A more welcoming stance towards gays and lesbians . . . or teh Jesus gets it.

17 07 2008

Via John Morales, in the comments at Pharyngula:

As John remarks, this YouTube may not last, but given the hysterical overreaction to PZ Myer’s post on “Frackin’ Crackers,” I think we can expect a lot more of these.

On the subject of “Al Queerda,” two WYD developments: one encouraging, the other disappointing, if not unexpected.

First, the disappointing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Atheist’s New Worst Nightmare: Gerry Rzeppa’s rhyming couplet apologetics

12 04 2008

Have any of you received an email from a Gerry Rzeppa regarding a $64,000 challenge he’s laying down to Richard Dawkins? (I only ask because I noticed a post on Pharyngula about it a few days ago, and if it has made its way to my inbox I can only surmise that this Rzeppa bloke is spamming everyone on the Atheist Blogroll.) Apparently Rzeppa has promised to pay Dawkins the princely sum if Dawkins will answer a question about Rzeppa’s shithouse Christian poem, “Some of the Parts“:

I’m offering the doctor $64 000 of my very own money if he will join me before a live audience to answer a single question about my little poem. I’ll read the story aloud and pose the mystery query. He’ll answer and walk away with the loot. Simple as that. 

The poem, in which non-believers are cast as heartless skeptics who smash infants to death with hammers, is hailed by some Christian reviewers as a “good defense against atheism,” though one of them seems to be unwittingly making our argument for us when he praises the way the poem

brilliantly captures the antithesis between Christianity and atheism. Joyful submission and hyper-skeptical folly; intelligent trust and angry fist-shaking are both beautifully portrayed within the lines. 

Skepticism bad; submission good. Ouch. Read the rest of this entry »

Is there a difference between lying and lying for Jesus?

9 04 2008

If you’ve spent any length of time in the atheosphere over the past month, you’ll be aware of the by-now-infamous “Expelled from Expelled” debacle involving PZ Myers. Myers himself gives the most entertaining account of what happened (but see also Matt’s series of posts on this incident). Basically, the producers of Expelled have been so desperate to get bums on seats that until very recently (hmmm) they were encouraging people to sign up on the movie’s website for private screenings, and to bring guests. Myers (who appears in the film as is thanked in the credits) signed up, arrived at the Mall of America screening with guests in tow, had his name checked off, and was then pulled out of the queue by a security guard, acting on the specific instructions of the producers, who threatened Myers with arrest if he attempted to enter the theatre. What the producers failed to notice is that one of Myers’ guests was none other than Richard Dawkins (who has written his own piece on the incident), who announced his presence to an ashen-faced producer Mark Mathis in the Q & A session after the screening.

Sure, it’s one hell of an own goal for the creationist movement, but for me the bigger irony lies in the tremendous amount of spin the producers and other ID luminaries have attempted to put on this incident, given Expelled‘s overarching thesis–that evolution –> atheism –> the Holocaust–and, by implication, antievolutionists’ claim to the moral high ground. (The motto of the production company behind Expelled reads as follows: “Producing world class media that stirs the heart and inspires the mind to truth, purpose and hope.” (Emphasis added.)) The creationists have been manifestly dishonest about the “Expelled from Expelled” fiasco–that much is certain–but they also seem to think they’re doing the right thing.

So here’s my question. Under what circumstances is mendacity theologically, ideologically or ethically justifiable?


22 02 2008

Take a vat of whine, add a heaped tablespoon of chutzpah, and you have the perfect recipe for an RWA on the losing side of an argument. 3 cases in point: Read the rest of this entry »