‘God Unleashed His People’

That’s what happened earlier this spring at the Texas State Board of Education during the vote on new science curriculum standards for public schools, according to Kelly Shackelford of Texas’ Focus on the Family affiliate, Free Market Foundation. When it looked like the board was about to pass science standards that did not include creationist-inspired criticisms of evolution, his group raised the alarm and:

“…basically what happened is, God unleashed his people.”

Shackelford — who made these remarks while accepting the “Family Champions” award from Focus on the Family Action at the far right’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. last month — gave a dramatic play-by-play of the board’s final vote on evolution at the March meeting:

“It was clear that out of nowhere everything changed on a dime. And when we thought it was over — I mean, it was shocking. But it was God. And we just kind of stood their with our mouth open and said, ‘Praise the Lord.'”

Watch the full video of Shackelford’s remarks for yourself. Then consider the dishonesty it exposes.

On one hand, it is gratifying to hear Shackelford finally speak without evasion — his opposition to evolution is rooted in his theological beliefs, not scientific arguments. Fair enough. Lot’s of people, including many Christians, believe otherwise, but Mr. Shackelford is entitled to his own personal religious beliefs. If he thinks evolution is an affront to God and incompatible with Christian doctrine, he has every right to say so publicly.

But listen to what the lobbyist for Shackelford’s organization said a year ago when asked by the Houston Chronicle if opposition to evolution at the State Board of Education was religiously motivated:

“The reality is this issue is about evolution and teaching strengths and weaknesses of evolution. It’s about science and teaching science right, regardless of what religious beliefs people have.”

We have run into this issue before: evolution opponents shying away from — or one might even say lying about — the religious motivation for their attacks (see previous TFN Insider post “Not About Religion?”). But this one takes the cake. Can we finally, once-and-for-all drop the pretense that the crusade against evolution is about anything other than religious objections?

A sincere plea to Shackelford and his fellow creationists — have the courage of your convictions and speak honestly! (Or as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’.”) If you want to use science classrooms to promote your religious views over those of others, say so. If we have to continue to rehash this dispute in Texas, can’t people like Shackelford at least be honest about their motivations?

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36 Comments

  1. trog69
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Charles. I’m an unapologetic liberal, and frankly, the false equivalence nonsense is getting old.

  2. Charles
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Aw. Heck folks. In the real world, I suspect labels that labels like “liberal” and “conservative” apply well only at at the north and south poles of American politics. Most everyone else is some degree of Heinz 57 political pooch in the middle ground of the spectrum. For example, Ann Coulter is a conservative. Jack Kevorkian is a liberal. When the equipment was being passed out, the rest of us heard them call out “brains” rather than “drains.”

  3. TXatheist
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I guess when I say conservative I don’t think being a for capitalism and supporting the war makes him conservative but moderate. However I think we need a consensus on “conservative” but I get your point. I did meet a conservative last night at a political meeting last night though he sad he was but didn’t elaborate what that meant.

  4. Cytocop
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I believe Christopher Hitchins is a conservative atheist. But I could be wrong. And like trog says above, I doubt there are many like him. At least that get any attention.

    Trog, I know someone well who has used math as a proof of the trinity. He pointed to water, H20. Trouble is, even if that IS a link to a trinity, (besides being horribly weak and forced), how does it prove the Christian trinity is the correct trinity to accept? H20 could refer to the Egyptian, the Norse, or any number of trinities. I also reminded this person that while there is H20, that 1 cannot be divided by 3. Three doesn’t “gozzinta” 1. Divide 1 by 3, and you can’t get a whole number. Needless to say, my opponent did not like that and did not appreciate that I’d turned math around on him.

  5. trog69
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Good morning, TXatheist. I don’t have any links to conservative Atheist websites/groups, so I only have my own anecdotal data, but I honestly did see and talk to quite a few rightwing nonbelievers on Google Groups like Atheists vs Christianity( Like I said, I used to be pretty hardcore anti-theism.) alt.atheism, etc. Admittedly, they were vastly outnumbered by liberal/left-leaning atheists, but for many of the moderate/conservatives, I can also say that they were orders of magnitude more reasoned and amenable to discussions than their religious right peers. One of them, someone I admired, was quite adept at smacking down “philosophical fundies” who like to use higher math logic/metaphysics to try and defend the bible as inerrant. I never bothered, not only because I can’t pretend to have that knowledge, but also because once you translated what they usually meant, it boiled down to “You’re human, thus you cannot know the mind of God, nor read his symbols.” They would never deign to acknowledge our “so how can YOU know that your reading is correct, and how’s come pi=3?”

