Isn't it ironic…

…dontcha think?

“Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.” — Cardinal Christoph Schanborn

That quote comes from an article posted at New Scientist, submitted by Steve Hosack.

I’m not even going to comment on this except to say that the irony of the statement is staggering and ignorant. I’m very glad I’m not Catholic… 😛

Stoopid the Pat Robertson…

“Brooke…well, I checked the news tonight…Pat Robertson wasn’t killed…”
— Andy Linsenbardt

So yeah, this guy has been pissing me off lately… First of all, John Stewart (“The Daily Show”) did a little news bit (click on the “Prayback Time” link on this page) showing Robertson on “The 700 Club” praying that more Supreme Court justices are “removed” from office so that more conservative forces can take over…saying that the Supreme Court justices as they stand today are the “number one threat to America today.” Secondly, I was watching “Today” on NBC this morning and they mention that Robertson yesterday called for the assassination of the Venezuelan president because he’s looking to allow Communism into his country.

The actual quote:

“You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Robertson said. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war … and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.”

Seriously…what the heck… The man was praying for the deaths, ailment or retirement of Supreme Court justices on national television. This doesn’t really send a good message about prayer, no? …and suggesting that we knock off someone in another country that is (currently) not even threatening ours? Is he going to call for the assassinations of the leaders in India and China because they are Hindu/Buddhist instead of Christian? Obviously they’re terrible people because they don’t believe the same things we do, I guess… Good thing Pat Robertson is around to make these suggestions. I don’t know what we’d do without him around.

Here’s a great site about him… 😉

sigh…

Yup, they’ve done it…the conservatives are at it again… This time, they’re in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), of which I am a member, and they are approving a measure to continue supporting a ban on homosexual clergy members

Here’s the quote that really got me out of this whole article:

“Louis Hesse of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod said those arguing for gay ordination had not made a convincing theological or scientific argument on why they were right. ‘The case has not been made. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Gospel here today and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m in the right church,’ Hesse said. ‘A Gospel of full acceptance, accepting everyone the way they are, what does that say about sinfulness?'”

…an intriguing question, actually… What does it say about sinfulness? What does one classify as a “sin?” How far are we, as Christians, supposed to allow folks to go as far as what is considered “acceptable?” What is “acceptable,” anyway? And who decided this?

Personally, I’m somewhat ashamed of this, being a member of the ELCA, although unfortunately this seems to be the direction of many “liberal” churches and denominations in today’s world. I don’t really see why, though… The Bible doesn’t really say anything about gays, unless you’re speaking completely literally…and we all know that taking the Bible completely literally is somewhat dangerous (i.e. Adam was made of mud…seriously, people…or that women should be submissive to their husbands…or that women shouldn’t be leaders in the church…). Here is one link (quite biased, I realize, but brings up a few verses that seem to mention homosexuality). …and as that article points out, the word “homosexual” is a combination of Greek and Latin, therefore meaning that the original Bible translation could not have possibly used that word…as there was no such word in the original language of the Bible (i.e. Greek).

Sooooooooooooooo…what the heck… There are Catholic priests who have done way worse than many homosexuals… Why are we worried about them leading our churches? Because they have different values than “the rest of us?” Because they don’t believe in God the same way?” Nope. Because they’re different. Because they can’t be understood by those who have been attending church for years. Because the same people who oppose homosexuality as being “abnormal” also think that contemporary Christian music is just as “abnormal.” Because the people filling the coffers every Sunday morning won’t tolerate it, therefore we can’t minister to them the same way as everyone else.

Know what? I’m just as worthy to go to Heaven as any of them. Honestly, there are many of them who live better, less sinful lives than I ever will. But that doesn’t matter for many, unfortunately. But…”we just want to set a good example for the church-goers and their children!” How about setting a better example: one of tolerance. One of having people to live their lives without murder, stealing, adultery, idolotry…and the other Ten Commandments…the ones that don’t say anything at all about homosexuality. How about setting an example instead of telling everyone else how to live their lives, since telling them doesn’t work as well… Living by example works quite a bit better, and this intolerance of people who are “different” from those in control sends a message to young people that it’s okay to segregate, to say that it’s alright to say that some people are more worthy than others to act in certain capacities in our churches, governments, etc.

Sure, homosexuals are allowed and “welcomed” in the church, according to the Presiding Bishop. Doesn’t sound like they’re very welcomed to me, though… Sounds like their presence is allowed, but not necessarily “welcomed.”

Depressing, indeed…

Fascinating…

So yeah, as a few of you have noticed, there’s actually been a good and lengthy discussion on my “Lee Strobel is an Idiot” posting on August 3rd, which I find rather fascinating. I’m very much enjoying the stimulating conversation that’s going on there between very diverse people with different backgrounds and understanding. I hope it continues since I’m learning a decent amount from it!

…which brings me to another subject… I’ve been thinking recently about why all these articles and such are coming up about Intelligent Design Theory versus Evolution, or more importantly, why I seem to be making a relatively big deal about it. Yesterday, I noticed that this week’s Time Magazine is publishing a few articles on the subject and even has it on the cover for the week. I guess it represents a crossroads in my life, perhaps. I’ve been going to church for many years; I’m already entrenched at one in St. Louis where I get to play drums every week (score… ;-)). But at the same time, I’m continuing with my graduate school education. I now have a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and in Biology, so I’ve lived and breathed science for the past 5 years (if not longer), while at the same time attending the Wesley House regularly and hearing the “other side” of the story. I don’t know that I’m making decisions or life plans or anything around this “crossroads,” yet I think I am making progress toward the “truth,” or however close to it one can get.

