Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Heaven-Bound Corporations Dodge Martian Meteorites

Image via "Mars Attacks!"

Image via “Mars Attacks!”

Arise and crack open your morning hymnals!  Hey, Corporations, I’m talking to you!  I mean, if you consider yourself people, then the least you can do is get your sleepy, weekend asses in the shower and proceed to church to hand over all those quarterly profits to the poor box.  I’m sorry, what’s that, Mr. Hobby Lobby?  Oh, I see.  You only have a soul when it comes to fighting health care rights for your employees.  Then by all means, sleep in a bit more.

Pastor Pillow here.

Sunday morning pop quiz!  How many minutes old is the universe?

If you’re a Creationist, simply multiply 6,000 (for years) by this number.

That’s about 3,153,600,000 minutes.  The only problem is, 3.2 billion minutes is about 7.4 quadrillion minutes short of the true number.

Have you ever noticed that Creationists have no problem relying on the scientific community when it comes to building bridges, maintaining nuclear power plants and, say, having their cancer cured?  Yet these same people invest umpteen millions of dollars to counter the vast scientific body of knowledge that declares the universe is 14 billion years old.

The reason why is simple:  Christian fundamentalism is founded on a literal interpretation of the Bible.  If you’re going to abide by Scripture as though it were a collection of recipes in The Joy of Cooking, then you have no choice but to read the opening passages of Genesis like a play-by-play account of human origins.  If you don’t do this, then you lose the basis for controlling the lives of everyone in your community with other passages that relate to social and political life (abortion, homosexuality, Evangelical corporatism, etc., et al.).

In order to avoid a 10,000-page scientific disquisition that would put any Creationist to shame, let me instead offer a simple literary explanation to counter this “literal” cosmological hermeneutic:

Is it not possible that the author of the Genesis Creation account was simply suggesting to the surrounding Palestine pantheists that the sun, moon, stars, jackals and other objects in nature were not worthy of being worshipped, as these things owed their origin to a single Maker?  It’s called monotheism.  (For what it’s worth, Moses wasn’t the first person to come up with the idea.)

Or do you believe that the author of Genesis considered his readers so stupid that they wouldn’t notice that the plants created on Day Three of Creation would have been shit out of luck without the sun, which was created on Day Four?

While you swish your morning mouthwash, let that twirl around in your head.  And as you await this evening’s 5:30 p.m. service—because yet again you overslept your Sunday morning alarm—here’s the Weekly Round-Up Report of the top stories in the Right-Wing Christian Media to bide the time.

As ever, ye descendants of Homo erectus, honest to God, I am not making up any of this stuff.

 5.  Companies Aren’t Just People, They Have Souls, Too, via National Religious Broadcasters:  “The New Wall and Old Liberties”

Craig Parshall, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the National Religious Broadcasters, has penned the exemplar essay of asinine Evangelical corporatism that should be emblazoned upon the minds of all progressive voters heading into the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.

After reading this article, could one in any way doubt that the Radical Right agenda in the next two years is to instill conservative voters with the unwarranted fear that the federal government is determined to obliterate the freedom of religion?

Parshall begins and ends with appeals to the Founding Fathers—that old hack Christian Coalition trick meant to suggest the Ben Franklin & Co. were Bible-thumping capitalists.  (Clearly Parshall has never read The Jefferson Bible.)  In the middle of his article, Parshall pushes the idiotic notion that there exists such a thing as a “Christian” business:  “the variety of national Christian-based business that overtly apply biblical business practices…”

As singer Steve Taylor once suggested, one cannot draw Christian milk from a Christian cow.  Neither is there such a thing as a Christian company.  Sorry:  bricks, mortar and HVAC units are decidedly mortal.

Parshall again:  “If the Third Circuit ruling holds sway, Christian businesses everywhere will soon have to choose between Bible-informed conscience and government compliance.”