    Ahhhh, good times. Good times. hehehehe

  6. Cytocop
    Posted October 11, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    TXatheist, OK, so such exist. But they make no news. They are among those who get shouted down, and they have no one of their own as a media spokesperson. How many attended this forum for health care reform? When and where was it held? Has it been repeated? Did it attract any news media?

  7. TXatheist
    Posted October 10, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Cytocop, I’m actually presently surprised at how many christians I find who are against David Barton/Fred Phelps/Jerry Falwell types and the best source for them I think here is TFN. Minister Rigby spoke out at a forum for health care reform so there are good christians and I’m no fan of christianity but I will give them credit when due. trog, where? I’ve heard of the website conservativeatheist.com and that’s the only place honestly. I’ve met some that are “greedy” and want to abolish the IRS and I find them to be Ron Paul supporters but very, very rarely so I’m still not seeing where they are. It’s impossible to be brain aborted and atheist :) I agree blacks were against gay marriage…because of religion.

  8. Cytocop
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    November, 2010 is still over a year away, yes that’s true. However, did you see Bill Moyers tonight? The guests on there (and anyone else I’ve heard who’s talked about it) are saying things are gonna get a whole lot worse economically. In fact, it’s the banks and insurance companies who will make sure that happens; they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    It’s not that the Dems can or will save us; they’re just as crooked and corporate-bought as the GOP. The appointment of that tax-cheat Tim Geithner as Treasury Sec, the continuance of Bush’s “faith-based” tax-supported charities, the presence of Max Baucus (D-MT) on the health “reform” team despite the fact that he gets >$3 million from insurance companies are just three examples of the continuing control Wall Street has on Congress. It’s just that the Dems don’t show as much interest in inflicting their conservative social mores on us and making us all Christians like the GOP does. They still give us that much, such as it is.

    A lot of independents voted for Obama in 2008, the ones who didn’t feel comfortable hitching their wagon to the Republican social conservatives and religious fanatics. But being libertarian anti-government, anti-public “optioneers,” they’re now finding more common shared concerns with today’s GOP than they are with the Dems. That they don’t share social conservative’s anti-abortion values, for instance, have been swept under the carpet in order to get on a winning bandwagon: that of the GOP.

    Of course, trog69, you and anyone else is welcome to join us! I hope it’s OK if I speak for everyone in saying that. I figure the more, the merrier.

  9. trog69
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  10. trog69
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    “Barnes?”

    No, I’m sorry; We were looking for Blofeld. Blofeld. Oh well, better luck in the elimination round!

    TXatheist, I’ve met a lot of rightwing atheists who sound just like any other Republican. They just don’t get their talking points from the pulpit. Plenty of other places to have their brains aborted though, I’m afraid. As for blacks who oppose gay marriage, here’s the first item from Google, showing that 70% of African-Americans voted for prop. 8.

    Cytocop, it’s still a year+ before the 2010’s, so I’m gonna refrain from giving myself a headache trying to predict anything, but really, I have to wonder, who are all these independents? If you go to Fark.com, you’ll meet a whole heaping helping of “Independents”, that are just as far-right as ever, they just hated how pathetic McCain’s campaign was, and/or hated Palin. I’d say that Independents are just as asea as the Dems or Reps, but how can anyone know where their loyalties truly lie? I do already see Republicans making come-backs, such as the odious Bob McDonnell, so I gotta get my passport and stuff in order, so I can hitch a ride with you guys. You wouldn’t leave me stranded here, wouldja?

  11. Cytocop
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s not likely the economy or the employment situation are going to improve significantly enough by the 2010 elections to make a difference. It’s a double whammy too if Af-Pak doesn’t look any more “victorious” (whatever that would mean in this case), and that situation isn’t likely to improve that much either. Whenever these kind of things happen, the majority party takes the blame whether the majority party deserves it or not. And this time that means the Dems.

