The Face of Creationism in Canada

You’re probably wondering about the title of this post. It was inspired by an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, a daily newspaper in Winnipeg, the biggest city in of Manitoba, Canada. They have this headline: Controversial trustee candidate calls for creationism teachings in schools.

The story is only a couple of paragraphs long and it’s not important — unless your kids go to school in the Louis Riel School Division. But what got our attention is the photo of the creationist candidate — Candace Maxymowich. It’s perfect! Candace is our ideal creationist. She could be the poster girl for creationism everywhere.

We’d love to copy the photo and put it above this post, but it belongs to the newspaper and we can’t use it without their permission. You have to click over there to see what we’re talking about. What a face! She’d be the perfect girl for Casey.

Otherwise, it’s fortunate that there isn’t any news, because almost all our blogging time has been spent in the support threads arguing about the crazy new editor that WordPress is going to force upon us.

The old editor, renamed “classic,” is still available as an option, but that’s probably only until they get a few bugs worked out of the new thing. If you haven’t seen it, trust your Curmudgeon — you don’t want to. It’s designed for 12-year-old tweeters and such. The thing is idiotic and inconvenient in every way. But while the “classic” editor is still available, this place is tolerable.

When the new thing, named Beep Beep Boop — really, that’s its name — becomes the only editor available, and that seems inevitable, we may have to shut down the blog. We could move the thing elsewhere, but we keep hearing bad things about all the other blogging platforms. Until this Beep Beep Boop thing came along, WordPress was the best. But soon it may be the worst.

We haven’t made any plans to shut down or move yet, but we’re certainly considering both options. What we do depends on what WordPress does. They might make enough changes to Beep Beep Boop that it becomes usable, but at the moment that doesn’t seem likely. We’re hoping they keep the old editor as a permanent option, but that doesn’t seem likely either. We’ll have to see what develops.

That’s the situation. Sorry to be so grouchy. Maybe we’ll take another look at Candace Maxymowich. That might cheer us up.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Creationist Wisdom #458: Defiant Rabbi

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) comes to us from a website we’ve never visited before — NewsWithViews. From what little we’ve seen of their garish website and their about us page, they seem to be another WorldNetDaily, but we don’t yet know enough about them to have a firm opinion.

What caused them to be snared in our global news sweep is this column, which we’ll treat as if it were a letter-to-the-editor: CHOOSE WISELY, YOUNG MAN.

We usually omit the writer’s full name and city, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures, but in this case the letter-writer is Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He seems to be the Jewish equivalent of a televangelist, with his own TV show and his own website, which has an online store where you can buy DVDs of his television series. Wikipedia has an article on him: Daniel Lapin.

We’ve only just encountered this guy, but he seems to be very much in the pattern of people like ol’ Hambo, and unless we learn differently, he’ll get the same treatment around here. Is it proper to call a rabbi a rev? Apparently so. The word “reverend” is applicable to all clergy. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

He begins by saying that it was “politically incorrect, imprudent and dangerously reckless” for a German living under the Nazi regime to announce that he had Jewish friends, or for Russian living under Stalin to declare his admiration for America, or for a Muslim living in a country under Sharia law to express enthusiasm for Christianity. From there, he leaps into the all-too familiar “persecution by the secularist conspiracy” mode:

Any American today, living under the oppression of the country’s dominant faith, secular fundamentalism, who professes belief in the God of Abraham and in the Bible is being politically incorrect.

Somehow, despite that “oppression,” the rev seems to be doing okay. It’s amazing that he can survive in such a hostile culture. He tells us how horrible things are:

If he [who professes such belief] works in entertainment, government, or education he is also being imprudent and reckless. He won’t imperil his life as in my earlier examples but he will certainly jeopardize his job.

