A Man Documents His Academic Career at Beck University

Beck University logoAs you may recall, Glenn Beck has started his own non-credited university.

One man has been brave enough to fork over $9.95 AND attend the lectures. Read his response to each class here.

A quote:

Over one of the most harrowing half hours of my entire life, I also learned that the principles of American government were based on the “best forms of government listed in the Bible”…

And in Lecture 4:

[David Barton (“a pseudo-historian with limited academic credentials”)] whines that we’ve been told that Franklin and Jefferson were agnostics and deists. But he insists that these actions prove they were true Christians who believed in a theocracy, dammit! Don’t believe those dirty librels and their deconstructionist ways.

I guess Barton’s using the Transitive Property of Christian Fundamentalism. Let me explain. If A = C and C = D, then A = B, which proves everyone is a secret Christian and that the Founding Fathers wanted us to separate church and state so that Christians were free to worship wherever they wanted and however they wanted so long as they were the right type of Christians.

Thank God: Liberal Bias to Be Removed from Bible

If I spent the next week typing “LOL”, and taking only two 15-minute breaks a day and sleeping only three hours a night, I still would not be able to properly express my reaction to this amazing news.

bible & flagProfessors and feminists have emasculated and dumbed-down the Holy Bible, and inserted their socialist agenda, you see. To be precise, “The committee in charge of updating the bestselling version, the NIV, is dominated by professors and higher-educated participants who can be expected to be liberal and feminist in outlook.”

Vomit-worthy, if you ask me. Who wants anyone with higher education, or who holds the opinion that women are people, to be translating ancient Greek and Hebrew texts? Disgusting. Next thing you’ll tell me is that there was a ghey in the translating room.

In response, the Conservative Bible Project has begun to translate the Bible in accordance with conservative principles.

Does it matter to these Bible-rewriters that the Bible was originally written before socialism, feminism, conservatism or liberalism were invented? No it does not. Not one wit. Because emasculating socialist feminist professors can time travel. Satan taught them how.

I mean, are you not troubled to learn that:

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the “social justice” movement among Christians.

For example, the conservative word “volunteer” is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word “comrade” is used three times, “laborer(s)” is used 13 times, “labored” 15 times, and “fellow” (as in “fellow worker”) is used 55 times.

Or that liberals have somehow inserted forgiveness into the Bible in such a way that it sounds desirable:

The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.

Or that liberals totally made up John 7:53-8:11, where Jesus tells the angry crowd about to stone an adulteress, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”:

Amid this scholarship, why is the emphasis on this passage increasing? The answer lies in its liberal message: do not criticize or punish immoral conduct unless you are perfect yourself. Liberals cite this passage to oppose the death penalty, a misuse that has been criticized.

Actually, this part of the Conservative Bible Project gets a bit scary, as the article goes on to say:

The Mosaic laws clearly state death as a punishment for sin. So the argument that an individual must be perfect is not relevant. The God-ordained government has the responsibility for punishment.

My quibbles with the godly rewriters of the Bible on this point:
A) Um, doesn’t “Mosaic” law say something like “Thou shalt not kill”? Or maybe I’m getting the Bible mixed up with something I read in the liberal media, like a NYT article.

B) Are we talking about a theocracy that kills people for sinning against the Conservative Bible?

C) Where do I sign up for that!?

The Conservative Bible will also remove the liberal bias that squelched Jesus’ true message of free-market capitalism, which is explained in Conservative Translation Guideline #7: “Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning.”

And, just a little FYI, while you were off reading the Communist Manifesto or killing babies, a new language has developed, the “conservative language,” and the Bible must be translated into it posthaste.

Additional less important guidelines include… recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, but modern conservative language can express well.

Is this an example of Poe’s Law? I.e. that it is vanishingly impossible to distinguish real fundamentalism from parody.

HAVE YOU HUGGED A CHRISTO-FASCIST TODAY?

Riches make themselves wings: they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

I did a random and uncharacteristic thing. The context was that I was explaining to a friend how there are plenty of verses in the Bible uplifting the poor, exhorting charity, and condemning wealth that we should use to combat the twisted I-got-mine-screw-you theology of the Religious Right.

Then I sat down and spent my entire Saturday night researching just those kinds of verses in the Bible.

So below you will find some of the gems, which I pulled out because of the incisive or ferocious language or because of their poetic beauty. The Bible can indeed be used for good, as I hope these verses will demonstrate. I grew up Christian, and my first inklings of social justice concepts came from reading Bible verses such as these. Though I am no longer Christian, I still find them inspiring.