    There are true-red Republicans, and there are bubbas who never set foot in a church, that’s true. But those church-allergic bubbas are likely to be anti-government bubbas, the kind who are likely to be anti-tax, teabaggin’ birthers who are all too happy to join anything that smacks of being against the current administration which they likely see as illegitimate in some way. It’s a safe bet they’ll vote Republican. Or they’ll vote independent. But in our Winner-Take-All system, their votes will be defaulted Republican if the GOP wins.

    I don’t see Texas becoming any less red than it was in 2008; in fact, I think it’s gone scarlet or burgundy.

    And as a P.S. to Anderson Cooper’s show the other night, independents are abandoning Obama in droves. That doesn’t mean they’re joining the GOP but I don’t see how it bodes well for the Dems either.

    So I ask again: Where are the moderate Christian Richard Lands? Where are the moderate Christian counterparts to the Eagle Forum? The Free Market Association? Family Research Council? Wallbuilders? If such exist, they are a well-kept secret and their silence is deafening.

    Oh, and thanks to Charles for his enlightenment on the cross situation. I hadn’t heard that, that the cross was erected illegally. If only more Christians were like our friend Charles. Unfortunately, I don’t think Charles has the megaphone or the audience he deserves. People like Richard Land have it instead.

  12. Charles
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Barnes?

  13. TXatheist
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Charles and how could those generations have learned to be against homosexuality that voted down gay marriage? trog, I’ve met not one atheist against gay marriage so could you site where you heard such? Non-practicing christians? What is that? They believe but don’t go to church? That’s a stretch to say they aren’t practicing. Which blacks oppose gay marriage? I know a few gay atheists at best and none are against gay marriage but every christian who is black seems to be against it. I would say Texas is far right leaning and Austin is moderate but appears liberal cause Texas is far right.

  14. trog69
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Charles, don’t leave us hanging; What’s the middle initial B stand for?

  15. trog69
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    TXatheist, perhaps I should apologize for slight misleading, because I’m referring to national trends. Texas, Oklahoma, and some others really are outliers to the population at large.

    As to gay marriage, I’ve come across quite a few atheists who oppose gay marriage, as well as non-practicing Christians. According to polling I saw immediately after the vote on Prop. 8 and other gay rights legislation, blacks have huge numbers of voters who oppose gay marriage. Black men even have a special term for bi-sexual behavior-doing it on the “down-low”, kinda like hush-hush. I don’t pretend to know any of these numbers, nor how predominantly anti-gay marriage the Hispanic voters may prove to be, but as they are almost entirely Catholic, even your standard, twice a year church Mass-attendee is likely to frown upon gay lifestyles.

    One thing I do know is that Texas is a right-leaning state, and Republicans/social conservatives are a motivated bunch compared to their lefty counterparts, and the gay population is small and relatively silenced by the MSM, so progress for them is going to be slooowww.

    Cytocop, right now, all I see is realignment within the normally right-leaning districts. I’m gonna keep from mulling over any of the 2010-business until a few months into 2010. I do agree that, if unemployment is not significantly improved, which is very unlikely in that short a timespan, then the Republicans may pick up some seats they wouldn’t otherwise, but frankly, I see quite a few voters on the right who aren’t necessarily buying what the Republicans are selling either. A really strong independent could find themselves with more supporters than they’d anticipated.

    Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

  16. Charles
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Well, I didn’t say that Texas doesn’t have more than its fair share of Religious Right loonies. There are also a lot of ordinary people who are not so looney that simply do whatever Preacher Beverly B. Beverly says they should do—no questions asked. I suspect Texas also has more than its share of bubbas who never shadow a church door but grew up on gay people jokes and learned to dislike them thereby. I guess what I am saying is that an 80 percent vote like that could be plausibly explained in a lot of ways that might not be surficially obvious or subject to intuition.

  17. TXatheist
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    trog/Charles, if Texas is not full of what religious zealots why did gay marriage get shot down by 80% of voting texans in Nov 2005?

