Sunday, December 31, 2006

Huge Ice Sheet Breaks Free in Canada

Scientists recently noticed a ice sheet the size of 11,000 football fields broke free from Canada's Ellesmere Island 16 months ago. The cause isn't precisely known, but most scientists suspect that record high temperatures in the Arctic as a result of global warming are to blame.

Considering the Arctic ice pack is 90% smaller than it was in 1906, what more will it take to convince Bush to take action? Could the Republican party and he quit distorting science long enough to address this threat to our future? It might hurt corporations in the short term, but it's better than the devastation our economy would suffer if the worst case scenarios came to pass. Global Warming is very real, and everyone needs to wake up to its dangers, otherwise this comfortable world we live in will change. If fact, it might be too late, but hopefully we can keep it from getting too bad.

Check out the CNN article on the topic here.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Atheist Blogroll

This blog is now a member of the Athiest Blogroll maintained by Mojoey over at a Deep Thoughts. You can see a list of the entire blogroll at the bottom of the sidebar to the right. There's some excellent sites over there, so if you're an an atheist or just want to enjoy some free thought, check it out. If you'd like to get your blog added to the blogroll, just click on the icon at the top of the list and follow the insructions. Enjoy!

Park Rangers Can't Disclose Grand Canyon's Age

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has reported on a troubling development in one of the nation's premier national parks. Bush political appointees have applied pressure to the staff of Grand Canyon National Park, forcing them to refrain from saying anything about the landform's age.

“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”

Furthermore, the Park's bookstore, which law and park policy dictates must act like a public school, stocks the book Grand Canyon: A Different View, a Creationist book claiming that the Grand Canyon was formed by waters from Noah's great flood. The park's superintendent tried to remove the book from the store's shelves, but was halted by political park officials who promised to review the book's content. Three years on, the book remains on shelves and thre review has still not occurred.

Why does a national park have to worry about offending fundamentalists? Now that they've done this, they're offending people who can think for themselves. At least with the naturalistic stance, they had a view supported by evidence geologic evidence. If fundamentalists don't like the facts, that's what they get for refusing to acknowledge them. Maybe they'll learn something instead of using a book written in the Bronze Age for scienific knowledge.

As for removing the Biblically-inspired book from the park's bookstore, I'm all for it. Normally, I'd be against censorship, but since the park legally acts as a public school, then it must remain secular. The government cannot respect a religious establishment in this manner. It's unconstitutional.

Check out PEER's article here.

Update: It has since come to light that PEER was dishonest in regards to their "no comment" claim. Read more here.

Quote of the Week

"Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding."

- Martin Luther shows us why religion rarely gets along with science

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Failure of the "Just a Theory" Claim

With the legal death of Intelligent Design as a result of the Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board ruling, the current trend within Creationist circles is to “teach the controversy” surrounding evolution. Creationist organizations such as the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington are currently trying to convince school boards to place stickers in biology textbooks with a disclaimer saying the theory of evolution is “just a theory” and there is not a universal agreement on the theory within the scientific community. For the first part, that’s kind of redundant. Secondly, evolution is one of the most agreed upon theories in science. Not all scientists agree on the exact mechanisms of how evolution works, but that’s science in action. It fosters debate with goal of gaining knowledge, unlike religion, which seeks to stifle all debate. The only “scientists” that fully reject evolution usually work at places like the Discovery Institute and take part in no actual peer-reviewed research.

Next, one needs to look at what exactly constitutes a theory. Perhaps Creationists don’t know what “theory” means in scientific terms. However, I doubt this, and it seems more likely that organizations such as the Discovery Institute want to exploit the public’s misunderstanding of science for their own purposes. The word “theory” has significantly different meanings between its uses in science and common English. In English, a theory is nothing more than a guess. This fits closer to the scientific term hypothesis. In science, a theory is an explanation for natural phenomena that is supported by a large amount of empirical evidence. Furthermore, theories can never be proven right, but they can be falsified. However, no evidence has come to light proving evolution to be false. Scientists have certainly tried, but any hypotheses against evolution have quickly been ruled out. Furthermore, the evidence for evolution continues to grow. The fossil record supports it. Genetics supports it. Advances and discoveries in modern medicine support it (the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for example). I could continue, but the fact remains that it would take a monumental discovery to debunk evolution. Just to give you an idea of the type of find it would take, British scientist J.B.S. Haldane famously said it would take “fossil rabbits in the Precambrian” to falsify the theory of evolution.

Now, if schools have to put stickers in biology books saying “evolution is just a theory,” then those same schools had better put stickers in physics books saying “gravity is just a theory,” too. Like evolution, the theory of gravity describes an observed, natural phenomena. However, scientists have no idea what actually causes gravity. A great number of hypotheses exist, but no evidence has been found to support any of them. In some ways, evolution is better understood than gravity because we know the mechanisms behind it.

As for Intelligent Design, it is not a theory at all. It breaks the cardinal rule that all scientific theories must adhere to: it cannot be falsified. We cannot observe the supernatural “Intelligent Designer,” therefore, it is impossible to prove or disprove its existence, which makes Intelligent Design (and its parent, Creationism) outside the realm of science and reason.

The next time someone tells you “evolution is just a theory,” please educate them and tell them: “At least it deserves the status of theory, unlike Intelligent Design or Creationism, which do not even adhere to the conventions of science.”

Another Victory for Science

Science defeats the forces of ignorance once again! I'm a little behind the times in finding this one, but check out this CNN article about the Cobb County school board's decision to stop placing stickers in biology textbooks stating that "evolution is just a theory."

James Dobson is a Dirty Liar

Dr. James Dobson (pictured), founder of the fundamental Christian organization Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, recently wrote an opinion piece in Time magazine concerning the news that Mary Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, is pregnant and intends to raise the child with her female partner. In the article, Dobson cites the research of Carol Gilligan, a profesor at NYU, for proof that children need a mother and a father. In it, he states that Prof. Gilligan found that "mothers tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty. Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences. Other researchers have determined that boys are not born with an understanding of "maleness." They have to learn it, ideally from their fathers."

