Showing posts with label christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christian. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Eric Hovind Trying to Score Anti-Evolution Points Off Duggar Child Molestation?


Okay, so maybe it's because I'm Canadian, but I don't really know who this Eric Hovind guy is. I hear he's the son of some nutty huckster preacher who's in jail for tax evasion or something. That's not Eric's fault, of course, but this is:
"If evolution is true, then there is no absolute right and wrong,” Hovind said. “If evolution is true Josh should not have admitted his faults over a decade ago because what one evolved bag of molecules does to another bag of molecules just doesn’t really matter. If evolution is true there is no ultimate Judge on the bench who will hold every man, woman, and child responsible for their actions. And if evolution is true you will not give an account for every idle word you speak."
He's talking about Josh Duggar who's the eldest offspring of Jim Bob and Michelle. I usually delight in recounting all the terrifyingly hilarious views of the Duggars, but Josh molested his sisters and other girls back when he was 14 or 15 and that's just not funny -- really... not funny.

What the hell is this Hovind guy talking about? Whatever it is, it sure does scare the crap out of me when I hear people tell me that without a belief in some guy sitting on a cloud, they'd go around raping their sisters or protecting those who rape their sisters. Pretty scary stuff.

Oh, and I was under the impression that Josh got caught by Jim Bob.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Conrad Black Has Done It Again

What have we done?
If I recall correctly, it began when Conrad Black wrote something about the shallow shabby world of the militant atheist. I assure you, I put my best men on round the clock duty to decipher his prose and tease out any meaning they could find -- even that guy who portrayed Alan Turing in that movieBenedict Cumberbatch. Yes, no expense was spared. Eventually I contrasted Black's work with a screed against atheists by a Zimbabwe preacher. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Other atheist bloggers processed the Rorschach Test in their own way. They took what meaning they could from Black's words and attempted to address inaccuracies and absurdities outright. This was a noble endeavour, but what is the real cost here? Could it have agitated Black into writing this equally bewildering response piece in the National Post: A reply to my atheist critics — they protest too much? Can the planet sustain more of this?
Not since I have written about cats and dogs has a column of mine in this newspaper stirred such a voluminous and highly charged response as my reflections here last week on John Lennox’s success in debates, as a scientific Christian, with the most articulate and learned atheists on the anti-God debating circuit. These exchanges have become almost an itinerant counter-ministry of the media and academia throughout the Western world.

Most messages I have received have been favourable, but the tenor of the unfavourable messages the newspaper and I have received is so generally vitriolic, and often abusive and bigoted, that they incite my return to the subject. Obviously, if I had any problem with people taking exception to what I write, I wouldn’t write for publication, and as I have probably been more severely and lengthily defamed than anyone in Canada since Louis Riel (where the calumniators often had truth as a partial defence), I am not bothered by it. None of the abuse was noteworthy and there were only three cyber-assailants who were so unrelievedly uncivil that I asked my IT adviser to ensure that I never received anything from their addresses again.
Is this translated into English from some other language?

I'm sorry. I just had to get that out of my system, having read the piece in its entirety. I'll spare you the play by play on this. If you're interested in a little pain to break up a boring Saturday afternoon, please be my guest and assign any sort of meaning to it you wish. Believe me, there's enough there to write a book.

I will share this. During his piece, I felt like Black was being a real tease. It often seemed that concrete proof or specific argument was just a couple of sentences away --- like a mirage -- perhaps just beyond this historical or literary reference -- perhaps hiding behind that rhetorical flourish. But when I got there... nothing.

It was only the last paragraph that I obtained enlightenment. I got to a real piece of meat and it really stuck in my craw.
The atheists’ domination of our centres of learning and information is a great vulnerability in the West: it creates acute resentment and dissent among the more religiously tolerant majority, separates learning and information from the greatest pillar of our civilization’s historic development, invites contempt from violently sectarian societies, especially Islamists, and is repugnant to the entire concept of freedom of thought and expression that our universities and free press are supposed to be defending. This is why people like John Lennox, who flatten the marquee atheist tribunes at every encounter, perform such a valuable service. And it must also have something to do with the reaction, like that of roaring and wounded animals, of a distinct minority of my correspondents last week. If God were dead, they would not still be trying, very unconvincingly, to kill Him.
What the hell is Black talking about? Do we not have enough churches and religious schools in this country? Those are the places for religious instruction -- the point of a university is to provide an environment of absolutely free inquiry and learning outside of some stuffy minister's dogma. Is it possible for people like Black to give us a second, an instant outside of religion? Apparently not. Instead, universities must turn into places of religious regurgitation.

Oh, not religious? Don't bother attending, or shut up, or open your mind so we may fill it with our fairy stories.

Yes, when schools teach students to think on their own it can cause resentment and dissent among the more religiously tolerant majority, whatever that means. If it means that it upsets those who would prefer to tow the religious line and let the faithful call all the shots, then good.

As for inviting contempt from violently sectarian societies, whose problem is this exactly? Is this some sort of veiled threat? Is this a brave call to surrender? Is this informing us that we should shut up our opinions and questions lest someone get hurt -- lest someone have to drink the hemlock? People who cannot control their violent actions when they have their religious sensibilities upset need to be locked up, period -- even Islamists.

Then there's this absurd doublespeak:
... and is repugnant to the entire concept of freedom of thought and expression that our universities and free press are supposed to be defending.
That's right. Universities that do not shovel dogma down the throats of students and encourage them to think and express themselves in pursuit of truth in ways that may be offensive to some is actually against freedom of thought of expression! Has someone been drinking the Kool Aid, because this is profoundly wrong and either disingenuous or delusional.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Oh No! Canadian Christians Are Being Oppressed!


It's a sad, sad, sad day in Canada: Christians are UNDER ATTACK!
A group of Canadian Christian leaders is raising the alarm about what they say are attacks on their faith, citing barriers to a Christian university setting up a law school and doctors opposed to ending pregnancies being forced to refer patients elsewhere.
Being forced to refer patients to places where they can obtain legal medical procedures! Will Christian doctors need to return to the catacombs in hiding?

"Doctor" Charles McVety, evangelical TV host, anti-LGBT, anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-abortion, anti-anti-school-bullying, anti-environmentalist, anti-Koran, anti-sex-education president of the Institute for Canadian Values -- a website which will happily collect the money of any Christians who might happen to feel persecuted and would like him to fight for their dwindling rights -- specifies some of the GRUESOME examples of all out persecution, subjugation and war against Bible believers in our country of 67% Christians.

HERE are the events that clearly point out how downtrodden Christians are in a country which happens to be run by evangelical Steven Harper and his troup of anti-science, evangelical, theocons:

  • A refusal by three provincial bar associations to accredit any potential law school graduate of Trinity Western University, which prohibits sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage among its students.
  • A letter from Bank of Montreal to the Law Society of Upper Canada, which governs Ontario lawyers, arguing against accrediting Trinity Western's proposed law school.
  • A commitment by the general counsel of 72 companies to promote diversity and inclusion.
  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requiring that doctors with religious objections to birth control or abortion refer those patients to another physician.

