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.
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?
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