  18. Charles
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Nobel Prizes. Some of you here have heard my story about Jesus coming to me prior to the 2006 and 2008 elections with the prophecy that he was going to break the Religious Right and their conservative political toadies like a huge bundle of sticks brought down hard against the knee like breaking kindling. Those prophecies came true.

    Well, yesterday I was driving down the street in my neighborhood, alone in the van, and I have to tell you that I was feeling a little down about the economy, being out of a job, and concerned that the Religious Right and their political toadies might somehow be released from writhing in their agony and impotence (like the liquid metal robot at the end of T-2). I was pretty down. Then Jesus came to me again there in the van (the sheep know his voice) and said, “Don’t be concerned. Remember the bundle of shatter sticks? I’m not through with the Religious Right and their toadies. I’m just getting started on them. You wait and see!!!”

    Then came the Nobel Prize for peace announcement this morning—that Barack Obama had won—really something of a miracle considering that there were several hundred nominees and his time in office has been short. For the Religious Right and their political toadies, that was a big-time smack across the face with a wet tuna. Now you know the prophecy and its first manifestation. This is the third one in a row that has come true. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9)

    I would advise the members of the Religious Right and their political toadies that the time has come to slide down off the wagon of anger, lies, legalism, and self-righteous hypocrisy—and quit politicizing the holy with lips salivating for money, power, megachurches, and personal prestige. Right now, your clock is being cleaned from on high in an attempt to wake you up. Start paying more attention to the scriptures you have all conveniently forgotten and consciously de-emphasized, such as:

    “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22: 37 and 39)

    There is also a message on health care for the poor and being hard-hearted about it, as you are:

    “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
    Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16)

    It’s a hard rain gonna fall.

  19. Cytocop
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Well, trog, I hope you’re right. Remember how people (especially we Americans) have been admonishing the moderate Muslims to please stand up and get as loud or louder than the fanatics? To please step up to the plate and show that they do NOT approve of radical, violent Islam? That’s how I feel about Christians. I wish they would stop being the “silent majority” (if that’s what they are) and please get louder than the loud, brash creationist, teabaggin,’ birthin,’ NO GOVERNMENT crowd. The RR is NOT just the fringe of the RR and of the GOP; they have become the majority GOP viewpoint.
    Where are the Richard Lands of the science-promoting, pluralistic Christians?

    Anderson Cooper’s show last night highlighted the plummet in Obama’s approval since January and of the Dem’s approval in general. Cooper and others on his show, like me, are predicting big problems for the Democrats in 2010. The Republicans are on the rise, and that means the RR is too.

    And remember, most of these huge megachurches are the RR, not moderate mainstream Christians whose membership, by the way has been on the wane for the past 30 years. It is the RR who have made huge gains in their memberships. That is not just my opinion; that is a fact.

  20. Charles
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Right Trog. Well, I think Jesus said it best, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jesus did not force people. I don’t like to be “forced,” so why would I try to force someone else?

    As for the statement that, “God unleashed his people,” as a Christian, I find the notion that God’s people are animals that have to be kept on leashes to be more than a little disturbing. Perhaps more disturbing than that is the imbedded implicit that God’s people are so upset that they are mad dogs straining to break free from their leashes to ravage something. That’s not a very good reflection on them or God. In fact, it’s a little bit creepy.

    Gage is playing some sort of game. He apparently thinks he is being clever and cunning in his attempts to pick some sort of “pillow fight.” I just wish he had the capacity to be honest about his motivations. Like everyone else, I am still waiting for his presentation of the detailed, integrated, and coherent body of alternative science that does a better job of explaining the living world than evolution. Publish it in peer-reviewed scientific journals. We will take it seriously, and you will take home a Nobel Prize if it does a better job of explaining things.

  21. trog69
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ll try to find some numbers, but I really don’t think that the RR is the majority. I do concede that there are a whole lot of people out there, especially in the South, who agree with a lot of the rhetoric, but they themselves are not really RR-enthusiasts. ( Channeling Blazing Saddles) “They’re salt of the earth; You know…morons.”