Yes, it appears that some of their future lawyers may not have their Trinity Western degrees recognized because the school itself is using its religious privilege freedoms to reject students and staff members. What can they do, it's in the Bible? It's due to their filthy and unholy sexual practices.

Unlike not accepting lawyers from your law societies, not allowing students to attend your school or teachers to be employed at your publicly subsidized school is merely a beautiful expression of your religious freedom.

Let's stop worrying about discrimination against LGBT people -- think of the poor Law Schools!

Apparently, the Bank of Montreal, which is a publicly owned company, I think, also thinks discrimination against people based on sexual orientation is a bad thing -- ANTI-CHRISTIAN!

Then there are those 72 companies who want to promote diversity and inclusion -- apparently the opposite of what Trinity Western wants to do. Diversity is, of course, code word for oppress the Christians and inclusion means make some Christians feel bad for wanting to exclude 'the gays'.

Then there's those meanies at the College of Physicians who want to force doctors to actually treat their patients with something we call modern medicine. No actually, the college only wants the doctors to let patients know where they can find the medical help they need. OPPRESSION! You can read my reaction to that here.

I think these groups are confusing an increasing correction of their huge historical religious privilege with persecution. These are two different things. There are plenty of places in the world where real Christian persecution is happening and Canada is not one of those places.

via that non-Christian atheist who makes angels cry, Hemant Mehta

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Conrad Black & Learnmore Zuze: Both Wrong, One Article Clearly Superior

Why not play logical fallacy bingo at home while reading these pieces?
By now I'm sure you've all read Conrad Black's dreadful piece over at the National Post and I hope you've all had your Bingo cards ready and you were playing along by keeping track of all the tired old debunked chestnuts of arguments as they came -- at breakneck speed.

Only a day or two before Black wrote about how inspired he was by a two hour conversation with Dr. John Lennox, I read a strikingly similar piece from Zimbabwe pastor by Learnmore Zuze who also quotes Lennox. 

Zuze's piece is far superior to Black's -- aside from not being penned by a convicted felon, as far as I know. Firstly, take a look at the titles. Black's: Shabby, Shallow World of the Militant Atheist alongside Zuze's: Atheism no smarter than Christianity. The latter lacks Black's air of pomposity and I can nearly get behind it.

Furthermore, although not directly related to the writing itself, Zuze's profile picture is that of a serious man in front of a clock at 11:35am, with the words The Final Hour inscribed upon it. Below the clock we have flames as well.

What I like about Zuze's work is his economy with words and his pragmatic use of simple language. This man gets to the point and does not waste time on metaphor.
This is precisely what the devil craves for the human race to believe. Atheism, by rejecting the existence of God, is nothing but a secreted way of propping up lawlessness, anarchy and transgression in the universe. Atheism represents the mindset that Satan (whom they think is imaginary), desires humans to have. Atheism, by design or default, is an adroit satanic ideology meant to promote immorality throughout the world. Where it not for space, I would have had readers realize the striking and salient similarities between verses from the satanic bible (written by Antony Lavey) and independent atheistic writings.
Compare this with something or other Black wrote.
This is a large part of the core of the atheist problem, and it is complicated by the vulnerabilities of some of its peppier advocates. Singer sees nothing wrong with bestiality and considers the life of a human child to be less valuable than that of a pig or chimpanzee. It is rather frivolous to raise Hitchens in this company; he was a dissolute controversialist who was a fine writer in his prime, had some enjoyable human qualities and fought to a brave death from cancer, but was a nihilistic gadfly who spent himself prematurely in an unceasing frenzy to épater les bourgeois. He entertained, until he became unbearably repetitive, but no one with an IQ in triple figures was shocked by him. Dawkins almost raves about the extremes that “faith” can drive people to, but was struck dumb like Zachariah in the temple when Lennox pointed out, in a very lengthy debate at the University of Alabama in 2009, that atheism is a faith — clearly one that Dawkins holds and tries to propagate with considerable fervour. In general, something a person believes and can’t prove is supported by some measure of faith.
Honestly, I could hardly read Black's composition. I kept wondering if he actually spoke like a bourgeois himself.
Communities untouched by religious influences have been unalloyed barbarism, whatever the ethical shortcomings of some of those who carried the evangelizing mission among them. Without God, “good” and “evil” are just pallid formulations of like and dislike. As Professor Lennox reminded me, Dostoyevsky, scarcely a naive and superstitiously credulous adherent to ecclesiastical flimflam, said “without God, everything is permissible.”
Flimflam, I say! 
When taxed with the extent of the universe and what is beyond it, most atheists now immerse themselves in diaphanous piffle about a multiverse 
Diaphanous piffle!
The two sides of this argument are asymmetrical. The atheists can sow doubt well, and spruce up their arguments with Hitchensesque flourishes such as the physical mockery of some prominent clergymen and the disparagement of the religious leadership credentials of Henry VIII and Borgia popes and some of the bouffant-coiffed, mellifluous and light-fingered televangelists. They rant against the evils of superstition and can still render a fairly stirring paean to the illimitable liberty and potential of the human mind.
Bouffant-coiffed, mellifluous and light-fingered televangelists!

I know, I'm not being fair and I could very well be guilty of doing the same thing myself. I honestly haven't read such language since my days back in University. There, I occasionally found myself reading forgotten treatises from distinguished professors of 'the' Classics from the 1920s. They exhibited similar language -- it was much more flowery than the easy to understand words from the likes of Will Durant. Words meant to be understood by all.

Our friend the pastor in Zimbabwe writes to be understood.
I have also realized that atheists, eccentrically, suffer from an extremely developed smarter-than-thou-complex. They claim to be more enlightened than the ‘manic lunatics of religion.’ A sister from Netherlands wrote, ”I have suffered much grief debating with atheists as they trash the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and God.” This is not strange, personally I have debated with decorated atheists and one thing that surely stands out in the atheistic argument is their smarter-than-thou attitude. Atheists view themselves as having a monopoly over truth and knowledge, an accusation they ironically direct at Christians. Atheism is anchored in the belief that no deities exist. Building on this belief, atheists go on the rampage attacking everything in their path that is religion.
No fancy-smancy smarty pants words coming from him at least. We cannot say the same for Black. Zuze goes on to complain about how atheists are always demanding proof for God.
The ill-advised part of atheism is that it ridiculously demands proof of the existence of God by intending him to prove himself in a way they (fallible humans) have codified. They think of God as some petite being they can tinker with; they do not want God operating on his own terms. They want a God who would yield to their (warped) ideology of how he should operate before they validate him.
This is proof that was nowhere to be found in either his article or the piece by Conrad Black. The only difference between the two was that Zuze's piece was better written and much more comprehensible.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Alberta Education Minister is an "Old Earth Guy"

Child riding on a dinosaur at the Creation Museum. (source)
Remember Gordon Dirks? He's the new Conservative (duh!) Minister of Education for Alberta who just so happened to be a pastor at a rather fundamentalist Christian church with the typically retrograde views about LGBT people.
“Listen up, he said, I take sexual immorality seriously,” Dirks paraphrases Jesus in a Nov. 2012 sermon on the book of Revelation.
At the time, I was willing to give Dirks a chance:
I'm highly suspicious but until he does something sucky, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

So, Gordon Dirks, don't let what your church tells influence your politics. We'll be watching you.
So, he's started to demonstrate himself! First, he's been really dragging his feet about forcing religious schools in the province -- public -- to accept Gay Straight Alliances. This is predictable given his LGBT-fearing churchy background.
Mr. Dirks is a former Saskatchewan MLA with a long history as educator, trustee, and an evangelical Christian who has served in leadership positions in religious schools that espouse traditional values. Mr. Dirks’ appointment was one of Mr. Prentice’s most overt attempts to win over Alberta’s social conservative base shortly after he took office last year.