Wow — it sounds like the days when Nero was Emperor. In America, religious folks have to meet secretly in the catacombs. Let’s read on:

Just ask Professors Mark Armitage, Richard Sternberg, and Guillermo Gonzalez.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now you know how the rev ended up in our morning news sweep. Do we have any readers who don’t recognize those names? Well, okay, we’ll give you some links for background — but just one per individual. See WorldNetDaily Supports Mark Armitage. Regarding Richard Sternberg (formerly Richard von Sternberg), he’s a Discovery Institute “senior fellow,” known for the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. As for the rev’s third martyr, whom we call “Gonzo,” he’s another Discoveroid “senior fellow” — see this from a year ago: Ball State University Hires Guillermo Gonzalez.

Bear in mind that those guys are the rev’s intellectual heroes. He continues:

Like any bully resorting to force after failing to persuade by fact and reason, secularism silences dissent with suppression, ridicule, and threat.

Science has not failed to persuade by fact and reason. That’s how it has prevailed — well, except for people like the rev. As for threats — what scientists do that? We dish out our share of well-deserved ridicule around here, but the only victims of threats and suppression we’re aware of have been people on the science side — like Galileo and John Scopes. Notwithstanding his fantasies of threats and suppression, the rev seems to enjoy a wide audience, so what kind of imaginary world is he living in? Here’s more:

The underlying belief of secularism is that we humans are nothing more than super-evolved primates. You think you’re touched by the finger of God? Don’t be ridiculous! You’re just an animal with all the healthy appetites of an animal. If it feels good, do it.

Oh, how horrible! Were it up to the rev, whatever feels good would be forbidden.

The rest of the rev’s column is about the wickedness of sex — except for the kind sanctioned by him. There’s lots of bible talk and loads of preaching about the joys of virginity. This is Sunday, so if you’re in the mood for a sermon, then click over there and read the rest of what the rev has to say. But this is where we’ll leave him — raving and ranting (in what seems to be perfect freedom) against suppression and threats.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Curmudgeon’s Creative Challenge #12

This is where we find out if you’ve got what it takes. Do you have the courage to put your thinking out there for all to see? You know what we’re getting at, don’t you?

Yes, it’s time, dear reader, for another Creative Challenge. But first, you need to be stimulated. Therefore, we remind you of all the intellectual thrills we’ve provided in the past. Our earlier contests were: #1 (Creationism is to evolution as ___ is to ____), followed by #2 (The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be _____), and then #3 (The Discoveroids are the dregs of _____), and then #4 (The creationists’ biggest lie is _____), and then #5 (Can _____ be defended using only scientific terms?, and then #6 (What shall we call a creationist toilet camera?), and then #7 (Credible evidence for the intelligent designer’s existence would be: ____), and then #8 (Devise an acronym — the individual letters of which are the initial letters of words that disparage the Discoveroids’ theory), and then #9 (The only thing less interesting than news of the Discoveroids’ Censor of the Year is ____), and then #10 (The expression that best describes the Discoveroids or their “science” or their methods is _____ ), and most recently #11 (X and Y are related phenomena. Therefore _______).

Today’s challenge is inspired by the totality of our experience documenting and ridiculing creationism in all its forms — young Earth, old Earth, total Genesis, modified Genesis, no Genesis, etc. We have often read something written by a creationist and thought to ourselves: Could anything be more obviously wrong than this? For example, consider the Discoveroids’ definition of intelligent design: Certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

That’s the setup for today’s challenge, dear reader. Let’s see if you can come up with something better (i.e., dumber) than that. We’re looking for something so contrary to reality, so lacking in evidence, and so absolutely untestable that only the brain-dead would even consider it, let alone accept it.

The form of the challenge is that in one sentence, you must tell us:

Something even more illogical and contrary to reality than creationism is _______.

A successful entry should be self-explanatory, but it’s quite all right to elaborate on your proposals. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ll offer one example of something even more illogical and contrary to reality than creationism: Experience teaches us that everyone is happiest if he isn’t allowed to think.

You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.

Your Curmudgeon will decide if there’s a winner, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

The Vicious Intolerance of Creationism

This started a few days ago, when we spotted (and ignored) a new article at Answers in Genesis (AIG), written by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Ol’ Hambo’s article is Award-Winning Christian Musicians Mock Biblical Creationists.

