An Alabama church collapses on a Thursday night; fortunately no one was hurt. As we’ve come to expect, a god gets credit, never mind that maybe a truly beneficent god would have prevented the collapse in the first place.
“Thank God nobody was hurt,” Pastor Jeff Carroll said. “He chose to let it come down on a Thursday evening when nobody was there.”
This story has an additional twist, though. Why did the church collapse?
The congregation and volunteers designed and built the new church apparently without filing plans or gaining approval from local or state entities. Carroll, himself a homebuilder, said he was not aware of any requirements and remains unconvinced a government body should have a say in how a church is built. “If the state and the church are separate, I don’t understand why they think they’ve got jurisdiction,” he said.
It seems to me that houses built on faith lack any substantial means of support, as this little story illustrates. I’m a little bit sympathetic with Pastor Carroll’s position, though: let’s remove churches from all secular oversight and impose no demands or restrictions on their construction, except that in the spirit of fair warning we should require large signs be posted all around them, announcing the hazard but reassuring congregants that god himself is holding the building up. That’ll drive everyone with a lick of sense away from them, and those consenting adults (we’ll have a new reason to forbid the attendance of children!) who believe in ghosts propping up the bricks…well, they’ll be removed from the population one way or another.
I wonder if any insurance companies in Alabama have been alerted to the construction standards of Jeff Carroll homes?
Physics has a well-known, liberal bias.
What, that doesn’t make it clear to everyone that churches shouldn’t have to follow the laws everyone else is bound by? (snicker)
yeah, goodluck getting insurance buddy,
Does he not follow the speed limit or ignore stop signs too?
What a demented fuckwit.
This is a classic example of ‘Blessed if I do, blessed if I don’t.’ No matter how terrible an accident, god gets the credit for those that survive or are spared from mutilation. If noone is hurt, it’s gods goodness and if nature stays the same, no accidents or terrible events, only the narual world in status quo as we know it, it’s proof of gods great miracle.
Talk about prefered readings.
Lya Kahlo says
“The congregation and volunteers designed and built the new church apparently without filing plans or gaining approval from local or state entities. Carroll, himself a homebuilder, said he was not aware of any requirements and remains unconvinced a government body should have a say in how a church is built. “If the state and the church are separate, I don’t understand why they think they’ve got jurisdiction,” he said.”
I am amazed at the level of stupidity in this paragraph. The man builds houses and wasn’t aware that he needed to follow gov’t guidelines? Did he fail to get a building permit? He doesn’t understand why the gov’t would tell him the requirements for building a structure because church and state should be separate?
Dale Austin says
The congregation must have been punished for one of the lesser sins. You know, making the punishment fit the crime and all. Now, if it had been one of the biggies, it would have fallen down on a packed Sunday. I guess god was only a little pissed.
MartÃn Pereyra says
If obviously God can’t design a neighborhood church, how can we believe that He DID design all living things?
“If obviously God can’t design a neighborhood church, how can we believe that He DID design all living things?”
Nicely pointed out. If this is an example of the best that “intelligent design” has to offer, clearly the fanatics are lost.
Obviously they “builded their house upon sand”…
Steve Watson says
Carroll must have taken out many building permits for his homebuilding business — I believe that both the insurers and municipalities exercise a fair bit of oversight regarding property transfer and occupancy (At least they do around here. Even if you were to try building a house “under the table”, you couldn’t get connected to municipal water, sewer and power without showing the paperwork). So he could hardly be unaware that permits, engineering approvals, wiring inspections etc. are required for any and all construction, just as a safety matter. It appears that he is a follower of the Kent Hovind/John McCoy interpretation of the Establishment clause — that religious buildings are exempt from such bureaucratic details.
Evan Murdock says
How did they manage to build the thing without permits in the first place? Maybe because I live in an historic neighborhood with lots of funky zoning laws I’m misinformed, but I would have assumed any large scale, unauthorized building project would get noticed by someone.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”… Apparently that was go-ahead enough for them. Who needs surveyors and engineers when your faith is rock-solid??? I’m surprised they didn’t try to build it on a lake.