Mr. Dirks said at the time that he would “work to balance the rights of all children and parents and teachers,” but progressive critics have grown increasingly wary of the pastor, particularly after he was slow to express his support for Gay Straight Alliances in schools, (Mr. Dirks opened the spring sitting with an amendment in favour of the clubs on Tuesday, months after the issue blew up in the Alberta legislature.)
The good news is that Dirks actually ended up supporting a bill that makes it mandatory for faith-based schools in the province to accept GSAs, much to our friends' at LifesiteNews dismay.

That's not all, though. Oh no! The Education Minister is also a creationist!
Alberta premier Jim Prentice’s hand-picked education minister Gordon Dirks told forum attendees last weekend that he was an “Old Earth guy” — a reference to a doctrine of Creationism that generally rejects biological evolution.

Mr. Dirks has declined to clarify his views. He’s also declined to comment on whether or not he accepts the scientifically accepted understanding of evolution when asked directly by the Post.
That's right, he doesn't want to talk about it because he needs to appease the social conservative (read: fundamentalist Christian) voter base while not making himself the laughing stock of Alberta -- oh, Alberta! -- and potentially Canada.
Irving Hexham, a religion and politics professor at the University of Calgary, said evolution — like abortion — is a divisive issue among evangelical Christians. If politicians from this background come out in favour of the mainstream view of evolution, they risks alienating themselves from their own religious community.
Dirks' Old Earth comment popped out just as another politician was querying him about his socially conservative (read: fundamentalist Christian) views and how they must spill over into his policy concerning Gay Straight Alliances.
Natalie Odd, an Alberta Party member and mother of two, attended an open house held by Mr. Dirks over the weekend, hoping to confront the minister about spending cuts.

“The Gay Straight Alliance is, to me, an issue where if somebody’s beliefs are very socially conservative, if they are in the position of education minister, I believe that is relevant,” Ms. Odd said. After the open house, Ms. Odd said she took Mr. Dirks aside and began to question him about another evolution.

“He said, it’s possible to believe in creation and evolution. I wasn’t getting an answer out of him,” she said. “As we were walking away, he threw up his hands and said: ‘I’m an Old Earth Guy.'”
Totally predictable. I saw the train coming down the tracks.

Look, I'm all for kooky people believing whatever sorts of conspiracy theories they want about the formation of the planet and how life evolved. People are welcome to believe the world is flat and and the moon is made of green cheese. It's just that, I don't think it's wise as a society to have these people in charge of our childrens' education, you know? It seems like a really dumb idea to me.

Brian Alters, a US-based professor summed up the very problem I was dreading in my previous post:
“With the education minister, if this is something that he practices in his place of worship with colleagues of similar faith, I think most scientists wouldn’t have the slightest problem,” Mr. Alters said. “The problem is if the education minister says ‘I’m an Old Earth creationist because I think there’s credible evidence against evolution. I find evolution to not be credible.’ Then we have big problems, Houston.”
Meanwhile, evolution-denying MPP Rick Nicholls, is feeling better these days after receiving multiple emails supporting his denial of science, presumably from a non-evidence-based electorate.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Pat Robertson: Why Would You Become a Slave to a Vegetable?

Powerpuff Girl Blossom attacks the alien vegetable king in the classic Beat Your Greens!
Goddamn it! I knew this since I was a kid! HUMANITY IS ENSLAVED BY VEGETABLES! Wrinkly Pat Robertson told us so.
Cocaine is a product of a vegetable. Alcohol is a product of a vegetable. Marijuana is a vegetable. And yet people are enslaved to vegetables. And you were made in the image of God! God made you in his image to reign and rule with him. He gave you incredible authority. Why would you become a slave to a vegetable? Why? Why would you do it?
Why? For the love of all that's rational, why!?! You may be thinking: Sean, you're just taking this all out of context. Surely Pat Robertson cannot be making so little sense! Well, watch this video and try to figure out his subtle context, if you can.


What, you actually were able to skim some sludgy meaning off the top of the murky pond that is Robertson's ramblings? It seems like he's talking about marijuana being a vegetable which enslaves people? Well, that makes me question his use of vegetable and his use of slavery.

Robertson channelling the Almighty.
Are you sure that's what Robertson meant? Be honest, based on his track record, can anyone be sure what he means?

Well, pass the 'veggies'... and the Doritos!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Awful/Awesome Trailer Released of Christian Pro Wrestling Movie

Wrestling With Satan (source).
Well, here's something for your Saturday night. It seems like the Christian Wrestling Federation -- "Effective Evangelistic Outreach" -- have released a movie about fighting Satan one cheesy bodyslam at a time.
The Christian Wrestling Federation travels the USA with a ministry of hope, faith and professional wrestling action. From humble beginnings deep in the heart of Texas, follow this band of evangelical warriors as they pack up their ring and preach the message of Jesus Christ to hundreds of wrestling fans, saving souls with both head-smashing and Bible thumping.
Right, so apparently this gem is coming out January 20th to some theatres... somewhere... and to DVD. I'll likely just stick with the trailer.


Friday, 28 November 2014

Kirk Cameron: "Atheists Keep Down-Voting My Movie & Film Critics Just Don't Get It!"

(source)
Kirk Cameron has ripened into one of the most hilariously awesome Christian creationist fundamentalists out there. I mean, he's way better than Ray Comfort any way you slice him. He's been making these wonderfully awful movies lately too! His latest is Saving Christmas and it looks so astoundingly bad, you'd need to be totally deluded to believe it deserves anything more than the 8% critics rating and 33% liked ratings it has over at Rotten Tomatoes!

Guess what? Kirk thinks it deserves more than 50%! Apparently, the film's favorability level on Rotten Tomatoes started out at around 50%. So, let it be recorded that Kirk got an idea that triggered a rotten tomato tsunami. He decided to use his 2,000,000 Facebook fandom to affect the numbers, so to speak:
Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes!
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/kirk_camerons_saving_christmas/
All of you who love Saving Christmas - go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see! If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result!
Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!
This pushed the percentage up to around 94%, until his sneaky little plan got posted onto r/Atheist and the battle was afoot! The atheists swarmed much like the Cameron-bots and the movie now sits at 33%.