That seems like fair enough evidence I suppose. Except it's not what Prof. Gilligan's research said at all. She wrote an angry letter to Dobson demanding that he not cite her work anymore because he had severely distorted her findings. There's even a video on YouTube that features her disputing Dobson's article (you can see it here).

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of same-sex couples raising children (personally, I'm not even sure where I stand. I'd like to see more, unbiased studies on the matter), lying to prove a point is simply dispicable. Furthermore, it seems un-Christian to me. As a nonbeliever, I might not be the best authority on the subject, but isn't the 9th Commandment "Thou shalt not lie"? Dr. Dobson, you just committed a sin you hypocrite by distorting science for your own means (and it wouldn't be the first time).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Book of the Month: The Republican War on Science

Science is a subject near and dear to my heart because I feel it is our greatest and only hope for truly understanding the world around us. It may not know everything, and it never will, but it has paved the way to our modern, technologically advanced society and allows us to better understand each other and our place in the universe. Now, when someone messes with it, I get angry.

Chris Mooney's The Republican War on Science made me very angry. It it, Mooney lays out a well-documented essay on how the Republican Party has ignored or distorted science for its own purposes since it took control of Congress in 1994. He shows how Republicans have repeatedly ignored scientific findings on important topics such as global warming, obesity, and wildlife protection in order to pander to big business lobbyists. Mooney shows how Republicans' insistence on using "sound science" is actually anything but and makes it almost impossible for science to work the way it's supposed to. Mooney also laments the encroaching influence of religion on science education through intelligent design, a subject very near and dear to my heart. Finally, Mooney looks at how religious "morality" has interferred with protecting this country's youth from the dangers of STDs and stalled the life-saving potential of stem cell research by using fake science to distort the facts.

In summary, Mooney's The Republican War on Science is an excellent expose on the dangers of politicized science and documents (with notes you can verify, unlike Ann Coulter) the Republican Party's efforts to destroy science for political purposes. Furthermore, it shows how the government's actions are hurting America's lead in science and giving other nations a chance to surpass us, which I feel is an unmistakable sign of our decline as a world power. If you're a fan of science and concerned about it's future in America, I recommend picking this one up.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Online Debate With a Die-Hard Christian

The following is a debate a couple of others and I had with a fundamentalist Christian (I think, he never said what he was) on the response page of one of DefCon's blog posts. It gives you an idea of the irrationality of refusal to listen we're dealing with. By the way, Carson is the person responsible for my Quote of the Week.

  1. December 21st, 2006 at 7:14 pm
    Carson Says:

    People! People! People! ………..I for one could care less about what you believe in. I am not going to try and convince any one here to go believe in God.
    The point is that prayer in school or talk about God is not a violation of our first amendment. As long as there is a majority and neutrality among the students who are taking part in the discussion.

    Recently a young woman who attended a high school in Henderson, Nevada was giving a valadictorian speech and made some references to God. The school staff pulled the plug on her microphone claiming a violation of church and state. There is no such thing as a wall between church and state.
    The young woman is now filing a law suit against the school stating that her first amendment rights were violated. The school motioned to have the case dismissed when the preciding judge refused to dismiss the case.

    The valadictorian has the first amendment right to freely express her religion.

  2. December 21st, 2006 at 7:16 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Mj : I can assure you that ALL earth-born , earth bound extant theisms, and their respective dieties, are MERELY as equally valid as were the myths, the fables of the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, mayans, and Incans.

    AS for using REASON and LOGIC to contemplate the existence a “Creator” vel non, those tools are quite adequate at reaching conclusions WITHOUT EVER, not EVEN ONCE, defaulting to belief.

    I would ask you to try it, but you would never be able to get out of the permanent dafault drive of belief where you have ensconsced yourself .

  3. December 21st, 2006 at 7:18 pm
    Carson Says:

    I think many of you get the letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist’s confused with seperation of church and state. The Danbury letter is simply a letter assuring the Baptist church that they were protected from the state.

  4. December 21st, 2006 at 7:22 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    I agree with your opinion on the Nevada case, but prayer in public school is the governmnet not allowing freedom of religion. Schools operate as instituitions of the government, and everyone working there operates as an official representative of the government. Now, telling a child to pray for something he or she does not believe in is the government forcing religion on a child by respecting a particular establishment of religion, no matter how vauge. Prayer is still a religious exercise.

    As for talking about God in school, that’s fine until a teacher starts telling his students that people who do not believe in Jesus are going to hell. Once again, this is respecting a particular establishment of religion by a government official, which is prohibited in the Constitution. Free citizens can express whatever belifs they want, but government officials cannot do the same while on duty.

  5. December 21st, 2006 at 7:23 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson: you assignment is to compare and contrast the language of 1st Amendment with language of Art4, Sec4., and report bac why the Framers choseto differenctiate between the prohibition against ESTABLISHING religion and the MANDATE to GUARANTEE ” republican governments in all the states”.

    They structure into the Const the SEPARATE rightsdand DUTIES of the Congress vis-a-vis religion and government.

    Those are FACTS….not revisionist tripe as you are wont to opine!

  6. December 21st, 2006 at 7:30 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “I think many of you get the letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist’s confused with seperation of church and state. The Danbury letter is simply a letter assuring the Baptist church that they were protected from the state. ”

  7. December 21st, 2006 at 7:31 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    Sorry, hit submit a bit early… From the link above:

    “Jefferson sent his letter as president only after having the U.S. Attorney General (Levi Lincoln, who was assuredly no John Ashcroft) and others review it. Jefferson intended the letter to explain and reaffirm his views on religious liberty and the Constitution. Those views firmly supported a strict separation, though at the time only with regard to the federal government. Jefferson sent his letter in response to an October 1801 letter from a Baptist congregation that urged him to defend a constitutionally mandated strict separation of church and state. (Connecticut and several other states did not have religious liberty at the time.)”