Prof. Myers, just like your head nearly explodes when you read some of the inane non-sequiturs published by non-scientists writing about science, this one nearly made my lawyer head explode:
Steve Watson says
I would have assumed any large scale, unauthorized building project would get noticed by someone
That’s a bit of a puzzler. I would hazard a guess that there was previously a church building on the site (thus the service connections were already in place), and this was a rebuild/expansion project. I think that might let them fly under the Town Hall radar, as long as no official happened to actually drive by and look at the place (rural area, maybe?). However, this helps me understand why it is required (in Ontario) that one’s building permit be displayed prominently so it can be seen from the street — so that anyone from the city noticing work in progress can quickly verify that it was properly reviewed.
Julie Stahlhut says
Well, it’s fortunate that God didn’t want to kill or maim any members of the congregation. He just wanted to cost them a lot of money and subject them to prolonged inconvenience.
Actually, sounds like the Prince of Insufficient Light has darned them all to heck.
Jaaaasooonnn, oh, Jaaaasssooonnnn…..
We’re waiting for you to blame the ACLU for this one, Jason.
“let’s remove churches from all secular oversight and impose no demands or restrictions on their construction”
That sounds like an opportunity for evolution. ;-)
Being this stupid must really hurt you, PZ.
So they failed to follow the Biblical principle of giving unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and it came back and bit them in the butt. Good lesson to be learned.
Lya Kahlo says
The troll returneth.
Nice trollie. *pats the rough, pointy sparsly tufted head*
“I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started, all I had was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle in the swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show ’em! It sank into the swamp. So… I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up!”
Of course Jason never answers the question he just calls names.
Of course name calling is entirely biblical isn’t it Jason? Your a tremendous rep for the faith.
Lya Kahlo says
Well, Jason is dishonest, evasive, stock piled with logical fallacies, insulting and ineffective in debate.
Sounds pretty representative of the faith(tm) to me.
Cheering on the deaths of Christians, PZ? And to think you berated Jerry Falwell for supposedly “cheering on the bloodshed in the Middle East.” I guess when it comes to “fundies,” it’s okay to fantasize about them dying, eh?
Here’s a multiple choice question for everyone to answer.
Q: Who is considered a troll on this blog?
1) Someone who offers a differing viewpoint.
2) Someone who points out your own illogic and stupidity.
3) Someone who points out your own prejudice and bigotry.
4) All of the above.
It makes me wonder what city or county officials are members of the congregation that they could build a huge church and noboby noticed.
Ole Blue says
If they would have prayed more the church would not have fallen. Everyone knows that prayer works. Just last night I prayed that today would be Friday and look at what happened.
Ian H Spedding says
What would be the chances of suing God for malpractice or something if a church built by faith falls down on your head? Would it be a bit like that Billy Connolly movie The Man Who Sued God?
Funny, Jason. I once gave a differing opinion here. They went after my opinion and even *gasp* called me a name or two. But they never called me a troll. Maybe because I was making reasoned arguments and backed them up.
Of course, the fact that you are allowed to post here at all without being moderated out shows that PZ is more open minded than you are.
Even a casual observer sees many viewpoints expressed on this blog daily. You don’t express viewpoints unless you consider calling people stupid as such.
When have you done this? When have you even remotely showed someones logic to be incorrect? But you have shown plenty of illogical blather yourself.
You keep using bigotry and yet you would vote to stop 2 people who love each other from marrying. You would have no problem sending others to an eternal suffering and yet you come here and call others bigots for mere opinions that are not hurting anyone. How does ones world become so backward?
TorbjÃ¶rn Larsson says
“A person who enters unknown forums who bashes and insults forum members with unfounded arguments, or anyone that enters any sort of internet community for the sole purpose of harassing others is often referred to as a troll.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll#In_Internet_Forums )
Already in this short thread you fulfilled both criteria.
The only reason he comes here is because he doesn’t like us or our viewpoints.
He really should stick to posting at Little Green Footballs or Powerline.
Jason, I couldn’t really detect a point in your comment at all. Shouldn’t you at least make a point before complaining that we’re not listening to you?
Pastor Carroll should try reading The Art Of Construction by Mario Salvadori, an Italian engineer. It’s a delightful book written as a beginning introduction to structural principles.