Now Kirk seems a little upset about this. He's not admitting it, but I'm pretty sure that at some level he's a little miffed that atheists are doing more or less precisely what he wanted his fans to do. Like, his evil plan sort-of kind-of backfired. Praise God!
But Cameron and Doane claim that atheist activists quickly took to social media, where they encouraged fellow nonbelievers to post negative reviews in an effort to bring the score back down.

“They were giving actual plot points,” Cameron said. “They gave them plot points on the website for them to use in their reviews saying why it was so bad.”

Cameron drew a distinction between his original message asking for supporters to voice their approval for the film from activists’ purportedly attempt to lower the score simply for the mere sake of it.
Oh sure, that's totally different. One could also argue that armed with enough poor plot points and (true) details about any film, one could make a reasonably informed decision not to see the movie because it sounds absolutely awful. No word either on whether all the reviews left by Cameron's followers were actually people who saw the film themselves. I rather doubt it.

Well, it turns out that Kirk is actually happy about this afterall. Apparently this hooplah has given the film more press, which is translating to good turnout.

I wonder how many of these people are actually undercover atheists wanting a good laugh or... perhaps... they would like to see the film before leaving a well-informed negative review on Rotten Tomatoes? At any rate, the film sounds so bad it might be good -- as bad-good as Nicholas Cage Left Behind? Maybe! I have faith in Cameron!

Film critics, whose job it is to rate movies and let us know whether or not they suck, seem almost unanimously rotten. They rate it an 8% freshness rating which is 6% better than Cage's disaster movie.

Kirk Cameron is flummoxed!
“It amazes me that the critics can’t discern what it is that I’m actually doing so strategically here. what my audience loves to do at Christmas time is the same thing I like to do at Christmas time,” he said. “We love to go to church and go see a glorious Christmas pageant … and that Christmas pageant always has a few things that we look forward to every time.”
You know, I always thought A Charlie Brown Christmas was a sort of Christmas pageant. I mean, it was a movie all about a freaking Christmas pageant! That got 92% on Rotten Tomatoes! Perhaps Kirk should have laid off the steroids:
“That’s exactly what I made for my audience. I made a Christmas pageant on steroids and I put it right in the public theater at a time when Christmas pageants are not allowed in public schools,” he said. “And the atheists promoted it for us. And how do they not see what I was doing?”
Too many pageant steroids, Kirk.

Oh, and I think they see what you were doing just fine, Kirk.

As for me, when it hits Netflix, I might just watch this beast (the movie, not Kirk). Or perhaps I'll wait for it to show up in the DVD bargain bin. Or perhaps I'll wait for Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to someday return and include it in some sort of Christmas special of their own. Yeah, that would be a great Christmas pageant!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Trailer for Christian 'Antidote' to Fifty Shades of Grey

Scene from Old Fashioned trailer (source).
Remember that Christian alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey I was warning you about back in July? I know you're thinking that any alternative to Fifty Shades sounds like it might certainly be better, but is it?

Well, Old Fashioned: Chivalry Makes a Comeback is here just in time for Valentines Day! Sounds hot and steamy like a burnt marshmallow on a stick! It's being hyped as an antidote for Fifty Shades, but at what cost, at what cost?
The romantic drama follows Clay Walsh (Swartzwelder) who has exchanged his college partying ways for lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. When a free-spirited woman, Amber (Elizabeth Ann Roberts), moves into the apartment above his antique shop, Clay cannot resist his attraction to her, but first he must step out from behind his relationship theories. For her part, Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds before the pair can attempt the impossible "old-fashioned" courtship in contemporary America.
I'm pretty sure Clay's outdated theories are actually Christian courtship ideas while Amber's free-spirit is likely floating freely outside of Christianity.

Clay is actually Rik Swartzwelder, who also happens to be the writer and director of the film. As far as I can tell from the preview, everyone else seems to act circles around him, especially the actor who portrays Amber. However, that's just because I saw the review. Just take a look at his limited array of facial expressions: confused, dazed, moderately upset, sulky.

Still, if I had the choice of watching Fifty Shades vs this antidote, I'm hard pressed to decide which one. They both appear to be terrible.

Maybe I'd choose Fifty Shades because watching naughty people is just much more interesting than watching a bunch of confused goody goodies onscreen. I mean, could you imagine a Christian antidote to Sin City or From Dusk Till Dawn?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

OMG! Anti-Christs! OMG!


I just learned something tonight! Author and Certified Accountant, John Dillard (or Gary?), over at Christian Post blog just informed me that not only can a little horn and first beast be the anti-Christ. It turns out that anyone could be the anti-Christ! THEY COULD BE EVERYWHERE!

Who Is the Anti-Christ?
Have you ever thought that the anti-Christ may be one of your best friends? How about sitting next to you at a sporting event? Or how about he may be baby-sitting your children or teaching them at school? Did you know that any atheist is anti-Christ? Also any agnostic is also an anti-Christ! While we are at it let's see what the Bible defines as the anti-Christ.
Tiny little anti-Christlets all over the place -- multiplying like TRIBBLES! They could be anywhere -- taking care of your kids! Teaching your kids real good.

They also walk in GAY PRIDE PARADES! Just take a look at the picture on the article. Anti-Christs, indeed.

I guess I'm supposed to be an anti-Christ now? I just don't have enough time.

Listen, dude, I don't hate Jesus. He had some mostly decent things to say most of the time -- well, whoever wrote his lines.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Pastor From Anti-LGBT Church Becomes Alberta's Minister of Education

Christian Pastor and Alberta Minister of Education Gordon Dirks. (source)
So Gordon Dirks is changing jobs but he'll still be Minister Dirks. Up until a few days ago he was a pastor over at the Centre Street Church in Calgary but then he got appointed -- not elected -- to become the Minister of Education in Alberta.

The Centre Street Church published their Statement of Theological Principles and Ministry Practices from 2011 online. Here's what the church officially believes.

p. 18
We believe that God in His love for humanity intends marriage as a life-long covenant
between a man and a woman for their own well-being and the well-being of children, and for the benefit of the whole human race.

God instituted marriage as a sacred and honourable institution (Heb. 13:4), for the
blessing of companionship (Gen. 2:18), and as a continuation of the divine work of
creation in the history of the human race (Gen. 4:1). Marriage is a physical union
(1 Cor. 6:16). God intends marriage to be a monogamous, life-long union (Gen. 2:24;
Ex. 20:14) between a male and a female who are each living in the physical gender in which they were born (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:18, 20-25; Ps. 139:13-16; Mark 10:7-9). Marriage is constituted first in mutual covenant and is a solemn, binding agreement entered into before God and others (Mal. 2:14). The marriage covenant is intended only to be broken by the death of either the husband or the wife. God views the breaking of this earthly covenant very seriously (2 Sam. 12; Mal. 2:16). While divorce is always contrary to God’s intentions, divorce and remarriage are permitted where the marriage covenant has been violated by adultery (Matt. 5:31) or desertion (1 Cor. 7:15). Separation is permitted where necessary for the safety and wellbeing of the members of the family.

