Evangelicals Literally Believe Net Domain Name Thing is the End of the World

Evangelicals Literally Believe Net Domain Name Thing is the End of the World

I thought religion was supposed to bring inner peace.

  • God Please Help Us!
  • Mercy on US Lord the Enemy is out to destroy! Prophecy being fulfilled right before our lives!
  • Only our Lord can stop this evil! So we need to be ready! God help us!

Is this any way to live???  This pervasive paranoia that finds signs of fiery Armageddon in every relatively minor event is simply tragic.

Evangelical Christians utterly lost their minds when one of America’s most popular evangelical leaders, Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham, called on the federal lawmakers to halt the transfer of the Internet domain naming system from U.S. government control to a U.S.-based internationally monitored nonprofit, something that’s been publicly planned for years.

As a conservative wanting less power concentrated in the government, he’s happy, right?  No, because it’s Obama, it must be evil, with a hidden agenda to destroy all that is decent:

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Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

CNN has been asking third-party political candidates if they believe in God, pray, and go to church.  It’s a new trend that’s deeply unethical.

[Excerpts.  The full version of this article can be viewed where it is published at The Friendly Atheist.]

By Bo Gardiner

“Do you believe in God?”

Since June, CNN has boxed into a corner three third-party candidates for President and Vice-President with this ridiculous question.   On June 22, the Libertarian Party candidates for president and vice-president, Gary Johnson and William Weld, answered questions by CNN reporter Chris Cuomo and selected voters in a CNN-hosted “town hall.”

(Video here, relevant portion starts at 22:00)

CNN selected Amanda Lindemann, an undecided voter from New York, to ask Johnson “Do you pray and do you believe in God?” 

Johnson isn’t interested, but knows what he must say:  “I have to admit to praying once in awhile and yes, I do believe in God.”

Cuomo clearly thinks she should have asked the vice-presidential candidate too, so puts the litmus test question to Weld:  “Governor?”

Weld is even less interested, but knows what he must do:  “Same on both.  Same on both.”

Cuomo is unsatisfied, and pushes Johnson harder:  “What do you want people to know about you in terms of religion?   I mean, is the answer “none of your business?” Or do you go to church?  Do you ascribe to a particular religious philosophy?”

Johnson:  “I was raised a Christian, I do not attend church, and if there’s one thing I’ve taken away from Christianity, ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’”

And then this from Cuomo:  “Why don’t you go to church?”

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Talking political pseudoscience on MSNBC

Bo Gardiner

This morning I was a guest on MSNBC’s AM Joy show with Joy-Ann Reid, discussing the disappointingly nonprogressive, anti-science beliefs of the Green Party and its candidate Dr. Jill Stein, with their potential for harm to public health and the environment.  Full video here.

Wonder if she was surprised to hear me bring up tigers and orangutans.

Jill Stein to WaPo on Vaccines: She’s Just Asking Questions

By Bo Gardiner

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Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President, finally received her big chance yesterday to straighten out the growing concern about her position on vaccines.

With people like me unfairly maligning her, as her supporters have been pouring in here and to The Friendly Atheist to tell me, she had the opportunity to unequivocally reassure us and the American public that vaccines were safe and that she strongly encouraged their use.

The Washington Post began with a softball question to begin their interview: do vaccines cause autism?  Here was the doctor’s reassuring reply:

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Just In Case There’s Any Doubt Jill Stein Sows Distrust in the U.S. Vaccination Program…

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Let’s simply let her supporters answer.

Here are some comments from angry Jill Stein supporters on the Friendly Atheist Facebook page in response to my article criticizing her statements on the U.S. vaccination program.   It was gratifying to see these dwarfed by many thousands of likes and shares, as was a lovely mention as well by the national progressive humanist group Center for Inquiry’s Paul Fidalgo in his daily roundup of humanist news:

Speaking of Stein, Bo Gardiner does a good overview of Stein’s many pseudoscientific predilections.

But it’s a veritable online rule that people who disagree are the most likely to comment, and comment they did.  