    I used to think that perhaps they did have some huge following among Christians, but after seeing so many Christians fighting to keep evolution in the schools and religious dogma out, and also joining with them to petition Washington to prevent theocratic historic revisionism, I am relieved to see that atheists like me are not out in the prairie all by ourselves, and my former anti-theistic stance was not reasonable. I’ll still never believe in the Christian, or any gods, but I know that most of the followers mean well, and don’t want to force us all to pray just like them.

  22. Cytocop
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    “God Unleashed His People” sounds like something anybody could have said. The Ayatollah Khomeini, for instance, in reference to the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

  23. Cytocop
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    trog69, if only it were true that the RR is only a small subset of Christians. Unfortunately, I see no evidence that that is the case. I think the RR have become the majority of Christians. And the fact that the RR has taken control of the GOP (or the GOP does its best to cater to them) leads me to expect a huge landslide for the RR (GOP) in not just 2012 but 2010.

    Better get my passport and all my papers in order!

    As for Gage’s argument (and isn’t this the same old/same old brought up again from a couple of months ago?), you simply cannot jump to the conclusion that since evolution doesn’t explain EVERYTHING you want it to explain, that that proves creationism and is all that is required to prove creationism. Or ID, whatever you want to call it. You can’t prove something is factual just because what you don’t like has some unanswered items in it. That would be like proving a negative which isn’t logical. Even if you could, how can a deity be explained by science? How does science address a deity? What tools does science have to measure a deity? I have asked this question in several different ways and have yet to receive a satisfactory rational answer.

    Obviously, Gage is either religiously or philosophically motivated; but Gage is not scientifically motivated.

  24. Charles
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Gage said, “…and no one (not TFN, not NCSE, etc.) can legitimately dismiss them by saying “Oh, they are religiously motivated.”

    I can. Watch this. Your objections are religiously motivated. Feels legitimate to me.

    Pretty slick, huh?

  25. Ben
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Gage = far-right religious zealot who lies for jesus.

    Sorry, Gage, you were born into the wrong century. Logic, reason, and rationality are steadily displacing your weird little myths. Better get used to it.

  26. TXatheist
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    “This” is not an accident and no scientist calls nature an accident, it just is what is out there beyond you and can be said beyond me from my perspective. Maybe you could share this serious scientific objection to evolution cause I’ve only come across what we don’t know about evolution somehow means that creationism is possible. That’s not science. I will be sure and honor your request for respect IF you can show why your version of the hundreds of creation myths is scientific. I”m not trying to be snide but I’m presuming you realize there are hundreds of creation stories.

  27. Gage
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    The TFN somebody asks “Can we finally, once-and-for-all drop the pretense that the crusade against evolution is about anything other than religious objections?” I say, absolutely not. Religious objections may motivate many people. Or maybe their opposition is just rooted in a gut feeling that “This can’t all be an accident” (which may be correct). But however many of those people there may or may not be, there are certainly those with serious scientific objections (I am one), and no one (not TFN, not NCSE, etc.) can legitimately dismiss them by saying “Oh, they are religiously motivated.”

    Is it legitimate for me to dismiss evidence for evolution by simply saying “Oh, but they are atheistically motivated.”? Of course not. Arguments cannot properly be dismissed by evaluating motivations! And whether or not someone is religious or not should not let anyone off the obligation of addressing their arguments. So often, arguments are answered with insults, on both sides I’ll admit.

    Here is my proposal: How about each of us resolve to never substitute insults for serious reasoning? And perhaps err on the side of respecting our opponents too much rather than too little?

  28. trog69
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Charles, he’s merely having a good scratch. I’ve lost the attribution, but I’m sure I got that picture from a Fark-enthusiast. I wish it were a larger version, ’cause the look on the bears face is exactly what most guys look like when no ones looking and they can, uh, get a good scratch going.