God calls His followers to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21) and to “...live a life of love, just as Christ loves us.” (Eph. 5:2) It is in this context of mutual submission and love that God calls wives to submit to their husbands and
husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:22-33).

You know, submit is not really the same as love. 

Anyway, people have been getting a little concerned about that. If we read into this then perhaps Dirks is against marriage equality. Who knows? There's more, though. LGBT activist Olav Rokne points out, the church also has an all too sad and predictable view sexuality.

p. 19
We believe that God created men and women in His own image and pronounced them good. “...male and female He created them...And God saw all that He had made and it was very good.” (Gen. 1:27-31) Human sexuality is therefore a beautiful part of God’s creation. All human activity, including the expression of sexuality, should honour God (Eph. 5:2; 1 Cor. 6:13b, 18-20). Followers of Jesus Christ are to live lives of purity, including sexuality purity. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality...For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thess. 4:3-7)

We affirm that God is honoured by the mutually intimate physical expression of sexuality when this expression occurs between a man and a woman within a monogamous marriage. However, because of sin, all human nature, including human sexuality, is subject to abuse and misuse. God is dishonoured by: sexual obsession, intimate physical expression of sexuality outside of marriage and sexual activity between persons of the same sex, between an adult and child, between close relatives, or between a person and an animal (Phil. 4:8; Eph. 5:3-5; Rom. 1:25-27; Lev. 18:6, 20, 22-23; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

God’s desire is to bring healing and wholeness to all aspects of our broken lives, including dishonourable human sexuality. Sexual sins, like all other sins, can be forgiven by God through Jesus Christ upon confession and repentance (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:8-10; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 6:11-14).
So much for transgender and transexual people. Gays and lesbians are lumped right in with pedophiles, incestuous relatives and those who indulge in bestiality. This church apparently sees LGBT people as being very perverse and broken like just like these other groups. Not exactly the sort of view I would like to see the Minister of Education to have.

No doubt this -- along with being in the opposition party -- lead the NDP education critic Deron Bilous to question why Gordon Dirks was appointed to the office in the first place.
NDP education critic Deron Bilous said it speaks volumes that Prentice appointed Dirks to the post when he could have chosen one of more than four million other Albertans.

“I think Mr. Prentice has made a very foolish mistake on his first day on the job, and we’re calling for Mr. Prentice to rescind his appointment of Gordon Dirks as education minister,” Bilous said. “If he was serious on action, on ensuring human rights are protected and that we continue to fight for equality in our schools and in our society, then why did he appoint Gordon Dirks as the minister of education?
Look, maybe Dirks doesn't believe all this stuff. Perhaps he just worked at the church for a gig, you know? I went digging for his own views and found a few utterances in this Leader Post article where they did the same.
Most sermons are full of anecdotes, discussions of biblical texts and typically end with a prayer of commitment. The sermons occasionally mention “sexual immorality,” but rarely go into specifics.

“Listen up, he said, I take sexual immorality seriously,” Dirks paraphrases Jesus in a Nov. 2012 sermon on the book of Revelation.

In an August 2013 sermon entitled “people of the way,” Dirks urges followers to imitate the early Christians who “began protecting the weak and vulnerable.” They built an “amazing culture of compassion” that erased cultural, racial and social boundaries and “practised sexual purity.”
Right, it's pretty unclear. Unlike school board trustee candidate Candace Maxymowich, who unabashedly let everyone know her Creationist, anti-choice, pro-abstinence-only sex education views, Dirks has played it pretty close to the vest.

Dirks is well aware that people are nervous about his church's strict and retrograde views. He's already met with LGBT activist Kris Wells.
Kris Wells, the director for the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta, got a call around supper time Monday night inviting him to a meeting in the premier’s office Tuesday morning.

Wells met for an hour with Education Minister Gordon Dirks, Premier Jim Prentice, newly appointed Health Minister Stephen Mandel and their staff to discuss a range of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues.
The Leader Post tried to contact Dirks for more information on his views. They hadn't gotten any response at the time of the article's writing. Perhaps in response to the concern, Mr Dirks tweeted the following.
In fact, unlike his church, Dirks says his record is clear on LGBT issues.
“My record in this province and in this country is quite clear,” Prentice said. “In that respect, I was one of the very first people in this country to support same-sex marriage. That happened over 10 years ago. And I intend to carry on my personal views about protecting and standing up for the rights of all Albertans, and as premier of Alberta that includes the LGBT community.”
Wells is willing to give him a chance but he expects action.

Columnist Licia Corbella, who has written before about how she wished atheists would stop ramming their minority religion down the throats of the majority, has pointed out in a recent opinion piece that the concern about Dirks' Christian point of view is sheer anti-Christian bigotry. I'll admit it, it's possible there could be some of this going on. However, on the other hand, it is not at all bigoted to be concerned about someone who's church -- at which he pastors! -- holds very bigoted views about LGBT people. There are many churches to choose from and Dirks chose this one.

Speaking of which, Corbella says that Dirks only held executive administrative roles with both the Canadian Bible College and Rocky Mountain College, private Christian universities. Yes, and he was a pastor at a church which held some pretty interesting views on LGBT issues!

She goes on to describe how happy we should all be with Christianity for having founded Public education. Yeah, anyway.

Something perhaps more useful she points out is Dirks' extensive experience within the school board.
Dirks, 67, is perhaps best known in Calgary for being a trustee with the Calgary Board of Education from 1999 to 2010, and being the CBE’s chair four times during those years. He is widely considered the best and most competent board chair in memory and came in at a time of great turbulence, which he helped smooth over with his diplomacy, competency and calmness.
This sounds like someone who may well be qualified for the job.

I would be curious to see what sorts of views Dirks has about evolution and sex education as well. Who knows?

Well, until someone knows, I guess I'm fine with letting Dirks demonstrate himself. I would wager that the vast majority of Canadian politicians are moderate to devout Christian. Many of them are likely fine secularists. Then of course, some of them are dangerously fundamentalist -- take a look at the Conservative party.

I'm highly suspicious but until he does something sucky, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

So, Gordon Dirks, don't let what your church tells influence your politics. We'll be watching you.

And then there's this...

Thursday, 21 August 2014

By George! -- Christian Lesbian Singers & Platonic "Softy God" Atheisms


Okay, I am trying to take a step back and think about a response to Richard Dawkins latest tweet about how Down's Syndrome fetuses should be aborted for morality's sake. This is a situation where I need to just breathe deeply and process. So I thought I'd just comment quickly about something which doesn't make me want to scream and pull out all my hair.

Here's something calming for your palate. Robert P. George over at First Things has weighed in, sort of, about Christian singer Victoria Beeching. She came out a lesbian last week and endorsed same-sex marriage. She's apparently trying to change Christian views of these things from the inside out -- I suppose if her music is good enough she might have some traction there.

