He'll still be broadcasting his radio show where he is the most popular right-wing Christian mullah. Hopefully, as Dobson slips into senility, we can get even more gems like when he compared homosexuality to pedophilia or that liberals despise America or when he called Foleygate a harmless prank.
"One of the common errors of founder-presidents is to hold to the reins of leadership too long, thereby preventing the next generation from being prepared for executive authority," Dobson said in a statement. "... Though letting go is difficult after three decades of intensive labor, it is the wise thing to do."
The book (warning PDF!) is pretty interesting too. Kinda reminds me of Intermittens but with slightly worse layout. Evan is a great artist who is a constant promoter of open source. He's getting close to Discordian sainthood but hasn't quite earned it yet. He needs to step up the lulz.
Granted, the group has only about 30 members so far, but I guess you've gotta start somewhere.
Carlos Campo, Regent’s vice president for academic affairs, said Robertson gave his thumbs up to the new group.
“He said, ‘You know what, it reflects the openness of our campus and how open we are to sharing of ideas,’” Campo said of his talk with Robertson.
Brandon Carr, Regent Democrats’ vice president, described the group as “Democrats and independents who want to be Christian leaders to change the world … explaining to others how you can be a Christian and agree to some Democratic principles as well.”
As a Christian-based school, Regent has a strongly evangelical, charismatic accent, and all faculty are expected to be Christians. They sign a statement binding them with Regent’s Christian beliefs, such as the infallibility of the Bible.
(I couldn't post the comic in line because my blog
The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.
Two strangers visit your home, and you are kind enough to provide them with accommodations for the night. They tell you they are angels appearing on behalf of the Lord. However, later in the evening, an angry mob turns up seeking to sodomize your guests. Do you:
Protect your guests and call the police. Expel your guests and call the police. Turn your preteen daughters over to the crowd to be raped.
Somehow I ended up getting an 8%. That last question was just too tricky for me, I suppose.
I swear that that wasn't intentional but I'm going to aim for 23 posts per month from now on just to see if I can do it.
While John's intent was to show that most Christians would lose their faith after a short time away from their group it reminded me of an incident that happened to me several years ago. My wife and I were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at her aunt's church. I was still in my "angry at the Church" phase, but I decided to go along with it to be polite and hey, why pass up free food. As we were walking up to the church I kept asking myself "Why would anyone want to go to a church week in and week out anyways?"
For you Christianity is your social life. That's all it is. That's all it ever is... You believe because you worship in a community of other believers who give meaning to your life. Take you out of that community for a few months or more, read some books, and your faith could suffer and even die. A faith like yours should be sustainable apart from the Christian community of believers but you'll never attempt this, will you?
Then something very odd came to me. One single word: TRIBE. Churches have managed to completely replace tribes over the centuries. After Man decided that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was too costly they switched to an agrarian culture. This agrarian culture allowed Man to urbanize but completely killed the tribe concept. People still had their extended families to rely on but the large tribe of many families that needed one another was gone.
So, what stepped in and took the place of the Tribe? Organized religion of course. Churches have become a social division of like-minded people. Belonging to a church means belonging to a super-extended family that cares about your well being. That's one of the ways that the super meme of organized religion has propagated over the years, by becoming powerful social clubs that help and protect its members.
This makes it very hard for people to willing leave church groups. The socialization and protection is more valuable than principles and beliefs. When church beliefs and personal beliefs no longer match up a person is forced to either speak up (and risk being forced out) or be quiet about it (and remain in the group). From personal experience I would say that roughly 75% of church goers do not agree with their church's doctrinal message. This is mostly due to laypeople being ignorant about what church doctrine really says. However there has to be a large group of people who know the doctrine, disagree with it, but remain in order to take advantage of the social group.
Sadly I doubt there is anyway to test the theory because no one would be this honest on a questionnaire.
That's the horror part. Now for the mirth part:
Police were called to the church at 9:40 a.m. in response to a shooting, Garden Grove Police Lt. Dennis Ellsworth said. The incident is being investigated as a suicide. The man was not immediately identified, but police said he was a white male in his 40s last known to have lived in Whittier.