Below the fold, you will find a massive compilation of verses that deal with poverty, charity and wealth.

Job 20:15
He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.

Job 36:19
Will [God] esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

Psalm 9:17
[T]he needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

Psalm 39:6
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

Psalm 72:4
He will defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
he will crush the oppressor.

Proverbs 23:5
[R]iches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Proverbs 30:14
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

Proverbs 31:7
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

Ecclesiastes 5:12
The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether he eats little or much,
but the abundance of a rich man
permits him no sleep.

Matthew 19:24
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

James 2:6
Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

James 5:1
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

A hella lot more verses below! The majority come from the King James Bible, except where noted. I went with the New International version whenever the language of King James got too obscure for me. Continue reading

Eyewitness Account of Kentucky’s Creation Museum

Hello. This is a special guest post from Patrick the Nowhere Man. While exploring the wonders of the American countryside, I wandered into a magical place in Petersburg, Kentucky, known as the Creation Museum. The Czech requested a firsthand account, via photo blog, of my experiences there, so here it is.

Girl with Dinosaur

This is what confronts you upon entering the Creation Museum, post ticket purchase.  You see a young woman dressed in simple clothes… right next to a dinosaur. No conflict, just peaceful cohabitation, as was originally intended in God’s plan. Opposite this life-sized display is a movie theater, complete with three large screens and little things to spray water on the viewers, and the single video shown there playfully conjures up stereotypes of high school science teachers to illustrate that scientific theory of evolution and the explanation of the universe developing over a period of 12-15 billion years are wrought with fallacies. The video informs the viewer that unquestioning faith in Biblical history provides a more accurate picture of the universe. This is known as Young-Earth Creationism, which claims the universe began in 4004 BC.

Adam and Eve

This display looks impressive as is, but what’s missing from my photo is the life-size dinosaur looming just behind Adam. Eve is nonplussed by this in her wonderment at her sudden creation and the first sight of her husband. The museum asserts that humanity began with just these two people. Later, a display asks what is already on everyone’s mind: “What about incest? Who did Cain marry?” The plaque answers that incest at that time was not against God’s will – it was only later that he instituted that law.  Thank you Bible science!

Today Man Decides Whatever

This appears fairly early in the museum. It is located in a room that contains several videos of young people in difficult situations. In one, a young woman calls a pregnancy hotline because she is debating an abortion. In another, a teenage boy appears to be viewing internet porn and rolling a joint against the wishes of a friend. No commentary for these videos was provided, but the comments from a group of young boys watching the latter video were interesting enough. The boys were dragged to the museum against their will, as many child museum-goers are, and they used several homophobic and similarly offensive terms to describe the on-screen males.

Dinosaur History

An exhibit near the end of the museum was dedicated specifically to dinosaurs. It asked, “Did humans and dinosaurs coexist at the same time?” The display indicated the answer is clearly described in the Bible: humans and animals were created on the same day, therefore yes. This picture shows additional proof. My favorite evidence is that medieval stories of dragons, such as the story of St. George, are really stories about the last few remaining dinosaurs. A ten-minute video clarified this in greater detail. The other three items of evidence are, on closer inspection, essentially pseudoscience or just invalid, such as that alligators are simply “modern day dinosaurs.”

Cosmic Pain

Based on the smirks and giggles, I suspect that I was not the only non-believer in the museum. This picture, in front of an actual museum placard, accurately depicts just how affected I was by my Creation Museum visit. I can only wonder if my surprisingly numerous fellow attendees responded like me or if they are true believers.

Promiscuous Women Should Be Punished with HIV+ Babies

SchultheisRepublican Colorado State Senators are really working hard to outstrip Utah State Senator Chris Buttars on the mind-boggling ignorant bigotry.

Colorado State Senator Dave Schultheis had some choice words about a bill that would require HIV testing for pregnant women. Obviously, he is against this bill.

The Colorado Independent reports:

Schultheis said he planned to vote against a bill to require HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.”

Listen to some of his words here.

He went on to say: “What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

This is a state senator who believes that expectant mothers should not be tested for an incurable disease that could effect their child for life, because it is his opinion that HIV is contracted through “promiscuity” and therefore an HIV+ baby is the proper punishment for such a woman.

