2.17.2011

Rep. Mike Beard on Climate: God Wouldn't Let Us Destroy the World

Earlier this month, Rep. Mike Beard (R-MN) introduced legislation to lift the moratorium on coal-fired power plants. In his defense of the legislation, Beard began spouting what sounded like science to anyone who would listen.  Unfortunately, like many of Beard's peers, Beard's stance on the climate relies very little on science, and very much on anecdotes, denial, and theology.  This brand of climate pseudo-science removes all responsibility from mere mortals, trusting that an all-powerful God has everything under control.

Don Shelby, writing in the MinnPost:

A lot of what Beard knows he learned in church. One Congressman, talking about global warming, recently said that God wouldn't allow man to do anything to destroy the planet. Beard told me, "It is the height of hubris to think we could."  I asked him about nuclear war. He said: "How did Hiroshima and Nagasaki work out? We destroyed that, but here we are, 60 years later and they are tremendously effective and livable cities. Yes, it was pretty horrible," he said, "But, can we recover? Of course we can."

Beard believes that "God is not capricious. He's given us a creation that is dynamically stable. We are not going to run out of anything."  Full Story Here

2.16.2011

Playboy Mansion Illness Outbreak Linked to Jenny McCarthy

The universe has a sick sense of humor.

Actress, model, author, and former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy has been tirelessly promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric since 2007.  Jenny McCarthy's irresponsible pseudo-science has been spewed on numerous television appearances and through numerous books and articles urging parents not to vaccinate their kids. It is not hyperbolic to state that Jenny McCarthy may have indirectly led to the deaths of hundreds of children (see Jenny McCarthy Body Count).

Fast-forward to February 3rd at the Playboy Mansion, where as many as 200 people fell victim to Legionellosis at a party for Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue Autism Foundation. Legionellosis can take two distinct forms: Legionnaires' disease (the more severe form of the infection) and Pontiac fever. Although authorities have not pinpointed the source of the outbreak, it is believed it could have been spread by the Playboy Mansion's hot tub, or by a fog machine at the party.

The difference here is that any dummy knows that vaccines don't cause Legionellosis.  That and the fact that nobody has died from this outbreak.

Ted Haggard: Why Can't I Be Restored Like Tiger Woods and Mike Vick?

In an interview with The Christian Post, fallen megachurch pastor Ted Haggard wonders why sports figures like Tiger Woods can rehabilitate their images when he and other evangelists can't:

"The NFL's doing a better job at [restoring]. CBS is doing a better job at it. KMART is doing a better job at it,” he continues in his tirade. "Virtually every institution on earth is demonstrating that they are doing a better job at restoring people than the Church. And we're the only ones who market that we know how to do it. We are idiots. We are hypocrites."

Ted, I believe you nailed it.  Hypocrisy is precisely the problem.  Tiger Woods does not make his living telling others not to have extra-marital affairs.  Mick Vick does not earn a living pushing anti-dogfighting legislation.  However, you made a living, in part, by teaching that homosexuality is an abomination and actively lobbying against gay rights.

If there is a lesson to learn here, it's that perhaps the church should reconsider its rhetoric as it relates to LGBT issues and stop actively pushing legislation that is rooted in religious dogma.  Also, as a man of faith, Ted, you might want to become reacquainted with Matthew 7:1.

Billy Ray Cyrus: Athiest 'Adopt-a-Highway' Sign Foretold Miley's Hell Spiral

If there's one thing that's clear from Billy Ray Cyrus's highly publicized GQ interview, it's that Mr. Soulpatch takes no responsibility whatsoever for Miley's troubles. He's blaming everything from Mickey Mouse to Hollywood for his failed marriage and poor parenting.

But this nugget, from page 5 of the interview, really lays it on thick:

"Somewhere along this journey," he says, "both mine and Miley's faith has been shaken. That saddens me the most." When they first came to Hollywood for Hannah Montana, the two of them would drive down the freeway together to the studio each morning, and every day Miley would point out the sign that said

ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY
ATHEISTS UNITED

Just before moving out to Los Angeles, the whole family had been baptized together by their pastor at the People's Church in Franklin, Tennessee. "It was Tish's idea," he remembers. "She said, 'We're going to be under attack, and we have to be strong in our faith and we're all going to be baptized...'" And there, driving to work each day in the City of Angels, was this sign. "A physical sign. It could have easily said 'You will now be attacked by Satan.' 'Entering this industry, you are now on the highway to darkness...'"

Do you really see it in such clearly spiritual terms—that your family was under attack by Satan?

"I think we are right now. No doubt. There's no doubt about it."

And why is that happening?

"It's the way it is. There has always been a battle between good and evil. Always will be. You think, 'This is a chance to make family entertainment, bring families together...' and look what it's turned into."

Perhaps Mr. Cyrus could have prevented some of his problems by focusing more on being together as a family.  Perhaps doing something that allowed his family to bond while doing something positive, like, say, adopting a highway.

2.15.2011

Iowa Grandmother Speaks in Favor of Gay Marriage



A Sequence of Lines Traced by Five Hundred Individuals

One of the most common statements from those who deny Evolution is: "How could something so complex start from something so simple?" Part of the difficulty lies in the inability for most folks to fathom millions of mutations over millions of generations.

This below video does a great job of demonstrating how, over time, something simple can evolve into something unrecognizable. The premise is simple: One person draws a straight line. The next person is asked to trace the previous line. And so on -- like a game of Telephone. Although this model doesn't actually demonstrate how evolution works, it is remarkable in its ability to distill a simple evolutionary idea into something compelling and eye-opening.

A Sequence of Lines Traced by Five Hundred Individuals from clement valla on Vimeo.



2.14.2011

Justin Bieber's Christian Entourage


Most of us have already heard about Justin Bieber's "swagger coach." One would think that his job is made more difficult by The Bieb's spiritual entourage, which includes a "travel pastor," a "Christian tutor," and a "Christian adviser." Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, has employed the team to surround her son as he encounters the temptations that come with success and a life on the road.

Charisma News Online reports that Mallette has also issued a prayer request for her son:

Mallette, who is asking fans to pray for Bieber’s well being as his popularity surges, employs a "travel pastor" when they're on tour as well as a Christian tutor to help develop Justin's scripture memory and knowledge of Christian history. She also employs a Christian advisor, who along with manager Scooter Braun, an observant Jew, provides "a great moral base and model for Justin."

"I'm aware of the dangers," Mallette says. "He's my son and I'm accountable by God and by the law to protect him, which includes covering him spiritually. Justin's faith is strong but he's young and hasn't come completely into himself yet. So what I can do is pray, teach and continue surrounding him with strong Christian influences."