job 3, at any rate, the Greek text says “μέγα κῆτος” (mega ketos), which means a sea monster or a whale.

  26. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Yes, his daughter *cried* when she was taught about evolution. Because evolution is so sad?

    My simplistic view, of why she cried; is the conflict of hearing the teacher tell her something completely different than what her parents had been telling her. Children can get very upset when told their parents are wrong.
    The next QUESTION, by me, is: “Are we to only teach the things that don’t upset any children?” Is that really what this Senator is demanding? ummm, I agree, teachers should teach that Santa Claus is a fantasy, (but neither should they teach that he is real).

    I can’t really think of anything in grade school that made me *cry*.

    Never met a bully, eh? Me not so lucky. But, that’s a digression. I sorta remember being taught things in school that were very upsetting and got me very close to crying. But again, what does this guy expect out of school? To just be a daycare where the kids are taken care of, and teaching is left for (private+expensive) college?

  27. Howard Bannister says

    Hey, hey now, guys, it’s totally wrong to talk about the lesson or takeaway from Job in the SINGULAR.

    Job, as a book, is a discourse. Split it into logical sections, and it becomes a series of arguments. Essays, if you.

    The first few chapters lay out the problem; sometimes bad things happen to good people. And… discuss! Why?

    Over the next couple of chapters you get some different ideas about why. For what reason. There’s an appeal to authority. There’s an appeal to the innate sinfulness of man–if bad things happen, then you must be a bad person, somehow.

    And the different authors go ahead and punch right through those arguments.

    To me, it’s almost incomprehensible at this point that somebody reading through the book doesn’t notice that every second chapter could be entitled ‘three reasons the chapter before me is wrong.’

    It’s a long-form in-depth look at the problem of evil, and I think if you read it on its merits, it’s very clear by the end of the book that… the problem is insurmountable.

  28. woozy says

    Apparently the issue is tha translation of the word Re’em, which the KJV translates as “unicorn”, but most versions accept is some sort of large, primitive bovine. This source translates it directly from the Hebrew as a “wild ox”.

    Exactly. And the actual mythology of the unicorn as we now know it derives from the term in the KJV rather than the other way around. Greek natural philosophers believed in unicorn like creatures (through third hand travel accounts– hence my personal hypothesis they ware mostly rhinos) although they were not part of their myths nor did they associate the biblical critters (which are nowhere described as having a single horn) to the single-horned critters from far off lands.

    I could be led to believe the behemoth in Job was also the same wild ox as the unicorn. Or I could believe it was a hippo. Or it’s completely mythical. A sauropod? Don’t be a fucking idiot…

    I can’t really think of anything in grade school that made me *cry*.

    Never met a bully, eh? Me not so lucky.

    Anything in grade school curriculum…. Sheesh. As I said, it came close. Environmental collapse, slavery, and nuclear proliferation were upsetting. And maybe the idea that the sun would one day burn up and the world would go cold was upsetting. But that we evolved from lower life forms? Not cry worthy and I’m amused/disgusted by the basic assumption of this whacko that it such an easy basic framework to make this a tale of a crying child. Imagine someone crying about plate tectonics. Or that Jupiter is bigger than earth but doesn’t have a solid surface.

  29. woozy says

    @29

    Job, as a book, is a discourse. Split it into logical sections, and it becomes a series of arguments.

    My point was simply that it must be pretty frustrating and irritating to have a book for thousands of years that you believe in and have had hundreds of writers discuss and analyze and study, only to have some yabo from out of no-where come along and say its just a first-hand account of a human encounter with a dinosaur and should be a grade-school text in paleontology.

  30. Akira MacKenzie says

    woozy @ 8

    I can’t really think of anything in grade school that made me *cry*.