  8. December 21st, 2006 at 7:36 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carso : Our Const does, in fact, contemplate and its very structure incorporates not only Separation of church and State, but a PLETHORA of other INHERENT fundamental rights articulated and unarticulated, but inferred from the articulated rights.
    I adumbrated many of those on a prior post, and will not now belabor such Suffice it to say since 1803 the Law of the land is and has been determined by the Const as , constitutionally cnstrued by the Supreme Court.
    You may not like it, but it’s FACT!

  9. December 21st, 2006 at 7:43 pm
    Carson Says:


    Dude you have taken sentences from James Madison’s Remonstandce and tryed to make us believe that is means we are not free to practice religion. You obviously are reading from an athiest web site. I am a historian by hobie and have plenty of copies of this letter on hand. You may be able to fool others on here but you will not fool me.
    The letter is regarding teachers taxation which is in no way fair. It would be a violation of our constitution if the Christian teachers were allowed to put a taxaticon on those who elect not to pay it. Madison clearly states in the letter that he is concerned with one religious sect dominatiing over the oher. The letter more or less clearly states that Madison was making sure that freedom of religion must remain a part of our society. The letter is not about removing god or religion however it is about maintaing the right for every one equally to practice their religion.
    James Madison was a Christian too you freak!

    If you knew anything about the why our founding fathers left England to come here and set up a government that allowed people to freely exercize what ever relgion they desired then you would probably understand letters such as the James Madison Remonstance.

    Like I keep saying ……We have the right to freedom of religion and not freedom from religion!
    If our government was secular then that would mean that our government was in violation of our first amendment rights.

  10. December 21st, 2006 at 7:50 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    How do you justify that we do not have freedom from religion?

  11. December 21st, 2006 at 7:52 pm
    Carson Says:

    Yehfreak, where does it say seperation of church and state in our constitution?
    you never have been to washington have you? Have you ever been to the house of representatives or the congressional chapel?
    Not even in congression records from june 7th to september 25th 1789 is the words seperation of church and state ever mentioned.
    You are an atheist fool you should be ashamed of your self for trying to fool others into believing our history is your distorted atheist view. Only one time the words seperation of church and state were used and that was in the Danbury letter written by jefferson and I am not going to ask yahfreak why it was written.
    Yehfreak you have been brainwashed by the ACLU and DEFCON.
    There is no such thing as a seperation of church and state.
    Show me where it says this……

  12. December 21st, 2006 at 7:53 pm
    Carson Says:

    J-bar read the first amendment.

  13. December 21st, 2006 at 7:53 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    Also, how is a secular government a violation of our first amendment rights? Do you even know what secular means?

  14. December 21st, 2006 at 7:54 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    I have read the first amendment. It doesn’t say we have to prectice a religion. Please enlighten me.

  15. December 21st, 2006 at 7:58 pm
    Carson Says:

    Another point….each and every one of you should be thankful for what our constitution states. Otherwise none of you here would be able to freely practice your atheism or wicca or what ever! The problem is that many of you are pissed off because you are the minority. only about 4 percent of America is atheist and you people hate god. Move to a country that is atheist or does not have Christianity if you hate it here thats all I have to say

  16. December 21st, 2006 at 7:59 pm
    Carson Says:

    J-Bar no shit!

  17. December 21st, 2006 at 8:00 pm
    Carson Says:

    secularism is a religion or a single belief J-Bar

  18. December 21st, 2006 at 8:00 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “Yehfreak, where does it say seperation of church and state in our constitution?”

    Where does it say “Freedom of Religion”? “Freedom of Speech”? “Freedom of Expression?”

  19. December 21st, 2006 at 8:00 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    I’m waiting. What phrase in the 1st Amendment leads you to believe that we are not free from religion? What phrase says we must practice a religion? Also, it mentions the name of no religion, so does that mean that Islam can just as easily be used by the government. By your logic, the government must have a religion, but since the Consitution does not specify, I guess that opens the door to everything.

  20. December 21st, 2006 at 8:02 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “you people hate god”

    No, we just don’t believe one exists. Ours is a LACK of belief in a god.

    Get an education.

  21. December 21st, 2006 at 8:03 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    No shit, eh? I asked you a legitimate question. How do you think the establishment clause of he 1st Amendment does not make us free from religion? Stop side-stepping the issue.

  22. December 21st, 2006 at 8:07 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “secularism is a religion or a single belief J-Bar ”

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Main Entry: re·li·gion
    1 a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
    4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
    - re·li·gion·less adjective

    Main Entry: 1re·li·gious
    1 : relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity

    2 : of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances
    3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

    Main Entry: 1sec·u·lar

    1 a : of or relating to the worldly or temporal b : not overtly or specifically religious c : not ecclesiastical or clerical
    2 : not bound by monastic vows or rules; specifically : of, relating to, or forming clergy not belonging to a religious order or congregation

    3 a : occurring once in an age or a century b : existing or continuing through ages or centuries c : of or relating to a long term of indefinite duration

  23. December 21st, 2006 at 8:08 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Good point, Stephanie. How can he hate a god we don’t believe in? I must hate Santa Clause too, since I don’t believe in him.

  24. December 21st, 2006 at 8:09 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson : read the 1st amendment and compare it with Art 4 Sec 4

  25. December 21st, 2006 at 8:12 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    Open a dictionary like Stephanie did. Secular means no religion. Also, since secularism is a religion, by your logic, then we can use it since you think there is no freedom from religion. Since the Constitution does not specifiy, then what’s the difference? Please, at least try and make your arguments compliment each other before you blindly spout off nonsense.

  26. December 21st, 2006 at 8:15 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “each and every one of you should be thankful for what our constitution states”

    Uh, yeah - that’s why we are defending it from hisorical revisionists and religious dominionists.

  27. December 21st, 2006 at 8:17 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    My thoughts exactly, Stephanie.

    Carson, we’re still waiting here. I would seriously like to see you defend you “no freedom from religion” statement.

  28. December 21st, 2006 at 8:18 pm
    Alex Says:


    Great post at 8:02. Love it.

