Follow up thoughts on “A conversation with a false teacher” movie

I had some fun with this video and got some good reactions from it.  It was one of those projects where you whip something out and it turns out better than planned.

Again, you can make one free at the Xtranormal site.  You just set up an account, pick the scene and characters then type in the dialog.  You publish it to the Xtranormal site and then to YouTube, Facebook, etc. with just a couple clicks.

There is something unique about how the characters read the lines.  It helps makes points that get lost when there is too much emotion in the voices. 

I obviously had some fun with the false teacher, but they really say many of those things and use those lines of argument.  Many of the lines were direct quotes.  They won’t concede how little they know about other religions that they claim to be true, but with some probing questions you can easily demonstrate that. 

While this video won’t convert any false teachers,  I do think these could help people be prepared with some basic answers to common things false teachers (or pro-choicers, or atheists, etc.) say.  You can show how to give sound, simple answers to their fallacious worldviews.

I hope some of the regulars here will make their own videos like this.  Be sure to let me know if you do so I can plug them here.

Arizona bans racial & sex-selection abortions

Great news, and great tactics by the pro-lifers who made this happen.  Some cynics think elections don’t count when it comes to the issue of life.

Pro-life Republican Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law Arizona’s ban on racial and sex-selective abortion, a law which is a national first. Lawmakers are also sending to the governor another bill that bans “telemed” abortions as part of an expanded informed consent law.

. . .

The law requires doctors to obtain an affidavit that the abortion is not sought for racial or sex-selective reasons.

. . .

The measure was opposed by Planned Parenthood. “This law creates a highly unusual requirement that women state publicly their reason for choosing to terminate a pregnancy — a private decision they already made with their physician, partner and family,” Bryan Howard, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, said in a statement.

via Arizona Gov. signs nation’s first ban on racial/sex-selective abortions |

I’m not naive.  I know Planned Parenthood will coach people to check the “Other” box on the “Why do you want to destroy this unwanted human being?” question.  And you can trust PP to keep secrets: They won’t even let you know if your 13 yr. old daughter is pregnant by a 25 yr. old guy.  They hate this law because it points to the humanity of the unborn.  These aren’t blobs of tissue or parasites, these are human beings whose DNA had their features — including sex and skin color — mapped out at conception.

This type of law may help those coerced to have these abortions.  Gender-selection abortions are the ultimate misogyny, killing females for the sole reason that they are female.  They are very common in Indian and Chinese cultures (those countries have gender imbalances numbering in the tens of millions).

The perfect record is intact

I know this sounds like hyperbole, but it is true: I have yet to see Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie or the United Church of Christ get a single Bible verse right.  And I’ve endured reading countless blog posts of his and actually forced myself to listen to some of his sermons.  The insincere droning I can overlook, but the false teachings I cannot.  Here’s the latest, emphasis added:

In a “Resolution for the Common Good,” General Synod 25 reminds us: “Our Christian faith speaks directly to public morality and the ways a nation should bring justice and compassion into its civic life.  In the story of the last judgment, Jesus tells us that nations will be judged by how they care for their most vulnerable citizens, those Jesus describes as, ‘the least of these who are members of my family.’  This story in Matthew (Matthew 25: 34-35) is not about personal salvation; rather it is presented as a story of the judgment of nations.”

via JPANet: The Federal Budget and the Common Good

Really?  So if you trust in Jesus for your salvation but live in a “goat” nation then you “will go away into eternal punishment” but if you reject Jesus but live in a “sheep” nation you will have eternal life? (verse 46)  Wow, that is some interesting theology!  It isn’t Christian, but it is interesting.  Apparently in Chuck’s world you could be a greedy, gay-bashing, drug-dealing, misogynist non-believer but you get eternal salvation as long as your nation borrows from future generations to fund his preferred social programs.

These false teachers can’t get the simplest passage correct, but the larger tragedy is that people read the Bible so little that they can’t recognize it.

Aside from the bad Bible analysis, he uses the typical bad reasoning that his fellow false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistributionWallis does, namely that even if the Bible said countries must help in this way that it is a blank check.  No, more than a blank check: It is a duty to borrow from future generations to support poorly performing and even counterproductive programs.

And as always, these false teachers who reflexively refer to the “least of these” are not only pro-legalized abortion but pro-taxpayer funded abortion.  That means these wolves in sheep’s clothing aren’t just pro-choice, they are pro-abortion — and they claim Jesus is on their side.  Crushing and dismembering innocent but unwanted human beings is the opposite of caring for the least of these.

Run, don’t walk, from denominations and false teachers like this.

P.S. Chuck also broke the hypocrisy meter with his support of President Obama’s Random Foreign Policy Generator war in Libya.

Those misunderstood Puritans (seriously)

So much of history is distilled into sound bites that end up being the opposite of the truth, or at least a distortion of it because of what is left out.  The Puritans are a good example.  See Winging It: The Puritan Mission.

