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Monday, April 25, 2005

Rapture Monday: Super Bawl Sunday

Posted by: Hammer / 1:05 PM

The rapture index fell 2 points to 150 this week. If it falls another 3% we'll drop from "fasten your seat belts" to "heavy prophetic activity". Since the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night, I'm not sure whether that's good or not. Even still, I'm going to be updating Rapture Watch features on a daily basis. It's easier for me. Plus, in the event of a rapture, I won't have to finish a long post at the start of the tribulation.

Is the Pope Catholic?

So goes that delightful rhetorical question. Is the Pope in heaven? That slightly coarser quesetion got a Christian talk show host fired. How often have we all said it: Darn that ecumenism! Anyway, just goes to show the extremism of the people who control the Republican party. The goddam Pope just ain't Christian enough for them.

Super Bawl Sunday

Yesterday, the extremist evangelical right gathered together to sob that the Senate has only approved 95% of Bush's judicial nominees. The remaining 10, ranging from the racist to the weird to the unqualified to the most extreme that even torture-supporting attorneys general question their reasoning, face the threat of filibuster. These 10 are important, because if the Schiavo case taught us anything, it's that run-of-the-mill conservative judges are willing to subject their personal beliefs to the rule of law. Bush's fire-and-brimstone breathing base will have none of that.

James Dobson spent last week hyping the event and lying about the facts on the ground. Most eggregiously, Media Matters reports that Dobson claimed that the radical 10 received the highest possible rating from the ABA. In truth,only 3 of the 10 received the highest rating. Tony Perkins spent the week leading up to the event claiming that Democrats opposed judges who believed strongly in God. As we noted previously, this calls into question the 205+ Bush nominees already approved. CNN sucks all the juice out the story with their report.

As I read the right's attempt to demonize the courts, I come to believe that the courts are the only obstacle left from the complete dismantling of the radical right. According to its tract, every bad decision in, the history of the court has been "judicial activism" -- Plessy, Dred Scott, Lochner. Every reversal of these decisions, then, is upholding the law or returning to the Constitution.

The courts have hidden from view the extremism of the religious right. Whether abortion or sodomy should be legal are questions which would deeply divide the electorate. But the right isn't content with those issues: the right would like to criminalize contraception and all forms of intercourse outside of marriage. Let's put that nonsense up for a vote. It's easy to take the "no new taxes" pledge, but how many Republican candidates would be willing to take the "no sex before marriage" pledge?

Lines in the sand

They're choosing sides in a Chicago school:
A group of students organized a campaign that sold more than 200 T-shirts at Homewood-Flossmoor High School that say, "Gay? Fine By Me." The shirts were designed to promote tolerance and acceptance and safety at the school and the idea was for the students to wear the shirts on Tuesday.

But a group of Christian students also made their own T-shirts with the help of several churches in the community. The T-shirt reads on the front, "Crimes Committed Against God," and on the back referenced the Ten Commandments.

NBC 5's Kim Vatis reported that both groups of students wore their T-shirts to class Tuesday, including some students who wore homemade shirts that read "It's Not OK To Be Gay."

I'm not a Biblical scholar, but I have a hard time imagining Jesus wearing a toga with "it's not OK to be" anything written on it. Maybe Gibson can borrow some of that Steven Spielberg revisionist magic and add some sloganeering to The Passion. Not sure how to work the subtitles, though.

Why is it so ridiculous?

Some questions seem to answer themselves:

The president of the creationist Christian apologetics ministry called Answers in Genesis (AiG) says evolutionists are trying to spin the latest archaeological discovery to line up with their erroneous theories of the Earth's history.

Recently, scientists in Montana announced they had found soft, flexible tissues inside the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Forced to break up what they believe is a thigh bone of the T. rex in order to fit it onto a helicopter for transport, the scientists were reportedly surprised to discover soft tissue and complete blood cells inside the bone. Evolutionists estimate the fossil at from 70 to more than 80 million years old.

However, AIG president Ken Ham says the latest discovery poses a major problem for proponents of the theory of evolution. "What they don't like" he asserts, "is the fact that creationists like Answers in Genesis have invaded their temples, so to speak -- gone into their 'Holy of holies,' if I can say it like that -- and we've captured dinosaurs and taken them back and given them their rightful place in history alongside of man, as the Bible would tell us." ...

To the AiG president these facts beg the question. "Why is it so ridiculous to believe that people and dinosaurs lived at the same time, when people and crocodiles live at the same time?" he asks. "And crocodiles, according to evolutionists, date back a long time before the dinosaurs and lived with the dinosaurs," he adds.

You just gotta love the Flintstone right. I'll leave it to an expert for a detailed explanation and refutation.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the Alliance Defense Fund is appealing a decision which barred the Cobb County Board of Education from placing disclaimers on school textbooks that stated "Evolution is a theory, not a fact". If the Cobb County Board of Education is really concerned about science education, why is evolution the only theory that warrants special attention?

Religious history of the Vietnam War

I find military histories fascinating. Or maybe it's just the bitchiness of Liddell Hart. He found time to criticism just about everyone, from Churchill on down. (Liddell Hart is British, hence his criticism of Churchill is especially noteworthy.) I don't know what military history has to do with Christian news, but there must be some connection:
An Air Force intelligence officer who served in Vietnam is attempting to debunk myths about the Vietnam War that he says are prevalent and still being taught in many of America's colleges and universities.

Dr. Earl Tilford, a military historian who teaches at Grove City College, is the author of three books on air power in Vietnam, and one of the authors of the 14-volume official history of the Vietnam War. He says myths abound today on American campuses concerning that conflict, which was fought on the ground in Vietnam and bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia between 1957 and 1975.

Probably the most common myth circulating about the Vietnam War, Tilford notes, would be "that it was an illegal or an immoral war." He contends it was neither. "It was maybe ill advised," he says, "but it was neither illegal nor immoral." However, that is only one of the many myths the historian finds prevalent in U.S. institutions.

I don't intend to get into a big thing about the Vietnam War, but the bombing of Cambodia was illegal and immoral. Maybe Tilford chooses to write that sad chapter our of our nation's history.

Well, duh, that's why they watch

Bozell is probably fudging the numbers, but his main claim is surely correct:
"MTV is blatantly selling raunchy sex to kids," said PTC president L. Brent Bozell. "Compared to broadcast television programs aimed at adults, MTV's programming contains substantially more sex, foul language and violence, and MTV's shows are aimed at children as young as 12."
I don't know how raunchy the sex is, but there's lots and lots of sex on MTV. I don't watch much now, but 15-20 years ago I watched my fair share. There were some good videos, but for the most part it was fast cuts between various representations of simulated sex. I don't want Bozell, or anyone else, deciding what my kids can watch on the television, so I guess I'll just be glad that my television comes with the ability to change the channel.


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