  29. December 21st, 2006 at 8:22 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Opps, on my 8:08 post I meant, “how can we hate..” not “how can he hate”.

  30. December 21st, 2006 at 8:23 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson : are you actually contending that a PRECISE phrase has to be in the Constitution for some one to have the RIGHTS contemplated by the phrase?
    If so , ponder the following.

    NO WHERE in the CONST will you find the following:

    “presumption of Innocence”‘
    “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”:
    “unanimous criminal jury verdicts”:
    “right to marry”;
    “Right to marry of your choosing”:
    “Right to marry outside the church”;
    “Right to marry outsiide your race”;
    “Right to have children”;
    “Right to number of children”;
    “Right to name children”:
    “Right to sell property’:
    “Right to sell for profit”:
    “Right to will prorety to family”:
    “Right to will proerty to church”;
    “Right to own REVOLVER”:
    “Right to own automatic rifle’:
    “Right to move from stete to state”;
    “One person one vote”;
    “Right to morse code transmission”;
    “Right to radio broadcast”:
    “Right to TV/Movie/ Internet broadcast/use”:
    “Right to do what you want with your spouse in PRIVACY of your home”:

    ALL of these ROIGHTS are INFERRED from ther ARTICULATED rights or from INHERNT FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS retained by WE THE PEOPLE!!!

    Now Carson and Jumper : RESPOND to this SPECIFIC argument. Don’t avoid it. Don’t move the goalposts. Don’t posit more OPINION.

    COUNTER my ARGUMENT with FACTS in the fashion I have ADUMBRATED!

  31. December 21st, 2006 at 8:41 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Personally, I think Carson’s just baiting us. He says ludicrous, incendiary things and then disappears without defending his points. If he really wanted to debate he would try to engage in some sort of dialogue. At least Jumper stays and makes an effort. I respect him for that. Carson, or whoever he’ll be next week, not so much.

  32. December 21st, 2006 at 8:42 pm
    Carson Says:

    Yeh Freak, stop trying to change things around…Stick to the exact text of the constitution.
    It cleary states that we have the freedom of relgion.
    No matter what YehFreak, we we be able to practice Christianity no matter what when and where.
    have a nice day!

  33. December 21st, 2006 at 8:44 pm
    Carson Says:

    Jbar you are an idiot! stay out of this one you can’t handle it.

  34. December 21st, 2006 at 8:46 pm
    Carson Says:

    as far as yehfreak is concerned he don’t know what the hell he is taliking about either. he trys to distort the converstation and move off the subject . he uses the thesaurus way too much its so obvious. lets go by what our constitution states.

  35. December 21st, 2006 at 8:46 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “It cleary states that we have the freedom of relgion.”

    Show me where.

  36. December 21st, 2006 at 8:46 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    And there’s the name calling…

  37. December 21st, 2006 at 8:49 pm
    Carson Says:

    J-Bar There is no debate going on here. You can not debate what is written in our history. now you can make up stuff and distort things like yehfreak always does.

    It so obvious none of you are historians or even remotely began to study american history.
    you know absolutely nothing about our founding fathers other then what you have read on liberal atheist web sites.

  38. December 21st, 2006 at 8:50 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    I don’t see how what Yah posted is off-subject. It is quite clearly within the current dialogue. You stated that “freedom of religion” is in the Constitution. We pointed out that, not only is “freedom of religion” not in the text of the Constitution, but neither are any of the other things both Yah and I posted.

    Furthermore, you have resorted to the classic avoidance/diversion tactic of attacking your opponents knowledge, without actually refuting their arguments. If you can’t back up your assertions, don’t make them. If you can’t refute the rebuttals to your baseless assertions, stop pontificating.

  39. December 21st, 2006 at 8:50 pm
    yah weh Says:

    NO ONE here has EVER denied that the CONST mentions “freedom of religion”
    There you go again Carson/davis/patridiot/flesh, avoiding an argument and moving the goalposts.

    The entire debate on this annd many threads cncern our opposition to yours and the RRR’s attempt to establish a religion, or minimize government’s ever tyo willingness to benmd to then popular perssuasion and gine gvernment’s imprimatur of approva to some favore sect, such as “judeo-CHRISTIANS( emphasis on CHRISTIAN is inentional)

  40. December 21st, 2006 at 8:51 pm
    Carson Says:

    Steph uhhhhh! i have to type this out?
    or can you just read the first amendment if you own a copy of the constitution.

  41. December 21st, 2006 at 8:52 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    Well, you happen to be (ahem) “debating” a historian right now. I personally have provided a number of resources for your edification, and yet, not only have you declined to peruse said resources, you attack them as biased - COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that all of these sources are the writings of the Founders themselves.

    There’s that superiority complex again.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  42. December 21st, 2006 at 8:53 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Ok Carson,

    Since you clearly refuse to read, I’ll tell you what the Constitution says: “Congress shall make no laws respecting religion or the establishment thereof.” That’s the exact text and the only place it mentions religion. How does that mean the government must have religion in it? Please, quit poo-pooing our arguments and calling us names. It does not make your point any more correct. Try and respond to our concerns.

  43. December 21st, 2006 at 8:54 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Oh, and I’m a senior in college majoring in history, so I do know a little bit of what I’m talking about.

  44. December 21st, 2006 at 8:54 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    My mistake from above, “freedom of speech” is actually in the text, but I fail to see “freedom of religion”…

  45. December 21st, 2006 at 8:56 pm
    yah weh Says:

    “Free exercise of religion” I should have PRECISELY said

  46. December 21st, 2006 at 8:56 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    It says “free exercise”… that is not “freedom of…”. Do you not see the difference? We are guaranteed to be free from government interference in our choice of religion, or choice of no religion. How is that difficult to understand?

