Fair and Balanced

| 157 Comments

It was bound to happen. A colleague recently described South Carolina as “low hanging fruit” for the ID movement. Nevertheless, the creationists have been relatively quiet in this state, and have instead been acting up in places that you wouldn’t normally associate with the Religious Right – Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, etc. Well, that’s changing.

South Carolina received an “A” for its treatment of evolution in the Fordham Foundation’s recent report, and this has angered state Senator Mike Fair (R-Greenville), who is presumably afraid that this could ruin SC’s reputation as a backwards state. This isn’t the first time. Back in 2003, Fair reacted to the Fordham Foundation’s report by authoring a bill that would put warning labels in text books containing the following bizarre and plainly untrue statement: “The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Therefore, empirical science cannot provide data about the beginning of life.” The bill, thankfully, went nowhere. Last June, he filed a bill that would require teaching “alternatives” to evolution, which he specifically said would require teaching ID. I believe that one has yet to be taken up by the legislature, but the Kitzmiller decision pretty well preempted it. More recently, he’s tried to amend an education bill to establish a “science committee” to explore whether “alternatives” to evolution should be taught in schools. The efforts of a few local scientists who spoke out against it helped get the amendment removed.

But now he’s at it again.

Fair is a member of the Educational Oversight Committee (EOC). The EOC is tasked with the job of approving the curriculum standards submitted by the Board of Education before they go into effect. Recently, the committee approved to accept all of the standards as written except for four biology indicators dealing with evolution. At Fair’s behest, the EOC voted 8-7 to remove these indicators for “further study”. According to an excellent article in the Charleston Post and Courier (not currently available online), these are the indicators under attack:

  • Explain how genetic processes result in the continuity of life forms over time.
  • Explain how genetic variability and environmental factors lead to biological evolution.
  • Exemplify scientific evidence in the fields of anatomy, embryology, biochemistry and paleontology that underlies the theory of biological evolution.
  • Use a phylogenetic tree to identify the evolutionary relationships among different groups of organisms.

Fair wants to change these around to include language that students should “critically analyze” evolution, whatever that means. He’s made it clear that he wants to encourage teachers to discuss “alternatives” to evolution, which of course means Intelligent Design, but at the same time he’s claiming that the changes he wants have nothing to do with ID. It’s the same dishonest shell game that the Discovery Institute, the leading group pushing ID, has become notorious for.

And here’s something else right out of the Discovery Institute playbook: taking a cue from Kansas, Fair decided to convene a “balanced panel”, consisting of four members, two of them to be chosen by Mike Fair, who will testify in front of the Academic Standards and Assessments Subcommittee (led by Fair), which will then make a recommendation to the whole EOC. In the true tradition of creationist language-abuse, “balanced” in this case means giving a position accepted by almost no credible biologist 50% of the representation. As we reported previously, Fair refused to even name his panelists on the rationale that he wanted to “minimize scrutiny of their views and credentials prior to their appearance”. Because naturally, the only way to assure the public that his experts are actually objective experts, and not just ringers who can be counted on to agree with the changes he already knows he wants, is to keep their views and credentials under wraps. Heaven forbid anyone critically analyze his choices.

But nonetheless, it was reported the next day that Fair’s two panelists will be Richard von Sternberg and Rebecca Keller, and that Fair will be paying for their expenses out of his own campaign funds. Anyone familiar with these pages will have heard of Sternberg, who has become the Discovery Institute’s poster child for fake martyrdom. Keller should also be familiar to those who keep tabs on cre/ID, especially those from New Mexico who have had to put up with her shenanigans in that state. Fair, staying true to his open government policy, refused to explain why he picked two people from out of state who just so happen to have well-documented sympathies for ID. He was quoted as saying that, “Intelligent design is not part of this argument. I have not asked either one of (the out-of-state advisers) what their views on intelligent design are.” But Keller was quoted in an article in the Charlotte Observer as saying that she had been tagged for the job by the Discovery Institute. Hmm, curious. While we have no way of knowing for sure just what happened (in spite of Fair’s helpful efforts to be an open book), the most likely explanation is that Fair went straight to the Discovery Institute and asked them to recommend two people to serve as panelists. (Update: According to an article in this morning’s State, Casey Luskin of the DI admits that Fair contacted them directly.) Yet he insists that he had no foreknowledge of their views, and that the changes he wants have nothing to do with ID.