“The new church was insured and Carroll said he expects the collapse will be covered.” – from the story
Do you think this will hold? I can’t imagine that the insurance company will cover the loss now that they know that there were no building permits issued, unless they were supposed to have someone go over the paperwork and that person didn’t do his or her job. Whose responsibility does that fall to?
Just contact the County and do a records search for which company the Church was Insured and give them a call. I’m positive the adjuster would like to hear from you.
As evidenced by this bunch of irrational crap, Jason, you are not only a troll, but a dishonest little weasel. If you had any background whatsoever in engineering of any kind, you would apalled by the arrogance of Pastor Carroll. His arrogance could very easily have killed people.
Irony is a material used in the creation of government policy, not construction.
A Different Jason says
Jason (that other one) is so sad. He comes here and freely makes stupid comments for everyone to read (and laugh at) while he moderates his own blog.
What a coward.
Kinda makes me think of a cartoon he has on his blog that shows a Palestinian soldier hiding behind a baby cartridge while shooting at an Israeli soldier who is defending a baby cartridge.
Jason is the Palestinian; his moderation is the baby cartridge.
A Different Jason says
Of course, all those cartridges should be CARRIAGES. Was not careful enough with the spell checker…
They’re CARRIAGES? I’m disappointed. I was hoping that you were talking about the ammunition for some sort of cannon that fires babies. It’d be sort of like the stork, or finding ’em under cabbage leaves, but modernized.
It was a funny misspelling, at least..
Kenneth Fair says
I think the best response to Carroll’s objection is the same as that given by Escamilla County Commisioner Mike Whitehead in response to a similar objection from Kent Hovind: “Scripture also says ‘Render unto Caesar what Caesar demands.’ And right now, Caesar demands a building permit.”
Yeah, that was classic. :)
Steve Watson says
From Jason’s anti-PZ blog:
Note that the quote is an out of context sentence fragment, lacking the appropriate editorial marks, and the full text (scroll up) has a somewhat different sense. Blatant quote-mine.
In context, PZ is simply illustrating the absurdity of what has been aptly called the Argument From Incomplete Devastation.
The Implausible Michael Crichton says
Jason: Yes, your stupidity _does_ hurt us, but it’s the good kind of pain; the pain that lets us know that we’re not idiots. :-P
I’m curious whether ol’ Jason recognizes how illogical his arguments are. Take the present one:
How thick do you have to be to use that argument when the first line of this post is:
I mean really… It is the first flippin’ sentence!
So Jason, I challenge you to explain why a church collapsing due to the stupidity of the Pastor’s – given that the event did not hurt anybody – isn’t funny. I find it freakin’ hilarious.
Jason simply has to be throwin’ out that crap knowing it is moronic to get a reaction because he is unable to actually debate. Sometimes he is mildly amusing, but… wait… isn’t that the definition of a troll?
Man, did you all check out the idiocy over at PZ Myers “exposed”. Ol’ Jason said:
WTF? If so, why didn’t God move the Pastor’s heart to get a permit and build the “house of the Lord” up to code? Wouldn’t that be more efficient? Why didn’t he move a building inspector to miraculously show up and tell the Pastor “Hey dude, this looks crappy.”?
Does God work only in the most convoluted and inefficient ways possible? And in ways that can’t be distinguished from the more parsimonious explanation? (In this case the most parsimonious explanation is – “Twit build church poorly. Church fall down.”)
And if God only works inefficiently and indirectly, why should I worship him? After all, it sounds like he can only do stuff I could do myself. Worshipping oneself isn’t really appropriate, so it seems worshippin’ somebody less capable than oneself would be a really bad idea.
Scott Hatfield says
Scott Hatfield here. I’ve been taken to task here more than once. That’s OK with me; freedom of speech and all that. Strong, provocative language was used. That’s also OK with me; I’m a big boy and I can take it.
No one here has ever referred to me as a troll, however. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I don’t do any of the following:
1) Engage in harassment
2) Repeat arguments endlessly without offering factual support
3) Abuse others for not agreeing with my views
You need to look in the mirror, buddy. The problem is not that you’re a believer or have views that differ with those of others. The problem is that the way troll expresses his or her view is corrosive to discourse. I’d much rather be read the Riot Act by critics of religion than do the same, or allow the same to go unchallenged.