We are told that the Europeans in general and the Christians in particular were cruel, selfish, greedy folk who came to America to escape persecution and steal all they could from the natives. It isn’t true. Some of that happened, to be sure, but the original intent of the immigrants to America was a missionary intent. This is all the more confounding when you consider that these folks were dyed-in-the-wool Calvinists who believed that God did the choosing. Their job wasn’t to sit back and watch God work, but to obey the Great Commission and participate in God’s work. They did. Don’t buy it when you are told otherwise.

Fair trade and the law of unintended consequences

Some businesses cynically promote “giving” that is more about making us feel good about ourselves than truly helping others.  Think of companies who sell marked up water where a deliberately undefined percentage of the proceeds goes to charity.  Instead of paying an extra 50 cents for a commodity where perhaps a nickel goes to some ill-defined charity and the other 45 cents profits the company, I recommend donating the whole 50 cents and buying your water elsewhere.  Or drink tap water.  Now you get to release endorphins for being generous and wise.

Fair trade coffee is all the rage in many churches.  Does it really help those it attempts to, or is it another counterproductive measure? Read some interesting thoughts at Is fair trade really fair? | Reason To Stand.

  • Fair trade trades in the same markets of empathy that charities do.
  • It does not have the power to lift whole nations out of poverty like free trade has because it ignores basic market principles.
  • It preys on the desire to feel good (as opposed to actually doing good) that many people (mostly liberals) have.
  • It assumes an unsubstantiated predatory view of markets.
  • It encourages inefficient economic practices (by discouraging mechanization)
  • It encourages people to stay in agriculture when they could move to other industries which could produce more wealth for more people.
  • It fosters a moral hazard where lower quality goods can be foisted onto artificially captive markets (ie. moral-minded churches) while higher quality goods are sold on the free market. I’ve been the unlucky recipient of this sort of deal where a local church provides fair trade coffee which costs as much as Starbucks but tastes like burnt rubber. This is wholly unfair to the consumer.
  • Fair trade is based on a Marxist economic understanding where equality of outcomes is held to be the standard of “justice”. For this reason you’ll hear a lot of talk of “social justice” in pro-fair-trade material.

Another day, another sting catching Planned Parenthood lying

Defund them.  Now.

This lie is actually pretty tame relative to their serial hiding of statutory rape and covering up for sex traffickers (Oh, and the fact that they destroy unwanted human beings for a living).  But it is still a lie. They don’t do mammograms anywhere.

Memo to those who want PP funded: Open your own wallets, just like pro-lifers do for crisis pregnancy centers.  If you think they are so swell, then spend your own money.

Live Action has just released findings of a new undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood.

This time LA fact-checked CEO Cecile Richards’ recent claim on the Joy Behar Show that if PP is defunded “millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning – you know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer.”

Wait, mammograms?

No. An LA actor called 30 PPs in 27 states to always get the same answer: No mammograms here.

via New Live Action sting: CEO lies – Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms – Jill Stanek.


Turns out that the average citizen and the late Ted Kennedy have something in common: Plenty of talk about wanting solar but not in their backyard.  There’s a word for that: Hypocrisy.

Everyone loves solar, right? Well, until someone puts the panels up

The general public is all for renewable energy — in theory, anyway. But recent renewable projects have raised hackles because of their alleged conflicts with wildlife, damage to Indian spiritual sites, and elevated earthquake risk. And now, objections to green energy based on their, well, ugliness are popping up in New Jersey and Nevada.

Residents and politicians in Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and several other posh suburban towns just outside New York City are attacking local utility company PSE&G for putting up solar panels. Specifically, in an attempt to double the Garden State’s solar capacity, the company has been installing 3-foot-by-5-foot solar modules on utility poles. And the reactions are less than positive: “It’s just horrible,” said Ridgewood’s Deputy Mayor Tom Riche, according to an article in The Record, of Bergen County, N.J. on Sunday.

And that’s the issue in a nutshell: people want cleaner, cheaper, more stable energy, yet, they don’t want to see it. Consider the Cape Wind Project: Ted Kennedy fought it for 10 years, because the wind turbines would be in view of his family compound, and be in the yachting area. He was all for “green” energy, just not stuff that affects him.

via “Solar Rocks! As Long As I Don’t Have To See Those Ugly Panels!” : Stop The ACLU.

How Richard Dawkins’ (ir-)religion hinders scientific progress

See Jonathan Wells on his book, The Myth of Junk DNA – yes, it is a Darwinist myth and he nails it as such.  As I read the article I thought of how bias can get in the way of scientific discoveries.

The conventional wisdom is that religion and science are at odds or are at least “non-overlapping magesteria.”  Philosophical naturalists like to posit that religion impedes scientific progress.  That is a false dilemma, of course, because the notion that God is orderly and that we can think his thoughts after him drove early science and is still logical.