Haha! Yeah, as if that's going to happen.

Anyway, George relates her sexual predilections (ugh!) to the different Platonic atheisms, somehow.
I must confess to not having heard of Victoria Beeching before she made news by publicizing her sexual predilections. But the theology by which she proposes to justify her behavior and demand the approbation of her fellow Christians turns out to be far from new. Plato described and condemned it in his great final work, known to us as “The Laws.” There (at II: 885b4-9) he identifies three forms of “atheism” . . . (or what we might today call “godlessness” or perhaps “secularism”).
I'm not quite sure how this paragraph works, honestly. Anyway, he jumps into three forms of atheists which Plato -- whose hero Socrates got accused of atheism -- outlined. Plato was not friend of atheists, by the way.

The first form is the mere denial of the existence of gods and George recognizes this as the prevalent form of atheism today. I would rephrase this as a mere lack of belief in any gods, but this seems fairly acceptable to me.

The second form is the acceptance of god(s) which play no discernable role in our universe and do not concern themselves with us. George calls this deism which seems reasonable enough to me. Perhaps neo-platonic ideas like the nous or monad would also fall into this category. This would be the fancy pants philosophers' god.

The third form is the soft and fuzzy caring God that I think many non-crazy-fundamentalist Christians may subscribe to. Apparently, according to Plato and Robert George I guess, this is a form of "atheism" deserving of air-quotes. Yeah, that makes no sense to me either.
The third form of “atheism” accepts that there is a God and that God is concerned with human beings. But this “God” is soft-spirited and easily placated or appeased. He makes no stringent moral demands of human beings. He wants us to like ourselves and like him. So it’s fine with him if we do pretty much as we please, whatever we please. He is an “I’m O.K., you’re O.K.” divinity—the perfect deity for an Age of Feeling.
Bzzzzzzzz... sorry, that's not atheism.

It's fascinating to see Christians who believe homosexuality is a mere sexual predilection and who apparently cannot accept the idea of gay Christians.  Somehow people like Victoria Beeching worship the wrong god or are in fact "atheists."

Well, George doesn't see atheisms #1 and #2 along with Dawkins as a threat to Christianity. It's really just a God who will accept gay people for who they are and not be a complete monster. Yes, that's the real challenge to Christianity!
Many believers, however, are being led, as Victoria Beeching has been led, into Plato’s third form of atheism—belief in an imaginary God made in the image and likeness of man, as man is conceived in the pseudo-religion of expressive individualism and me-generation liberalism. It is a most convenient “God” who is always willing to say, “do whatever you feel like doing, darling; I love you just the way you are.”
You mean a God that behaves like a loving 'Father' who accepts their children for who they were created as? You know, like all parents of gay children should behave.

Anyway, that's not atheism it's still theism and many would still call it Christianity. Deal with it, because the times are changing, okay?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Christian Radio Host: Ebola May Solve America's Atheism Problem

Rick Wiles (source)
There's this guy on TruNews Christian radio who keeps on saying these really false and offensive things -- most likely to get attention. Recently he was going on about Gay Nazism.

His name is Rick Wiles, and he just said this:
"Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming… Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion."
"If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper."
Holy cow! Fourteen hundred people have gotten this disease and suffered brutally and over 800 have died. We have orphaned children because both parents have died. Or is that his solution? I suppose if we were all dead we wouldn't have any of those things Wiles is against. Seriously though, wishing a plague on those who you do not approve, really?

Oh, but it's not him... God did it, right? Is he not aware that a large proportion of the affected populations are Christian? Does he even care about those people over there?

In fact the only two Americans infected with the disease so far are both Christian missionaries! Ebola case count in gay San Francisco: zero.

As for having the blood of Jesus upon you, whatever the hell that means, it would appear that the only effective treatment so far is purely scientific. Oh, and then there is the new experimental drug ZMapp being developed by scientists. Wiles can keep his Jesus blood, I'll go for the medical treatments, thank you.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Christians Who Watch Game of Thrones Are 'Recrucifying Jesus' (And Puppies Too!)

(source)
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm the only one in my circle of friends who isn't in love with Firefly, hasn't watched every episode of Battlestar Galactica, isn't all caught up on Doctor Who and is not completely obsessed with Game of Thrones.

My first exposure to Game of Thrones was a Saturday Night Live skit, so I recognize my view could be a little skewed. Oh then there was that Huffington Post sixteen minute compilation of sex and nudity scenes from the programme. Oh and then there was that controversy concerning the rape scene.

Yeah, having never actually watched a single episode, I'll admit that my mind has likely been warped into seeing it as a kind of big budget SCA softcore erotica series -- but I'm sure it's probably much more -- although I suppose it would be just fine if it were just that anyway. Really, no problemo.

I'll tell you who's not fine with nude men and women doing all sorts of fun and visually appealing sexiness on cable television: preacher John Piper, that's who!
He has blood-bought power in his cross. He died to make us pure. He “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession” (Titus 2:14). If we choose to endorse or embrace or enjoy or pursue impurity, we take a spear and ram it into Jesus’s side every time we do. He suffered to set us free from impurity.
Or in other words, when you're watching those beautiful fantasy-world characters get all busy with each other while secret onlookers get themselves orally busied with while others watch them through another peephole -- and things get a little tingly down there so you you start getting sort of busy with yourself, just remember that you're not just killing a puppy! Did you hear me? You're not just killing a puppy! You're re-killing Jesus, or God, or that white bird, erm...  Anyway, it's bad, Christians! Stop fapping! Stop killing Jesus!

Stop ramming your spear into Jesus. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anyway, he actually gives 12 reasons Christians shouldn't watch the show and I'm betting that even with the Huffington Post sexy scenes cut out he would still find something wrong with the programme. He just seems to be that kind of guy. You know, maybe it still wouldn't advance our holiness enough or something.

I have a laugh-cry relationship with all this points but here are a few highlights to consider before you can listen to his audio while watching the above scenes on mute in another window.
The defilement of the mind and heart by watching nudity dulls the heart’s ability to see and enjoy God. I dare anyone to watch nudity and turn straight to God and give him thanks and enjoy him more because of what you just experienced.
Well, if I believed in God then I suppose he would have been watching me watch this programme anyway, so no big surprise for him. And Hellz yeah, I would give him a big high-five and say: "God, the human body is a thing of amazing beauty and lust is a fantastic gift and sex and masturbation are totally awesome! You nailed it! Thank you!"

I mean, I don't get his point.
When we pursue or receive or embrace nudity in our entertainment, we are implicitly endorsing the sin of the women who sell themselves to this way and are, therefore, uncaring about their souls. They disobey 1 Timothy 2:9, and we say that’s okay.
It's hard for me to see if Piper has a problem with women's sexuality in general or women actors being nude or appearing in sex scenes. I fail to see how these actors do not care for themselves.
Most Christians are hypocrites in watching nudity because, on the one hand they say by their watching that this is okay, and on the other hand they know deep down they would not want their daughter or their wife or their girlfriend to be playing this role. That is hypocrisy.
I'm not certain how I would feel if I had a daughter who was an actor but I tend to think it would likely be not significantly different than the parents of these actors and any actor at all who appears nude or in sex scenes -- most of the successful ones. In the end, there is nothing at all wrong with the naked body or having sex with anyone so long as it's consenting adults. I don't believe I would be as squeamish with my wife  --- she is an adult and they would be acting.