If “Christ-like” businesses really cared about “Bible-informed conscience,” perhaps they might consider protesting the fact that one-fifth of the U.S. federal budget is devoted to the antichrist-like military industrial complex.  But you and I both know that this fundie policy war is more about bucking health care for the common man than anything else.

4.  God Bowled Mars Into Existence 6,000 Years Ago, so says the Institute for Creation Research: “Shergottite Conundrum: How Old is Martian Crust?”

Articles like this make me want to pull out the few remaining hairs on my Pastor Pillow pate.

Imagine you’re an Evangelical sitting at your desk in Anywhere USA and a church friend forwards you this article about achondrite meteorites of Martian origin on Earth.  Institute for Creation Research author Tim Clarey seems to know what he’s talking about.  He quotes a study in Nature magazine; he even seems to understand the debate between and among scientists about various geologic episodes that could have caused extremely ancient (billions of years) portions of Martian crust to make it closer to the surface prior to being launched into space by a meteoric impact on Mars.  And, heck, this Clarey fellow even has a Ph.D.

Kind of believable, isn’t it?  Then, suddenly, Clarey’s article dives into a Occam’s razor cloud of unknowing and ends with the following La-La Land nosedive:

“Creation scientists, instead, determine young ages for the Earth and the solar system based on the inerrant Word of God.  Genesis clearly lists the order of Creation and the chronology of time since the Creation and the Great Flood.  God was present about 6,000 years ago when He called Earth and Mars into existence.”

And there you have it.  Another reason to head to the polls in 2014 to prevent the election of an ignoramus Tea Party candidate whose scientific policy mirrors Dr. Clarey’s and is so backwards that one can soon expect kindergarteners to be forced to believe in a flat earth.

I just find it a bit ironic that the same methodology used by the scientific community to state reliably that these meteorites derive from Mars is the same method used to date them.  But the only thing Dr. Clarey questions is that which might lead Mr. and Mrs. Evangelical to believe that the Creation account in Genesis is metaphorical.

3.  Young Earth Creationist Distributes Videos Made from Six Billion-Year-Old Atoms, reports the Wisconsin Christian News:  “Hollywood High Students Receive Movie Debunking Evolution”

If I were a Los Angeles parent with a child at Hollywood High public school, I would be on the telephone to the principal’s office seconds after reading this article, passed along as a “complimentary” story by the Wisconsin Christian News.  (Maybe we’ll start taking WCN seriously when it learns the difference between “compliment” and “complement.”)

Creationist Ray Comfort apparently stood on public school property on the first day of class and handed out religious materials to students.  (Is some progressive attorney in LA reading this?)  The fundie propaganda in question is a guffawing pro-Creationism video that purports to tear down the entire corpus of global evolutionary theory since Darwin in 36 minutes.  (For that we cue up the Dramatic Chipmunk!)

The good news is that the videos were standard CDs.  Yes, good old polycarbonate thermoplastic polymers.  And every single carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and aluminum atom on that compact disc is as old as the ancient star that billions of years ago exploded and resulted in our current solar system.

Just remember:  if the Radical Right ever gets the chance, it will trade in your child’s geology textbook for a three-page handout of Genesis Chapters 1 through 3.

2.  Christian Twinkie “Not Entrenched with Blacks” Offers Thoughts on Trayvon Martin Tragedy at Good News Florida:  “How Do We Respond?”  

I thought I said everything I had to say about the Trayvon Martin tragedy several weeks ago.  Then I stumbled upon this journalistic gem.  Had it not been published by a Florida-based full-fledged member of the National Religious Broadcasters, I might have just kept moving.

But author Justin Young, a self-professed “beach-hitting” theologian, is so insulting in his supposed earnest examination of State of Florida v. George Zimmerman that I just have to let his own words speak for themselves:

“You see, I’m about as white as the cream filling inside the recently-resurrected Twinkie.  I’ve never spent any significant time entrenched in black culture, and I certainly have no idea what it feels like to be black.”  I’m just curious, Mr. Young:  how long does one have to be “entrenched” amongst those scary African-Americans to feel any sense of empathy?