But look what happens when atheistic assumptions get in the way of science:

“The amount of DNA in organisms,” neo-Darwinist Richard Dawkins wrote in 1976, “is more than is strictly necessary for building them: A large fraction of the DNA is never translated into protein. From the point of view of the individual organism this seems paradoxical. If the ‘purpose’ of DNA is to supervise the building of bodies, it is surprising to find a large quantity of DNA which does no such thing. Biologists are racking their brains trying to think what useful task this apparently surplus DNA is doing. But from the point of view of the selfish genes themselves, there is no paradox. The true ‘purpose’ of DNA is to survive, no more and no less. The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.” (The Selfish Gene, p. 47)

Dawkins’ worldview caused him and many others to “know” that this must have been “junk” DNA. Who knows how many important scientific advancements were delayed because of bias like this? Christians know that there are natural and supernatural forces in the world, and that the composition of the universe screams out design. Even Dawkins concedes that it appears to be designed.

More from the link:

Collins also wrote that intelligent design is a “God of the gaps” position that is doomed to collapse with further advances in science (p. 193). But Collins has it exactly backwards: He and other promoters of the myth of junk DNA have put their faith in a “Darwin of the gaps” argument that must now retreat in the face of new advances in genome research.

Truly open-minded scientists wouldn’t assume that the “junk” DNA was evolutionary baggage.  They would have considered that perhaps it had another function put there by an intelligent designer.

Scientific progress can be negatively impacted by bad philosophy — just not always the kind people assume.  How many other discoveries are hindered by the false Darwinian worldview?

P.S. This topic always reminds me of a funny bit in an episode of The Simpsons where Lisa finds a phony fossil of what appears to be an angel.  The episode cleverly skewered both sides of the debate – though mostly against Christians. (Sadly, this is one of the last episodes Phil Hartman did before he was killed. He played the attorney Lionel Hutz).  I loved this line from the judge presiding over the trial:

As for science versus religion, I’m issuing a restraining order: Religion must stay 500 yards from science at all times.

If only the (ir-)religious bias of Dawkins et al had a restraining order against it!

Adults vs. children

If the Republicans can’t capitalize on the Wisconsin / Indiana lawmakers fleeing their states and the union schemes to destroy our economy, then they need to fire their marketing department.

We heard a lot about Wisconsin but not as much about Indiana, where the Democratic Fleebaggers were even less effective:

Although far less publicized than the Wisconsin Democrat Temper-Tantrum, Indiana State Dems have staged a walkout that far exceeded the Wisconsin walkout both in terms of time wasted and ultimate futility. Last night, the Indiana Democrats staged an ignominious return in which they were forced to explain why they accomplished absolutely nothing after wasting half a million dollars in taxpayer money.

See, unlike in Wisconsin, when the Dems left town, the Republicans took the opportunity to shelve the right-to-work legislation (the stated reason for the Great Democrat Flight) and get down to passing the rest of their legislative agenda sans Democrats, including the budget (balanced) and redistricting. As the Indianapolis Star put it:

. . .

Well, the Democrats are now back, and they are more unpopular than ever. And they are in the unenviable position of having to explain to the voters why, in these economically troubled times, with Hoosiers everywhere fighting for their jobs, the Indiana taxpayers had to foot the massive bill for their out-of-state jaunt, with absolutely nothing to show for it in return. In this fight, the IN GOP has scored a near-total victory.

via Indiana Democrats: Total Capitulation | RedState.


“Either of us could be wrong, so let’s call it a tie”

Twice this week I encountered commenters who ran out of arguments and resorted to claiming that either of us could be wrong.  The implication was that it made the discussion a toss-up and we should just end the debate – with them getting their way, of course.

Here’s one of them, in context of a discussion on Romans 1 and natural functions.

In context with the idol worship we see what comes next. I could be wrong, can you admit that you could be wrong?

My response:

You are wrong and should stop teaching falsely. Whether we could be wrong is irrelevant. I say people shouldn’t beat up gays. Could I be wrong? Maybe, but I don’t think I am. But using your “logic” I could be wrong so I shouldn’t debate the point. That is stupid logic.

Here’s the other example:

So, Neil, the Bible and the [Methodist] Book of Discipline are never wrong?

My response:

The “we might both be wrong, so let’s call it a tie” philosophy is silly. Fred Phelps could use the same approach but I hope that wouldn’t stifle anyone’s criticism of him.

The Bible is never wrong. It is capable of being misunderstood, but never wrong. It is remarkably clear on this topic, and the BoD [Methodist Book of Discipline] is in sync:

100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Could I be wrong?  In a hyper-technical sense, of course I could be.  Hey, maybe this is all just an illusion and I didn’t really type this.  That isn’t supported by the evidence and we don’t live our lives that way, but there is always some extreme scenario where we could be mistaken.

But that isn’t what the other party is aiming at.  They think they are right, and are using this argument to avoid conceding a point where they know they are out of ammunition.

One of the most insidious ways the pro-gay lobby in the Methodist Church does this is to press for resolutions noting that we don’t have full agreement on the topic.  They make it sound innocent, as if we are just stating the obvious.  But of course they are trying to generate an official document that implies that there just isn’t enough biblical guidance on the topic to make an assessment.  Therefore, we should relax our standards.

The lesson here: Don’t let them get away with it.  Just point out how they obviously think they are right and have the burden of proof to back up their claims.