So here’s my challenge, Jason: just what purpose that you find personally ennobling could possibly be served by your conduct here? Explain. I’m all ears.
Wow someone actually read his blog. Impressive that brings his readership up to 2.
So God, not being forgiving, chooses to make a church collapse at the expense of a congregation who likely thought all the permits where filed. So in reality it doesn’t punish the pastor but the poor old lady who gives money to the church and will undoubtably give more to build a new church.
Or simply shoddy workmanship caused the collapse.
But that is to reasonable for trolls, everything has to be done according to ideology.
I’m reminded of a bit of hoo-ha that went on about some church building a “evolution very bad” exhibit (I won’t soil the word museum here) but they hadn’t filed a building permit. The leader of the chruch, as could be expected started jabbering about the seperation of chruch and state and opression (funny they cite they when they think it’s to their advantage). The head of the local board was not impressed. He said “the bible says render unto ceaser what belongs to ceaser. And right now Ceaser wants a building permit.”
sorry to go off topic there.
Stephen Frug says
In the spirit of critiquing one’s own side to strengthen it — an idea that liberals in general approve of, and rightly so — I, as someone who likes PZ’s writing and agree with much of it, find this disturbing:
I’m a little bit sympathetic with Pastor Carroll’s position, though: let’s remove churches from all secular oversight and impose no demands or restrictions on their construction, except that in the spirit of fair warning we should require large signs be posted all around them, announcing the hazard but reassuring congregants that god himself is holding the building up. That’ll drive everyone with a lick of sense away from them, and those consenting adults (we’ll have a new reason to forbid the attendance of children!) who believe in ghosts propping up the bricks…well, they’ll be removed from the population one way or another.
Liberals generally don’t believe in leaving people to their fate, even if that fate is self-chosen. PZ, of course, will say he’s just joking — he doesn’t really mean this. And I believe him. But I still find it bothersome. Isn’t that what Ann Coulter says when she jokes about killing people? Why is it cute or funny to joke about letting religious people die?
I say this in hopes that people here will not just take me for a troll. I agree with PZ about the merits of the beliefs of Pastor Carroll and his ilk. I just think we should be careful not to slide into the habits of the right — wishing, even in jest, for the death of our (non-threatening) enemies.
Peter Barber says
Lya Kahlo wrote:
It’s quite sweet, isn’t it?
Like pavlova – hahaha!
Psst! Yeah, you, you demented fuckwit! What the ‘ell is your name again? Jason!
Lemme ‘splain something: people here are making fun of you! I mean, you come across as a complete dumbfuck asshole to everyone, posters and lurkers alike! Your so darn dumb you aren’t even a troll. Imean, I actually pity you, in that “There-but-for-the-grace-of-Goddess-go-I” way. Unlike ANY other demented fuckwit I have come across, you sound like a tightassed, Xian version of Homer Simpson, except REALLY conceited and without any of his loveable qualities.
I thought someone should, like, let you know – even someone who thinks you are worthless crap and the perfect example of Twain definition of a “human being.”
That’s as kind a word as you deserve. Now, fuck off.
I think you’re missing the point.
He’s saying let the people that believe that god will save them from harm put their money where their faith is…
Those sitting on the fence might back away… very slowly… *did you hear a loud creak?*
What’s truly funny about this whole thing is that these people don’t really consider why those regulations are there for: to stop people from getting hurt in crappily made buildings! Geez, what a bunch of morons. Lucky morons, at that.
I suggest you read A Modest Proposal by Johnathan Swift. Hmmm, check that — you should read about that book – it might go over your head. The technique of taking a point to its logical extreme in order to highlight the absurdity of same is a tried and true technique. Check out the latest from TDS for an example:
Oh? And what do you think liberals typically do believe in?
Jason, just think how much fun you could have if you gave up that religion of yours and joined the enlightened set.
You know you want to! It’s never too late.
George Cauldron says
Do you believe, word for word, in the literal accuracy of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments?
Yes or no.
Why have you been refusing to answer this question?
George Cauldron says
Jason, you KNOW you’re a troll. Quit the whiny indignation routine. It’s boring.
So jinx, are you still not allowing comments at your PZ-stalking blog?