However, I'll admit, I would probably give watching my daughter's sex scenes a miss -- as I would also not wish to be in the same room when my grandchildren are being conceived!  Really, would you want to be in the same room as your daughter while she's baby making? (The 'correct' answer here is: 'no.') Why is this so complicated?

Why is this question only about daughters, wives and girlfriends? What about sons, husbands and boyfriends? Double standard?
It is not artistic integrity that is driving nudity on the screen. Underneath all of this is male sexual appetite driving this business, and following from that is peer pressure in the industry and the desire for ratings that sell. It is not art that puts nudity in film, it’s the appeal of prurience. It sells.
Male sexual appetite? In my experience, the fan base seems pretty equal between the sexes and this Wired article confirms it.
“This kind of treatment of women as if they’re narrow, fantasy-averse, or pervy, makes me want to slowly and carefully lower my forehead to my desk repeatedly in imitation of Mad Men’s Peggy Olson,” Slate writer Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in a fine answer to the Thrillist post, adding that “there’s something bizarre about the inability to imagine that some women dig stories about swords and sorcery.”
It's very possible that some female sexual appetite could also be satisfied by this programme -- a concept that some fundamentalist men likely find terrifying.

And...
Men and women who want to be watched in their nudity are in the category with exhibitionists who pull down their pants at the top of escalators.
Uh, yeah. So I guess I'll give this programme a try. I've heard good things about it lately.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

A Little Ironic?: Pope Francis Opposes Recreational Drugs

I just don't know. There seems to be something vaguely ironic about this slideshow picture on a recent CNN article about the Pope's opposition to anyone using recreational drugs because...
"Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise," he told participants at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome.
(source)
In case the Pope forgot, alcohol is a drug and alcohol addiction -- alcoholism -- is no joke at all. Thousands of people have died from this disease. It tears up families and destroys lives. I suppose the Pope is just fine with that.

Of course, if alcohol were made illegal (again in the States), the Church could be exempted from the prohibition like they were at the beginning of the last century. Because: 'religious freedom' and because --- after all -- 'it's not wine, it's Jesus blood,' or something.

Luckily, like other matters, the world is moving on and progressing in the right direction while the Catholic Church remains in the Middle Ages. Public opinion in the United States is moving to the much more reasonable idea of legalizing drugs like marijuana which have been shown to be practically harmless compared to alcohol.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Shocking News From Tim Lambesis! Christian "Metal Bands" Are Often Not Christian At All!

Set for Stryper in 1986. (source)
Remember Stryper and all those other Christian Metal bands from back in the day? Well, I don't. My first introduction to Christian Rock and Heavy Metal 'music' was through Seth Andrews' Thinking Atheist awhile back.

Anyway, it turns out that not only are they sort of not really good but also they're apparently sort of not really Christian half the time... two-thirds of the time... nine-tenths of the time.
But the revelation becomes perhaps even more disturbing, when Lambesis says As I Lay Dying has toured with more "Christian bands" who actually aren't Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, he estimates only one in 10 Christian bands he toured with were actually Christians.
This shockingly ridiculous revelation (not Revelation, which is also shockingly ridiculous) is over at Charisma News: Heavy Metal Christian Rock Star Tim Lambesis: 'I'm an Atheist'. It's just out today but has almost 5,000 shares on social media.
"I actually wasn't the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I'm pretty sure they dropped it, too. We talked about whether to keep taking money from the 'Christian market,' '' Lambesis said. "We had this bizarrely 'noble' thing, like, 'Well, we're not passing along any bad ideas. We're just singing about real-life stuff. Those kids need to hear about real life, because they live in a bubble.' "
So why keep pretending you're a Christian? Well, if your income relies on record sales, you're kind of stuck bending the truth.
I was trying to put out a fire. I was afraid it would affect As I Lay Dying sales, which would affect my overall income.
Before we judge Tim Lambesis too harshly for this, remember the Clergy Project which is a very worthwhile project. If Lambesis' estimation of nine out of ten Christian bands not really being Christian is really true -- I have my doubts -- then perhaps we need a special parallel project just for them - but would the music get any better? I mean, really, is there hope? That's my question.

Of course, the Rockstar Project wouldn't accept Lambesis. Not so much because he's already went and outed himself but because he admitted to hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife. That's not ethical behaviour for a human: Christian or atheist. Yeah, that's not great material at all.

I'll put on my prophet hat right now and predict that we'll start hearing the 'no true Christian rockstar' fallacy in three... two... one...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Anglican Church Cannot Accept Gay Marriage Because "Christians Could Get Hurt"

Head of Church of England, Archbishop Justin Welby (source)
The head of the Church of England, Justin Welby, was on a radio program not long ago where he had a very interesting response to the question of his church accepting same-sex marriage.

African Christians will be killed if church accepts gay marriage warns Anglican leader
He was asked by one caller as to whether the Church of England would accept same-sex marriage after it was legalized. 
Welby replied, "The impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic and we have to love them as much as the people who are here."
Basically, he's saying that although it pains him in the middle of the night to see the mistreatment of LGTBI people in Britain, he has to balance that suffering with the kind of persecution Anglicans may receive in African states where being gay is illegal.

This comparison is pretty odd on this front alone, but what's really odd is how he seems to completely ignore the plight of LGBTI people internationally.

I'm sure Welby is a smart man - he was made head of a major international religious organization. So I can only imagine that he must be aware of the dreadful treatment of homosexuals in places like Nigeria or Russia - where they are stone to death and beaten in the streets. Surely that would change his calculus?

I don't really know what to make of him simply leaving these people to suffer and die when regional church leaders often use the positions of organizations like his to justify ongoing persecution.

Savi Hensman on his blog over at Ekklesia asks the same question that hit me.
I do not doubt his sincerity. However in the interview he failed to acknowledge the even greater suffering of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Christians in some non-western countries, and the responsibility of certain church leaders there for stoking up violent hatred, which may have backfired.
Amen!

Perhaps Welby is more worried about the future of his Church than the future of LGTB people in the UK and all across the world. Perhaps he doesn't want a schism similar to the internal conflict that struck the church regarding women clergy.

One bishop, the head of the Uganda Anglican Church, has already more or less threatened they'd leave if the C. of E. ever endorsed gay marriage.

Priorities. Priorities.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Trinity Western Law School: Setting The Tone For Discrimination

(source)
At the time of writing this post, in the United States, seventeen states have already legalized same-sex marriage. Things are changing faster than anyone could imagine with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DOMA). Internationally, it seems like another country legalizes same-sex marriage every other week.

