Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Rapture Monday: Justice Fever -- it's Klantastic!
The Rapture Index
stands at 152, "fasten your seat belts". Still, I think it's safe to buy the big jar of mayonnaise this week. There's just no sense in calling home Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II right before the rapture.
Oh, but it is Klantastic
of James Dobson on the Supreme Court:
Dobson: Before I let you go, Justice Scalia referred to his colleagues on the court as black robed masters. Isn't that incredible?
Levin: You know, you know, it is incredible. I'm starting to think, just so we can knock them down a notch, Dr. Dobson, that, they should be required again to wear those white powdered wigs, you know?
Dobson: Well, I heard a minister the other day, talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country and the South and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality and now we have black robed men and that's what you're talking about. The subtitle of the book is how the Supreme Court is Destroying America, by Mark Levin.
It's not as funny as tilting at gay-friendly sponges, but it's far more disturbing. If judges and justices whom Dobson doesn't like are the equivalent of the KKK, what's the proper response? What's the purpose of the comparison? Dobson is saying that liberals are terrorists who want to persecute Christians the way the KKK persecuted (and persecutes) Blacks. It's yet another card from the victimization deck. Christians are under assault from the rising tide of secularism and need to do everything in their power to fight back -- or they'll end up hanging from trees before the rapture comes.
Story via Talking Points Memo.
Looking up the truth
In case you missed the news, Pope John Paul II died. Among John Paul's many contributions was his view of science. I am not a papal historian, nor do I pay close attention to Catholic pronouncements. Galileo
, who was excommunicated and placed under house arrest even after renouncing
the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun, received something of an apology under John Paul II's watch. John Paul might have lifted the ex-communication
, though I can't find an authoritative source on that.
Still, according to Sign on San Diego, Pope John Paul II saw no conflict between science and faith, and even endorsed evolution:
In 1996, Pope John Paul II again illustrated his faith in science by formally declaring that "fresh knowledge leads to recognition of the theory of evolution as more than just a hypothesis."
In the argot of the scientific community, the distinction between hypothesis and theory is similar to the distinction between a guess and a fact in common usage. Gravity
is a theory. Two theories, actually -- in one, the mass of large objects creates curved space. In the other, objects exchange gravitons
No word yet on whether the new pope will endorse the idea of a gay gene. Of course, a genetic cause for homosexuality would be troubling for the theology of gay haters. Not terminal, of course. There are plenty of entrenched prejudices based almost entirely on genetics.
The Mustanski article is available in PDF. Detailed criticism is here. I'm not enough of a biologist to evaluate the criticism. Even if I were a biologist or geneticist, I wouldn't care so very much.
Fox Mulder was wrong
There are no aliens, apparently
. UFOs are nothing more than demonic manifestations intended to deceive believers into questioning their Christian faith. I guess we can agree that it's not all weather balloons.
When I get fired for blogging to much at work, I'm going to blame it all on saying Christ
too much. Christ. Christ. Christ
Well, he would have. Rick Santorum
told me so:
...A coalition of conservative groups is calling on Senate Republicans to do whatever it takes to end the filibusters of the president's judicial nominees. At a press conference in Washington, DC, the group urged what some is radical action: changing Senate rules regarding filibusters in order to end the filibustering of pro-life and Christian nominees. Kay Daly of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary says the Senate's role of "advise and consent" on judicial nominees "was never meant to be obstruct and destroy. "The length of time now required to confirm a nominee has gone from an average of 87 days, under the Carter, Reagan, and first Bush administration, to 426 days," she explains. Daly says it is the Democrats who have changed the rules regarding the confirmation process, and that Senate Republicans have a responsibility to regain their control. C. Boyden Gray of the Committee for Justice says the media is mixed up on who is doing what in this matter. "It's the Democrats who have changed the rules of the game by employing the filibuster, for the first time in 220 years, to block judicial nominees," Gray says. Under rules established by the previous session of Congress, filibusters can be brought to an end with 60 votes -- but the Constitution only requires a simply majority of 51 votes to confirm a judicial nominee. Gray says these unprecedented filibusters are forcing a super-majority vote for confirmation and are changing the Constitution. [Bill Fancher]
I don't think a true Christian would want to claim this handful of wingnuts as their own. I do love the careful prose -- especially the elegant way the Clinton years are removed from discussion.
The Barna Group
has completed a survey on faith. They conclude that "more than nine out of ten American adults engage in some type of faith-related practice during a typical week." Faith-related practice program activities, I'm sure. Going to work in the morning is faith-related for me. Or unfaith. What does it mean when I pray for severe weather each morning before I start the car?
- 45% of adults read the Bible during a typical week
- born again Christians are 40% of the adult population
- evangelicals remain just 7% of the adult population
- the largest concentration of evangelicals lives within the South
- the most limited number resides in the Northeast
- even though all evangelicals are born again Christians, less than one out of five born again adults (18%) meet the evangelical criteria.
- atheists + agnostics + non-Christians = 21% of the adult population