“Regardless of your personal opinion about the guilt or innocence of George Zimmermann, there were no winners here.  Not one.  Travon Martin lost his life.”  Clearly, you care so much that you actually bothered to spell-check the victim’s name.  Or maybe not.

“It’s times like these that I find myself wishing for some obscure verse in Revelation that would tie social media to the mark of the beast, scaring alot [sic] my Christian friends off it for good.”  That’s funny; in your author profile, you claim a “love” for social media.  But what I hear you saying is—never mind.  I don’t even want to know what you’re trying to say here. 

“I have my own opinion about the case. It’s one I have shared with very few people and one I’m certainly not going to share with you here.”  Thank God.

1.  James Dobson Builds $4.3 Million Facility to Strengthen Same-Sex Marriage, according to Christian Week: “Focus on the Family Begins Construction of Manitoba Retreat Centre” 

We always like to end on a positive news note.  And this week we were thrilled to learn that Focus on the Family will soon be opening an amazing retreat for same-sex married couples in Manitoba.  This will be the organization’s second such Canadian spousal counseling paradise.

Of course, this is odd, seeing as FOTF founder Dr. James Dobson once said that same-sex marriage would lead to human-donkey weddings.  Then again, we’re always glad to see dramatic changes of Christian heart.

Breaking news!

Actually, we’re sorry to report that FOTF’s Camp Connubial Canada isn’t going to invite gay and lesbian married couples “to strengthen marriage and family relationships, as well as contribute to the spiritual restoration of those in ministry,” after all.  Turns out Dobson still thinks “we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.”

Gee, I wonder if this means Dobson’s not going to let King Solomon and his 1,000 wives book the place for weekends?

That’s a wrap!

And just why do we present the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up each week?

According to Forbes, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) alone brings in nearly $300 million per year in revenue. CBN isn’t alone in the 9-figure Radical Right Revenue Game. According to the website Ministry Watch, CBN is dwarfed in comparison to the nearly $900 million raked in annually by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

But TBN and CBN are mere bright stars in a galactic empire of hundreds of Christian news and media organizations. If you have a few minutes to spare, review the membership lists of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Evangelical Press Association.

Each and every one of these Christian media organizations have one thing in common: they report news to members of the Christian Right across the Fruited Plain.  And the Christian Right account for nearly one-third of America’s voters.

See you next week.

And a final message for Creationists everywhere:  Please let the rest of us know how the light from galaxies countless parsecs away made it to Earth in a mere 6,000 years?

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!

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  • Erik Madison

    Final sentence reminds me of an FB posting I read from a Fundie: “There is no proof that just because something is billions of light years away that it is also billions of years old.”

    • Pipercat

      I guess they missed the part that “c” = 186,292! I guess that also means there’s no proof of mathematics…

  • Pipercat

    Thanks for, “disquisition.” I’ve added that to my personal lexicon!

  • Sunshinestategirl

    I’m not a creationist, nor an evangelical but I am a Christian – and to argue Christianity isn’t under attack is like saying the Titanic was too big to sink. People should be very afraid of the direction our government is going. Ever so often this page shows up on my wall – so I read the articles. All I see are hateful articles one after another that attack and demonize Christians, conservatives, republics etc. You are dedicated to fomenting hatred and ill-will, so where do you think that will go? Aside from the disturbing feast of hate I also want to ask – you got any suggestions for making the world better? No?

    And the age of the Earth has nothing to do with the fact that abortions kill unborn babies – that’s not a women’s health issue. It is the Left that is being disingenuous on this point – it is about convenience. And you pick at Mr. Young because he uses the word “entrenched”; yet what he is stating is that he has no firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be black in America. I thought that was the first step of empathy – trying to see the world from another person’s point of view. I too have contemplated that I don’t have firsthand experience of being black; I don’t have firsthand experience being male either but I had a young, white co-worker tell me he would have probably turned around and beat the stuffing out of Zimmerman as well – so maybe it’s the Y chromosome that’s really the issue here instead of race.