  47. December 21st, 2006 at 8:57 pm
    Carson Says:

    Christianity yehfreak is not a religious denomination or establishment of religion such as Catholic Mormon Baptist etc.
    America being a combination of religions primarily Christian and Jewish all worship the same God. Now wouldn’t you think that if our governent respected only the catholics and not any of the other denominations or establishments people would get upset right?
    Well that is why we have freedom of religion. and if our government promotes christianity or the same bible that all religious establishments read from then there is no seperation of church and state.
    now if our government said that we can only pray in a Catholic fasion then you would have a claim.

    People I am sorry for criticizing any of you it can get frustrating at times trying to convince others what is true about our history and what is not. especially when your the one being criticized for it.

  48. December 21st, 2006 at 8:57 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Thaks, Stephanie, I read the establishment clause and tried to write it without referring back. My mistake.

  49. December 21st, 2006 at 9:01 pm
    Carson Says:

    Steph, doesn’t exercise mean practice or participate? It is also a verb.
    And yes you are right about the government interfering with religion they have no right, unless our free exercise thereof has been violated. That means they can not tell the Danbury Baptists how to run their organization just like the Danbury’s can not tell our government how to operate.

  50. December 21st, 2006 at 9:01 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “and if our government promotes christianity or the same bible that all religious establishments read from then there is no seperation of church and state.”

    I can’t figure out what you are trying to say, here. Are you asserting that because the god of the Jews is the same god as the Christians and, according to your assertion, the “vast majority” of American citizens are christian or jewish, that the government is REQUIRED to pray and promote the bible?

  51. December 21st, 2006 at 9:02 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    Just because it operates under many differnt sects does not change the fact that the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Instead Christianity has numerous etablishments that cannot be respected. There is no one version of Christianity. It simply operates under several different establishments.

  52. December 21st, 2006 at 9:03 pm
    Carson Says:

    prohibiting the free exercize thereof:

    Does that mean I can pray in school and other kids can too if they choose?

  53. December 21st, 2006 at 9:04 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “People I am sorry for criticizing any of you it can get frustrating at times trying to convince others what is true about our history and what is not. especially when your the one being criticized for it”

    Ahh, trying to “convince” us what is “true”… well, you happen to be at the wrong place for that - here you find a group of people uniquely qualified to defeat your “truth” (cough, cough) with the actual text, writings and thoughts of the men who framed our Constitution.

  54. December 21st, 2006 at 9:05 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    You said, “That means [the government] can not tell the Danbury Baptists how to run their organization just like the Danbury’s can not tell our government how to operate.”

    That’s exactly what we’re saying. No religious group can tell the government how to legislate. Nice way to contradict yourself there.

  55. December 21st, 2006 at 9:05 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson: It’s obvious to most, if not all, who read your posts that you , sir, are NO student of history; you, sir, are NO stuent of the Constitution: you, sir, are NO student of Sup Ct decisions; you, sir, are NO student of LOGIC; you, sir, are NO student of the Law; you, sir, are NO student of Reasoned discourse; you, sir, are merely a BELIEVER who has been able to demagogue hs way elswhere, but will find NO QUARTER, NO CORNER herein within which to hide and spew forth yopur discredited dogma, revisionist tripe, and “ISMS”!

  56. December 21st, 2006 at 9:06 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “That means they can not tell the Danbury Baptists how to run their organization just like the Danbury’s can not tell our government how to operate.”

    AHA! The money quote! So if the Danbury’s cannot tell the government how to operate, does that then go for all Christian denominations? Jewish ones? How about Muslims? Buddhists?

  57. December 21st, 2006 at 9:10 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “Does that mean I can pray in school and other kids can too if they choose?”

    Of course it does!! Every person here defends your right to do so. However, if the school PROMOTES, or in any way ENDORSES religious practice during school hours or any school sponsored function, the SCHOOL has violated the Establishment Clause. The students are well within their rights to pray silently at their desks, or aloud during lunch, or to form groups in study hall, etc.

  58. December 21st, 2006 at 9:10 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    By your admission, I guess the government is free from religion, afterall. Let’s see you backpedal away from this one.

  59. December 21st, 2006 at 9:10 pm
    Carson Says:

    Exactly J=Bar the majority of Americans are Christian or Jewish. They read from the same bible.
    That is why the word establishment is emphasized in the first amendment.
    An establishment of religion is the same as a denomination. It does not say we are not allowed to exercise our religion it clearly states that the government will not respect an establishment of religion and they we can freely choose to exercise our freedom of religion.
    our founding fathers would have bared any kind of religious freedom from the costitution if they did not believe in God or were not Christians. Just like many of you atheists would do if you were writing your own constitution.

    The constitution is clearly spelled out for us and if you can not see the simplicity behind what the first amendment means then I am sorry. It is pointless for me to try and explain any further.
    honestly if you removed your beliefs just like I did mine and read the constitution from an un-biased point of view you should be able to pick up the message it portrays.

  60. December 21st, 2006 at 9:11 pm
    Carson Says:

    J=Bar the Gov is not free from religion they have to protect religion. read the first amenment again.

  61. December 21st, 2006 at 9:12 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson YES YOU and KIDS may PRAY 24 hours a day, in or out of school. It may not be school/teacher led. It may not be dsruptive of PUBLIC school’s purpose , which is to educate, not INCULCATE with Religious dogma/tripe.

  62. December 21st, 2006 at 9:14 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    Do you not understand? We value our liberties, and we will fight to the DEATH to preserve yours as well. We cannot look the other way when civil liberty is infringed upon in any manner.

    So, when certain religious groups infringe upon our civil liberties by hijacking the government, we raise a big stink and people like you come in and say what you say… If the time ever came that your liberties were being infringed upon (which in some cases they are), you will find staunch support HERE.

    “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others” - Thomas Jefferson

  63. December 21st, 2006 at 9:16 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “the majority of Americans are Christian or Jewish. They read from the same bible.
    That is why the word establishment is emphasized in the first amendment.”

    Ok, so the word “establishment” is written in the First Amendment SPECIFICALLY because most Americans are Jewish or Christian? I think you will find more Muslims and Buddhists here than Jews, actually. The WORLD population for Jews is approximately 13 million.