Hambo is no longer satisfied criticizing preachers and bible colleges because they’re not sufficiently creationist. Now he’s turning his attention — and his wrath — on Christian musicians. He wrote, with bold font added by us:

Christian musicians Michael and Lisa Gungor, members of the Dove-award winning band Gungor, made headlines this week with their denial of the inerrancy of Scripture in Genesis. Then Michael Gungor declared in a clarifying blog post, “NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally” (emphasis Gungor’s).

Blasphemy! This can’t be tolerated! Hambo’s article is a full-force attack on the pair. He said:

Michael Gungor studied jazz guitar at Western Michigan University and the University of North Texas. His wife, Lisa, studied music at Oral Roberts University. Neither is a Bible scholar nor scientist. And yet, they are writing as though they know more than people who have spent their lives studying the inerrancy of Scripture and who — in many cases — have come to different conclusions.

So now ol’ Hambo is extending his imaginary authority over Christian musicians. One more excerpt:

On the Gungor Music blog, Michael uses a mocking tone to explain his view of the Bible’s account of history:

[Hambo quotes Michael:] Do I believe that God literally drowned every living creature 5,000 years ago in a global flood except the ones who were living in a big boat? No, I don’t.

Why don’t I? Because of science and rational thought.

This is intolerable! Hambo rants on and on, but we’ll leave him there, red-faced and sputtering. Anyway, we didn’t pay any attention, not until we spotted this today, at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom Their new post is Christian Band Rejects Literal Genesis. Now ICR is joining the jihad. They say:

Respected guitarist and talented Christian songwriter Michael Gungor has recently made the news — not with his music, but with his outspoken rejection of a historical Genesis. Amid this contention, a Baptist church even canceled one of his gigs. Gungor cited science and reason for his position on Noah’s Ark.

We won’t quote much from ICR. Suffice it to say that they too are attacking the musicians. They drone on and on defending the tale of Noah’s Ark, which is too silly to copy here, and then they say, with our bold font:

The Gungors also wrote in their blog, “You can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us.” Well, who says you can’t? But how worthy of love would a God be who can’t or won’t communicate clearly, or who lied about our beginnings on the very first pages of His book?

Aha — ICR claims that the Gungors think God is unworthy! Then phooey on them and their music!

Neither Hambo nor ICR makes an outright call for a boycott of the Gungors, but it’s certainly implied by their forceful disapproval. And then we found something in The Gospel Herald, which describes itself as “a leading online publication that brings you the most updated Chinese Christian issues around the globe.” Their article is Gungor Defends Faith, Says Band Is Part of a ‘Culture War’ They say:

Popular Christian music artist Michael Gungor recently appeared on the Bad Christian Podcast to address the negative reaction he received from blog posts sharing his beliefs concerning a literal account of creation and the flood in the book of Genesis.

The singer, who along with wife Lisa penned popular worship songs “Beautiful Things” and “Dry Bones,” came under fire after he admitted that he does not interpret the accounts of Noah and Adam and Eve literally. During the podcast, he defended his views and said he feels as though he is a part of a “culture war” between science and fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

Indeed, he is part of the culture war — at least as it’s being waged by Hambo and ICR. Let’s read on:

“If you asked any Christian before the Enlightenment, ‘What is the foundation of your faith?’ Everybody’s going to say Jesus Christ,” he said. “If you ask somebody now, especially an evangelical or fundamentalist, there’s a good chance they’re going to say the Bible.”

It’s surprising to see him mentioning the Enlightenment. We continue:

He said he feels he is a part of a “culture war,” where believers are leaving a fundamentalist belief system and embracing science. “These are issues that are kind of burning in the back of people’s minds that they just need to fight about right now,” he said. “I happen to be a convenient person to use as a scapegoat.”

Indeed. To people like Hambo, it’s gotta be his way or the highway — or rather, the Lake of Fire. Those who appreciate science, however, are content to leave creationists alone. Well, we ridicule them, but we don’t try to shut them down. They have a right to believe and preach as they do, as long as they don’t bother anyone else.

That’s all we have to say about this situation, but we’ll leave you with this one chilling thought: What would it be like if people like Hambo ever achieved political power?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article