Christian media junkies have recently been gloating over the news that longtime atheist philosopher Antony Flew had changed his mind. Now atheists strike back, with the latest bulletin of Rationalist International declaring that their man remains a defender of the unfaith. Sounds like a he-said/she-said to us, but if Flew really didn’t confess, why did Christian media grab hold of thin evidence to declare that he had?
Wash Away Your Sins Cleansing Bar
We saw this advertised as “the perfect Christmas gift for Pagans,” but the manufacturers of the Wash Away Your Sins Cleansing Bar (with “Tempting Do-It-Again Scent”) say it’s good for anyone who needs a quick and easy way to repent.
Hey! Look Over There…
Not one to rest on his laurels after a job well done, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is “taking time out from running the war in Iraq to defend his beloved scouting movement from assault by a liberal civil rights group.” That’s right: fresh from his rousing P.R. success in explaining to U.S. troops how their lack of adequate equipment was a matter of “physics,” Eagle Scout Rumsfeld is changing the subject speaking his mind about an unpopular Pentagon settlement with the ACLU that would limit direct military sponsorship of boy scout troops, which require members to believe in God. Bless your selfless heart, Rummy.
Equal Rights v. Guys Who Speak for God, Pt. 58974
The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) testified before the Ugandan parliament that a domestic relations bill recognizing a woman’s co-ownership of family land, and another proposal calling for the abolition of polygamy, were declarations of hostility to Islamic faith and law. “‘We believe that our religion has answers to all social problems and we don’t want anybody to tamper with the already enshrined solutions,'” said a UMSC representative, Dr. Abbas Kiyimba. “‘If a man has the capacity to marry another wife, why should he be refused?'”
Vic Venom Forgiven
In the 1990s Vince Russo (a.k.a. Vic Venom or Vicious Vincent) was one of the most successful pro-wrestling writers in the business, dealing in story-lines about “sex, violence, drugs, nudity, homosexuality, transvestites, men beating women, the killing of household pets, castration, the unnatural love between mother and her son, demonic worship, demonic sacrifice, blasphemy, degrading the cross.” He was, he says, “the Anti-Christ of sports entertainment.” But now that he’s found God — and Dubya’s favorite book of devotionals, Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest — Russo really regrets such story-lines, like the crucifixion angle of a fight between Steve Austin and the Undertaker. But he’s trying to make up for it with his new Christian website, Vince Russo’s Forgiven, and an upcoming book that he’s promoting to Christian bookstores.
Bruce Walker’s Nuclear Solution
How can Christian conservative fight the left when all these Cossack-like activist judges are helping to oppress the faithful majority with an imposed separation of church and state — ahem, we mean “imposed atheism”? Bruce Walker of the conservative op-ed site, Men’s Daily News, proposes what he calls a “nuclear solution” for such meddling judicial “Christophobes” (Walker presumably missed last week’s memo on oppressed-Christian terminology): smoke the slippery, heathen buggers out of court with a constitutional amendment! The three-part Bruce Walker Amendment would A. thank the Creator for Americans’ unalienabe rights; B. declare America’s foundations in Christianity and Judaism; and C. facilitate the removal of any judge who rules in contrary to provisions A and B. Voila! (Note: If you’re not convinced by Walker’s nuclear solution reasoning, he’d also like you know that the separation of church and state helped Hitler.)
We Should Also Ban Transporter Beams
“[Anthony] Romero of the A.C.L.U. said that beyond filing legal challenges, liberals needed to appropriate the language of morality from Christian conservatives to capture the popular imagination,” reports The NYT. We think that’s an odd concession of the media’s power from the A.C.L.U., which, as we understood it, is supposed to defend rights, imagination be damned. Also of note in this report on Christian conservative efforts in state legislature is the news that Texas Christian conservatives seek to ban human cloning — a clear media ploy, since aside from the “cloning” used for stem cell research, human cloning is impossible. Unless, that is, Texas conservatives have been talking to Raelians.
These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For
The Washington Post‘s Alan Cooperman pays for a Key West junket with a puff piece about Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, the man behind the God in the president’s rhetoric. “At a meeting with reporters in Key West, Fla., on Monday and Tuesday [an annual retreat hosted by the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center], Gerson, who has crafted almost all of Bush’s major speeches since 2000 but has rarely spoken to the media, defended the president’s religious rhetoric. Although the session was off the record, Gerson subsequently agreed to allow some of his main points to appear in print.” Sure, why not? Not as if there’d be any serious accountability. “[O]n the whole, the speechwriter argued, Bush’s references to the role of providence in human affairs have been carefully calibrated and fully within the tradition of American civic religion.” Leaving aside Bush’s critics, if that assertion is so, why do so many millions of Bush supporters see in their man a servant of God unlike any previous occupant of the oval office? And why does Prof. David Domke‘s analysis of 70 years of presidential rhetoric reveal a marked shift toward the prophetic in Bush’s speeches?
“If Billy Graham had been born mean, we all would have been in a lot of trouble.” — Martin Marty, one of the great public theologians and historians of the last 50 years, speaks to Krista Tippett on Speaking of Faith. It’s a great program, but if you can’t listen, don’t miss the site —Speaking of Faith offers a brilliant annotated guide to the discussion that ought to become the model for radio on the web.
Am Not! Are So!