Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Science blogger gets banned from creationist documentary screening

Man, this is too good. PZ Myers, science blogger for Pharyngula, tried to go to a screening for the documentary narrated by creationist-flack Ben Stein, Expelled. It’s a film that makes arguments in favor of the pseudo-science known as Intelligent Design.

Anyway, Myers was quickly spotted in line by one of the filmmakers and told by a policeman that he had to leave the premises immediately or get arrested.

But the most ironic thing about the whole incident? HE WAS STANDING NEXT TO RICHARD DAWKINS, WHO WALKED FREELY INTO THE FILM.

Read the entire account over here.

An off-topic post

So remember when Mike Huckabee was telling everyone that the reason he won Iowa was because God influenced the race?

So now that he lost the nomination, can any of you invisible sky fairy God believers explain to me why the almighty Lord would endorse him to win a state but not the entire country? That bearded white man surely does work in mysterious ways.

I mean, it certainly couldn’t be that believers are full of it when they try to predict what their imaginary friend wants or desires on every issue ranging from paper or plastic to whether to put the toilet seat down after flushing.

Let’s see if any members of the press actually ask Huckabee about this in the coming days. Because the media just loves to point out inane contradictions made in the name of faith.

Anonymous stages worldwide protest

Well, today is Feb. 10, the day that the internet group known as Anonymous decided to stage its worldwide protest against the Church of Scientology. How did it go? Watch the Youtube video embedded below to get footage of the huge crowds in London outside of one Scientology building:

Some Thursday links

Here are some media-related links for your amusement:

1. Clearasil has started to run some clever magazine advertisements where you’re able to remove “pimple stickers” and place them on all the beautiful models in the other ads.

2. Are you a cable news junkie but tired of seeing 24-hour-a-day coverage of OJ Simpson? This restaurant may be for you.

3. Websites that were once cool but now they suck.

4. Google vs. Microsoft: No longer are they content on competing for search engine business, they’re now fighting over who can be the bigger philanthropist. For once, Microsoft is winning at something.

5. As was predicted, the Church of Scientology has issued take down copyright notices to Gawker for posting their promotional video online.

6. In other news, has gone from the website that loves Ron Paul to the website that hates Ron Paul.

7. A cool blog post by Nicholas Carr titled “Is encryption a right?“: “As the Washington Post reports today, the encryption conflict is now coming to a head. A guy in Vermont, accused of storing child pornography on his computer, has refused to provide police with the password required to unlock the encrypted files on his hard drive. He claims that disclosing the password would violate his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. A judge backed his claim, and the government is now appealing that ruling in the federal courts.”

8. What’s with all the bizarre stories about Hilary Clinton having awkward encounters with her press bus? (via joel)

9. I might write more about this later, but a writer at the Columbia Journalism Review wonders why bloggers don’t form unions.

Hilarious quotes from fundamentalist christian chat rooms

These are my favorites from the list

1. I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed. My son is only 16 and I really don’t think he’s ready to date yet. What’s worse is that he’s sneaking some girl to his room behind my back. I need help, God! I want my son to stop being so secretive!

2. Most afflictions like this are caused by sins committed while still inside the womb. If she can repent for what she does god will embrace her and make her as human as you or me but if she chooses not to she’ll always be like this

3. I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie

4. I often debate with evolutionists because I believe that they are narrow mindedly and dogmatically accepting evolution without questioning it. I don’t really care how God did what He did. I know He did it.

5. The only thing I don’t like about them is they sell foreign language versions of the KJB. I don’t think that’s right. We know the only true translation is the 1600′s version in English. It’s too risky for anybody to translate that into other languages. Mistakes can creep in… and that can lead to heresy. True Christians should only read English.

6. You are banned. You are not a Christian for Christians don’t accuse brothers and sisters in Christ of being non-Christian.

7. Please don’t insult our intelligence by lumping science and technology together. They are as different at night and day.

8. If the Bible is wrong when it tells us it is infallible, then it contradicts itself. If it contradicts itself, then it is unreliable. If it is unreliable, then our faith is totally shattered and Christianity is a lie. You need to seriously reconsider your logic.

9. To say the Bible was written by men and may contain inaccuracies completely contradicts the word of the Bible.

10. Why is it that spiders could spin and weave a million years ago, but they try to say people could only spin or weave 20,000 years ago.

