Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Happened To Christian Compassion?

Lloyd Clarke of Frankenmuth, MA, who happens to be an atheist, has asked that crosses be removed from two bridges and the seal of his town. Now, there is nothing terribly usual about this situation. It's far too common for Christian symbology and beliefs to infiltrate aspects of the government. And it isn't unusual for those who believe in the separation of church of state to request that the symbols, or whatever, be removed.

To be fair, the town removed the crosses on the bridges, but they are fighting tooth and nail to keep the cross on the seal. And that's not uncommon either.

Here's something else about this situation that doesn't seem to be uncommon:

Children taunted the 66-year-old Clarke. A letter writer accused him of trying to reduce Frankenmuth to "Satan's pit." Another said crosses were as much a part of the town as its renowned chicken dinners...

The local paper received a deluge of letters that questioned why Clarke moved there, accused him of harassing them, and said he should move to Russia or China.

Talk radio called him an idiot. A blogger told him to pull in his horns.

Two prominent themes run through the reaction to Clarke's request, themes we've seen played and replayed again in the fight to keep church and state separate in a country that is dominated by those of the Christian faith: the Christians are acting belligerantly toward the minority en masse and are simultaneously claiming that they are being "harrassed" for their beliefs. I don't think I have to point out the inconsistency in this particular situation. Sounds like textbook projection to me. But my question is: what happened to all that Christian compassion and humility I keep hearing about?

Christians will often say that their religion is one of compassion, love and humility. But these certain aren't traits being displayed by the Christians of Frankenmuth, nor have they been displayed by Christians in other separation of church and state disputes. I think it is about time for Christians like those in Frankenmuth to clear up this contradiction one way or the other. Either admit that your religion isn't about compassion and humility and loving your neighbor or start acting like it is.

And for those of you who have the thought "those aren't real Christians (TM)" on the tip of your brain, answer me this: are there any real Christians (TM)? Where are they? Why aren't they loudly condemning those who act the way the people of Frankenmuth have?

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yeah, That'll Work

Apparently, people have taken to praying at gas stations in the hopes that God will bring down gas prices.

Now, I understand the feeling that many of these people have that there really aren't any viable options available to bring gas prices down. Then again, as someone who takes mass transit, I haven't really looked into it. At the end of the day, however, asking the big man in the sky to bring gas prices is, we know (and I think they suspect), going to be wholly ineffectual. How many of these people wasted gas getting to the gas station to pray for lower gas prices? How many of these people, who are so concerned about high gas prices, are looking into alternative means of bringing the price of gas down?

This is the problem with irrationality. It doesn't just infect thought, it blocks rational advancement. Rather than wasting time praying and gas getting there, these people would be much better served by putting their reasoning and creativity to work to try to come up with the solution that no one has hit upon yet. Even if they didn't come up with the solution, they would have exercised their minds, and potentially eliminated bad solutions - both of which are far more worthwhile than talking to imaginary friends.

Thanks to CrucieFiction for the video.

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Tee Hee Hee

Found on GraphJam:

If you don't get it, you really, really need to watch more Monty Python. Here, I'll get you started:

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, how close we are.

Chimps have a better memory than you do.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Do you want a creationist VP? How 'bout an exorcist?

This guy... Bobby Jindal, is not only a self-proclaimed exorcist, but also wants ID taught in schools. And he's on the short list of potential McCain running mates. Yikes!

There is a part of me, though, that really wished that this story hadn't broken until after he had been selected. That would have led to lots of election media fun. But, since it's out there, might as well spread it.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah

We all remember the Tom Cruise couch-jumping incident. It was one of many strange incidents on the downward path of Cruise's career. Well, here is a new version of what really happened when Cruise shook Oprah on the fateful day. This is so hilarious that not only can I not stop watching it, but I had to share.

And remember, folks, Scientology claims that upper level scientologists like Cruise (who is an OT7) have superhuman powers.

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Monday, June 9, 2008


Abiogenesis in 10 minutes... with some great music!

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Excuse me, could you put that WiFi out?

Having been born and raised in the Albuquerque metropolitan area, I always thought Santa Fe's tagline - "the city different" - was fitting. The problem with Santa Fe was that the "different" in the city wasn't just different, they were a tad bit looney. Usually, however, this was harmless. This, however, is just completely ludicrous:

A group in Santa Fe says the city is discriminating against them because they say that they're allergic to the wireless Internet signal. And now they want
Wi-Fi banned from public buildings.

And the city is looking into whether or not setting up Wi-Fi is discrimination!

Now, what little data there is on this seems to indicate that these people are not actually allergic to Wi-Fi or other electrical fields. Their problems may very well be psychosematic. See here and here. More research is needed. But even if they were allergic to Wi-Fi, that doesn't mean that shops should be forbidden from putting up Wi-Fi because a handful of people can't deal. If Santa Fe does ban Wi-Fi in public areas on the basis of NO research, I'm going to walk into city hall with a stack of research on pollen allergies and on behalf of myself and the millions of americans who have pollen allergies, I'm going to demand that they remove all plantlife from the city limits. Any business that has any sort of landscaping -grass, trees, flowers, bushes, anything live- is discriminating against allergy sufferers. Howdya like that?

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

L. Ron Hubbard Wasn't a Con Man, Was He?

Is this really the sort of man that you'd claim as the great prophet of your "religion"? Well, if it's a vicious, mind controlling, money grubbing cult, then I guess this would be the sort of person you would find leading it.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh Noes! The Brits are Crazy Too

Just listen to the arguments and the statements that these brits are making. I once thought that brits were so much educated, logical and thoughtful than Americans. If this show is representative, they may very well have the same problem we do. Hopefully it's not and they don't. I don't know if I'm capable of turning away from my anglophilia.

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Understand DNA in 10 Minutes

DonExodus2 is one of my favorite YouTube educators. He's just posted a video explaining the basics of DNA which I found so informative that I just had to post it. So, here it is:

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