  64. December 21st, 2006 at 9:17 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    And no, it is not the same bible for Christians and Jews. The Christian OT is different from the Torah and Tanakh.

  65. December 21st, 2006 at 9:19 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    First off, Jews and Christians do not read from the same Bible. The Jews only read from the first two/thirds and it’s called the Torah. Learn some history.

    Now, none of us are saying there should be no religion in America. None of us are saying that the Constitution forces us to be athiest. It allows us to choose the believe what we want. Hoever, the Constitution does say that there should be no religion in government. Huge difference. It simply says the government will not legislate with respect to any religion. How is it hard to see that it means there should be no religion used in the government’s duties? The point of DefCon is not to make America atheist. It’s to keep the government from becoming entangled in a particular religion, which leads to religious intolerance. We want to keep that tolerance because that’s what makes America great.

  66. December 21st, 2006 at 9:19 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “our founding fathers would have bared any kind of religious freedom from the costitution if they did not believe in God or were not Christians. Just like many of you atheists would do if you were writing your own constitution.”

    I personally couldn’t have written it any better than it already is. As an atheist, I do not want anyone telling me what I should believe or why - and I would NEVER presume to do so to anyone else.

  67. December 21st, 2006 at 9:21 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson the Framers profibited CONGRESS….from the ESTABLISHMENT of religion and PROHIBITED Congress from interfering with “the free exercise thereof”.
    You are confusing the two separate mandates/phohibitions by the FRAMERS of Congress.

  68. December 21st, 2006 at 9:22 pm
    Carson Says:

    Why then was it so important that our founding fathers created an amendment that would protect the freedom to exercise religion.
    You really have to think about the church of England and how it was forced religion. They taxed the Irish Catholics sent people to death for forming their own Establishments of religion.
    Our founding fathers said hey people should be able to worship God however they want to. Lets leave flee this place and go to that North America place and set up a governent that allows people to practice any relgion they want, without a government that forces their religion onto others and taxes other countries that are of other denominations or establishments. And at that time it was Christianity. There were Catholics, Babtists puritans etc etc. Our founding fathers set up a government that would protect and in essence protect all religious establishments.
    There is really nothing confusing about this. There is an important message to follow if you know the history of our governmnet and the founding fathers.

  69. December 21st, 2006 at 9:23 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    ” the Gov is not free from religion they have to protect religion”

    Just where is the government tasked with “protecting” religion? Where is that in the Constitution or its Amendments?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  70. December 21st, 2006 at 9:25 pm
    Carson Says:

    yehwah, what is an establishment of religion?
    I am not confusing any thing. I have referred to the first amendment the whole time.
    Why did they leave this up to congress then? or basically the states

  71. December 21st, 2006 at 9:27 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    The government protects religion by not favoring any religion. If the government made laws in line with Fundamental Christians, then the government could find it necessary to burn Wiccans as witches. Understand? By staying free from religion, the government protects all religions from the prejudices each hold towards each other.

  72. December 21st, 2006 at 9:31 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    The Amendment does not REQUIRE the exercise of a religion! That is the beauty of it! It leaves to the conscience of every citizen to live and believe whatever they wish to, WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE!!! All other forms of government until that time REQUIRED a form of religious belief - if you didn’t belong to the right one, you were burned at the stake, exiled, (or in the case of the Jews in Europe) forced into the ghettos and made second-class citizens.

    What the First Amendment provides for, for the first time in history, is a form of government that is INDIFFERENT to the religious beliefs of its citizens.

  73. December 21st, 2006 at 9:33 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “Lets leave flee this place and go to that North America place and set up a governent that allows people to practice any relgion they want, without a government that forces their religion onto others and taxes other countries that are of other denominations or establishments.”

    To my knowledge, none of the major “founders” were emigres… they were all born here. So there was no “fleeing”.

  74. December 21st, 2006 at 9:33 pm
    Carson Says:

    Steph, the amendment clearly states that the government will not prohibit the free exercise thereof:
    The constitution clearly states that we have a right to exercise our religion freely just like the you have the right to free speech.

  75. December 21st, 2006 at 9:37 pm
    Carson Says:

    UHHH! nevermind! this is a serious waste of time…..
    I am going out tonight with my budies and gonna have a few beers

    Ok each and every one of you are right you win! our founding fathers were atheists and hated religion and made sure that our goverment would not protect the rights of people to freely exercise their belief in God.

    What ever!

  76. December 21st, 2006 at 9:38 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    You stated ” the Gov is not free from religion they have to protect religion”.

    WHERE does the Constitution state that the government MUST protect religion? It doesn’t!! Religion (of any kind) has all the protection in Existence by the very fact that government CANNOT interfere with ANY religion WHATSOEVER!!
    (I’m beginning to feel like Yah, with all of the caps!)

    That protection is inherent in the founding document. For the government to “protect” religion, it would be interfering with it.

  77. December 21st, 2006 at 9:39 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson: tell me what your factual basis is for your statement that “Jews and christians worship the same god”. Are you a student of comparative religions. Have you ever asked an Hasidic Jew if he worships the christian god?
    Have you ever asked an Orthodox jew if she worships the christian god? A conservative jew? A Reform Jew? A rabbi of any stripe?

    Their answers…an EDUCATION__might surprise even so learned an HISTORIAN as YOU!

  78. December 21st, 2006 at 9:41 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    “Ok each and every one of you are right you win! our founding fathers were atheists and hated religion and made sure that our goverment would not protect the rights of people to freely exercise their belief in God. ”

    Now where have any of us said that? You state that the founders were all devout Christians. We debunk that by providing direct quotes and writings of the founders themselves. You state that this is a Christian Nation. We debunk that by providing you with direct quotes, writings, and the Treaty of Tripoli. You state that government sponsored religous programs aren’t a violation of the Establishment Clause, and we show you how it is indeed a violation. Then you proceed to make our arguments for us by stating that government can’t interfere in religion, and likewise, religion can’t interfere in government. You then end the discussion by putting words in our mouths. How is this an honest discussion by you?

