9.14.2012

Dr. Pepper 'Evolution Of Flavor' Ad Rankles Fundamentalist Christians On Facebook

Via HuffPo:
Controversy has erupted over the latest Dr. Pepper ad dubbed "The Evolution of Flavor," with a small, but vocal minority of commenters on Facebook posting complaints about the ad's evolution motif. 
The comments began after the ad appeared on the soft drink's official Facebook page Thursday afternoon. 
"I love Dr. Pepper but hate this photo," wrote Kara Duran, "Forget evolution... Jesus all the way!" 
"Well, there goes my support for this company," Jolynn Danae Pilapil wrote.
One of the most recent comments on the Facebook page this morning:

"Another lot going crazy over cartoons rather than when people are killed in the name of their religion.."



9.13.2012

Hobby Lobby: Evangelical-Led Business Files Suit Against HHS Mandate

Via Christian Post:
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a privately held retail chain with 22,500 employees led by a Christian family, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, opposing the Health and Human Services "preventive services" mandate, the company announced Wednesday. The company becomes the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the government's contraception mandate.

The company's CEO and founder, David Green, said Wednesday that the mandate would force the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, the "morning after pill" and "week after pill" in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to 1.3 million dollars per day.
"We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs and comply with this mandate," Green said during a teleconference press meeting. "We know that we have been blessed by God's grace and believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His Word and we are very grateful for that. But our faith is being challenged by the federal government."
Hobby Lobby's evangelical roots were first noticed by many during the Chick-fil-A fracas earlier this year. Many news organizations began highlighting other businesses which, like Chick-fil-A, operated on Biblical principles.

CEO David Green, at left
Forbes:
[CEO David] Green is a big contributor to evangelical education, having given to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and Oral Roberts University. He has also acquired Christian artifacts (medieval manuscripts, Hebrew scrolls and Codex Climaci Rescriptus: a rare sixth century Bible written partly in Palestinian Aramaic) for the National Bible Museum. In August 2011, Green announced that he is donating a 170-acre ranch in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., to Saddleback Church. A preacher's son from a poor background, Green started Greco Products in 1970 with $600, which he spun into his first Hobby Lobby arts and crafts stores in Oklahoma City in 1972. The family-friendly chain now has 490 locations in 40 states. Green strives to grow the company according to biblical principles; stores are closed on Sundays. The company has also delivered 508 million copies of a gospel booklet to children in more than 100 countries.
Fox News:
Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts store chain, cites its commitment to “honoring the Lord” on its website and closes its 500-plus nationwide locations on Sundays, as does Chick-fil-A.
“We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” its website reads. “He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future.”
While there have been many lawsuits challenging the US government's mandate, Hobby Lobby appears to be the first Evangelical-led business to file.
There are now 27 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). These HHS challenges were not affected by the Supreme Court's June 28th ruling on the constitutionality of the "individual mandate."

"These abortion causing drugs go against our faith and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of employees and their families," said Green, whose company is being represented by the Becket Fund, a religious freedom law group.

"The nationwide litigation against this HHS mandate is a fight for religious freedom for all Americans," said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund, during the teleconference. "Today, [Hobby Lobby and its owners] are asking the federal court to protect their right to run their business as they always have in harmony with their Christian faith."


Bryan Fischer On Libya Attacks: Hang Every Member Of The Mob From Nearest Bridge

Via Right Wing Watch:
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer declared that the attack on the US Consulate in Libya in which the US Ambassador and three staff were killed was nothing short of "an act of war," proclaiming that President Obama's declaration that justice will be done means nothing "until every member of the mob that killed these Americans in cold blood is hung from the nearest bridge by the neck until dead."
Sure, Brian. That'll help.

Watch:


'Symphony of Science' Takes On Climate Change

A musical investigation into the causes and effects of global climate change and our opportunities to use science to offset it. Featuring Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and Isaac Asimov. "Our Biggest Challenge" is the 16th episode of the Symphony of Science series by melodysheep.



NC Values Coalition Mailer: 'On Aug. 1st I Ate At Chick-Fil-A. On Nov. 6th I Will Vote'

Tami Fitzgerald's anti-LGBT organization, NC Values Coalition, has a new get-out-the-vote campaign.

The slogan of the campaign is "Pledge to Vote: From the Pews to the Polls." It appears that Fitzgerald & co. want to capitalize on the overwhelming support for a certain anti-gay chicken sandwich establishment.

Here's the email that was sent to NCVC's mailing list:


Fitzgerald also released a statement after it was announced that the Democratic platform would support gay marriage:
“This is historic. Marriage has been the union between one man and one woman since before North Carolina became a state and before America became a country. Marriage is a union defined by God – not national political parties. The fact that the national Democrat Party believes it can re-define marriage in a party platform is contrary to our founding principles. It is radical and extreme, and I believe the American people will not stand for it. They will not embrace leaders who embrace homosexual marriage.”
The latest NC Values Coalition email follows closely on the heels of Fitzgerald's bizarre assertion that Equality NC's most recent campaign video depicting an anti-LGBT gun owner repeatedly shooting a pro-equality yard sign was "a thinly-veiled threat against supporters of traditional marriage and can have no other purpose than to incite hatred."

