Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Backdoors take on a whole new meaning . . . or maybe not

Being a Christian and holding to what was taught to me years ago as Christian values used to be a small source of pride.  Do unto others, taking care of the people around you, honesty . . . yes, these were the hallmarks of being a Christian I was once taught.  Nowadays, I have become quite ashamed at many who profess to be Christians.  In my opinion, while little kennie ham is the poster child for un-Christian-like behavior, he isn't the only one.  Here's a group who seem to think being dishonest is the pathway to heaven.

The latest example is the 'Creation Summit' group who is holding a conference at Michigan State University.  Now I am not against their conference, but what I am against is how they are marketing it.  Here is a link to their web page about it "Origin Summit".  Right now, as of 27 Oct 2014, there is not a single mention of who sponsored it on campus, only that it is at Michigan State.  I find this a disreputable tactic.  The group got on campus through a campus student religious group.  Do they mention that in it's online advertising?  What it does is give the impression of being sponsored by the University!  As far as I know the only thing the University is involved in is providing a location.

This isn't the first time Christian groups have done this.  I recall the Discovery Institute bragging about a conference at SMU that was also sponsored by an on-campus ministry, but again they forgot to mention that part.  They love to make it sound as if the University invited them there.  I posted about one ("Intelligent Design Tolerance") where Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute thanked the “SMU administration” for hosting the event, when the SMU Administration had nothing to do with the it at all.

I recall one of the DI's favorite sons, davy klinghoffer tried to wangle an invitation for a DI rep to speak at the University of Vermont by writing to one of the professor's Nicholas Gotelli and got back what has to be one of the classic responses in history.  If you don't remember it, you can refresh your memory here.  The highlights is that after writing a scathing rebuttal to an opinion piece written by Professor Gotelli on Ben Stein being invited as the commencement speaker, davy tried to get him to invite the DI to speak.  The professor responded with such gems as

"However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists."
"I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist."
"Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science,  they would receive such invitations as well."
Typical tactics!  When your ideas cannot stand the light of day, you use someone policies, like the University's policies on allowing student groups to use school facilities, and try and make it sound like the University is sponsoring the revival meeting.  Pretty sneaky way to try and identify with some legitimacy.  This 'Creation Summit' group even advertise this tactic on their website, and guess what they call it? 

See, they even call it a 'Backdoor Strategy'.  Instead of doing the work that will get them invited, even welcome, in through the front door -- they seem to be proud of the fact they are sneaking in.  And at the end of the 'summit' sites is a call for you to donate money or goods.  Yes, let's allow them to misrepresent themselves and get the opportunity to pay for the privilege.

Does being a Christian nowadays mean having no shame when using such disreputable tactics?

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