Let’s leave aside Schultheis’ obviously problematic belief that HIV is the result of promiscuity. Let’s think about the baby here. Schultheis is a Republican with warped beliefs about sex, so I’d say it’s a good bet that he is familiar with the “Culture of Life” bullshit and the anti-abortion movement. Purportedly, people who are fans of these movements care about the baybeez. Per usual, when it comes down to protecting children or shaming sluts, it appears that Schultheis would rather see babies born with HIV than allow a slut to get away with her slutty ways without being punished with a terminally ill child. An inspiring ideology, really.

But Wait! That’s not all that’s going down in Colorado! Oh no, it gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective.) Continue reading

The Endearing Foibles of Kooky Religionists

Slow news day? Not anymore! Today’s news round-up focuses on the endearing foibles of kooky Christians. Not to be mistaken for reasonable Christians, who greatly outnumber the kooks.

Fundamentalists Become Aware of the Existence of Other Religions, to Their Consternation

The actions of a Tennessee hotel have brought the existence of religions besides fundamentalist Christianity to the attention of Christian fundamentalists, and they are not pleased.

Hotel Preston offers guests a variety of religious texts to read during their stay, including two versions of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Qur’an, the Torah, the Tao Te Ching, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita.

Instead of praise for acknowledging that many of their guests of faith are not Christian, Hotel Preston has received particularly harsh criticism for refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of one religion.

It has also been not-so-subtly suggested that they are ruining the world by offering believers of other religions the ability to read their own religious texts during their stays.

“The absence of Gideons Bibles from an increasing number of hotel rooms tells us something about the secularization, sexualization, and extreme sensitivities of our age,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, commented in his blog about hotels removing Bibles and adding other amenities.

Acknowledging and respecting the religions of non-Christians is making the world more sexual? Well, I’ll be. And let me say that I have my own opinion about who has “extreme sensitivities,” and it isn’t the Hindus.

Church Explodes: What Do You Think God Is Trying to Say Here?

Fill in the blank:

God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans because it is a sin-loving city full of gambling and gays.

God kills US soldiers in Iraq because of America’s tolerance of homosexuality.

God blows up church in Wisconsin because _____________________________ .

I’m not sure what goes in the blank yet, but locals have some interesting thoughts:

“People say miracles don’t happen now days. I firmly believe they do, because one just did, at least in my life,” Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Leidel said.
Deputy Chief Leidel says he has reflected on what happened a lot in the two days since the blast, and he feels incredibly blessed.

Confused? So was I. It seems that Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Leidel feels the miracle isn’t that the church blew up, but that it didn’t kill him when it blew up.

Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Leidel, you silly, confused bastard, we all know that when something gets fucked up, it’s because God is angry at sinners! Most likely loose women and gays! I think congregants of the former Oconomowoc First Baptist Church need to do a little self-reflection to identify why God would blow up their church, and not, say, the Methodist one down the street. Good luck, guys. And God bless. Or not.

In Chile, Traditionally Women’s Spirituality Can Be Found in a Dirty Diaper

[In the late 70s] Pinochet blamed regional underdevelopment on under population (a result of the fertility regulation campaigns of the 1960s), and called to educate women about their “maternal mission.”“The spirituality of this mission is in the act of serving; in the humble function of the kitchen, of the woman who changes her child’s diaper,” he declared.

As part of this effort to encourage female “spirituality” (which, apparently, could be found in a child’s diaper), women seeking contraception were turned away at public clinics. Clinicians were even authorized to remove intrauterine devices (IUDs) without patient consent. Many women heard friends’ stories of IUD removal and became reluctant to visit public health clinics for any reason whatsoever, fearful that they would suffer the same fate and become pregnant with a child they could not support.

Pinochet’s “pro-natalist” plan was reversed six years later, after policymakers remembered why family planning had been introduced to Chile in the first place.

Sooooo…. Chile’s constitutional court just banned emergency contraception in government health clinics! Whoo-yeah. This very Catholic country that somehow elected an atheist single-mother as president has finally seen enough. They have seen enough of President Bachelet’s extending of reproductive rights to Chile’s women. And they are tired of it. Tired of empowered women, tired of lowered abortion rates, tired of plummeting maternal mortality. How can women live out their maternal mission, let alone be spiritual people, if they are not changing the diapers of a quick procession of unwanted infants?

Answer: They can’t. And now Chile’s court has taken the country an important step forward to ensure that more women become pregnant as a result of rape or failed birth control.

© idyllicmollusk 4/9/08