A surprising commentary

I just read the most amazing commentary on, of all places, WorldNetDaily: The death of the religious right.

No matter who becomes the next president of the United States, the American people have already won a great victory – with the total disintegration of the once all-powerful religious right.

The author, Bill Press, goes on to document how the inevitable disintegration of religion-based politics is finally starting to turn the Christian voting bloc against itself, with results that are bad for the Republicans but good for America. Did WND really mean to print that? As peculiar as it seems to put WND on the Recommended Reading list, I have to say it’s an excellent read.

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Anatomy of a “miracle”

An article at breakingchristiannews.com gives us a case study in how “miracles” manifest in the absence of God. The story concerns a kidnapped 6-year-old boy and his “miraculous” rescue, unharmed, only hours later. It’s a textbook case of giving God the credit for the accomplishments of men, of “tweaking” the details to create a more striking story, and of plain old superstition.

 According to the Calgary Herald report, the boy and his 8-year-old brother were walking with two other boys, at about 3:20pm on Wed. Nov. 14th, when a man suddenly drove up next to them.

The man reportedly grabbed one boy by the backpack, who “wriggled free,” but the driver was able to pull the 6-year-old into his car, at knife point, and speed away. Although, extremely shaken, the abducted boy’s brother ran for help, and was able to give police a description of the man and his car, including identifying the type of vehicle, which helped authorities to narrow the search.

An Amber Alert was issued, however, reports state that the alert took three hours to set in motion. But it was during that time, before the Amber Alert was given, that God was already at work sounding His own alarm.

At this point, the author stops quoting journalistic sources, and gives a hearsay version of the rest of the story, as reported by Brenda Epp, who heard about the kidnapping through a church prayer chain.

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XFiles Friday: You only thought you knew what tolerance and pluralism were

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 1)

Having explored the fact that mutually-contradictory religions can’t all be true, Geisler and Turek take a break from apologetics to wallow in some extremely slanted social commentary, in a section entitled “Truth vs. Tolerance.”

[S]ome religions must be wrong. But you’re not supposed to say that in America today. You’re supposed to be “tolerant” of all religious beliefs. And in our culture, tolerance no longer means to put up with something you believe to be false (after all, you don’t tolerate things you agree with). Tolerance now means that you’re supposed to accept every belief as true! In a religious context, this is known as religious pluralism–the belief that all religions are true. [emphasis theirs]

That loud crunching sound you just heard was a huge crack obliterating the Ninth item on Judge Roy Moore’s granite monument to the “Ten Commandments.”

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Still struggling against evolution

Daniel MacIntyre is mad at me again, though it’s hard to say why exactly, since he has to make up the things he accuses me of.

The professor is getting stretched thinner and thinner on his points. First he tries to defend his extremism in the most peculiar way – instead of addressing the fact that I’m NOT advocating creationism or id – merely questioning Darwinism as a necessary explanation – he AGAIN attacks me as if I am a creationist!

If you click on the link above, however, you can see for yourself that I did not say anything about MacIntyre being a creationist. I am simply pointing out a couple of purely factual observations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Christians blame abortion for “hopelessness” among black women

Citing a recent Pew survey that found increased “hopelessness” among black women, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King sees a chance to pin yet another social ill on freedom of choice. In an article entitled “Abortion Causes ‘Hopelessness’ in Black Communities, King Says,” we read

“The incredibly high number of abortions performed on black women in this country has to take a toll not just on the women involved, but also on their families, friends, and communities,” King said. “If African-Americans feel that life will not get better, I have to believe that abortion is feeding into that hopelessness.”

Her reason for drawing this conclusion?

“Children are the future. When you destroy your children, you destroy hope,” Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and the niece of the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said in a statement.

Notice it’s not that hopelessness feeds into a reluctance to bring children into a world of poverty and despair. That might suggest that we ought to do something, I dunno, liberal, like addressing the root causes of poverty, injustice, and racial discrimination. No, Christians like Dr. King want us to turn that around and just blame abortion, thus avoiding all that liberal stuff. Deprive black women of their freedom of choice, and that nasty feeling of hopelessness will just magically disappear. Nothing restores an unemployed single mom’s sense of optimism like having another helpless baby to feed and care for.

Sure, that makes sense.

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Evidence of a real ghost (writer)

Writing for townhall.com, Dinesh D’Souza, like so many others, wants to use Anthony Flew to promote his own agenda.

Flew now believes that the design of the universe requires a designer. He gives his reasons in a new book There Is a God which is co-authored with Roy Abraham Varghese.

In the book, Flew uses simple analogies to expose atheist illogic.

As has been documented elsewhere, Anthony Flew has admitted that he does not recognize what is written in much of the book being circulated under his name by Christian propagandist Roy Varghese. This implies that either Flew is not the author, or that he is no longer in command of his mental faculties. The “simple analogies to expose atheist illogic [sic]” stand in stark stylistic and analytical contrast to the incisive philosophical analysis for which Flew originally became famous, lending further weight to the conclusion that Flew, in his right mind, would not have written the Varghese book, and very likely didn’t.

Let’s look at D’Souza’s sample simple analogy to see how far short it falls from the kind of intelligent and insightful argument an Anthony Flew could have produced when he was at the top of his form.

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Free will, Beanie Babies, and beer

Zeno writes about Dinesh D’Souza’s argument for the soul, based on “free will.” Here is D’Souza’s reasoning argument.

[I]s the long-standing human belief in the soul a fiction? We can answer this question by examining the issue of free will. Let me illustrate. I am sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee on my desk. I can reach over and take a sip if I choose; I can knock the coffee mug onto the carpet if I choose; I can just leave the cup alone and let the coffee get cold. Now I ask: Is there anything in the laws of physics that forces me do any of these things? Obviously not.

This argument fails to take into account at least two things: Beanie Babies, and beer.

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Encouraging ID Research

Via Pharyngula, we have news of a new online poll at Baylor University asking

How should Baylor approach intelligent design research?

  • Encourage it
  • Discourage it
  • Prohibit it
  • Support it

Here’s why I would vote for Option Number 1.

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Fiction and furor

I stopped by our friends at Christian Apologetics Ministries again just to see what was going on, and it was pretty quiet, generally speaking. It seems that most of Mr. Horvath’s attention lately has been absorbed by the children’s fantasy novel (and now major motion picture), The Golden Compass. The last several posts on his blog include:

7 of his past 9 posts, and that’s not including the colorful ad and headline link he now has at the top-center of his web site. And why is that? What is it about a children’s fantasy story that makes it such a compelling issue for a self-designated Christian Apologetics Ministry, to the point that he’s writing a special “Parents’ Guide and Bulletin Insert”? It’s not just the money (though he does have a PayPal link and a mailing list signup). It’s that The Golden Compass series attacks God on His home turf–the imagination of the naive and impressionable–and does a remarkably good job of it.

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Missed this one (but didn’t miss it much)

Gosh, looks like I missed one: Daniel MacIntyre tries to argue that I’m an extremist because I pointed out the fact that creationism and ID both portray God (or the Designer, if you prefer) as an inept and inferior designer.

Notice how quickly he went from “anti-Darwinist” to “ID proponent” to “Creationist?” In the Darwinist mind, these are all simply disguised versions of the same thing. If you’re not convinced that the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is “the Truth” you are a Darwin damned Flat Earth Creationist and a Republican to boot. The simple fact is, while I acknowledge that Darwinism is a valid theory, I don’t believe it has proven its case. My primary reason is that, while I have seen a great deal of evidence that Darwinism is a sufficient explanation for the current state of the diversity of species we see, I have not seen anything to establish it as a NECESSARY explanation.

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