    We have an epidemic of hatred, violence and anger in this country; I see politicians and pundits using it for their advantage but I see no one offering any real solutions or even trying. Now that would be a worthy attempt.

    • The Author

      Ms. Sunshine,

      As a Christian myself, I find some of your statements quite puzzling. Christianity was under attack when Roman emperors threw Christians to lions and tigers. Since the fourth century, it has been the principal religion of the Occident. I could type endlessly of examples of Christians persecuting other Christians, if that’s what you are referring to. In particular, an example that comes to mind is the Fourth Crusade, during which ‘Christians’ intent on ‘liberating’ the Holy Land made a pit stop in Constantinople and proceeded to sack the city, raid the great cathedral of Hagia Sophia, and rape and murder fellow Christians in such a bloodthirsty manner that more than one historian has gone on record to describe these events as perhaps the worst crime spree in recorded history. Another example that comes to mind is John Calvin’s part in the execution of Michael Servetus, a controversial theologian and also the first man to describe the function of pulmonary circulation.

      That does not mean that there haven’t been recent examples of persecution of the Christian faith in the West (the first thing that springs to mind is Graham Greene’s Mexican whiskey priest in “The Power and the Glory”), but I think your stated fear of a current threat against freedom of religion in the United States (I assume you mean) is entirely unfounded. If you would like to experience true persecution of your faith, I would suggest a conversion to Coptic Christianity and a one-way ticket to Egypt.

      I confess: I am demonizing Creationists. I would also demonize anyone who insists the world is flat, or who wants my child to be taught that rotting meat produces flies. These fundamentalists, not unlike the Taliban, would like to take the world back in time several centuries to a time when it was easy to control everyone’s minds. (They should the subject of an authentic fear.) They are enemies of critical thought and education. And they must be stopped from influencing policy.

      The reason I pointed out Mr. Young mainly has to do with the fact that the Good News Florida website is filled with egregious examples of poor grammar and awful orthography. The fact that this website is allowed to be a full-fledged member of the National Religious Broadcasters shows the low standard of what passes for “valid” Christian news and media organizations. The mark of the beast reference Mr. Young provides really demonstrates the foundational mindset of his “empathetic” position. Mainly, though, it’s just godawful writing.

      As to your challenge with respect to what I’m doing to make the world better, I don’t really think the world needs to be made aware of my “good works.” These are between me and my conscience and my Maker. But I can recommend that read some of my other articles. I think you will see that in many of them I offer positive solutions. But that’s not really the point of the Weekly Update column; the outside world needs to see what passes for legitimate news and commentary in the underbelly world of the Radical Right; it even exceeds what we have come to expect from the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

      Thank you for your thoughts,

      • Guest

        thank you for the reply – since the early 90’s I have been watching the erosion of the First Amendment rights of both the free exercise and Establishment clause. Before we had the internet and blogs and just read the news and followed court cases on the subject

        As for your good works, I have read very many articles at Forward Progressive and they all promote hatred. With all the talent it seems a shame can’t write an article about common ground – I’d like to think as humans we still have some.

      • Pipercat

        Well, I had to leave on business for a couple of days and only ten comments when I returned. Perhaps if you were less facetious and more hateful, you’d garner more comments!

    • Pipercat

      I think we have an epidemic of logical fallacies…

    • James Faehr

      REad and follow the book of Matthew that is what you do

  • Justin Young

    Hey thanks for the constructive criticism. Seriously, I am always looking to grow as a writer so thank you. I do just have one quick correction though. We are not affiliated with the NRB. That is another org with the same name. Anyhow, thanks again for your thoughts!

    • The Author

      Mr. Young,

      Your publication does share the same name as another one listed on the NRB website, so I stand corrected as to the NRB affiliation. Thank you for the correction.