The broad brush at CAM

We haven’t looked at the Christian Apologetics Ministries for a while, so let’s swing by and see what’s up. Scroll past the advertisements and marketing material, and sure enough, we find Mr. Horvath up to his old tricks again.

Over the last decade, I have noticed an increasing number of atheists arguing about the evils of religion and usually citing examples from Islam. Does that even begin to make sense? The whole notion of ‘religion’ is ridiculous on its face because of the many absurdities and abuses we find in Islam?

Now, by itself that’s not an unfair objection. Christianity deserves to be ridiculed because of the many absurdities and abuses we find in Christianity, and not just because of those found in Islam. Few things in life can match the delicious irony of a trinitarian calling someone else’s beliefs “absurd,” for instance. But notice: in accusing “atheists” of painting with too broad a brush, Mr. Horvath himself is guilty of painting atheists with his own broad brush–and it’s not a flattering color, either.

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Streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans

The Stand to Reason blog had a short article a while back on the classic creationist argument about microevolution versus macroevolution.

Sure, everyone believes those examples of “evolution.” That’s microevolution. That’s not controversial.

Perhaps the reason so many Americans are unconvinced of evolution is because these examples hardly explain what needs to be explained – macroevolution. This is the process by which a single cell evolves into the myriad of living organisms that exist today without any intelligent intervention.

I’d like to illustrate what’s wrong with this argument using streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans.

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Fun with Santa

Was Santa Claus a part of your childhood? He was definitely a big part of mine (bigger than Jesus for most of my very-young days, in fact). It was only natural, then, that my wife and I would want Santa to be part of our kids’ childhood as well. But therein lies the dilemma: Santa is not real, and we didn’t want to lie to our kids. So we found a way to have fun with Santa, without ever lying about him.

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Can we know God does not exist?

Science Avenger has a great post responding to an apparently Christian commenter, on the topic of why Christianity should or should not be given special considerations relative to the evidence. I’m going to add it to the Recommended Reading list, but I also want to take the time to address one of the commenter’s claims, as it reflects a common misconception. The commenter said:

“Would you accept this ‘statement of scientific truth’? If God does not exist, it is impossible to scientifically prove this lack of existence.”

On the contrary, we can know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that God, as described by Christianity, does not exist.

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State-funded prison ministries unconstitutional

Just a quick note on a story from the Pine Bluff Commercial Online Edition:

A federal appeals court said Monday that the state of Iowa cannot fund an evangelical Christian prison ministry program because it advanced or endorsed religion and therefore violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state clause.The head of the group that filed the lawsuit leading to the decision argued that it could end public funding of such programs by religious groups.

Sounds like a case that bears watching. The parties involved are Americans United for Separation of Church and State, versus Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship.

 
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Inflicting sexual pain on children

Massachusetts wants to ban the practice of inflicting sexual pain on children as a form of punishment, but a conservative “pro-family” group is against the ban.

A proposal in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to ban “corporal punishment” would turn good parents into criminals, according to a family advocacy group leader who battled the same idea earlier this year in California.

“This bill equates loving, corrective discipline with hateful, harmful abuse,” said Randy Thomasson, the president of the Campaign for Children and Families. “Just as California’s proposed spanking ban was stopped cold, [Rep. Jay] Kaufman’s bill should be rejected by lawmakers who respect the sanctity of the home.

Now, let’s be clear first of all that spanking is a form of sexual pain. The buttocks are a secondary erogenous zone, a sexual part of the body. If you saw two little league coaches, and one of them had a habit of squeezing the boy’s shoulders while coaching, and the other had a habit of squeezing the boys’ butts while coaching, which one would raise your suspicions? Why is spanking a prominent theme in many pornographic stories and films? Why is a pat on the backside considered anything from flirtatious to sexual harassment? Why do we have so many euphemisms for the bottom/butt/behind/derrière/etc? Because it’s a sexual zone!

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Howler of the Week: Laurie Roth

Just browsing around the web, I found this little gem, from a Dr. Laurie Roth (PhD).

I recall reading the glory of Christian leaders asking for Muslim forgiveness. They went on and on in their “loving” letter talking about the “relative” nature of both religions, both coming from Abraham and worshiping the same God. Just a small detail here…..IT IS NOT THE SAME GOD. Muhammad is the moon god.

And going for the gold, Dr. Laurie follows up that howler with this smug little finger-wagging (emphasis added):

Why confuse anyone though with the theological facts and truth if you are crawling and apologizing, hoping Islamic leaders will suddenly change the heart of their religion and teaching and start honoring infidels instead of killing them?

And the icing on the cake: her credentials and email address at the bottom.

Dr. Laurie Roth earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In the late 90’s, Laurie hosted and produced a successful PBS television show called “CD Highway” that aired nationally on 130 TV stations.

E-Mail: Drljroth@aol.com

 
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“Too late smart…”

There’s an old saying: “Too soon old, too late smart.” It’s applicable to more than just age, as some Houston pastors found out.

Christian pastors from the Houston area say their faith is not affected, nor will the ultimate outcome be changed, by the loss of a monument that contained a Bible in their city…”The fact is that the simple removal of one Bible from a relatively obscure display will not make the Bible less accessible to the people … We trust in a God who will not be silenced by legal decree,” they said.

If they’d just realized that before the government-sponsored Bible exhibit had to be taken to court, Houston area taxpayers could have been spared the expense of a lengthy and pointless legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

 
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The real wellsprings of relativism

Writing for Christianity Today, Chuck Colson documents the pervasive presence of postmodern relativism in evangelical churches. He gives the example of a woman leading a class for middle-school Christian “centurions”:

She was shocked when seven of the eight small-group leaders, supposedly mature Christians, balked at distinguishing Christianity as true and other religions as false.Joanne urged them to talk to their parents or pastors, believing these authority figures would straighten them out. The next day, they came back with their answers—and they were appalling. One teen’s pastor said that no one can be sure of truth, that “it’s all perspective.” Parents of the seven leaders agreed that their teens shouldn’t say that Christianity alone is true, because that could offend others. One girl had written a paper on “Why We Shouldn’t Hurt Others’ Feelings by Claiming Our Way Is Right.”

I thought this was particularly interesting since we’ve been reading Geisler and Turek’s book, I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to be an ATHEIST, in which they try to claim that relativism is something that non-Christians are trying to use to undermine Christian faith. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Embracing Hitler

Greg Laden’s blog has a report on John West’s UofM talk.

All the biologists got together and, inspired by Darwinian writings, embarked on a campaign to sterilize those they perceived as unfit, the campaign known to us as Eugenics. From Eugenics grew other evils, such as Planned Parenthood, Modern Evolutionary Biology, and The Nazis.Or so intoned John West of the Creationist Discovery Institute…

It’s an entertaining and informative read (especially about the Hat Lady), and I’m putting it on the Recommended Reading list. What strikes me most about West’s talk is the way West (and DI in general, and creationists in general) demonstrate such a strong preference for Hitler’s views as opposed to the views of the vast majority of evolutionists and humanitarians.

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