Here in Canada, we enjoy legal same-sex marriage in all of our provinces and territories. We were actually the fourth country to legalize it, which makes me very proud to be a Canadian.

University of Ottawa law student Stéphane Erickson wrote an excellent opinion piece in the Globe & Mail about how the upcoming Trinity Western law school is in the wrong for discriminating against students who are in relationships with partners of the same sex.

Trinity Western law school has no right to judge its gay students

But all legal jargon aside; let’s call a spade a spade. This is wrong. It’s plain wrong. Denying access to education – above all legal education – based on one’s sexual orientation or lifestyle choices is wrong. Whether it’s a private institution or a public institution, it remains wrong. It’s wrong because it is hateful. It conveys the message that religion can indeed be used as shield, as a cloak, to discriminate, to judge and to perpetuate vile and harmful ideas – be it against women, ethnicities, sexual minorities, or other contributors to society that have been historically and systematically forced to silence, to shame, to the periphery.
Erickson has a good if not tragic point; he is himself a gay Roman Catholic. The Vatican has a huge problem with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

His questions are good ones. How can a single law school respect both secular laws and their bronze age mythology at the same time? How can they serve two masters?

At the end of his piece, he asks this poignant question.
I therefore ask this of Canada’s soon-to-be law school: If a person is gay and loves another person of the same sex, and seeks to further his or her understanding of the law, notably in the areas of religious freedoms, and has good will, on which authority do you stand to judge him or her?
My answer is a simple one. They base it on their book, naturally. How could they do otherwise?

This new institution is for young students who ultimately wish to learn about the LAW. This is more than the petty laws of humans; those which have helped bring about some measure of equality for men who love men and women who love women. These young minds will learn how to fold and bend human temporal laws to serve their ultimate religious law, to serve their mission.

I think this will be a school which enslaves the law of the land to the verses of a book which would ultimately have gays and lesbians regulated back to their historical position of persecution.

Erickson deftly expresses concerns that underlie my objections to the school and no doubt the objections of many others.
The obvious questions follow: How is a law school, which does not recognize the legitimacy of civil unions, same-sex marriage, and non-traditional family structures, going to ensure an accurate and sincere legal education? How is the Charter going to be taught with respect to women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other issues pertaining to sections 15 and 7? Moreover, and maybe most importantly, how is the school going to ensure that students feel safe in an environment morally bound by religious doctrine and skewed interpretations of sacred texts? All these questions have been asked, with no – or very few – answers from the University.
I think the answer is apparent. They have no real intention of doing this. This is why they require their own separate school. This is why they have cloistered themselves away. Society is growing increasingly suspicious and intolerant of their attitudes towards LGBT rights.

Canadian society and its laws have become a hostile place full of scorn and ridicule for those who do not approve of the increasing public acceptance of LGBT people.  They cannot tolerate LGBT people being in relationships with those they love, marrying, having or adopting children -- living their lives and treated like human beings.

The condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle as a kind of sickness by the religious seems more and more ridiculous and vile with each passing day. As multiple sexual orientations and gender identities become ever more normalized in a more broadly inclusive society, it is these people who are left in the dust. Frankly, they start looking like the religious who were on the wrong side of the civil rights movement.

I believe the creators of this new law school don't like the direction things are going. Maybe they will try to raise an army of lawyers to swing the pendulum backwards. One can only hope they fail.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Churches In Kenya Refusing to Vaccinate Their Children

Okay, this weeks' Witchcraft Wednesdays is too action packed for me to fit into a single post. So I'm breaking it up into mini posts. Here's the first ranty one.

So, religiously motivated anti-vaxers in Kenya.

Sects lock health officials out in polio vaccination drive
Health workers administering the polio vaccine faced fierce resistance Tuesday from more than 30 families who subscribe to a sect that does not believe in modern medicine. Armed with machetes, stones and other crude weapons, villagers from Piavi-Subukia in Njoro, Nakuru County, protested against the vaccination, hurling insults at journalists and health workers as they locked their children in the houses. The villagers are said to be members of a sect called Church of God.
I like how the article refers to the church as a sect rather than a church even though I'm pretty sure it's just another brand of Christianity. At least this implies they also believe these families are nuts.

The CDC gives Kenya a Level 2 warning on their three level severity chart when it comes to polio risk. So polio is a real risk in Kenya.

One parent claimed that since Jesus never took drugs (cuz it don't say in the B-ay-b-el) it means his children shouldn't either. It's surprising to me that he didn't recall that he's the one who believes this Jesus fellow was god and rose from the dead. Those are some pretty spiffy tricks that I doubt his children have when it comes to polio affliction.

Authorities did the right thing and wrestled the villagers down forcing the vaccine drops into the mouths of the children -- who are innocent in all of this tragedy and do not deserve to be crippled or die because their parents think medicine is witchcraft.
“You are worldly people out to tarnish the hearts of our children. You are evil and your drugs are witchcraft,” he shouted amid fist fights.
Many of the women were in tears watching their children get the drops. One woman told media that she forgave her parents for forcing her to get the drops because they were unsaved.

Another religious cult resisting immunization is called Yesu Ma Kende, which I know has something to do with Jesus because Yesu is apparently Jesus in Swahili. However, ma seems to mean Mother and Kende apparently means scrotum or testes. So, yeah, I'm not sure what's going on there. Any Swahili speakers, please help me out.
‘‘You are my enemies and are looking for trouble; you are going against my faith. I have always tried to explain to you my case, but you don’t listen. I made a vow with my Lord that I will never accept immunisation, lest disaster befalls me,’’ she said. 
It really goes to show how religious faith and conviction can really backfire and lead to people being immunized from facts and reality. And of course, it's little children that will suffer.

And another church.
The couple, members of a Dini ya Yesu church from Nyamusi area, said they believe it is only God who has powers to heal humankind. Followers of the church believe the sick should not seek treatment from hospitals. 
Isn't it amazing how religious superstition can delude parents enough to turn against science and ultimately let their children die of polio?

Here's a picture of iron lungs that were used in America as recently as the 1950s to keep adults and little children alive when their own muscles were too weak to even breathe after their bodies were wracked with polio. Oh and if you do survive, you can end up with permanent damage and crippled for life.

Iron lungs (source). I believe the person to the lower left is a young child.
During the polio epidemics, the iron lung saved many thousands of lives, but the machine was large, cumbersome and very expensive: in the 1930s, an iron lung cost about $1,500 - about the same price as the average home. The cost of running the machine was also prohibitive, as patients were encased in the metal chambers for months, years and sometimes for life: even with an iron lung the fatality rate for patients with bulbar polio exceeded 90%. (source)
Could you imagine your son or daughter being constrained to a breathing machine for life because they didn't have access to a few drops of vaccine? Thank you, religious nonsense.
In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic would be the worst outbreak in the nation's history, and is credited with heightening parents’ fears of the disease and focusing public awareness on the need for a vaccine. Of the 57,628 cases reported that year 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.
Read my lips: Take... the... drops... because... Jesus... didn't... help... these.. children.

Search This Blog

Loading...