Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust

No, not Grand-daddy Phelps, though the passing of the Westboro Church founder is noteworthy.

I'm announcing the resignation of megachurch founder Bill Gothard after allegations of sexual misconduct. This is not some small-town preacher. His fans include the glassy-eyed Duggar family *ptui* and preacher turned politician turned pundit, Mike Huckabee. He's one of the leaders of the home-school movement. His "Advanced Training Institute" is one of the main squawkboxes for Christian moral superiority. You can learn low-level skills at his "Verity Institute." Or earn a Certificate in Basic Life Principles by taking courses such as Biblical Life Principles V, in which "students focus on the Fall of man as the cause of society’s problems."

So in true churchy scandal tradition, he is a leader in the "holier-than-thou" sanctimonious cult tradition that seems to create big-time hypocrites. And what is he accused of? He didn't just have a fling with one buxom secretary - he molested or harassed over thirty women!

Fortunately, some of the victims of his backwards theology have been able to leave it behind them. Check out "Recovering Grace" http://www.recoveringgrace.org/.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How's Your Amygdala?

The amygdala is a part of the brain with many roles, and including a role in the development of empathetic or "moral" behavior.

How can you be good without God?  How can you be good with the Christian god?  How can parents believe in a "loving" Father could doom his kids to an eternal lake of fire, or wipe them all out in a global flood, or kills his only good kid then lets the brats off the hook?  How can they raise loving, moral children?  To the extent that they do, it's due to behaving like all the other social animals rather than bringing up kids to fear God.

This TED talk covers the neural basis of morality and proposes ways to change the brain.  (Won't work for murderers, though)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Discovery Institute Shills vs. Ball State

Apparently, the DI has realized a lawsuit would be a waste of time and money, so they've gotten four state legislators to shill for them:

http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20140311/NEWS01/140311010

The Discovery Institute says four state legislators led by Senate Education Committee Chair Dennis Kruse, R–Auburn, have sent a letter to Ball State University’s president and board of trustees expressing concerns about the university’s treatment of BSU physicist Eric Hedin and its “imposition of a speech code censoring faculty speech on intelligent design.”  ...

...“about whether improper procedures were followed while investigating professor Eric Hedin’s course, and whether an ad hoc committee appointed to investigate him was filled with persons with conflicts of interest...We are also concerned about the cancellation of Hedin’s class and the policy you announced last summer restricting faculty speech on intelligent design. We are disturbed by reports that while you restrict faculty speech on intelligent design, BSU authorized a seminar that teaches ‘Science Must Destroy Religion.’ ... The legislators promised to send additional questions to BSU in coming weeks.
This sounds like it will be the exact same letter filled with ridiculous questions that the Discovery Institute sent to the university last summer.  Apparently they're still butthurt about this thing, and they've managed to get a creationist sympathizer (who unfortunately is the chair of the Senate Education Committee) to embarrass himself for them.

Desperate times call for desperate measures?  From the sounds of things last summer, I was expecting to see them sue.  Apparently they realize they can't win in a fair fight so they're trying this now.  Ball State is their new "wedge."