The two panelists representing the good guys are Mary Lang Edwards, who is a biologist from Erskine College, and Karen Stratton, a science coordinator for the Lexington school district. By all accounts, both are highly qualified and understand the issues at hand, and therefore can be counted on to make good presentations. Still, it’s strange that no one was chosen from one of SC’s three major research institutions, as there is certainly no shortage of scientists around here willing to speak out against this abuse. Even stranger is that Fair went out of state to find his ID-friendly panelists, given that South Carolinians really don’t like being told what to do by people “from away”. Hopefully, the public will come to realize that Fair was forced to do so because of the extreme paucity of scientists who agree with him. The panel convenes today (Monday the 23rd), and we’ll keep you posted on what transpires.

In case it’s not clear by now, Senator Fair is a real piece of work. He seems to have a flair for pointless theatrics. During an earlier meeting of the EOC, according to those in attendance, Fair referred to university scientists who objected to his plans as “on the dole”, a rather offensive and, needless to say, inaccurate epithet. (I’m sure Fair accepts no salary for his position as state Senator – he wouldn’t want to be thought of “on the dole” himself, seeing as how being a blowhard is such demanding work.) But that’s mild compared to some of his other antics. He recently sponsored a bill that would have the state DMV provide “Choose Death” license plates, so that people who were pro-choice could express their views along with those who buy the “Choose Life” license plates currently being offered. And then there was the time he actually subpoenaed a plastic penis used in sex-ed classes, and then proceeded to prominently display his star witness during an Education Committee meeting. But my personal favorite is the bill he introduced to jail men found in public with “discernibly turgid penises”. That has got to qualify for an award of some kind. And if you’ve guessed by now that Fair hates gays, congratulations, you are of extremely low intelligence or higher. So let’s see: dishonesty, buffoonery, and an unhealthy obsession with other people’s sex lives. He’s a natural ally of the Discovery Institute alright.

157 Comments

Sometimes I wish I still believed in a Hell so that I could imagine a special place there for such blantant liars as Senators Fair and Buttars.

Are these guys really that dumb, or is it just that they’ve been getting away with such ridiculous and dishonest for so long that they feel the no longer need to even pay lip service to the truth?

Are these guys really that dumb, or is it just that they’ve been getting away with such ridiculous and dishonest for so long that they feel the no longer need to even pay lip service to the truth?

Yes. Notice the lack of concerted high-profile Democratic opposition or ricicule?

One of the warts of our political system. Fair’s opponents (and even most of his political bedfellows) are well aware that his attempts are both embarrassing and doomed. But they’re equally aware that an uncomfortably high percentage of the eligible voters in their own districts agree with Fair (this IS South Carolina, after all), and taking any sort of principled position against him is hazardous to the career.

So politically, the most expedient opposition consists of staying silent (or mouthing platitudes about “giving due respect and consideration to the views of our honored colleague”) and getting the dumbest ideas tabled indefinitely. Fair may be a hoot, but his religious motivation is a third rail in South Carolina - attack it and die. Even pointing out that the reason Fair had to seek help from California is because scientists willing to promote anti-science are so rare South Carolina has none, would be picked up by the fundamentalists and touted as a personal attack by Godless monkey-lovers. Which would meet with widespread public approval even Tom Tomorrow couldn’t exaggerate.

It should also be noted that Bob Jones University is in Fair’s district.…

begin sarcastic rant But the TruthTM is what these guys are all about! Don’t you read? Don’t you understand that these are not lies, but casualties in the war against the evil of materialist doctrine that will spawn more and more atheists until we finally get the point where they lie in wait for little old ladies on their way to meeting on Sunday. If a few … obfuscations have to be used to protect those morally upright enough to stand against the evil doctrine of Darwin, then this is the Cross…err..spaceship…err burden that we must bear. end sarcastic rant

What a disgusting nightmare. One day the American people are going to get sick and tired of being lied to and misled by politicians, and start ousting the ones that commit such blatant transgressions. Or maybe not. Sheep rarely question the shepherd.

Agape Press on the matter:

State Senator Wants Students to Hear ‘Full Range’ of Evolutionary Theories

By Jim Brown August 26, 2005

(AgapePress) - A South Carolina lawmaker has introduced a bill that would free up public schools to teach the controversy surrounding evolutionary theory by requiring them to expose students to the “full range of scientific views that exist” on biological evolution.

State Senator Mike Fair says his bill would not prevent teachers from discussing evolution, but would require them to present other theories such as intelligent design, which says that life is too complex to have evolved by accident. The bill has gained local support from U.S. Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman Bob Inglis.

Fair believes what students learn in public school science classes should not undermine what they are taught at home or at church.

“Many of us – most of us, I hope – come from homes where children are taught by their parents that there’s a reason behind it all,” Fair says. “The biblical worldview, the one that I embrace, is that our Creator God spoke things into existence, and that same creator God demonstrated His love for me by sending His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross. And what a wonderful message that is.”

According to Fair, science needs to be taught in the classroom as education, not indoctrination. But he admits he is troubled that evolution is currently being taught in schools as a solid fact – not a theory.

“The approach that I think needs to be made – and, of course, the president spoke, I think, very succinctly to that circumstance – is [that] the subject of Darwin’s theory of evolution should be handled more thoroughly,” he says, “both [with] that information that supports it and that information that challenges it; things such as the Cambrian Explosion.”

Fair also notes the absence of “missing links” of any kind continues to be a problem for Darwin’s theory – yet that is not talked about in the classroom. ________________________ Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

bible…jesus…creator god.…I’m sure out on the west coast, where it’s 8:13 am, Casey Luskin is crying into his Froot Loops right now.

Greg H Wrote:

Sheep rarely question the shepherd.

Oh, yeah? How about this one?

Roger Waters Wrote:

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream…

Now if I can just find that giant inflatable pig! NJ

Steve S:

That article comes from last August and concerns the bill that Fair introduced in July. It has nothing to do with the current situation with the EOC.

Fair was nice enough back then to make his religious motivations prefectly clear. Now that he’s doing essentially the same thing with the curriculum standards, he’s claiming not to have any religious motivations at all. We in South Carolina have a special term for that: it’s called lying.

Greg H wrote:

One day the American people are going to get sick and tired of being lied to and misled by politicians, and start ousting the ones that commit such blatant transgressions. Or maybe not. Sheep rarely question the shepherd.

Artificial selection at its finest. The sheep are bred that way, selected for docility, after thousands of generations. Is it a coincidence that religions select for thoughtless faithfulness?

Steve Reuland wrote:

Fair was nice enough back then to make his religious motivations perfectly clear. Now that he’s doing essentially the same thing with the curriculum standards, he’s claiming not to have any religious motivations at all.

Post Kitzmiller, I wonder why not?

Oh, I see. I wonder if the June statements would be useful in court w/r/t the later bill.

@@#!!!^&(@@(&!!!***$#%^)*&^#$@!!!

A Fair victory can be expected to increase the demand for closet space throughout the district.

Ha ha.

Christians. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t feed ‘em to the lions anymore.

Both Fair and Buttars have the same track record.

(1) some sosrt of looney creationist *god did it* bill

(2) A teach ID, it’s scinece bill

(3) A teach the strengths and weakness / ‘other scientific theory’ bill.

At what point / how can we string them up by there transparent religious motivations and track records?

Well I wonder what Fair thinks of the Christian Screen Writers club trying to break into Hollywood saying they are such underdogs that they are the ‘New Gay’. Perhaps Fair could pick that one up and say the Darwinists are making his life so miserable he could say his group are the ‘New Gay’. He could say that he has come out of the creationist closet and say “I used to be a Darwinophobe” .….hmm that won’t work.….…. how about. They could have uniform’s and meet in bars and.…oh never mind I wonder what he did with the liberated pink thingy.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 52, byte 52 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

These people would be terrified if genuine critical thinking were taught in schools, not just the selective “these are the problems with Darwinism” version of “critical thinking.” That would make it a little bit easier easier for at least some people to see through the “Goddidit and we demand that this be taught but it isn’t about religion, and materialism is godless and evil but this really isn’t about religion” stuff.

As it is, they know they can lie and get away with it because there are so many people out there who accept what they say on the strength of what they believe in, not on the strength of what they’re saying. It was really sad to see the response to Judge Jones’s statement about defence witnesses lying - it was just shrugged off as the exaggeration of an activist judge who had no business doing anything but agreeing with them. The Kitzmiller trial showed, among other things, that cdesign proponentsists will even lie under oath if they think it advances their cause, and precious few people if any on their side will think it was a bad thing to do, if indeed they even realise that the lying actually happened.

“No public input will be taken.”

Kangeroo Court is now in session. I hope the two scientists are getting maximum support?

A friend of mine actually has a masters in divinity from yale. His spiritual ideas are pretty complex needless to say. He once told me that it was better for simple people to have simple religion because some was better than none.

Incredulously, I asked him if that meant pat robertson too. He kind of nodded/shook his head and said, “people can’t live without hope. If their lives are difficult, they need something to cling to.”

I asked him, “Even if it isn’t true?”

“yes, even if it isn’t true.”

I know that he probably had a complex idea but I couldn’t finish the conversation. These guys are wrong and education could fix their god problem.

So politically, the most expedient opposition consists of staying silent (or mouthing platitudes about “giving due respect and consideration to the views of our honored colleague”) and getting the dumbest ideas tabled indefinitely.

That may be expedient in the short term, but in the long term, it only makes the enemy stronger, by reinforcing their image if invincibility. Directly attacking Fair’s lunacy may lose votes in the short term, but each attack will embolden others to do the same. Fair’s faction is not strong because everyone agrees with him; it’s strong because those who disagree don’t hear anyone issuing a rallying-cry; and because those who are undecided don’t hear a clearly and strongly stated alternative.

Paul Flocken Wrote:

Greg H Wrote:

One day the American people are going to get sick and tired of being lied to and misled by politicians, and start ousting the ones that commit such blatant transgressions. Or maybe not. Sheep rarely question the shepherd.

Artificial selection at its finest. The sheep are bred that way, selected for docility, after thousands of generations. Is it a coincidence that religions select for thoughtless faithfulness?

Of course not. Freedom of thought does not pay tithes, nor does critical analysis.

Interestingly enough, on the teach the controversy side of the house - I read an article on CNN about a man who is suing the Roman Catholic Church for teaching the existence of Christ as a fact. I wonder if the DI will take up that as another thread of the Teach the Controversy strategy.

Here’s the story: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europ[…].jesus.reut/

Bayesian, sometimes I think Casey Luskin spends more time trying to stop Intelligent Design advocates that we do.

Albion Your friend probably thinks god gave him educated people to ‘test his faith’.

Greg H Wrote:

One day the American people are going to get sick and tired of being lied to and misled by politicians, and start ousting the ones that commit such blatant transgressions. Or maybe not. Sheep rarely question the shepherd.

Well, voters booted out the bunch on the Dover, Pa., school board. And it’s refreshing to note how the Judge and many commentators refer to the lying by certain former board members. But more reporters need to be forthright in alerting their readers to the lies and deceptions so liberally offered by ID proponents.

Raging Bee:

Fair’s faction is not strong because everyone agrees with him; it’s strong because those who disagree don’t hear anyone issuing a rallying-cry

Sorry, but in places like South Carolina, this is sadly not true. Those who issue the rallying cry are *defeated at the polls*. Over and over. And while we may snicker at how dumb politicians are, one thing they learn very damn quickly: how not to lose elections. We’re seeing NOT a majority of milquetoasts afraid of their own shadow and waiting for someone else to rally the troops. We’re seeing the product of *natural selection*.

Recall that in Dover, even after “leading” their constituency to an expensive and humiliating defeat, the creationist candidates only lost by fairly small margins, this time. We saw this in Kansas as well. The politicians rallied the troops, they beat the creationists, they reversed the damage, the people looked upon their works and…put the creationists right back in. Do you think nobody notices this?

Do you think it’s an accident that the creationist’s primary political target is public education, in as early a grade as they can finagle? In their dreams, every state will achieve what Kansas, South Carolina, Ohio and others have.

All these people who want to teach ‘all the alternatives’ to evolution - has anyone collated the lot? There must be thousands. Would make a nice leaflet.

R

RupertG:

Just visit a creationist blog. Post an alternative. With any luck, they’ll show you how they plan to “teach alternatives” within an hour or so.

Mark Duigon wrote:

“But more reporters need to be forthright in alerting their readers to the lies and deceptions so liberally offered by ID proponents”.

It’s not just reporters: this is a PR war, and everyone who cares about science education has to play their part. PT is a great resource, but sometimes it feels like a place to hide amongst like minded individuals, where we can slag off the fundieloons and wallow in our intellectual superiority and complain the Joe Public just doesn’t get it. I’m afraid if we are going to win this war, we have to get our hands dirty. We must simplify with the best of them. Of course reporters need to get the real story out there, but who feeds the reporters? And don’t newspapers have letters pages and guest columnists and other forums for lay and expert views? Not to mention local TV and radio stations.

A few weeks ago I suggested on PT that the Dover trial had exposed ID as hoax, and that the phrase “The Intelligent Design Hoax” should be forced into common parlance, revealing the IDers to ridicule. Because this is not just (or even primarily) a scientific battle, it is a political war, and we need the appropriate weapons, such simplification is not just justified, it is essential.

The essence of every political message is repetition, repitition, repitition! Simplify and repeat. That’s how political campaigns are won.

The Panda’s Thumb has just celebrated 1 million hits — that’s a lot of like minded, and intelligent and articulate, people. If every person who habitually contributes to, comments on, or just visits, PT and other similar pro-science weblogs, would write one letter a week to their local or regional newspaper, making a simple point and calling ID “the Intelligent Design Hoax”, the phrase would soon pass into public consciousness. If every spokesman for science used the phrase in every reply to every media enquiry and at every other opportunity, it would gain more and more credence. Then the IDers would be on the defensive, defending their hoax. And every time they tried to push their argument in a different direction or change their language or cover their tracks, we could say “yes, but that’s just a different version of the Intelligent Design Hoax”. The more they wriggle- with ID instead of religion and IC instead creationism and “critical analysis” instead of “teach the controversy” - the more we pin them on “the Intelligent Design Hoax”.

But it needs numbers to do the repeating. High-minded isolation and refusal to get down and dirty will not win the war, and if PT contributors are not the troops, who are?

BWE Wrote:

He once told me that it was better for simple people to have simple religion because some was better than none.…

Better, as he proceeded to tell you, in that it gives them hope. But hope of what? Not practical things, but absurd fantasy. Immortality. An invincible ally. Someone who loves them no matter what.

These are infantile hopes, and it is a troubling statement about humanity that most people seem to never outgrow them. However, it is an encouraging statement that, as you said, people tend to outgrow them as they learn more about the world.

The Panda’s Thumb has just celebrated 1 million hits — that’s a lot of like minded, and intelligent and articulate, people

2 million, and a whole lot of the exact opposite folks (like Larry) contributed to that number as well.

as to how much “traffic” that really represents, we used to get that much in ONE DAY on the official NSYNC website we built a few years back.

no kidding.

I’ve learned over the last year or so that PT does two jobs: try to expose the scientific vacuity of ID, which it does quite well, and present and analyze some of the recent primary evolutionary science literature.

This is a big job, in and of itself, and has shown time and time again that it has value in this debate on the whole.

Several of the primary contributers have served as important players in the Kitzmiller trial, for example. their value there wasn’t in terms of playing a political role, but as qualified scientists debunking the “scientific postulations” of folks like Behe.

they do that here every day for the thousands of lurkers who come to see what all the fuss is about.

It’s just as important as getting “out there” and forming a counter political action group.

got nothin to do with being “high minded”, but working where one’s own expertise can make the most difference.

If you think you have sufficient political expertise to organize significant efforts on the political front, please do! But don’t expect a scientist, whose expertise lies in, well, science to think his efforts would be better spent there than here.

A better forum to bring this up might be found over on Open Democracy:

http://www.opendemocracy.net/home/index.jsp

now there are some folks that are interested in politics!

Comment #75092 posted by Flint on January 23, 2006 01:47 PM

Recall that in Dover, even after “leading” their constituency to an expensive and humiliating defeat, the creationist candidates only lost by fairly small margins, this time.

Also, in the Dover school board elections, it is believed that a significant factor in the defeat of the incumbents was voter fear and resentment of the big potential legal bill that the board was running up in the defense of the ID rule. The lies of the incumbents were probably another factor. Many people incorrectly see the vote as just a referendum on ID.

The popularity of public officials who favor ID/creationism should not be surprising — opinion polls show that most people want ID or creationism to be taught in public schools as well as evolution theory.

Lenny wrote: It is, of course, the fundies themselves who fight every “comparitive religions” class tooth and nail. They don’t want their impressionable little kiddies learning about other religious opinions. Instead, they want everyone ELSE’S impressionable little kiddies to learn about THEIR religious opinions, and no other.

Spot on. Is is the one thing in life that really makes me angry. My kids are in a public school, but it is 100% xtian. They get taught that everyone who does not believe in Jesus are the “bad guys” and are going to hell (I’m not kidding you). People can have whatever religion they want, just leave the rest of the population alone.

A person I know is going over to China for some good ‘ol missionary work. She loves the Chinese culture, so I asked her why she wants to change it. She didn’t get it. I asked her if the Chinese invited her, or asked to be converted. She still did not get it. Sad thing is, she won’t get it, just like all the other DI, AiG, CCC etc people. They all have one thing in common, to try and MAKE the rest of the world believe what they do. It won’t change, ever.

Stephen Elliott wrote

“Here’s a weird thing. During my life at school in the UK religion was taught. We had prayers at morning assembly and religious education as a mandatory subject. Christianity was taught as fact in RE lessons.

At about age 13 RE became an elective course. It was still Christianity taught as fact. However it was never fundamentalist or biblical literalistic.

The vast majority of my school were still atheist.

Relatively recently (just over 3 years ago) at a school reunion. Nobody I met was a fundamentalist and most (nearly everyone) atheist.

Don’t get me wrong, religion was never taught in a science class. In fact it was never taught in any subject except RE.”

Hold hard there Steve! Today’s Guardian newspaper (UK) reports that 41% of UK citizens want so-called “Intelligent Design” taugh alongside evolution. Check it out here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/s[…]5056,00.html

Note the “horizon” programme on The Intelligent Design Hoax on BBC2 tonight 9pm (UK time). Horizon is a generally respectable science strand. Anyone who has access should watch (or copy) the show.

Interesting topic. One of the reason for the diversity of Christian sects in America is because most of them have abandoned Christianity in favor of something more like an American folk religion. Here is a wonderful article by Bill McKibben in Harpers.

As a casual, but very articulate observer, he manages to capture the problem extremely well.

Chiefly - that’s a really good piece, thanks for the link. Very thought provoking stuff.

It makes me wonder - has Christianity in the US become just another ‘service’? There are so many competing churches to choose from, and the churches have chosen marketing techniques to increase their congregations rather than the central messages of Christianity.

Really telling quote:

Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.”

I guess Norman Doering was right - ‘Love thy neighbour as yourself’ is “trite and ambiguous” - only not just for him as an atheist, but for most American ‘Christians’ too.

Going back to Stephen Elliot’s original question:

Is there a known reason why the USA is such a fertile land for breeding fundies? Any ideas? Maybe a thread on AtBC?

Maybe because most American ‘Christians’ are not real Christians at all…

That article is excellent, Chiefley. This passage, in particular, stands out:

Bill McKibben Wrote:

But one day it occurred to me that the parts of the world where people actually had cut dramatically back on their carbon emissions, actually did live voluntarily in smaller homes and take public transit, were the same countries where people were giving aid to the poor and making sure everyone had health care—countries like Norway and Sweden, where religion was relatively unimportant. How could that be? For Christians there should be something at least a little scary in the notion that, absent the magical answers of religion, people might just get around to solving their problems and strengthening their communities in more straightforward ways.

By their fruits.…

Bill McKibben does a great job in articulating what has happened to much of Christianity in America. But he is not able to see that the mainstream heart of Christian compassion that still exists. This is the heart that gave us the civil rights movement and the war on poverty. The problem is that social justice, worldwide poverty, hunger, and disease does not play very well on our sensationalized news media these days. Now that news organizations are profit centers, you won’t find too many guests invited on to remind us of the misery and suffering in the world and our responsibility towards it. Its far more interesting to watch a fundamentalist rant about God’s vengeance, etc.

This is what real Christian politics looks like. You could call this the “Silent Compassionate Majority” or something. Look at this site carefully until you come to understand what they mean by “values”.

As AC says, “By their fruits…”

This is the heart that gave us the civil rights movement and the war on poverty.

Both of which were bitterly opposed by the fundies.

The problem is that social justice, worldwide poverty, hunger, and disease does not play very well on our sensationalized news media these days.

Nor does it play very well with the fundies. After all, one of the primary reasons why fundamentalism was formed as a separate religious movement, in the 1910’s, was specifically to oppose the “Social Gospel” advocates who were supporting social justice movements such as women’s suffrage, labor unions, and racial equality. The fundamentalists used the religious justification that Jesus is coming back soon, therefore we don’t need to worry about making any social changes since Jesus will soon be ending the world anyway.

Several Reagan-ites used the very same argument back in the 1980’s.

Several Bush-ites use it today.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on January 23, 2006 9:45 AM.

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