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."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

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.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Pennsylvania bill would require schools to display ‘In God We Trust’ motto

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday by a 14-to-9 vote, with only one Democrat and one Republican crossing party lines.

The National Motto Display Act, as it is titled, credits James Pollock, a 19th century Pennsylvania governor, for putting the term on coins while serving as director of the U.S. Mint. The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form.

Saccone said the motto would fit well with the state’s local history curriculum and appears to be widely supported by his constituents.

“It’s 500-to-1 back home, people are for it,” he said Thursday, adding that he believed it also would pass the Legislature overwhelmingly.

“I’m sure the media’s going to try to beat it down,” he said. “That’s par for the course.”

Saccone is a Baptist who also sponsored a “day of prayer” resolution in the House earlier this year to make April 30 “National Fast Day.” It was patterned after a similar designation by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.

During the committee hearing, he said, opponents raised questions about whether the measure would withstand a court challenge and concerns that it might trivialize the motto.

“This isn’t about evangelizing,” Saccone said. “This is about celebrating our national motto.”

“In God We Trust” became the national motto under a 1956 law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.

Janice Rael, vice president of the Delaware Valley chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the proposal promotes religion over the absence of religion. She opposes the proposal.

“The last time I checked, God was religious,” Rael said. “The government should be neutral, and with this legislation the government is not neutral, the government is taking a position.”

————————-
I am just blown away by what guys spend they legislative time on. This is their nonsense idea to help our ailing schools? Bring back E Pluribus Unum as the national motto and put that up for kids to see. That’s actually a message worth teaching them. Out of many, one; as opposed to In God We Trust, which is essentially the opposite sentiment.

(Source: foxnews.com)

dean-twerks-cas-works:

jarymuana:

thatoneexistentialistdude:

slimewizard:

never not reblog

We need to become like Finland.

Yep. In a bunch of countries around the world, being a teacher isn’t a shit job, always on par with lawyers and doctors.

this is amazing

Morgan Spurlock does a great episode of his CNN show Inside Man on this very subject..

(Source: drzank)

confrontingbabble-on:

The struggle for science only…in the science classroom…continues
“The latest in their continuing series of “academic freedom” bills is HB 1674, brought to you by Gus Blackwell, a GOP state representative who spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. But his bill is not about religion, how could you even think that? No, according to Blackwell, it’s all about scientific exploration.

“I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks. A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”

To translate from the GOP-ese, the bill allows students to make faith-based claims in their science homework and tests without being graded appropriately. It would forbid teachers from giving a student an “F” on such papers. In plain-speak, it dictates to science teachers what they can accept as legitimate learning in their classroom. The bill is being considered by the Oklahoma Common Education committee (oh, that is such an easy mark, isn’t it?) today.
This isn’t the first bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature that seeks to water down scientific education in that state. And they sure are persistent about it: there have been eight different anti-evolution bills introduced in the Oklahoma legislature since 2004. Other states are joining in the fun, too. In Missouri, there’s a new bill that requires teachers and textbooks to include creationism in their curriculum. You may facepalm now, I’ll wait.
But it gets better (or worse for we reasonable folk)… there is a companion bill to HB 1674 in the state Senate: SB 758 would protect students, teachers and schools from being penalized for subscribing to alternate theories. I’m not sure what they mean by “penalized” here, maybe getting an “F” for maintaining despite overwhelming evidence that evolution is false?
Eric Meikle, a man with what must be one of the most frustrating jobs in the country, education project director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), says that the biggest problem with these bills is that they are open-ended and easily misinterpreted. But since they are really only code for the anti-science crowd there isn’t much he can do other than maintain his stance that we can’t teach kids every dumbass (my word, not his) theory since time began.
The one bright spot in the bill is that students can still be tested on the things they don’t believe in. But only, says Blackwell, because they need to learn about them to find their weaknesses. And that much is fine, in my opinion. Science is about questioning and, in a truly open academic setting, all ideas should be examined, if only to debunk them. But for these religious nuts, the opposite is true. While they expect to be able to punish dissenters to their beliefs, they go bananas if theirs should be questioned in public schools and forums. But what does it say about those beliefs when adherents feel compelled to make laws protecting them? If something can’t stand up to scrutiny then it should be tossed onto the scrapheap of science. Students shouldn’t be wasting their time – and our tax money – on religious education. And, really, that’s all this bill is… a way to make room in the public schools for belittling science and coddling ignorance, all in the name of faith.”
Read in full http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/19/oklahoma-bill-would-allow-students-to-debunk-science/

confrontingbabble-on:

The struggle for science only…in the science classroom…continues

“The latest in their continuing series of “academic freedom” bills is HB 1674, brought to you by Gus Blackwell, a GOP state representative who spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. But his bill is not about religion, how could you even think that? No, according to Blackwell, it’s all about scientific exploration.

“I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks. A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”

To translate from the GOP-ese, the bill allows students to make faith-based claims in their science homework and tests without being graded appropriately. It would forbid teachers from giving a student an “F” on such papers. In plain-speak, it dictates to science teachers what they can accept as legitimate learning in their classroom. The bill is being considered by the Oklahoma Common Education committee (oh, that is such an easy mark, isn’t it?) today.

This isn’t the first bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature that seeks to water down scientific education in that state. And they sure are persistent about it: there have been eight different anti-evolution bills introduced in the Oklahoma legislature since 2004. Other states are joining in the fun, too. In Missouri, there’s a new bill that requires teachers and textbooks to include creationism in their curriculum. You may facepalm now, I’ll wait.

