Belief in Evolution Rises

It’s a slight rise, to be sure, but any is better than none.

Gallup

PRINCETON, NJ — Four in 10 Americans, slightly fewer today than in years past, believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Thirty-eight percent believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms, while 16%, up slightly from years past, believe humans developed over millions of years, without God’s involvement. […] A small minority of Americans hold the “secular evolution” view that humans evolved with no influence from God — but the number has risen from 9% in 1982 to 16% today. At the same time, the 40% of Americans who hold the “creationist” view that God created humans as is 10,000 years ago is the lowest in Gallup’s history of asking this question, and down from a high point of 47% in 1993 and 1999.

The influence of political affiliation is also noted:

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The significantly higher percentage of Republicans who choose a creationist view of human origins reflects in part the strong relationship between religion and politics in contemporary America. Republicans are significantly more likely to attend church weekly than are others, and, as noted, Americans who attend church weekly are most likely to select the creationist alternative for the origin of humans.

Full Article is Here.

Sweet Jesus!

The stories of Jesus like you’ve never seen them before.

 

Borys Tarasenko is the Edmonton artist behind a new exhibit at the Bleeding Heart Art Space. (Dave von Beiker)

Borys Tarasenko is the Edmonton artist behind a new exhibit at the Bleeding Heart Art Space. (Dave von Beiker)

The son of a parish priest, Borys Tarasenko has drawn plenty of inspiration from the Bible.

But he’s far from a typical believer.

Tarasenko is the Edmonton artist behind the Sweet Jesus exhibit at the Bleeding Heart Art Space on 118th Avenue.

His handmade drawings, outlined in rudimentary black paint, depict a series of strangely reimagined Bible stories.

In one, an apron-clad Jesus is shown barbecuing, extending his holy hand to offer his disciples a slice of grilled hot dog. A rotund bear in priestly robes stands with jaws agape waiting for the grilled godly offering.

Tarasenko says his work was inspired by the iconography of the Ukrainian Catholic church. (Dave von Beiker)

Tarasenko says his work was inspired by the iconography of the Ukrainian Catholic church. (Dave von Beiker)

Tarasenko, 27, grew up surrounded by religion and the images of Ukrainian iconography. But as he got older,  his dogma changed, and departed from Catholicism.

Now he doesn’t believe in any higher power. But religion is still a big part of his life, and he faithfully attends St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in Edmonton at least once a week.

“As this was happening I came to enjoy going to church more because I could appreciate it for what it was,” he said. “And I really loved going, because it was just culturally beautiful. So much a part of me growing up that I loved going back there.”

[…]

The exhibit includes an open invitation to colour its walls, even supplying the felt pens.

Much like the pages of a colouring book, what was once stark in black and white has gone technicolour, and the already bizarre images have become even more outlandish.

“It’s crazy. It’s bonkers,” Tarasenko said an interview with CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active. “People have been adding things I couldn’t have imagined. Speech bubbles, fish, what looks like a hot air balloon, wings on characters. Such a different way than I expected. Every time I come in it’s like opening a present.

“I wanted people to be able to add themselves to the work.”

Once black and white, the artist's images have gone technicolor as visitors to the gallery make their own additions to the work. (Dave von Beiker)

Once black and white, the artist’s images have gone technicolor as visitors to the gallery make their own additions to the work. (Dave von Beiker)

Being Persecuted By LBGTQ Mafia

In a previous campaign ad, GOP Congressional hopeful Kay Daly threatened to shoot her opponent.

In a previous campaign ad, GOP Congressional hopeful Kay Daly threatened to shoot her opponent.

North Carolina GOP Congressional candidate Kay Daly claimed that she’s being targeted by LGBT rights activists in a recent message posted to her Facebook account.

Referring to equality groups as the “P.C. GAYSTAPO” and the “LGBTQ Mafia,” Daly wrote, “The homosexual extremists and their lavender lobby are coming after me again.” The Republican hopeful, who is currently running in the state primary race for a seat in the Senate, further alleged that LGBT groups are “outraged that I proudly support the North Carolina law that says grown men can’t use the girls’ restrooms in government facilities.” Daly, however, offers no proof to substantiate her claims.

The post links to a fundraising email in which Daly further argues that transgender people are  “perverts and deviants.” She said, “It is God who selects your gender, not you.”

[…]

In a recent endorsement posted to Facebook, James Dobson, founder of the right-wing anti-LGBT group Focus on the Family, described Daly as a “faithful warrior in the fight for the traditional values and religious liberties.” “Kay is one of us,” he said. “She has proven it over and over in word and deed, often when others with less courage have sounded the retreat.”

Full Story Here.

Antigay Crusade Going to Congress

A House committee is using the defense bill to pass "religious exemptions" for federal contractors.

A House committee is using the defense bill to pass “religious exemptions” for federal contractors.

Republicans in Congress are using defense funding to help pass a “religious freedom” law through Congress.

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved a “religious freedom” amendment to the defense authorization bill. It would undo an executive order from President Obama that prohibits government contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT discrimination against their employees.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Steve Russell, could be compared to the “religious freedom” laws that caused outrage in Indiana, Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere. In this case, it would limit the federal government to protecting only those groups now named in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the American with Disabilities act, reports the Washington Blade. Neither of those laws protect LGBT people from discrimination, therefore Russell’s amendment would allow religious organizations doing business with the U.S. government to fire or punish any employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Advocate has the story.

Nashville D.A.: Bathroom Bills Are Wrong

Nashville, TN Assistant DA Chad Butler (screen capture)

Nashville, TN Assistant DA Chad Butler (screen capture)

Finally, someone talks sense.