TorbjÃ¶rn Larsson says
Grog et al:
Thanks all for exposing Jason for being a lying crank behind the troll.
My cephalopod, an entire blog concerned with “exposing” PZ. Without commenting allowed… What mental or social defects can account for such oddness, one wonders. Sad!
Stephen Frug says
Theron: of course I’ve read “A Modest Proposal”. (And thanks for keeping the discussion civil with that “over your head” comment. Shows a real commitment to reasoned discourse, it does.)
The difference is that Swift was discussing harm to people whom he actually was fighting for — satirizing those who didn’t care by taking it to the logical conclusion. (The same is true for the Daily Show.) It’s an entirely different thing to joke about harming those people one dislikes, disrespects, and is struggling with. That’s why Ann Coulter’s jokes about killing liberals aren’t funny. And that’s why I find what PZ said disturbing, too.
PZ didn’t suggest killing church goers. Read it again.
He suggested leaving them to their own devices. Very different.
Stephen Frug says
PZ didn’t suggest killing church goers. Read it again. He suggested leaving them to their own devices. Very different.
You’re right. And that’s why I said that it’s disturbing to joke “about letting religious people die?” in my first comment; and why I talked about “leaving people to their fate”.
Of course PZ isn’t doing what Ann Coulter does, which is joke about actually killing people. But I think joking about leaving people to die — which is what this seems to amount to (“well, they’ll be removed from the population one way or another.”) I think it’s one of the duties of those fighting the good fight (as PZ clearly is) to hold themselves to a higher standard. And I think that it’s one of those duties of those who support such people to point out when they’re edging out of the territory of the acceptable and into the territory of the disturbing.
Look, anyone foolish enough to believe God will protect them in such a building is, well, foolish. But there are all sorts of reasons that people would skimp on building codes if they weren’t there; that’s why we have them. And people being foolish is not a reason to imagine their deaths with a giggle.
So what’s the problem with letting people reap what they sow? That’s how selection-feedback systems work. Why should we be concerned about intervening and preserving people who just can’t cut it?
George Cauldron says
Perhaps in the long run a religion that dictates that buildings need not be made to be safe is not a religion we really want in charge.
My apologies for calling you just “Frug.” I mean, I know it’s your name, but you signed your whole name, and I forgot that. I’m also sorry you think I was uncivil, but it did seem to me that you had missed PZ’s point, that it went over your head. Does PZ not care about whether those people live or die? I doubt it, but I can’t speak for him. But I read his comment as tongue in cheek. I don’t know your background, but I do know mine. As a religious minority growing up in the deep South, I became accustomed to two things – 1) How absurd the fundies are and 2) How little they understand how absurd they are. They think they’re put upon, the victims in everything. They can’t see how heavy their hand is upon everyone else (at least in the South where I live). They can’t see how privileged they are – they think if their faith is not endorsed by the government and society at large, then they are being persecuted! Where’s my endorsement? And they get so upset when the religious minorities in their midst make rude jokes. “What did we do to deserve that?” they say, even as they talk about how everyone who doesn’t agree with them is going to hell! Talk about elitism – sheesh. So spare me your concerns about PZ’s homicidal tendencies and your “confusion” about his satire. I can do without.
Um, I can’t tell for sure, but you’re either engaging a concern troll or someone Who Just Doesn’t Get It. Funny how little space there is between the two. That he can’t see the difference between one kind of joke (leaving people to their own devices to reap what they sow) with another (actively calling for the killing of certain people) cetainly stamps him as lame or willful.
“Look, anyone foolish enough to believe God will protect them in such a building is, well, foolish. ”
It is much simpler than that. Anyone foolish enough to believe in god is, well, foolish. Building any sort of church is foolish and a waste of time and money.
Then again, with this god, if you build something correctly and it doesn’t like it, it will collapse it for you. Look at the walls of Jericho.
I’m surprised they didn’t try to build it on a lake.
OOOHH! they had it easy. We used to dream of livin’ in a lake. We used to live in a shoebox in the middle of the road…
Your description of what a Troll really is seems spot on, to me.
Ed Darrell says
Gee, Texas is pretty Baptist, but even here, almost all the churches are occupied on Thursdays. At our church we have a board meeting, or a Cub Scout Pack meeting, or other Scout meetings, or AA meetings, or women’s club meetings, or something.
