Archive for December, 2013


Top 10 Christian Fails Of 2013

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Watch as Christian idiots compete to see who can embarrass themselves the most in 2013. If you enjoy my work please support it by donating or picking up a shirt from my website http://www.cultofdusty.com . It really helps.

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English: Sam Harris

 

A Visual Representation of Sam Harris’ ‘Morality and the Christian God’

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By Hemant Mehta

A month ago, Sam Harris posted on his website an audio excerpt from one of his debates. It’s a popular excerpt, where he talks about the flimsy morality of God.

 

Harris gave his readers permission to turn that excerpt into a video and Devon Tracey came through with this very nice visual representation of a powerful speech:

 

 

 

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Paul Crouch, Who Founded Trinity Broadcasting Network and Made Millions Off the Backs of Gullible Viewers, is Dead

 

 

While Crouch will be remembered in religious circles for starting the world’s largest Christian-owned cable station, let’s not forget how wealthy he made himself on the backs of gullible viewers who were asked to send his station (and, thereby, him) money. It was the prosperity gospel at work: Give us money and God will reward you… even though the Crouches always seemed to be the ones getting all the rewards.

 

Paul and Jan Crouch

 

This passage from a New York Times article is very telling of how he used his riches to benefit himself instead of those who were far less fortunate:

Mr. and Mrs. Crouch have his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community here, provided by the network using viewer donations and tax-free earnings. But Mrs. Crouch, 74, rarely sleeps in the $5.6 million house with tennis court and pool. She mostly lives in a large company house near Orlando, Fla., where she runs a side business, the Holy Land Experience theme park. Mr. Crouch, 78, has an adjacent home there too, but rarely visits. Its occupant is often a security guard who doubles as Mrs. Crouch’s chauffeur.

The twin sets of luxury homes only hint at the high living enjoyed by the Crouches, inspirational television personalities whose multitudes of stations and satellite signals reach millions of worshipers across the globe. Almost since they started in the 1970s, the couple have been criticized for secrecy about their use of donations, which totaled $93 million in 2010.

In fact, a lawsuit against TBN noted that Crouch had “Private jets, 13 mansions and a $100,000 mobile home just for the dogs.

What’s even more stunning is how none of that information appears to be found on the messages Christians are leaving on the TBN Facebook page. It’s one thing to grieve for a lost life, but we can’t ignore the legacy he left behind.

He was the epitome of a greedy televangelist. He’s the kind of person responsible for turning many Christians away from the faith — no matter how many people the television station reached — because of his blatant hypocrisy. If he accomplished anything positive with his station, it’s absolutely outweighed by the lives he ruined by taking money from those who could ill afford to part with it but did because they hoped God would give them even more in return.

Just to be clear, I don’t fault him for his wealth. I criticize the way he acquired it. And I hope Christian leaders, in their rush to praise him, don’t forget to condemn that aspect of his life.

He may have been a religious icon, but he was far from a role model.


Why Climate Change Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces

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lightning hitting earth
Are religion and end times thinking now wrapped up with the denial of global warming? Igor Zh./Shutterstock

All across the country—most recently, in the state of Texas—local battles over the teaching of evolution are taking on a new complexion. More and more, it isn’t just evolution under attack, it’s also the teaching of climate science. The National Center for Science Education, the leading group defending the teaching of evolution across the country, has even broadened its portfolio: Now, it protects climate education too.

How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn’t a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind. And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)

And yet clearly there’s a relationship between the two issue stances. If you’re in doubt, watch this Climate Desk video of a number of members of Congress citing religion in the context of questioning global warming:

Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian “end times” believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming.

And now new research by Yale’s Dan Kahan further reaffirms that there’s something going on here. More specifically, Kahan showed that there is a correlation (.25, which is weak to modest, but significant) between a person’s religiosity and his or her tendency to think that global warming isn’t much of a risk. Perhaps even more tellingly, Kahan also found that among highly religious individuals, as their ability to comprehend science increases, so does their denial of the risk posed by global warming. Here’s some data he presented:

Among the highly religious, more science comprehension leads to less concern about global warming.

Among the highly religious, more science comprehension translates into less concern about global warming. Dan Kahan

“I have to say, those effects are bigger than I would have expected,” wrote Kahan of his findings. The researcher went on to say that he isn’t sure why greater religiosity predicts greater denial of climate change. But in his data—with a representative sample of over 2,000 Americans—it clearly does.

There are two major possibilities. And there is probably some truth to both of them.

There is the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” theory. In other words, anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces. And that makes sense: We know that in general, people gather their issue stances in bunches, because those stances travel together in a group (often under the aegis of a political party).

But there’s also the “declining trust in science” theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.

Further research will no doubt unravel what’s going on here. In the meantime, we can simply observe: In the political science wars that have wracked America for well over a decade, both sides are consolidating their forces.