The District Attorney of Nashville, Tennessee said Thursday that anti-trans “bathroom laws” like North Carolina’s are aimed at the wrong people. Sexual predators as a group, he said, are overwhelmingly “heterosexual men.”

WSMV Channel 4 reported on statements by assistant DA Chad Butler, who said that in his long career of prosecuting sex crimes, he has never prosecuted a single case against a transgender person.

“As long as I’ve been doing this job and the hundreds of cases I’ve reviewed, I’ve never once had a transgender person come across my desk as an offender,” he said.

Butler specializes in crimes against children, who are ostensibly the people the discriminatory laws are meant to protect. He told Channel 4 that the people parents need to be on guard against are the people they see every day.

“A majority of my cases are fathers, stepfathers, uncles, Boy Scout leaders, coaches, youth ministers, preachers,” Butler said. “People that are already close to the family that the family trusts.”

The idea that trans people are more likely to victimize children, he said, is “statistically unfounded and off base.”

Story and video here.

There was more oxygen then…

Stan the T. Rex at the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum (Facebook.com)

Stan the T. Rex at the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum (Facebook.com)

The Bible is a literal, factual history of the world, including Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood. Dinosaurs rode the ark with Noah. People lived 10 times longer in Biblical times because the Earth’s atmosphere had more oxygen then.

These are just a few of the wrong-headed “facts” on display at The Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum in Glendive, Montana, according to the Great Falls Tribune, which published an exposé on the creationist museum this week.

[…]

“Turtles can live 150 years. Take times 10. You have a 1,500-year-old turtle. All these things are going to be amazing when things live 10 times longer,” he said. […]

The museum’s star attraction is its skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, nicknamed Stan.

“Evolutionists look at Stan and say he’s 45 years old (when he died),” Kline said. “I look at Stan and say maybe 450 years old. That could account for the size of Stan.”

Their longer lifespans and increased oxygen intake, Kline maintains, allowed people and animals to grow to immense size.

[…]

“We’re cutting edge here,” Canen insisted. Scientists and academics who don’t believe the Bible, he said, are lazy thinkers who can’t let go of their old ideas.

“They hold onto (the idea) so long they don’t allow anything to question it,” he said. “If you can trust any historical document, you can trust the Bible.”

There isn’t enough facepalm. People who don’t believe the bible are lazy thinkers who can’t let go of old ideas? <much sputtering> How, just how can anyone say that with a straight face and mean it? That just takes willful ignorance to a new level.

This does remind me of my favourite Kent Hovind quote, because dinosaurs being vegetarian is brought up in these articles as well:

In spite of their ferocious look, many people would probably argue the T-Rex was a vegetarian. The ferocious teeth would have been great for, you know, crushing stuffed pumpkins or something, you know. I don’t know if it has ever been proven they were meat eaters. There is plenty of evidence from cracks in the enamel with chlorophyll stains in them indicating they were certainly eating plants.

Great Falls Tribune StoryRaw Story Article.

Nick Sherman / Simon Lynge / Sihasin

Nick Sherman, Ghost Town. You can read more about Nick here.

Simon Lynge (Scandanavian Inuit), Love Comes Back. You can read more about Simon here.

Sihasin, Take A Stand. This is Jeneda and Clayson (Navajo), founding members of Blackfire. You can read more about Sihasin here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj57V7rsza0

Atheist Ugandan Orphanage

AO

The children at BiZoHa, an orphanage and school in southwest Uganda, wake up at 7 a.m. Within an hour they’re ready and dressed in their school uniforms, blue shirts with bright yellow collars and either charcoal grey pants or dresses. There are classes after that and, at 10:30, a pause for porridge, bread, and fried bananas. The day continues from there — classes, meals, play, and sleep — perfectly routine and peaceable. But in the Kasese District, a multi-ethnic region on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, this schedule, with all its reassuring regularity, is radical. There are no prayer breaks. There are no church services. BiZoHa, described by its backers as “the world’s first atheist orphanage,” is a humanist raft adrift a choppy sea of faith.

[…]

In 2009 he formed the Kasese United Humanist Association, which in turn led to formation of the Kasese Humanist Primary School. The school is really two schools located on different campuses — one, the Rukoki Campus, in Kyondo, and the other, BiZoHa, in Muhokya. Unlike Rukoki, BiZoHa works in conjunction with an orphanage.

“I’m so concerned with how there is massive indoctrination and dogmatism and a brainwashing of the minds of children in orphanages,” says Musubaho. “My goal here is offer an alternative, so that when these children grow up they are in the position to think freely, to be critical of everything. One of the reasons I was motivated to open this orphanage was to send a message to the people of Muhokya and the world that we people of non-belief also care about the well being of others, especially children.”

Full Story Here.

Truth and transgender at age 70

Kate and Linda Rohr sit down for breakfast on Valentine's Day at their home in Fort Bragg, Calif. Later that week, Kate would have her gender-affirmation surgery. (Amy Ellis Nutt / Washington Post)

Kate and Linda Rohr sit down for breakfast on Valentine’s Day at their home in Fort Bragg, Calif. Later that week, Kate would have her gender-affirmation surgery. (Amy Ellis Nutt / Washington Post)

For months, Bill Rohr kept three clocks running on his iPad. One counted down the days to his retirement as a surgeon: Dec. 31, 2015. Another counted up the days since he and his wife, Linda, married: June 15, 1968.

The third clock, the most recent addition and the one that most occupied Rohr’s thoughts, showed the days until his Feb. 17, 2016, surgery at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center south of San Francisco.

At age 70, Bill would become Kate.

It was an operation he’d long ago dismissed as unattainable – but one Linda said he deserved to have. She’d traveled the arc of his life, supportive even after his bombshell confession.

Wonderful Story (and video) Here.