Is Thursday Bingo Night at the local Catholic church in that borough of Alabama?
You had a shoebox? Oh, we used to dream of having a shoebox. All we had was a 5 inch square of paper with a hole in the middle, 6 of us all crammed in there, we did…
“Jason, just think how much fun you could have if you gave up that religion of yours and joined the enlightened set.
You know you want to! It’s never too late. ”
Are you absolutely sure you want him? He could change sides without changing personality you know….
Ah, sometimes I just feel like a good rant.
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi’ his belt.
George Cauldron says
Luxury! We used to have to get out of the lake at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of ‘ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!
Here are some Christians you might have confidance in.
“Awards were presented in five home categories: affordable, custom, factory-built, production and innovative in three climate regions: hot, moderate, and cold. In 1999 there were eight gold winners, three being in the cold climate region. They were: Christian Builders in Minnesota (Custom Home), Ryan Homes in New York (Affordable Home), and Colorado Dream Homes in Colorado (Production Home). A panel of judges who evaluated applications on energy performance and the integration of energy efficiency into the design, construction, and marketing of new homes chose the winners.”
However, christian in this case is family name of the owners of the company. Who says there aren’t good Christians?
Here is a bit more on Elk River which I mentioned in another forum.
“On-the-job evangelism extends far beyond Ripka’s community. In 2001, Angie Tracey, an employee at the Centers for Disease Control, organized what she calls a ”comprehensive workplace ministry,” among the first officially sanctioned employee religious groups within the federal government. She says that many colleagues have been ”saved” at her group’s Bible studies and other gatherings on government property, and she describes the federal agency’s not-yet-saved employees as ”fertile ground.” Her program has spread rapidly within the C.D.C., and employees at other divisions of the federal government — the Census Bureau, the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management — have contacted her about bringing the Word into their workplaces, too.”
As to the banker who established a xtian church, “So, the first thing to know about Chuck Ripka is that he says Jesus talks to him — actually speaks to him, calling him ”Chuck.”” and
“He worked odd jobs after high school and was born again when he was 21, during an Amway meeting. Shortly after, Jesus began talking to him. ”I used to assume that all Christians heard God the way I do,” he said. ”But I realized over time that a lot of people don’t hear, or they don’t recognize, his voice. They think, Are these my thoughts or God’s?””
“Don Couchman, a dentist in Colorado who has made his dental practice a workplace ministry, related a story not long ago about how in the middle of performing a root canal, the Lord spoke to him and told him to go on a pilgrimage to Argentina. I interrupted to ask how he knew it was the Lord. ”The sheep know the shepherd’s voice,” he said. (Some workplace Bible-study groups, including those at the Riverview bank, feature training in how to distinguish between God’s voice and random thoughts.)”
Now there is a useful training program.
Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean wit’ tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit’ bread knife.
TorbjÃ¶rn Larsson says
“And that’s why I said that it’s disturbing to joke “about letting religious people die?” in my first comment; and why I talked about “leaving people to their fate”.”
Are you saying that we should declare these people incompetent and act on that? It seems both patronising and difficult, especially considering the freedom of religion. (Of course, joking about them is patronising too. But not as offensive.)
We don’t need to ‘declare’ them anything. If they’re incompetent, they are. Our labels mean nothing.
George Cauldron says
I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. they won’t believe you.
George Cauldron says
PZ Myers says
This is silly. The joke is that I would loudly oppose any attempt to remove churches from regulation and oversight, and even think their tax-exempt status is criminal and damaging. The satirical part is the idea that I would propose our society allow a further erosion of common sense.
Jason, I’m openly religious and I comment here, once or twice about what I saw as an reductive discussion of people with religious faith.
I’m also on the sidebar.
Of course, I’m not contemptuous and abusive of our host and his readers. Think that might be it?
PZ Myers says
I also seem to have approvingly linked to a post by Slacktivist the other day. I must be really confused if I think he is a fellow atheist.
The bit about Caesar wanting a building permit is a great sound bite, but this ain’t really about Caesar (or his modern stand-ins). The building didn’t fall down because they didn’t have a permit, it fell down because the design, execution or both were faulty.