  29. TXatheist
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Charles, then you are saying christians don’t lie? Seriously, xians are no better than anyone else and I’m sure we agree on that or hope. I am very appreciative of the Mojave news you gave about the cross as a honorably discharged veteran. My opinion is that Christian is a title that indicates you can’t deal with reality and need an imaginary friend for guidance. My point comes from the likes of Sam Harris that you allow fundamentalism to keep going because you all fall under the Christian umbrella and only little details are different. You should have seen Religulous to learn this…Horus was called: Resurrected One; ‘Iusa’, the ‘ever-becoming son’ of ‘P’tah’ or ‘the Father'; ‘the Way, the Truth and the Light'; ‘Messiah'; ‘Son of Man'; ‘Son of God'; ‘the Word'; ‘the Word made Flesh'; ‘Holy Child'; ‘God’s Anointed Son'; ‘Word of Truth’. Horus was called the ‘KRST’, or the ‘Anointed One’, long before the title was given to Jesus.

  30. Charles
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Is that bear holding his crotch? Where did you get that Trog?

  31. trog69
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “Don’t y’all forget that.”

    Y-yes sir.

    I agree that the RR is only a small subset of Christians, but they are highly motivated, and the number of Congresscritters that echo their talking points is proof that they are playing to win.

    If Obama proves to be as centrist as he’s shown himself, he won’t be able to sell himself as a liberal during his next campaign. I see his base as already fractured,( I admit that I am one of those who probably would not vote for him today.) and I see the far-right zealots as the only winners in 2012, especially if they can find a candidate they’d be able to get behind.

    Either that, or I need a new prescription for my rose-colored glasses.

  32. Charles
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    And while we are at it, you are probably aware that the Free Market Foundation is one of the big cheerleading squads for the Mojave Cross case in the U.S. Supreme Court. However, you need to know one important fact about this case, and you will never hear that fact from anyone on the Religious Right.

    The current white cross is a replacement cross—not the original one that was put up there in the 1930s. This replacement cross was erected on federally owned land in 1998. It was erected by private citizens acting entirely on their own. The National Park Service (NPS) did not grant them permission to erect the replacment cross on their land, and it did not issue them a formal permit to erect the cross. Thus, the replacement cross was erected illegally in violation of federal regulations. Thus, in my opinion, the presence of this cross is a physical manifestation of criminal activity. Do you think that Habitat for Humanity can build a townhouse wing on the Lincoln Memorial without a federal permit? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s bulldozers would show up to tear it down the next morning. Therefore, as a citizen of this country, I wonder why this case is in any kind of court. It is a waste of time and taxpayer money when people across this country are suffering.

  33. Charles
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Lying is not the Christian thing to do. Pursuing the truth and standing up for the truth is the Christian thing to do. The truth is not what they are pushing over at the Free Market Foundation. Jesus said he was the truth, but I am hard pressed to see how his Biblically-recorded ministry incorporated similar distortions, deceptions, and lies. I wish TFN had said:

    “If he thinks evolution is an affront to God and incompatible with Christian [Neo-Fundamentalist] doctrine, he has every right to say so publicly.”

    Just an opinion, I think it is important in language to emphasize the fact that organizations like the Free Market Foundation do not represent Christians as a whole. The Religious Right has relied for years on a “deceptive implicity,” trying to create the notion in the public mind that they are a united monolith that respresents all of Christendom. That is emphatically not true. They are one noisy, narrow-minded little corner in a much larger polygonal room that encloses all Christians. I am a Christian, and neither the Texas Free Market Foundation nor the Religious Right in general speak for me. We also have to remember that the word “Christian” is a code word with its own unique definition in the Christian Neo-Fundamentalist realm. In their world, a “Christian” is not just a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and is thereby living in a state of undeserved grace. It means subscribing to their nutty theological concepts and far right politics. If you have Jesus and Jesus has you—but you do not have the nutcase part—you are automatically an apostate who is just a “pretend Christian,” and the absence of the nutcase baggage is the proof of it.

    Don’t y’all forget that.

  34. TXatheist
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    PHarvey, respectfully I say it’ s not. Lying that god gave moses 10 rules is exactly what the bible is about. Lying that jesus was the son of god is accurate. Most of the bible is one big lie beyond the few mentions of actual tribes and cities but the rest is a lie.

  35. PHarvey
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Before anyone asks, my last post was sarcasm.

  36. PHarvey
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    “…can’t people like Shackelford at least be honest about their motivations?”

    That’s a silly question, of course not.

    Lying to advance ones Christian beliefs is an obviously Christian thing to do.

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