Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Some quickies

June 28, 2008

It’s just busy, busy, busy this week! Yesterday I made it home from the Washington State LASER Strategic Planning Institute, and in just about an hour I’ll be on my way to West Yellowstone, Montana, to serve as a groomsman in my father’s wedding. There will be family from much of the United States there, most of whom I haven’t seen in a very long while, so I’m very excited. The downside, of course, is that I have less time to make posts.

Because I have little time, I’ll just post some links to interesting (and perhaps disturbing) things that have happened in the last 24 hours.

First, the bad, though unsurprising, news: SB 733 has been signed into law. Governor Bobby Jindal (with a name like that, how can you stay mad at him?) signed the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act into law, handing creationists a license to attack sound scientific theory in the classroom on frivolous religious bases.

Of course, the Discovery Institute, which has been instrumental in enacting these “academic freedom” bills around the country, is trying to distance itself from SB 733’s success. They’re claiming the bill isn’t about intelligent design, but simply about exposing students to the debates scientists themselves undertake. This is bullshit, because the Louisiana science standards, and those of every other state I’ve ever heard of, already hold that students should be exposed to legitimate issues in science. What the Discovery Institute really wants is for students to be opposed to illegitimate issues, such as global warming, and the perennial favorite, evolution.

In other news, Pharyngula writes on a frightening ruling in the Texas Supreme Court. A church which had been prosecuted for torturing a 17-year-old girl was found innocent by the high court, because they were conducting an exorcism. Apparently, in the great state of Texas, you’re allowed to horribly traumatize a child if you think she has demons in her head. Read the Pharyngula piece, and mourn our nation’s sanity.

After all that gloom, here’s something to cheer you up! I’ve been meaning to link to this webcomic for a long time. It’s called Kawaii Not, and I love it, because it perverts the saccharine cuteness that pervades so much of design these days. This particular comic is my favorite.

Hope that helps!

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Ken Ham is polluting our nation’s highways

June 15, 2008

In case anyone is wondering why I didn’t make any posts yesterday, here’s the reason: I was on the road for fourteen hours.  That’s right, I drove nonstop from Montana to Vancouver, BC.  It’s a beautiful ride, with majestic mountains, fertile forests, and whimsical wildlife in view all the way.  But for one blemish, it would have been perfect.  Unfortunately, that one blemish was enough nearly to spoil the whole package.

Here’s the offender:

Right in my native Montana, too. I knew that Ken Ham, from atop his dark tower, had sent his minions of filth and ignorance far abroad, but I never imagined that they had penetrated the fair and fertile lands of the West. The war on science has reached our borders.

(I didn’t have a camera; the image comes from this blog.)

I wish I could afford to buy my own billboard:

On a serious note, it’s obvious what the real billboard above is trying to invoke: Atheists have no morals, because morality comes from God. This is transparently ridiculous to anyone who a) is an atheist, or b) knows an atheist. We all have a moral sense, believers and nonbelievers alike, and this sense of what kinds of actions are permissible and what kinds are not appears to be inborn, even if there is a good deal of cultural variation in which specific actions are considered moral. Further, if our morals came from God, those Christians and Jews among us would still be stoning children for talking back, and forcing rape victims to marry their attackers. It’s pretty clear that wherever our morals may come from, it’s not our respective religions.

The person responsible for the billboard should have known better. That makes him/her a liar. Ken Ham must have endorsed it, so he’s a liar too. “Thou shalt not bear false witness” my ass.

Noah: Captain? Prophet? Hero?

June 7, 2008

I recently ran across my brother’s new blog. Unlike mine, which is a discombulated blob of whatever happens to be cluttering my head, his has a single premise: that Noah, leader of the only humans dubbed worthy by God of surviving the Flood, is the one true prophet, and the one true savior.

Of course he understands as well as I do that the Flood never happened. If I understand correctly, he’s using the premise of starting a new religion to critique the major religions in place today. For instance, one tenant of “An-arkism” (because Noah built “an ark”) is that God can’t be bothered to answer prayers over every niggling aspect of our lives. (Sounds a lot like one of the Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts.)

One more thing you’ll notice is that he hardly ever updates. Be sure to get on his case about that.

In the spirit of starting one’s own religion, I think I’ve discovered the one true God: entropy. I will now devote my life to worshipping Entropy, and to ensuring that its beautifully chaotic domain increases wherever possible. Pursuant to this, I will no longer be cleaning my room, making my bed, combing my hair, or engaging in any other sinful activity that detracts from the glory of Entropy.