Skipping the permit process meant that they threw away an opportunity to have their work checked for mistakes by experts, but this wasn’t the direct cause of the failure.
The real lesson isn’t anything to do with “rendering unto Caesar” or dealing with duly constipated authority. The lesson is that the natural universe operates in a consistent way, with no supernatural exemptions given.
Thinking that the building code has no jurisdiction over church buildings is arrogant. Thinking that the laws of physics have no jurisdiction over structures built by churches is downright delusional.
TorbjÃ¶rn Larsson says
Right. But I believe there is a difference legally, where such things must be declared. So what you say is probably a non sequitur here.
Stephen Frug, to quote Batman, “I am not going to kill you, but I don’t have to save you.”
But seriously, we do want to save everyone, we just have a **drastically** different definition of what we mean by that. We want to save them from pain, fear, harm, avoidable accidents, bad construction, intentional acts of malpractice/incompetence, etc. The sort of people described in this case would be almost as happy if someone died in horrible pain and fear, do to an avoidable accident, brought about by bad construction “and” intentional incompetence, since its **far** more important that the congregations “sould” are saved, than their lives… Its simply a happy accident, from their perspective, that no one was in it when it happened **and** they think they should have the same right as a patient in a hospital, when building a church. I.e., a doctor **cannot** perform life saving surgery on a patient who refuses it, the pastor and others seem to think that the “state” should not have the right to demand that they build to code, when it can kill dozens, or even hundreds, of people. No one in their right mind would think this is a sane point of view, but if that is the way they really want it, see the above Batman quote. If they really truly a) don’t want help and b) manage to convince the courts somehow to allow it, its a bit fuzzy as to “if” I have any right to interfere beyond what PZ suggested about preventing children from entering the building.
The real joke is, a few hundred years ago, this is “exactly” the way things worked. Some moron build a huge cathedral with pinnicles and arches, etc., everyone oohed and awed about th glory it brought to God, then the first time an earthqauke hit, thousands of bodies had to be dragged out of the rubble. No attempt was made to do even the “minimum” of posting warning signs of demanding that children be left at home, instead of risked. Not understanding why the #$#@$#@ things are different now is precisely why the thinking of people like this fundamentally no different than a midieval priest in Europe, whose biggest worry was if he had polished the rat droppings off the candles well enough to not offend the plague ridden fools who would be coming in soon to *pray* to be healed from it. We are talking about people that would be “happier”, in their ignorance, shuffling around a field harvesting grain with a scythe, and using the left over sheaf to cover the roof of their mud block houses, than living in the modern world, where you have to learn silly things, like how much weight a roof beam will “actually” support.
Seriously, if one where to be 100% truthful, probably less than 1% of the everyone around you was not at one time a complete nit wit. Most out grow it, some don’t. We can laugh at them, or you can worry ourselves to death about how many there are around us, if we are lucky, they will die from some stupid stunt or bad mistake “before” our stress from worrying about it kills us. In the end, the reality is, “some” people think being an idiot is the equivalent of winning the lotto from God. The don’t want help, they get it anyway, then whine and scream like an infant at the audacity of the rest of us to try to help them. We can laugh at the obsurdity that comes from the logical conclusions that “must” come about when such complaints are honored, or we can ourselves wail out of frustration and die a slow death of frstration, irritation, aggrivation and depression, at how many of these people are actually out there. Guess which one I prefer, never mind how many people might be “offended” by it?
Yeah, he’s definitely being oppressed
The insurance company doesn’t quite see it that way.
Neither does his denomination
I think the only principle the good pastor is defending is his own disinclination to being sued.
This sounds a lot like insurance fraud. Any builder worth anything at all will build a house or building of any kind properly. Permits or not. This “builder” is either full of shit or the intent was to insure it and then collect on the failed structure. Google “Building failures”. They are mostly historic. I do not know of even one building to have collapsed except by natural disaster. It just does not happen. This just seems so wrong in so many ways. Permits or not. To get an occupancy perrmit anywhere I’ve worked requires inspections. No insurance company will insure a building built out of code.
I have 25 years General contracting+ 5 years specific to Inspections and code compliance
If they built it for $100,000 they probably insured it for $200,000. HMMMM what is that smell.