Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.
"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.
While Ugandan President Museveni accuses the United States of trying to import social imperialism into Uganda by defending homosexual rights, who do you think is behind some of the anti-gay hysteria in Uganda right now?
A group of evangelical Christians from that very same hotbed of social imperialism: the United States of America.
Museveni on Monday signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gay people and defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison.
Roger Ross Williams belonged to an organization called International House of Prayer in Missouri, whose missionary zeal fell on gays in Uganda. He decided to make a film about what he learned called “God Loves Uganda.”
Someone like evangelist Scott Lively is “an extremist in America,” Williams said, “but when he goes to Uganda he gets taken seriously because of what he represents.”
“He’s an American evangelical, and what an American represents in a place like Uganda – it represents power and wealth.”
“So he goes to Uganda and he can command the president, he can command the parliament for five hours. He did a three-day conference, where he told everyone about the threat of homosexuality, that they were there to recruit their children.”
“And that’s what really sort of started this whole bill on its, where it is now, today, this sort of tragic day.”
This afternoon, on a party-line 17-13 vote, Republicans in the Arizona Senate bucked the national trend and gave final approval to SB 1062, a GOP-led bill that would create a special “right” to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion.
Under the bill, which was introduced by Republican State Senator Steve Yarbrough, individuals and businesses would be granted the legal right to refuse services to people or groups if they claimed that doing so would “substantially burden” their freedom of religion.
In interviews with local media, Yarbrough made it perfectly clear that the specific purpose of this bill is to legitimize discrimination against the LGBT community. But during today’s nearly two-hour-long debate, Yarbrough took a different tack, claiming that the basic rights of LGBT people victimize anti-LGBT Christians.
"This bill is not about allowing discrimination. This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith."
The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. Let me say that again. It does not matter if you think homosexuality is a sin, or if you think it is simply another expression of human love. It doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter? Because people are dying. Kids are literally killing themselves because they are so tired of being rejected and dehumanized that they feel their only option left is to end their life. As a Youth Pastor, this makes me physically ill. And as a human, it should make you feel the same way. So, I’m through with the debate.
When faced with the choice between being theologically correct…as if this is even possible…and being morally responsible, I’ll go with morally responsible every time.