    Try being a pudgy, uncoordinated, socially awkward teenager in “special classes” with a fanatical love of science fiction and RPGs. Your savage classmates will find numerous ways–both physical and emotional, overt and subtle–of making you feel like crying for the rest of your life.

    alkisvonidas @ 26

    Do they really think they can just decide which aspects of the world they consider true and which they don’t, no reason given…

    Welcome to the Age of Solipsism, where facts become “opinions” when conflict with the uninformed opinions that you deem to be fact! Thanks to a yellow piece of paper in the National Archives, no one can make you accept reality and your ability to spread your cancerous superstitions to rest of the world is legally protected.

    No, don’t lecture me about “rights” and “liberties.” From “free speech” to “free markets,” personal freedom has fucked up this world beyond repair. We could do with a lot less freedom.

  31. Jackie, all dressed in black says

    I hope he’s never read the bible to his daughter. If evolution makes her cry, the rape of the Medianite women or the murder of recently circumcised men in their beds might be truly traumatic.

  32. woozy says

    Try being a pudgy, uncoordinated, socially awkward teenager in “special classes” with a fanatical love of science fiction and RPGs. Your savage classmates will find numerous ways–both physical and emotional, overt and subtle–of making you feel like crying for the rest of your life.

    curriculum that makes one cry. Academic curriculum. I was bullied every freakin’ day and brought to tears frequently. But learning that addition is commutative and Bolivia imports tin and humans are the only animals that think because Jiminy Cricket says they are the only animals with chins wouldn’t bring me to tears (not when I was worrying about how to get home with students following me and throwing rocks at me without letting them figure out where I lived.)

  33. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @woozy #31

    Exactly. And the actual mythology of the unicorn as we now know it derives from the term in the KJV rather than the other way around. Greek natural philosophers believed in unicorn like creatures (through third hand travel accounts– hence my personal hypothesis they ware mostly rhinos) although they were not part of their myths nor did they associate the biblical critters (which are nowhere described as having a single horn) to the single-horned critters from far off lands.

    That’s a point. The research I did above has me fairly convinced that the bible verse is referring to a large, primitive bovine; most likely the eurasian aurochs, especially since the Bible explicitly referrs to it’s potential for domestication. But that of course doesn’t answer the question of how the concept of a unicorn came into the English language in the first place. It had to have existed previously for them to translate re’em into unicorn, surely?

    They appear to be fairly common mythology across the globe, so it would make sense for them to be the result of a similar myth from a very ancient civilisation, that spread outwards with subsequent migrations. Wikipedia presents dubious evidence that the Indus Valley Civilisation had them,and discusses rare abnormalities in horned animals which cause them to have one horn in the middle of the head. Some extra reseach* reveals this to be a real thing. I wonder if sightings of wild gazelle/deer with this abnormality resulted in early unicorn myths which spread with various cultures as migration occurred?

    *This link reveals some insight into how the original mistranslation in the Bible occurred:

    A translation error, when Hebrew scripture was rendered into Greek, added to the allure of the creature now known as the unicorn. The wild ox, a now-extinct creature rendered in bas relief profiles with one horn, was translated in Greek as monokeros or one-horned. In the Latin bible of the Christian world that became unicornos and “unicorn” by the time the English translators of King James got to work. And so, God impresses His power upon Job by saying, “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”

    Also, thanks to Wiki, I now know why the unicorn is depicted with a spiral horn in mediaeval and rennaisance art. Narwhal horns were widely sold by unscrupulous northern traders as “unicorn horns”. Narwhal horns are spiralled, and this lead to the belief that unicorn horns are also, since the only “unicorn horns” anyone had ever seen were so.

  34. Rich Woods says

    @woozy #8:

    I can’t really think of anything in grade school that made me *cry*.

    Steinbeck’s “The Red Pony”.

  35. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re “unicorns”:

    I once read (so it must be true facts), that “unicorn” was a bad translation of Greek into English of the word that referred to the male erection (not the flacid phallus), which was why “virgins only” could “tame” a unicorn.
    – Nevermind. Ignore that comment; from my twisted, sexually perverse, porno-adled memories.

  36. Akira MacKenzie says

    Rich Woods @ 37

    For me it was “Where the Red Fern Grows” in. 4th grade.