Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Creationism Is Embarrassing

I've been in the Creation Museum, and while I can see how its arguments can be persuasive as one walks past dinosaur steeds and life-size replicas of the Garden of Eden (especially if one happens to believe in those in the first place), they tend to die a withering death when confronted by reality.

From the Answers In Genesis website:

It is distressing to me when I buy Creationist materials, learn something, post it in a forum, only to be told, what I have been told is not true.

Here is an example of someone "correcting" a statement made by a Creationist in a forum, saying that mutations DO add beneficial information to an organism. He refers to a specific experiment I have no knowledge of.:

“We have observed mutation adding information to a genome. We have observed mutation adding useful information to a genome. A clonal culture of bacteria was grown over 1000 generations, and monitored throughout. It turns out, the bacteria’s DNA mutated, and the variation was then acted upon by natural selection. Even though the bacteria started out as clonal (no variation), it developed variation in its phenotype, and then responded to natural selection.”

My son wrote a paper using information from Mike Riddle, yet his geology teacher said it was full of “inaccuracies.” I was very embarrassed.

Need help refuting.

—D.K., U.S.
Notice that the objective of this individual is not to learn what the truth of the matter is. He learned some arguments, passed them on to his son, and they both were embarrassed when they were told how awfully ignorant they were about the actual facts. Rather than celebrate the opportunity to learn something new, he goes right back to the original, inaccurate source for more strategies to help him "refute" those who pointed out his abject ignorance. This is not a person who understands or appreciates education, only indoctrination.

In response, he receives the AIG party line:
...historical science is heavily dependent on presuppositions, since what is being examined took place in the unobservable past. Did God create the universe and everything in it in six literal days as written in the book of Genesis, or did the universe start with a big bang followed by billions of years of evolution to bring about living things? The former is based on the Word of God as truth; the latter is based on man’s ideas as truth.
In other words, "if you disagree with us, then you disagree with God." What Christian wants to be put in that position? Even the threat of embarrassment by people who actually know the science isn't enough to dissuade them from perpetuating their ignorance.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fisting and God's Will

This is hi-larious, to be sure, and part of me wants to share this just so we all can have a good belly-laugh.

However, the other part of me always has a point to make, and the point is this: never underestimate the range of interpretation with which people can stretch (!) the Bible to suit their own psychological needs.

The sex act called fisting is a source of confusion and misconceptions for many Christians. This is unfortunate, because it means that many Christian men and women are depriving themselves of what could be the most spiritual sexual experience of their lives. Like anal sex and BDSM, fisting is often mistakenly associated with the gay community or is considered a sex act too extreme to be appropriate for Christian couples. Not only are these views incorrect, but fisting actually has a scriptural precedent, as we will show.
Find out all about it here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kill The Pill

Everyone who thinks the anti-abortion movement only has their sights set on pregnant women, raise your hands please.

Okay, everyone with their hands raised, YOU'RE WRONG.

If you thought Roe v. Wade was the only Supreme Court decision targeted for overturning, let me introduce you to Griswold v. Connecticut:
The Connecticut statute forbidding use of contraceptives violates the right of marital privacy which is within the penumbra of specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights.
That is to say, the Bill of Rights grants married people the right to use birth control if they so choose.

Not so fast, says the ultra-Catholic American Life League:
This confusing language, which has no relationship whatsoever to what the Founding Fathers intended, gave married women permission to use the birth control pill. The Supreme Court literally created the "right to privacy" out of thin air.

We now know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that not only did the Supreme Court literally make up the right that you claim gives you permission to use birth control, but the most popular form of birth control, the pill, can kill innocent preborn children. If there is a chance that human beings are going to be murdered, I am going to do everything in my power to help prevent that from happening. If you knew there was a chance that someone might poison your neighbor, don't you think you would try to notify your neighbor and do as much as you could to help save a life?
Stock up on your birth control, ladies- the Catholics are coming to get you!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lock Up Your Daughters

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to ritually claim your daughters' genitals for the good of society. 