But it gets better (or worse for we reasonable folk)… there is a companion bill to HB 1674 in the state Senate: SB 758 would protect students, teachers and schools from being penalized for subscribing to alternate theories. I’m not sure what they mean by “penalized” here, maybe getting an “F” for maintaining despite overwhelming evidence that evolution is false?

Eric Meikle, a man with what must be one of the most frustrating jobs in the country, education project director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), says that the biggest problem with these bills is that they are open-ended and easily misinterpreted. But since they are really only code for the anti-science crowd there isn’t much he can do other than maintain his stance that we can’t teach kids every dumbass (my word, not his) theory since time began.

The one bright spot in the bill is that students can still be tested on the things they don’t believe in. But only, says Blackwell, because they need to learn about them to find their weaknesses. And that much is fine, in my opinion. Science is about questioning and, in a truly open academic setting, all ideas should be examined, if only to debunk them. But for these religious nuts, the opposite is true. While they expect to be able to punish dissenters to their beliefs, they go bananas if theirs should be questioned in public schools and forums. But what does it say about those beliefs when adherents feel compelled to make laws protecting them? If something can’t stand up to scrutiny then it should be tossed onto the scrapheap of science. Students shouldn’t be wasting their time – and our tax money – on religious education. And, really, that’s all this bill is… a way to make room in the public schools for belittling science and coddling ignorance, all in the name of faith.”

Read in full http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/19/oklahoma-bill-would-allow-students-to-debunk-science/

The Revisionaries - Watch online until 2/28

Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly five million schoolchildren. When an unabashed creationist seeks re-election as chairman, the theory of evolution and U.S. history are caught in the crosshairs, which could impact the classroom curricula not only of Texas, but also of the nation as a whole.

A Priest Ridicules Creationists

"To teach young people things that we know aren’t true is tantamount to an abuse of young people in a classroom situation."

…the entire idea that we should create a small army of minimum-wage mercenaries to guard schools, which LaPierre promoted today, is certifiably stupid. As Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported, ABC News undertook an experiment back in 2009 where they demonstrated that you could arm people, train them to use their weapon, put them in a school, warn them that there would be an attack on their school, and they would still massively fail to stop the armed assailant that they knew was going to arrive.

Beyond the practicalities, however, the idea is pretty nuch a political non-starter, as the party that likes guns does not like spending tax dollars (least of all on public schools), and the party that likes public schools does not like handing out guns willy-nilly to glorified rent-a-cops.

In case you were wondering, the cost involved with putting an armed guard in every single school in America would be around $18 billion…

Jason Linkin, “NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre’s Much-Criticized Sandy Hook Speech Was Actually Quite Effective,Huffington Post, Dec. 21, 2012 (via holygoddamnshitballs)

churchofthepaddedwall:

Seriously… so tired of god should be allowed in schools…
Technically, god is allowed in schools. The law doesn’t stop kids from being able to pray in school or bring and read their bibles… it stops teachers fron being able to force MY kids to follow YOUR religion you fucking idiots.

churchofthepaddedwall:

Seriously… so tired of god should be allowed in schools…

Technically, god is allowed in schools. The law doesn’t stop kids from being able to pray in school or bring and read their bibles… it stops teachers fron being able to force MY kids to follow YOUR religion you fucking idiots.

Tennessee pastor: Mass shootings because schools teach evolution and ‘how to be a homo’

A Tennessee pastor on Sunday told his congregation that the number of mass shooting were escalating because of schools were government “mind-control centers” that taught “junk about evolution” and “how to be a homo.”

Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Sam Morris began speaking about last week’s school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut by warning that “this sermon will not be pleasant.”

“We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day,” he explained. “I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That’s what it’s all about.”


Morris asserted that equal rights was a “sham” because it’s “equal immorality” and that authorities should take the body of the suspected shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, “and string him up in public and set his body on fire and leave it out there to let the birds pick his bones.”

“We’re going to see more of this,” he continued. “Because notice, the first thing in America we start yelling about is gun control is gun control. Have you noticed that? Gun control. No one’s even thought about the fact that these shootings only happened at places where guns are banned. Have you noticed that? They have never had a mass shooting at a gun show, where you can find over a thousand loaded guns at one time.”

“Why do you still send your kids to the governmental schools?” the pastor asked the congregation. “What’s behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one’s like it? What’s going on. Well, number one, deception… I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you’re going to be judged for that.”

Morris insisted that “humanism” in schools taught Lanza that he was God and “he can just go blow away anybody he wants.”

“When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution,” he recalled. “And I want to tell you what evolution teaches — here’s the bottom line — that you’re an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.”

“So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo! But we’re definitely not going to teach you about the word of God! Amen.”

He added: “They think homeschoolers are a bunch of crazies, man. But I’m going to tell you something, I’ve never seen a police officer or a medal detector at a home school. Never. Amen. Now, there’s plenty of guns at my home school. Amen. I guarantee you we’re not going to have a mass shooting at any of the schools that are represented in this building today. I guarantee you, if there is a shooting, it won’t last very long. Amen.”

“I guarantee you there’s at least six or seven guns in this place right now. Amen.”

Morris confirmed to Raw Story on Monday that he had preached the sermon uploaded to SermonAudio.com but declined to answer any additional questions.

______________________________________________

I don’t think Jesus could’ve said it better, himself. Amen.