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My Heartbreaking Conclusion: Jill Stein Is Anti-Science, Bad for the Environment, and Now Fully Earns Anti-Vax Label

[A version of this article appeared on July 27 at The Friendly Atheist.]

By Bo Gardiner

In a 2013 speech, Jill Stein calls for the imprisonment of GMO producers based on discredited claims, ignores the environmental damage that would produce, and says the difference between the major parties is mere “window dressing” [Source: YouTube].

 

I’m a strong progressive with socialist leanings, but more than anything else, I’m an environmentalist working for biodiversity – it’s my life’s passion.  I campaign hard for Greens running in local elections.  While a government environmental scientist, I successfully blew the whistle more than once on politicized agencies’ illegal actions to permit corporate pollution.  I pushed my agencies hard to put science over politics and stop dragging their feet on climate change.  While working for a nonprofit conservation group, I managed successful statewide biodiversity campaigns, criticizing politicians and government agencies who were obstacles.  In my personal life, I’m a naturalist and organic gardener, who lectures about gardening for wildlife.

For these reasons, I would not dream of voting for Jill Stein, and will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President.  Does this surprise you?  It shouldn’t if you’re looking deep enough.

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Did the Oregon Shooter Actually Target Christians? It Doesn’t Appear So

[Excerpts from my article published at the Friendly Atheist. ]

It’s a rallying moment for American Christians angered by the growing voices of the nation’s non-religious, however small a minority we remain.

Christian communities online are feverishly crying, “Now do you believe we’re persecuted?” Political, cultural, and religious leaders are calling on Christians to rise up against their non-religious persecutors, accusing us of fostering violence, and demanding we take responsibility.

That fever is rising with each news report about the massacre of nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

(Images via YouTube)

All of those stories seem to report a variation on the line “Christians were targeted.” A Washington Post headline read “Oregon shooter said to have singled out Christians for killing in ‘horrific act of cowardice.’” NBC reported: “The gunman who opened fire at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College targeted Christians specifically, according to the father of a wounded student.”

Though some outlets like the New York Times noted that that “Law enforcement officials would not confirm or deny” that Christians were targeted, that “fact” has already become conventional wisdom.

Support for that idea, however, is limited, as Lauren showed in an earlier post on this site. Most people making that claim point to the shooter’s membership in a Facebook group called “Against Organized Religion,” his self-characterization as “spiritual but not religious,” and two secondhand accounts from relatives of survivors.

Hemant posted another survivor’s report that contradicts those earlier accounts, providing a more detailed and very different interpretation of the shooter’s questions:

McGowan told family members that the gunman didn’t specifically target Christians but asked them about faith. The shooter, apparently planning to die during the massacre, told students: “I’ll see you soon” or “I’ll meet you soon.”

“The shooter would call a person: ‘You, stand up,’” Salas said, recalling what her son told her. “And then he would ask them if they were a Christian, knew God, or had religion. And it wasn’t like it was stated on TV. It wasn’t about that he was just trying to pinpoint Christians, no.”

The shooter would tell them it wouldn’t hurt.

“And then he would shoot them,” she said.

Of course, there is a way we could check if this claim that the shooter was targeting Christians has any merit: Let’s examine the victims’ beliefs as best we can and find out if they fit that description.

It’s not just for the sake of curiosity. One could argue that painting them all as Christian martyrs would be disrespectful if they weren’t actually Christian. For most of them, we don’t know their religious beliefs for certain. All we can look at is their social media presence and comments from loved ones.

Similarly, should we assume that those who were spared or only injured were either non-Christian or insufficiently courageous to admit their Christianity?

People are making a lot of assumptions without looking at the evidence.

So let’s try to do that.

First, let me say this is the hardest post I’ve ever written. Studying the words and photos of these lovely people made the magnitude of our loss simply unfathomable.

The bottom line? Only two of the nine victims are confirmed to be Christians. While some of the other seven may be Christians, there’s currently no publicly available evidence for it. And several others seem to hold beliefs other than Christianity.

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