It's positively creeptastic, no matter how well the room is lit.

This year, though, I noticed a little something familiar in all the pomp and circumstance:

Hmm... Where else have I seen young girls in fancy dresses dancing around a central phallic object in a ritual setting soaked with sexual context?

Oh, snap! Well, color me surprised that Christians have borrowed a pagan myth and rewritten it to serve their own theological purposes. It's got to be a singular situation.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Which Is Worse?

A couple disturbing stories slipped past my desk today, both of which highlight religious immorality, but in slightly different ways.

The first took place in a small village in Northern India, where two people (including one pregnant woman) were brutally murdered for daring to defy the traditional and religious requirements of their culture. Their crime: falling in love and attempting to procreate, even though they both are from the same village. Apparently, people from the same village are considered to be the equivalent of siblings, and so falling in love with your high school sweetheart is essentially incest.

The second took place a little closer to home; one of the 40 (40!) pastors at Prestonwood Baptist Church here in Dallas was arrested for soliciting sex from whom he thought was a 13-year old girl. He arranged a meeting, showed up with a bunch of condoms, but discovered that he'd actually been talking dirty to the cops. It's been said before, but there have been so many Christian leaders discovered to be closeted kinksters, homophobic homosexuals, and outright pedophiles that this is really becoming quite the cliche. I wonder how long it'll take before the default assumption about Christian pastors is that they're one of the above, and just really good at hiding it?

Now, both of these are horrible, although the double-murder is substantially worse than the attempted statutory rape. However, I find the responses in both situations to be interesting in their differences. The Indian village that committed the atrocity is actually proud of what happened, and is defiantly resisting any suggestion that what occurred was immoral. On the other hand, Prestonwood has issued a press release acknowledging that what their pastor tried to do was wrong. And yet, both seek to resolve these immoral situations with the superstitious and traditional contexts which spawned them- making it hard for me to determine which is ultimately worse.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Inevitable Disappointment

I'm on the email list for a really interesting church in the North Texas area- the Village Church, pastored by a guy named Matt Chandler. I visited there once on the recommendation of a friend, and couldn't help but like the place. And yet, I was a little put off by how much I couldn't help but like the place. It was a bit like a theological Disney World- by which I mean, it's a church that's (subconsciously or otherwise) designed to be attractive. The pastor is young and dynamic, and reminds me uncannily of the itinerant on-leave-from-seminary wannabe preachers who used to visit my high school youth group, usually to much acclaim.

When I visited, there was a tremendous emphasis on having a genuine experience. The unspoken implication was that at other churches, people sang songs and read the Bible and worshipped God, but at the Village Church, they really meant it. And you could tell the really meant it, because they mentioned it every five minutes.

I don't really want to be too hard on them, since virtually everyone I met there was incredibly nice and friendly, and I could sense a real level of sincerity that, if it didn't impress Jesus, would at least win over the Great Pumpkin. Plus, a friend goes there, so it can't be all bad, right?

On my way out, I noticed a stack of flyers advertising some kind of seminar coming up in the next couple weeks. Peering past the design elements and the catchy phrases, I could make out that it was a subtly-euphamized gay-deprogramming seminar

Gah. Just when I'm starting to like the place, they mention that they like helping people get rid of their gay. It's that inevitable disappointment hiding behind some obscure Bible passage, just waiting to trip me up as I'm walking past the pews.

I received another reminder of this in my email inbox today- a request for people to go to Myanmar in support of a charity that provides drinking water for those in need. Yeah! All right! Good humanitarian efforts for a good cause at the right time! This is a church!

But then, the inevitable disappointment:
The country has recently been one of the most closed off countries in the world to the gospel, and the humanitarian crises there had been escalating as the government continued oppressing its people. In light of the natural disaster, the doors to Myanmar are opening as the level of need is beyond anything we can imagine. Please keep this country and its people in your prayers.
I suppose there are worse excuses to evangelize, but damned if a part of me didn't shrivel up after reading that.