  79. December 21st, 2006 at 9:42 pm
    J-Bar Says:


    We never tried to argue that the Founding Fathers were atheists. We never said the Constitution makes the country athiest. I think you and I generally agree on the role of the 1st Amendment, but you kept this notion in your head that we were saying things we had never said.

  80. December 21st, 2006 at 9:47 pm
    yah weh Says:

    Carson: Jews are JUST AS CERTAIN that Je-ZEUS was NOT god as you and your christian ILK are CERTAIN Je-Zeus was/is god.

    Carson: “When you TRULY understand why YOU RENOUNCE all other POSSIBLE gods, PERHAPS you will BEGIN to understand why I RENOUNCE YOURS”!

  81. December 21st, 2006 at 9:54 pm
    J-Bar Says:

    LIke trying to debate a child. He hears what he wants to hear and refuses to listen. It seems to me all fundies think people like us try to claim that the Constitution forces Americans to be atheist. I’ve never said that. Sigh.

  82. December 21st, 2006 at 10:09 pm
    Stephanie Says:

    I especially loved his “Why then was it so important that our founding fathers created an amendment that would protect the freedom to exercise religion.”

If he would have tried to listen, he might have learned something about where we stand, but he kept his preconceived notions in his head until the bitter end. This is why I worry for America's future.

Are We Really More Immoral Now?

I want to address the RR's insistance that we live in a time of uncontrolled immorality. They always harken back to a "better past" where people followed God's word, never had premarital sex, or took drugs.

I have a theory here. I’m sorry that I do not have much data to support it, but I think the argument speaks for itself. The reason things “seem” so much worse is because of the growth of the media and the internet. Nowadays, information reaches us faster than ever, and we have a vast repository of information at our fingertips. In my grandparents’ day, they didn’t have that. They’d see the news at the movie theater in clips such as “The March of Time.” It would condense a weeks worth of news into a ten minute clip. At home, all my grandparents had was a radio that only recieved a few stations. Most of those stations were only concerned with local news and major national events. The “immoral” activities of the nation were not important enough to make local headlines and were therefore discarded.

Furthermore, a recent study has shown that 95% of all Americans have premarital sex, and that trend has held steady since the 1950s at least, when the study was started. This trend probably goes back much farther. Futhermore, alochol is just another form of drug, and there has been rampant alcoholism throughout our counrty's history. It’s my theory that things are much the same now as it always has been in America. We just "feel" like it's worse now because information travels much faster and in far greater quantities. The “moral past” is a mythical age that never actually existed.

Here’s a CNN article discussing the study I referenced.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

WIlliam Dembski Has Too Much Time on His Hands

William Dembski, a mathematician and one of the leading proponents of intelligent design has proven that he has way too much time on his hands. He created this flash animation which features Judge Jones (the Judge who ruled against intelligent design in Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board) being a puppet of evil “Darwinists.” The funny thing is that all Dembski did was read snippets from Judge Jones’ decision and sped it up as if a high pitched voice makes the points any less valid. It even had fart noises in its original version, but Dembski toned it down because too many people made fun of him for it.

In his defense, Dembski wrote on his blog, Uncommon Descent, “In most if not all of the comments from the anti-ID crowd they focus on the farting sounds or what Judge Jones is actually saying. They entirely miss the point being made. The point is that what the judge is saying aren’t his own words. They’re the words he was given by the people pulling his string. In other words, he’s nothing but a talking doll mindlessly repeating verbiage supplied by others.” Sorry Dembski, Judge Jones repeated the points because they’re the only valid arguments he heard during the trial. He is allowed to repeat what he heard if he agrees.

Of course, you need to understand Dembski, first. He feels he is a poor, persecuted scientist who will help start a new revolution in science just like Galileo. Here are some of his quotes:

“Just as a tree that has been "rimmed" (i.e., had its bark completely cut through on all sides) is effectively dead even if it retains its leaves and appears alive, so Darwinism has met its match with the movement initiated by Phillip Johnson. Expect Darwinism's death throes, like Judge Jones's decision, to continue for some time. But don't mistake death throes for true vitality. Ironically, Judge Jones's decision is likely to prove a blessing for the intelligent design movement, spurring its proponents to greater heights and thereby fostering its intellectual vitality and ultimate success.”

“Taking a longer view, I think Dover will come eventually to be be seen as a moral victory, in the same way that Galileo's condemnation is now viewed as a moral victory.”

“Ann [Coulter] is taking Phillip Johnson's message as developed in DARWIN ON TRIAL and REASON IN THE BALANCE and bringing it home to the masses. Critics will dismiss it for its hyperbole, lack of nuance, and in-your-face attitude. But she has the gist just right, which is that materialism (she calls it liberalism) dominates our culture despite being held by only a minority of the populace and has become an agenda among our elites (academy, scientists, media) for total worldview reprogramming.”

“The pressures directed against frontline ID proponents are real. From your armchair, it is easy enough to say that we need simply to get to work. But families and livelihoods really are under threat by these Darwinian fascists, and when our days are spent trying to shore up the latter, the former does not get done.”

That last one makes me laugh. So shoring up the latter means you spend your time making flash videos with juvenile humor? And still no peer-reviewed articles this year on intelligent design? Dembski, get back to work. Or can you finally admit that there is nothing to work on because ID is not testable in any sense and, therefore, not science?

Quote of the Week

“My answer to my kid being forced fed prayer?
No I have no problem with the school requesting that my child pray with the rest of the class.
Now if he were forced to pray to a Allah then I would have a problem with that.”

- Response from a fundamentalist Christian on DefCon's comments page. Is he so blinded by his faith that he is incapable of seeing an issue from the other side?