11. A few months ago I felt led to put together a “post rapture file” for my unsaved loved ones which is on my computer. My daughter knows that if she doesn’t come to Christ before we go that she is to get this file and share it with everyone. I’m working on a list of names and contact info to put in the file. Anyway, today I just felt very strongly that not only should I remind her of it, but to witness to her for the 1000th time and give her complete instructions on what to do as soon as we are gone. I even went so far as to tell her as soon as we are gone that she is to go to a house that belongs to a friend since he will be gone too. It is WAY off the grid. I’m going to talk to him about it tomorrow and get directions. He loves Tiffany like his own granddaughter so I know it will be fine since all of his loved ones are going too. I gave her the pin # to my atm and credit cards. I told her to make sure that she plants as big a garden as she can and learn to can food. Not to worry about the kids because they will be with Nana. I’m putting instructions in the file about how to start the generator, where her Daddy’s guns are and how to load them, where the spare car and truck keys are, etc., etc., etc.

12. so you think if no one believed in any religion there would be no wars or fighting? i think it would be worse. i know if i didn’t fear god’s judgement i would have killed many many times.

NYT journalist calls aversion to Mormonism “bigotry”

In an article titled “What Is It About Mormonism?” NYT Magazine writer Noah Feldman says (emphasis mine):

Elsewhere, the reasons for the aversion to Mormons are harder to pin down — bigotry can be funny that way — but they are certainly not theological.

So Feldman, is aversion to liberalism, conservatism, Marxism and libertarianism considered bigotry? Because that’s the logical conclusion one has to make, based on his assertion that aversion to a belief system is bigotry.

NYT editors should have caught that and taken it out. It’s really time that journalists stop treating religion with kid gloves and start covering it the same way they cover any political or moral belief system.

“I want to kill God in the minds of Children.” – How email causes internet myths to become fact

Whenever journalists speak of disseminating news in the online world, they’re usually referring to blogging, social networking, and other Web 2.0 technologies. What you don’t hear about very often are the millions of mass emails that are sent out on a daily basis — they’re sometimes referred to as “chain emails.” A person gets some kind of news item in his inbox and then forwards it to his entire address book. This allows a piece of information to be spread quickly to thousands of people without being formerly published online or in print.

Unfortunately, these mass emails provide an easy outlet for groups to widely promote propaganda and misinformation. Because there is no permalink or publication to trace it to, falsehoods can quickly be disseminated in such a way so that it’s almost impossible to trace the writing to its original source. And because the writing isn’t published anywhere — at least right away — it can float under the radar undetected by those knowledgeable or skeptical enough to cry foul while thousands of emails continue to be sent.

Eventually, readers start copy and pasting the emails into online message boards and blogs, but by then the misinformation has become so ubiquitous that it’s considered fact.

Philip Pullman, the author of The Golden Compass, which has been made into a major motion picture, has included anti-religious themes in his books. Naturally — as we saw with The Da Vinci Code — Christian groups have begun to form protests against it. Today, I received a mass-forwarded email from a Christian relative that quotes Pullman as saying this:

The Golden Compass, A movie you might want to avoid.

In the words of the author, “I want to kill God in the minds of Children…. I want them to decide against God and the Kingdom of Heaven.”

As you might have guessed, this is a quote that Pullman never actually said.

After hitting thousands of inboxes, this false quote eventually spilled over onto dozens of webpages. Notice that some of those sites are run by churches.

I meticulously went through every single direct reference to the quote, and never once does it cite a source. A few of these webpages claim that this quote came from a mysterious 2003 interview with the author, but we never actually find out where.

In fact, the only quote that Pullman actually said that comes close to this appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald:

“I’ve been surprised by how little criticism I’ve got. Harry Potter’s been taking all the flak. I’m a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people – mainly from America’s Bible Belt – who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven’t got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.”

This, of course, is entirely different from the author saying “I want to kill God in the minds of Children.”

This email that was sent to me was CC’d to 20 other people. These chain messages typically fan out in a pyramid-like fashion. Because of this one email, thousands of people actually think that Pullman said those words. As for who actually falsely attributed them to him? We’ll never know.

Related posts:
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2. The Sideways offensive: Will Merlot sales ever recover?
3. Missionaries sent into Second Life

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