9.12.2012

Creation Museum Scientists Challenge Bill Nye To Evolution Debate

The scientists from The Creation Museum have challenged Bill Nye to a debate. If there's a god, I pray that he makes this happen. On live prime time television.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware that Bill Nye angered quite a few Creationists with a video he made for Big Think, in which he stated that Creationism is indoctrination and inappropriate for children.

Faster than you could say "Adam's rib," the folks at Answers In Genesis (the creationist ministry behind the Creation Museum and the forthcoming Ark Encounter) responded with a facepalm-inducing rebuttal of Nye's comments.

Bill Nye then responded to Answers in Genesis with the following comments:
"When I see reasoning like this, I often feel that we educators have failed to convey a fundamental idea in evolution. We humans, who design and build things, or who plant crops according to a calendar, think in what would be top-down style or method of design. Evolution works the other way; it's bottom-up design. The only designs that we observe in nature exist, because they have been successful from generation to generation."

""Creation Science" is not useful, because it can make no successful predictions about nature or the universe. So, it is reasonable to say the expression is an oxymoron, or simply: it's not science. It has no process of observation, hypothesis, experiment, then predicted outcome. A useful theory about time and organisms would make no distinction between "observational" and "historical" science.
In terms of critical thinking, its claims are completely refutable. When creationists assert that the Earth is 6,000 years old. That claim can be evaluated and shown to be untrue or simply wrong. If creationists claim that ancient dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, that can be shown to be false. Judge John E. Jones in Dover, Pennsylvania used the expression "breathtaking inanity" to describe creationists' arguments, i.e. claims so silly that they took his breath away."

"My concern again is that we cannot afford to raise a substantial fraction of the next generation of students, who do not have the skills to think scientifically. We are at a crossroads in the history of the U.S. Without scientifically literate kids, we will fall behind other countries as inventors and innovators. We will lose our edge."

Ken Ham of AiG seems a bit pessimistic on whether Nye will accept the debate challenge:
Well, we’ve already seen a lot of web chatter by secularists saying that they don’t debate creationists. They claim creation has nothing to do with science and that Christians like Dr. Purdom (with aPhD in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State) can’t be real scientists if they are creationists.

They argue that there is no debate because evolution is fact. In other words, these secularists use every excuse they can put forward because ultimately, they do not want to debate creationists. They don’t want the public watching such a debate. They realize that when the public hears the creationist information that has been censored from them and learn how they’ve been brainwashed, they will definitely question evolution.

...The secular media by and large support Bill Nye’s false statements about evolution and science, the mainstream media would not want the general public to hear anything else. It’s almost always this way. Most in the secular media aren’t out to report news—most of them have a very liberal anti-God agenda. But we are used to that.

Bill, please accept the challenge. We will get the popcorn ready.

Holi: Festival of Colors

2012's Holi has come and gone (the Hindu festival takes place each spring), but I recently stumbled across this breathtaking video from the folks at The Good Line. It's a wonderful bit of filmmaking.

The filming took place in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Enjoy:

Holi. Festival of Colors. 2012 from Good Line on Vimeo.



9.11.2012

Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot' - Animated

This is a wonderful animated adaptation of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. Sagan's book was inspired by a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of 3.7 billion miles from Earth.

The animation was created by Adam Winnik for his graduation thesis project at Sheridan College.

Watch:



9.10.2012

Pat Robertson's Advice To Man With Marital Woes: Become A Muslim And Beat Her

How do the producers of the 700 Club continue to allow Pat Robertson to give advice?

“Well you could become a Muslim and beat her," said Robertson. "I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done.”

Watch:


SBM Worldwide: You Too Can Prevent Homosexuality

SBM Founder, Stephen Bennett
Via SBM Worldwide:
Stephen Bennett, 49 years old, struggled with same-sex attraction (SSA) throughout his teenage and young adult years, living an openly-gay lifestyle for more than 11 years until he was 28 years old. In 1990, Stephen, happy with his homosexual lifestyle and in a committed "gay" relationship for several years, was lovingly and biblically engaged about his lifestyle and evangelized with the gospel of Jesus Christ by a Christian friend. Two years later, much to the shock of everyone who knew him — especially his family and friends — Stephen was born again and completely surrendered his life to the Lord. It was at this time that Stephen made the decision to walk away from his homosexual lifestyle, never to return. His journey of "coming out" of homosexuality then began — dealing with many painful, emotional issues he had buried — including being molested at the age of 11. Stephen would never be the same again. 
Stephen left his male partner and began his new walk with Christ in January of 1992. He began dating Irene in October of that year, then the two were married the following year, in June of 1993. Today, more than 20 years later, Stephen no longer struggles whatsoever with homosexuality. He shares his story of freedom and complete change at churches, conferences, events, and in the media worldwide. His encouraging message is that individuals who desire change can know that change is completely possible.
SBM Worldwide describes its organization as "an evangelistic, educational, exhortational, and encouraging Christian ministry dedicated to ministering to homosexual-identifying men and women who are seeking change. SBM Worldwide provides biblical, practical, and prayerful support and resources for men and women who are looking to overcome their unwanted same-sex attractions and identity."

Bennett and his wife Irene appeared on the CTN program "Homekeepers" to talk about Bennett's 'transformation.' Host Arthelene Rippy used the opportunity to plug the NARTH-endorsed Parents' Guide To Preventing Homosexuality.

Watch: