Thursday, November 01, 2007

WND idiot round-up

At this point it's just so predictable:

- Pat Buchanan defends a scientist who says Africa's problems are related to the fact that blacks' IQs aren't as high. Responding to the professor's "recantation", Buchanan opines:

In the England of Henry VIII, heretics were beheaded and their heads put on spikes. Many men, like Thomas More, did not recant.

From the time of Tiberias to the 17th century, men gave up their lives rather than renounce a belief in God. Others gave up their lives rather than renounce a disbelief in the Church. Why could Watson not stand up for his disbelief in the ideological myth of the inherent equality of all men, cultures, creeds and civilizations?

Maybe because he isn't a numskull like Pat Buchanan? Yeah, prof, how dare you, like, realize that you said something bone-headed and apologize for it!

- David Limbaugh, Rush's slightly less-obnoxious (and, by comparison, considerably more attractive) brother, decides he doesn't like Christopher Hitchens. Some of Limbaugh's points are decent- it is, in fact, incorrect to say all religions are basically the same (when was the last time the Quakers launched a jihad?), and it is particularly moronic to attribute evils committed in the Soviet Union as another indication of religion's perniciousness by arguing that its secular totalitarianism was sort of like a religion by venerating heads-of-state.

On the other hand, Limbaugh is an idiot:

Hitchens sets up a straw man when he says it's "contemptible" for people to maintain that their religion is good in providing comfort to people – for example, in times of personal loss – even if their religion isn't true. I know of no Christians who make this argument. To the contrary, Christianity provides comfort precisely because it is true and allows a personal relationship with an eternal, omni-benevolent God.

Yeah, good luck proving that one.

Limbaugh's abilities to talk without bothering to think are really at their best when he gets into Christ dying for mankind's sins:

Hitchens rejects that he is responsible for Christ's flogging and crucifixion, in which he had no say and no part. He rejects that Christ's agony was necessary to compensate for the sin of Adam, of which he also had no part.

The Original Sin Doctrine has always bothered me a bit, too. But it's hard to deny in light of the human condition, which only the biblical worldview accurately describes. This condition also renders the secular humanist's utopian belief in the perfectibility of man to be the kind of wishful thinking at which Hitchens' derisively scoffs. Whether or not you believe man is condemned for Adam's sins, doesn't the universality of our own personal sins make the matter moot?

Not if you don't believe human fallibility is the same thing as immortal sin, numnutz. Oh, and there's no original sin in Judaism, Dave. Nice try, though.

I respectfully suggest that Hitchens is looking at this backward. We are not condemned for Christ's death but for our own sinfulness. Christ's death and resurrection are not our condemnation. They are our avenue to deliverance.

Hey there friend, I've got some good news for you! You don't know it, but it turns out that brown is an evil color and every time you wear it, you anger the Supreme Banana-Split in the sky. Luckily, you can get out of this through a special avenue to deliverance, wearing a uranium crown shaped like Elvis Prestley's butt, conveniently available at my online store. What? I can't believe you don't find this convincing! You jerk.

Hitchens apparently believes skepticism is a badge of intelligence and reserved for nonbelievers, yet many believers have their fair share of it, too. They don't fear it; they embrace it, as working through it invigorates rather than undermines their faith.

While Hitchens mocks the faith of Christians in "myths," Christians believe their faith is strongly supported by evidence. Hitchens wholly ignores that evidence as well as the great leaps of faith antitheists must take to assume away the limitations of science and naturalism in explaining man's origins.

Let's review: Skepticism, good; claiming evidence that can't be proven and then getting mad when people pointing it out, bad.

Also, antitheists? Ow, ow, ow.

(There's more, from another WND numnutz. I'm too bored to poke this one. Enjoy.)
- WND decides to endorse populism, sort of, kind of. First it champions a Michigan town that is voting on whether or not to have a Nativity display:

Former Mayor Fraser, in a letter prepared to city residents, said such traditions should be preserved.

"Of course, it's fair to ask … why in the world does Berkley have to go to all the trouble of having a ballot measure and running a campaign just so we can keep our Nativity scene at city hall where it's been for generations?" she wrote. "Especially when neighboring communities such as Birmingham, Clawson, Madison Heights, Troy, Southfield, and Warren display Nativity scenes at their city halls each Christmas as they always have. Some of these communities include religious symbols to celebrate Hanukah during this season as well."

Simply because of the ACLU, she said.

"Putting the issue on the ballot lets the people who live here in Berkley decide – not ACLU lawyers – but rather, We The People, you and I, and our families... Nearly a thousand of us who actually live in Berkley signed the petition that put keeping our Nativity scene on the ballot, and now over a hundred Berkley residents have felt strongly enough about voting 'yes' to contribute financially," Halloran said. "It's clear that citizens of Berkley feel strongly about voting 'yes' to keep our Nativity where it's traditionally been and saying that those of us who actually live here get to decide, not ACLU Grinches from Detroit."

Yeah, in your face, Detroit!

Something tells me that Devil's Asshole, Michigan, population 15,000, is probably going to have a pretty sizeable tilt towards the Nativity display. Of course, the problem with this is that the whole idea of legal watchdog groups is to stand up for the minority, especially in an area where they're feeling persecuted. I'm not saying that this is the case here, but the idea that the best response to a legal challenge is to put the issue to a popular vote seems to miss the point. When things go the way WND wants, we're supposed to shrug and call it Federalism. Funny thing, though, is that while WND is championing the power of the popular vote, they're also freaking out at "The Rise of Atheist America"- and somehow I doubt that they're going to "respect" liberal and/or atheist communities who decide they don't want religious, or specifically Christian, symbols, around them.

- Joe Farah has a "scary Halloween Quiz" where he tries to demonstrate that Hillary Clinton is a bigger Commie than Marx. (Seasoned readers will remember that is old hat for WND.) Farah gets extra weirdo points by also including prominent Nazis as options. Maybe my ignorance is showing, but I don't recall Mussolini or Idi Amin representing themselves as champions of Democracy. Money quote: "As you're watching Freddy Krueger movies tonight or answering the doorbell for the little ghouls and goblins, consider how close America is to turning over the reins of power to a real monster." Got that? Bush is pushing through an Attorney General nominee who can't decide if water boarding is torture, but Hillary's a monster because she thinks there might be some merit to taxing the rich. Be afraaaid!

- Guess who doesn't like porn? WND says pornography causes brain damage. But wait, there's more, conveniently placed in list form:

Jill Manning, a former visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, charted the cost in a paper she presented to a special U.S. Senate subcommittee. Her review of the peer-reviewed research reveals that children who consume pornography tend to:

  • Develop tolerance toward sexually explicit material, thereby requiring more novel or bizarre material to achieve the same level of arousal or interest.
  • Overestimate the prevalence of less common sexual practices (e.g., group sex, bestiality and sadomasochistic activity).
  • Abandon the goal of sexual exclusivity with a partner.
  • Perceive promiscuity as a normal state of interaction.
  • Develop cynical attitudes about love.
  • Believe that raising children and having a family is an unattractive prospect.
  • Develop a negative body image, especially for women.

Are you kidding? Cynical attitudes about love? Have you MET teenagers? Not want to have kids, heaven forbid! And a negative body image, wow, it's not like they encounter any of those by say, turning on the television or picking up a magazine.

Ah, WND. Without you, I don't know what I'd do. Probably get more done, though.

1 comment:

therapydoc said...

I think it's admirable that you keep up with this stuff.