Proof that Abstinence-only Education Causes More Harm Than Good

CNN has reported on a recent study that shows 95% of Americans engage in premarital sex. If that isn't proof that abstinence-only education won't work, then nothing is. Clearly, Americans are going to have sex whether you tell them to or not. Not teaching them anything about contraceptives, or teaching that contraceptives are harmful, is criminal in my mind. If the RR wants to reduce teen pregnancies and abortions, then they need to face reality and actually educate children on the propery way to prevent pregnancies. Of course, the RR operates in a dreamworld of magic, and everyone knows that reality has a strong liberal bias.

To read the CNN article, click here.

Rep. Virgil Goode (R) VA Hates Freedom

The following is from

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) issued a letter to constituents earlier this month in which he declares, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States” if we do not adopt “strict immigration policies.” The letter was inadvertently sent to a local progressive activist, who shared it with the C-Ville Weekly newspaper.

In the letter, Goode references the election of Muslim Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), and warns “American citizens” to “wake up” or “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office”:

I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.

At another point in the letter, Goode describes telling a “Muslim student” who “came by my office” that the Koran will never be hung on his office wall:

The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.”

Goode’s bigoted views are no secret, and he uses them to justify more than his hardline immigration policy. Earlier this year, he announced that he opposed increasing the minimum wage because it would “be a magnet for illegal aliens to come to this country. We do not need a strong magnet to lure illegals here.”

This is downright scary. How can an elected representative even think he could get away with garbage like this? This is bigoted hatred and Orwellian scare tactics. Goode is using existing fear of Islam in an attempt to subvert our rights and further the RR's dream of making fundamental Christianity the state religion. We as citizens cannot stand for this. Hopefully, Goode gets his ass voted out of office in '08. Retard.

I just have one question: Rep. Goode, why do you hate freedom?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

An Excellent Documentary on End Timers

Here's an informative documentary from the BBC that thoroughly explains the End Time movement I discussed in brief a couple posts down. Frightening stuff (and not because I think Revelations will come true).

Teacher Caught Preaching in Public High School

Here’s a disgusting story from the New York Times. In New Jersey at Kearny High School, a high school teacher named David Paszkiewicz was caught preaching in the classroom. A student recorded the teacher saying that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven.

This disgusts me to no end. First off, what about the students who are not Christian? What are they to think? Public schools are not a place for preaching, EVER. To do otherwise is unconstitutional, i.e. illegal. Religion must stop at the door and remain a private decision.

What’s worse is that the student was chided by the school and he even received death threats after bringing his teacher’s statements to the press. Christian love, eh?

The last disturbing part of this story is that the class was on the US Constitution. How can a teacher explain a document when he clearly doesn't understand it? *sigh*

The Problem With End Timers

First, let me tell you who End Timers are. They are the bulk of the evangelical right who believe that the book of Revelations accurately predicts the second coming of Jesus. When this happens there will be plagues, natural disasters, genocide, war, etc. Luckily for Christians, they think they’ll be “ruptured” into heaven to dance and party with Jesus until the end of time. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Antichrist will call all the nonbelievers to his side to destroy the remaining Christians (poor bastards, I guess they didn’t believe enough in the first place). Luckily, Jesus will come back in seven years as a superhero and smite the forces of the Antichrist, judge all of humanity, and then reign on Earth for the next thousand years. And it’s all going to start in the next fifty years. Don’t believe me? Read the Left Behind series by Tim Lahay. This money grubber lays it out exactly how fundamental Christians think it will happen.

The problem with prophecy is that it can become self-fulfilling. Evangelicals today want to do everything they can to hasten Jesus’ return. They support war in the Middle East, refuse to allow Israel to give up land to the Palestinians, and don’t care about global warming. Why? Because these are the events that will hasten Jesus’ second coming. That’s all well and good…unless it’s not what Revelations means at all.

The idea of the Rapture first appeared in the 1800s. It’s not an ancient belief at all. Furthermore, the author of Revelations was writing for a contemporary audience. The Christians of the time rightly feared the Romans and believed that Jesus was going to come back and destroy the Roman Empire in the same generation. But here Christians are 2000 years later, still waiting for Jesus to save them.

Because of the control the RR (Religious Right) has on our government (not to mention our born again President) through the Republican Party, this belief in the End Time permeates through government policy. Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty to stop global warming, and believes that he is doing God’s work in Iraq. It also widens the division between religions until there is no chance for reconciliation. It’s all ludicrous. When people stop caring about this world, what happens to this one? What do we leave our children? This belief in prophecy must stop if we want to survive as a species and give our descendents a decent place to live.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

- Steven Colbert roasting President Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents Diner.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hey Kids! How About Some Religious Violence?

What could be better than teaching your child that violence is okay as long as you do it in the name of Jesus? Everyone knows that nonbelievers are going to hell anyway! Why don't we help them along?

Amazingly, that's the basic idea behind the new PC game Left Behind: Eternal forces. Based on the overly popular books by money-grubber Tim LaHey, the game follows the events in the Book of Revelations along the narrow and completely unfounded interpretation favored by born again Christians. The game takes place in New York in the not too distant future and the goal is to convert as many people as possible to the born again variety of Christianity to make America into a Christian theocracy ready for Jesus' return. For those that don't join you, the answer is simple: kill them.

While advocates of the game argue that the game punishes players for unwonton killing by reducing "spirit points," a player has no choice but to kill the unending hoards of the Anti-Christ's Global Community Peacekeepers, which is closely modelled on the United Nations. But hey, at least it doesn't show any blood.

Furthermore, the game features between mission "factiods" meant to debunk anti-Jesus ideologies such as evolution (for my thoughts on this matter, click here). So, besides simply endorsing religiously-inspired violence, it also tries to convert people. Great.

For me, this is terrifying. It teaches children and teenagers that it is okay to kill people for not sharing their same beliefs. Now, I'm all for freedom of expression, but all I'm saying is don't buy this hateful piece of garbage.

Besides, it's a terrible game. Just read some of the reviews. Terrible controls, terrible graphics, terrible AI, terrible message. Enough said.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sorry for the Hiatus

School work has been out of control for the last few weeks, so I have not had any time to write. But it's all done now, so I should be able to pick up where I left off. Expect something in the next day or two.