The ID vs Evolution debate is a difficult one that will never be fully completed. I posted an article yesterday that is written by a proponent of the ID side of things. I don’t agree with a few things out of his article, but I do agree that the problem needs to be resolved with healthy debate, much like we are doing in the “Lee Strobel” posting. There are severe problems with the way ID is presented to young school kids. On the other hand, Evolution is still a theory (although, a very well-supported one…) and should be treated as such. Neither is truly “right” as they are being taught today. I guess more time is needed to come to a clear consensus. The issue needs good, healthy discussion before anyone will waver and listen to the other side’s argument…and I certainly find myself leaning toward one side, unable to listen to the other.

The problem is: which one?

Current TV

Many of you heard about Al Gore, et al. purchasing a TV news network last year and developing a news channel developed at younger audiences, known as Current TV. Yahoo! News says that the channel is targeted at “Internet-savvy viewers 18 to 34 years old” and features “professionally produced segments and viewer-produced videos running from a few seconds to 15 minutes in length,” known as “pods.”

I’m very happy that there’s a new channel out there (although, we don’t get it in St. Louis, sadly…) providing news to a youth-targeted audience. Many people my age get their news from the Daily Show more than they do from any other source…this is great, ’cause it’s an awesome show, yet it still leaves much to be desired. Also, and perhaps more important, this station will have a more liberal bias than all of the other 24-hour news networks.

…let the games begin. 😉

Politics = Dumb

So yeah, as Mike has similar posting on his blog today, but there are some real shenanigans going on over “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” recently… Essentially, there are a bunch of folks (mainly Republicans and old people…but not entirely…) getting pissed off about “GTA” and its violent content, not to mention the sexually explicit material that’s also included. Mike cites an article at ABC News mentioning how a grandmother is suing Rockstar Games (the publisher) because she bought “GTA” for her 14-year-old grandson without knowing about the violent/sexual material portrayed within. In a second article, which I posted in my “Articles” section, Steven Johnson has an editorial about how dumb Hillary Clinton’s attack on video game manufacturers is equally as stupid…this one was published by the LA Times. In that one, he discusses how activities like football are arguably more dangerous and violent than video games, which can instead be therapeutic for youngsters.

First of all, Johnson is entirely correct: video games today are helping develop cognitive skills, strategy and hand-eye coordination much more than the games of old (i.e. Monopoly, Cutes and Ladders, etc.). A parent today can play a board game against their child relatively easily, but if you drop them into “Halo 2,” they’ll get schooled quickly. Secondly, these games all have ratings on their packaging. A kid can’t just go into a store and buy the games rated “Mature;” a parent/adult has to do it. “Oh, I didn’t know it would have that terrible material in it,” the parents say… Well, maybe they could have read the packaging, researched the game on the internet, asked other parents, etc. before purchasing the game for their child and then complaining about it. Thirdly, these parents that are complaining are the ones who are already relying on video games and TV to babysit their kids. Maybe if they’d actually spend some time with them…you know…go to a park and throw a baseball or something…they wouldn’t spend all their time playing video games…or perhaps they could play some of these games with the kids so they know you’re taking an interest in their lives, rather than just assuming that the TV is cheaper than paying someone else to watch your kids while you avoid taking responsibility for their lives and how they’re raised… Why not stop blaming the media/TV/video games for your screwed up kids and try making a difference yourself in their lives, eh?

Just a thought…

w00t to Galileo…

“Science tells you how the heavens go, and the Bible tells you how to go to heaven.”
— Galileo

…therefore…stop trying to have each one explain the other… 😛

The **AA can suck it…

So yesterday, I worked on a laptop here at the HelpDesk (everything was in Japanese…so it was a little interesting navigating Japanese Windoze XP…) and noticed that the girl had WinMX installed, which is a P2P program… Now, I heard about WinMX, like, Freshman year…back in the days before Napster was shut down (old-skool Napster, not this new “legal” crap), so I didn’t expect anyone to still use it… Then, the same day, I see this article.

The gist of the article is that the NPD Group recently released statistics saying that Apple’s iTunes music service is used as much as popular P2P services. It is actually ranked second (surveying the number of users on the service) in programs used to download music …behind WinMX… Kazaa, Limewire, etc. are all apparently used less than iTunes to download music…and eDonkey is not even on the list (even though you can log into it right now and find 4 million users…as opposed to the 2 million users on WinMX…). The real kicker here is that the RIAA and the MPAA both use the NPD Group for their statistics…

So yeah, essentially, the **AA pisses me off tremendously… I actually did a speech on this subject for (you guessed it…) speech class a few years back, so that research pissed me off even more… As the article points out, the NPD Group uses old school statistics to survey data and extrapolate for the general population…but you’d think they could, oh, I don’t know, actually log into the services and see how many people are using each service at a given time? It seems these fools do everything they can to distort the facts (namely that they aren’t losing money at all due to file-sharing and that they are, in fact, perhaps even gaining revenues…) just to keep ahold of a system that has been in place far longer than it should have been… I’m thinking that the era of CDs in stores should be over and everything should be electronic as soon as possible, ’cause these lawsuits, etc. against people like Gertrude Walton is silly…

Another Bushism…

“That information came from people who hate America,
people who have been trained to dissassemble – that
means not to tell the truth.”

George W. Bush; regarding Amnesty International
“accusasions” that the war in Iraq
isn’t going so well, as recorded by
the Daily Show (6/2/05)

For the record, it’s “dissemble,” not “dissassemble”
…secondly, Mr. Bush, you’re a flaming idiot…