A couple of stories caught my eye, one from the Discovery Institute and the other from the Facebook posts of one of the all too many Christian Evangelistas.
The one from the DI is almost funny, if it wasn't so pathetic. Many times in the past I, and many others, have watched the DI use tactics that on the one hand they claim to abhor, yet are perfectly willing to use the tactics themselves. For example claiming that scientists are discriminating against Creationists when the reality shows that it's not discrimination for getting fired (or not receiving tenure) when you refuse to do your job. Or claiming that they cannot get published in mainstream scientific journals because of some hidden conspiracy -- when they aren't even submitting to mainstream scientific journals. My personal favorite is scream discrimination when someone like David Coppedge or John Freshwater get fired yet when a Christian school fires a science teacher for teaching actual science, why aren't they screaming discrimination then?
You see, they have a habit of using disreputable tactics while frequently accusing the opposing side of using those same tactics, regardless of lack of evidence of their opposition actually using those same tactics. So I want to talk to you about religious indoctrination for a moment and then get back onto the DI's back. When does religious indoctrination start? Well in most cases it starts pretty much at birth. Children are exposed to the religious traditions of their parents. Examples include baptisms, confirmations, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs . . . the list is pretty endless. Children get quite seeped in it, various schools like Catechism classes, Jewish life classes, and many other religious themed community events geared toward children. And yet . . . if anyone dare suggest science classes at an earlier age, the cries of 'brainwashing' get thrown around immediately.
Back to the DI, and their Evolution 'news' and Views site, "Evolution in Kindergarten: Now Brought to You by the National Science Foundation". Now, the accurate part of the post is that the National Science Foundation has awarded a grant (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1561401) designed to address a fundamental problem in education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, that natural selection is one of the most misunderstood biological processes. Now, wouldn't you think an organization like the DI, who make public claims about wanting to improve the education of our young, would support such efforts? But no, the DI calls it brainwashing and are dead set against it!
Anyone else see the problem here? It's OK to start kids down a religious path from birth, but the very idea of correcting an identified problem with an important part of biological study is considered brainwashing? Like so many other times, it's a case of 'Do as I say and Not as I do!" They, and other religious organization, want, and in my opinion, need to start on kids when they are young. The very idea of teaching real science at a younger age is the equivalent to brainwashing? Seriously? Remember this is the group who supports some Ohio teachers who wanted to inject Intelligent Design into the science curriculum back in 2004 and who have developed whole lesson plans for teaching ID to pretty much any age group.
I've said it before. If we don't let children drive, drink, or vote before a certain age, they shouldn't be exposed to religion until that age either. Haven't the dangers of religion been clearly identified over the years? How much bigotry and intolerance have their root in the religious beliefs of the offenders, and how young were they when they started down this path?
The second one, and the one most egregious was identified to me by The Friendly Atheist (TFA), "Franklin Graham: Boycotting Companies Is Only Okay When I Say It Is". In the article TFA posts copies of two of Franklin Graham's Facebook posts. Here are the links to the actual posts if you want to read them yourself (Hobby Lobby post and Target post). The comments are somewhat interesting too, but be prepared, especially if you do not know who Graham is.
In the first post he equates the boycotting of Hobby Lobby over their discrimination of employees because of the company owner's religious beliefs as:
" . . . calling for a boycott. Doesn't this sound like bullying, intolerance, and discrimination . . ."In the second post he is promoting the boycott of Target stores because of their LGBT bathroom policy:
" I'm glad people are standing up and letting them know this is wrong."If you're not familiar with Graham, don't worry. Just think about any one of the Christians Evangelista that you are familiar with, and you'll get the picture. I have trouble telling any of them apart. They want to tell me how to live and to make me pay them for the privilege of telling me how to live. I prefer the John Oliver discussion on televangalistas:
But as to the subject at hand . . . to me this is another example of 'Do as I say and not as I do'. Boycotting Hobby Lobby is bullying, intolerance and discrimination . . . but boycott Target because it's the right thing to do, according to Graham. Of course you see the difference, Graham agrees with Hobby Lobby and disagrees with Target.
Reminds me of when little kennie ham whined and cried about on of his pet creation 'scientists' getting sandbagged into a debate with an actual scientists just about a year after he did the exact same thing and sandbagged a scientist into debating him. It was OK when he did it because a little "Lie for Jesus" is OK because it's for God, but it should have been criminal when the same tactic is used against him (Turnabout is fair play!).