The man walked into the sanctuary area of the church and handed over a handwritten note. He then walked to the front of the pews, knelt in front of the cross and removed a semiautomatic handgun from a backpack. He put the weapon to his head and pulled the trigger.
The Gods of Irony have spoken.
Yvette Manson, a volunteer usher, said she was talking to the tourists when she heard a shot that she likened to a firecracker. "I had just been telling them about the suicide prevention ministry we have."
That too got boring after a bit but thankfully I discovered the wide world of podcasts. Podcasts are probably the number one reason that I call myself a skeptic. There's a nice community of skeptical podcasts out there and I thought I'd go through them and give a small review of each:
The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe: This is the granddaddy of all skeptical podcast IMHO. Since 2005 it's been hosted by Dr. Steven Novella, neurologist, president of the New England Skeptical Society and writer of the blog Neurologica. The current panel of skeptical rogues includes Steven's brothers Bob and Jay, Evan Bernstein, and Rebecca Watson (Skepchick). There's always hilarious banter around their news stories and manage to get amazing people for the weekly interview. I make it a point to listen to podcast every week.
Skeptoid: Hosted by Brian Dunning. Skeptoid is a weekly podcast that tries to bunk various hoax, urban legends and pseudosciences. He's covered such varied topics as creationism, multilevel marketing, Big Foot, and wheatgrass juice. The podcasts are usually fairly short (8-15 minutes) but Brian does a great job of researching the topic. It's usually a good primer if you get caught up in an argument with a True Believer.
Point of Inquiry: The official podcast of the Center of Inquiry is hosted by their VP of Outreach Programs, DJ Grothe. Each week they interview an interesting person about religion/secularism, science/pseudoscience, and/or alternative medicine. I don't like the agressively atheistic commercials at the beginning and end of the shows and they do seem to go through dry spells with their guests. Otherwise it's a decent podcast that I try to listen to a couple of times a month.
The Naked Scientists: This one isn't strictly about skepticism but it is the best science podcast that I've listened to. It's hosted by a slew of naked scientists from Cambridge University including virologist Chris Smith, archaeologist Diana O'Carrol, and marine biologist Helen Scales. They do a great job of staying on top of a wide variety of science stories and the Kitchen Science segment is always at supplying ideas for mayhem.
Declaring Independence: This one has only been around for 2 months but it seems to have promise. It's a local radio show hosted by Ed Brayton who also does the blog Dispatches from the Culture War and co-founder of The Panda's Thumb. This one also isn't solely about skepticism but is more about religion and politics. Ed has been a warrior in the fight against creationists and other right wing loonies for a long time. I'm a fan of the show even though they still need to work out the kinks production wise. There hasn't been a new show posted in two weeks and I'm hoping that it hasn't been cancelled already.
The Rest: There are quite a few other skeptical podcasts that I've heard are good but I can't officially recommend them since I haven't listened to them. A quick list would be Atheist Talk, This Week in Science, Skepticality, and anything Nova does.
On the Discordian front, there don't seem to be much in the way of podcasts. 23 Apple of Eris has done a very limited number of podcasts. POEE has done some POEEcasts over the years. The Good Reverend Roger has started doing vodcasts over at YouTube. Looks promising so far.
(Hat tip to Laughing Squid)
So, on this the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin I have decided to venerate the most important thinker in the history of biology. Darwin was a singular genius that tied together many ideas that had been floating around since before the time of his grandfather, Erasmus. He showed that a common thread flowed through all living things. That we are all connected in one way or another, even though the last official connection might have been 2 billion years ago. And that nature has a way of selecting those that are most adapted to their surroundings.
His theory also showed that all of life is one giant emergent system. It helped champion the idea that from very basic components and rules that complexity is not only possible but it is inevitable. It shows that a fine balance of both Disorder (genetic mutations) and Order (natural selection) can produce the most beautiful magic in the universe.
And so, by the power invested in me, Pope Iason Ouabache the Skeptic, by the Most High Goddess Eris I pronounce thee Saint Darwin the Innovator.
Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | Published in Christianity
According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory, before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.Translation, do a favor for the Church and you'll get a "Get Out of Hell Free" card when you get to the afterlife. The concept fell out of favor after Vatican II: Electric Boogaloo but Pope Benny decided to dust it to celebrate St. Paul. All you have to do to receive this once in an afterlife time offer is show up at one of the designated churches, talk about much of a dirty monkey you are, sip a little Jesus Juice, ask the Big Guy to be nice to the pope and achieving “complete detachment from any inclination to sin.” That last step looks like a doozy.
There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.
Its a shame that they aren't going to be selling indulgences this time around. I guess they finally learned their lesson from that whole Martin Luther fiasco.
State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill to require teachers who teach evolution to also discuss the idea of intelligent design.
Intelligent design is the concept that life is so complex that it couldn't occur naturally but must have had an intelligent force working to make it happen.
Wise, the chief sponsor of the bill, expects the Senate to take it up when it meets in March. He said its intent is simple: "If you're going to teach evolution, then you have to teach the other side so you can have critical thinking."
Ah, yes. The old "Teach the Controversy" chestnut. I thought that thing had been sacrificed at the altar of the Flying Spaghetti Monster but it looks like a zombie that just can't be stopped.
Wise said that if the Legislature passes the bill, he wouldn't be surprisedif there's a legal challenge.
"You just never know. They use the courts all the time. I guess if they have enough money they can get it in the courts," he said. "Someplace along the line you've got to be able to make a value judgment of what it is you think is the appropriate thing."
Yes, that is how these things usually work. If you write a law that is clearly unconstitutional and has already been knocked down once in federal court then people will challenge that law again and again. That's how the judicial branch works. You'd think a state senator would understand that. Apparently Wise isn't the only senator without a clue though:
Rep. Alan Hays, a Republican from Umatilla, sponsored [a] "critical analysis [of evolution]" bill in the House last year and said he would support a similar effort this session. He thinks it's likely to pass this time in a close vote.
"The thing we learned last year is that, No. 1, we must keep the discussion scientific. I don't know of anyone who is in favor of teaching religion in public," he said. "We want the students to know that the theory of evolution is only a theory, it has never ever been scientifically proven, and it should be accepted as that."
*Head desk head desk* Why won't this meme die!!! How many times do people have to go over and over again what a scientific theory is? Theories are the closest things to fact in science. They aren't just "something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” They are very well tested models on how systems work. Theories are facts. It's time for the National Center for Science Education to start an advertising campaign to explain what a scientific theory is to the American people. Because it seems like most of us have already forgotten our third grade science classes.
And yes, if this does actually get passed by the Florida legislature and becomes a law it won't last very long. The very first school board that tries to teach from Of Pandas and People will get hauled into federal court. The federal judge will rule that intelligent design isn't science but a religious idea and the law will be stricken from the books. Yes, again. It's like these people never learn. They should have gone with the "academic freedom" gambit instead. At least that one has shown some success in the last couple years.
CONGRESS: Hey! Because of that whole church state thing colleges can't use bailout money to repair any religious building. LOL, SORRY!
Jay Sekulow, ACLJ: ZOMG!!1 Congress is totally discriminating against Christians. Religious organizations deserve the right to use those buildings. You can't take that away from them!!
CONGRESS: LOL, wut?
OneNewsNow (while lashing self): Persecution!!!
CONGRESS: Hai, guyz! Did you even read the thing?
Sen. James DeMint: Democrats hate Christianity and eat babbys!
CONGRESS: I thought you was one of us...
James Dobson: JIHAD, MOTHERFUCKER!!!
As proof that "god" approves of the upcoming Darwin Day events, an icicle in the Pacific Northwest has formed in the shape of Charles Darwin's face completely with beard and wizened eyes. Scientists are baffled about how such a large and detailed ice crystal can appear without the help of an unspecified designer. Praise Darwin!!
The motto “In God we trust” was added to the dollar bill in 1957. Since then its purchasing power, relative to the consumer price index, has declined by a staggering 87 percent.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
He also did a kick-ass interview on last week's The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast (episode #184). The Skeptic world definitely needs more rock stars like him.