A funny coincidence that this is the second time in as many days that I’ve read an overtly Christian sentence with the word “refuse” in it.
A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
The addition of the word “lunatic” is a graceful, if off-putting touch. My first encounter with this quote fairly cinched my already poisoned opinion of C.S. Lewis.
His reasoning is circular. He flinches just at the point where he could be brilliant and brave. He would have more truthfully stated:
A man can no more make gods exist by his own insistence (and, perhaps, stupid threats) than a lunatic can claim knowledge by scribbling ‘know’ on the prison wall of his own blank mind.
I can think of at least three different uses of the word atheist, one of which is from antiquity and is a pure accusation, one which is absurdly specific (thus practically meaningless), and one which is nearly synonymous with Humanism.
Atheism as a conceptual mode or ideology has a paradoxical aspect in that it only grows when religious hegemony intensifies. There are as many kinds of atheism as hegemonies from which people try to extract themselves: That is, there is a Catholic atheism which is distinct from Islamic atheism (for example) which is distinct from Mormon atheism; a cult’s particular arrogation creates a particular kind of seizing back of personal authority.
T.H. Huxley’s notions about gods and knowledge notwithstanding, the invocation of the term “agnostic” with respect to anything but knowledge in general or in principle seems to miss the point about the limitations of human perception and investigation.
Assertions about gods really have little, if anything, to do with knowledge, per se. These assertions have, rather, almost everything to do with structures of hegemony (benign or not); of imposition and mechanisms for group control — if one is taking the top-down approach. Examining the psychology of religious opinion would, I think, show that these assertions of knowledge, in the best sense, are little more than ways of identifying with other people and particular modes of habit. In the worst cases, they are expressions of personal neurosis, impotence, and a desire for easy answers. We can examine these connections between god, religion, culture and psychology and might conclude that we understand something about what “god” is or the validity of religious imposition.
These assertions exist nowhere outside of pure narrative. This kind of knowledge is indistinguishable from knowledge about any other narrative. Where else is knowledge of god(s) found with respect to descriptions of the deeds and attributes? Where with respect to assertions of miracles or behavioral codes and threatened consequences? I would say that you certainly can know a story well enough, but the story maps to reality in no meaningful way. Here, though, one can identify the purported connection and show that they are false.
Well, that identification of psychological and social structures would seem to approach something like extensible knowledge. But, you will discover right away that you cannot know something which cannot be interrogated or manipulated! It is here, I think, that people conflate an inability to investigate with Huxley’s agnosticism.
All stories have the same opaque feature: While it is true that, yes, you can know what is said about the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, can you then ask him what he thought about his situation up to that point? Can you take a side path off of the Yellow Brick Road to investigate the topography of Oz? You cannot. As long as the option to interrogate and manipulate remains unavailable — as in all narrative — no knowledge about the “true nature” of the Wolf or the “hidden” topography of Oz can actually be known. Similarly for the abstract cultural notions of “god” or the concrete descriptions from which the generalized abstractions are derived: These exist nowhere outside of their respective narratives.
If you want to know about the personalities found in literature and cultural lore, then investigate the minds, cultures, and circumstances that invented and promoted the idea. But do not claim to be agnostic, unable to know, since you can know that these gods don’t actually exist in reality, even if they tenuously exist within narratives and are ubiquitously sublimated within social power structures.
Reliance upon god is a vulgar act of cowardice.
Understand that I mean vulgar in the strictest sense, that of being entirely common and without nuance, average and mundane, impervious to critique; it requires little effort, just passive acceptance of all that is handed down as culturally or doctrinally permitted. Personally, I think that belief in god(s) does also have an element of the obscene (I admit that this is the first sense of the word I think of), but I’d have a tough time applying that particular sense to all forms of belief, admittedly.
You should not be put off by the vulgarity, I think, but by the cowardice.
This cowardice is demonstrated by the varying displays of aversion to the real: To avoid the dynamism of life, god thoughts stand in for and as an antidote to personal and cultural development; without a means for controlling others it becomes only a projection of personal demands.
The God is a convenient in-group icon against a manufactured out-group and, I would argue, a terrible, often toxic and always phony substitute for the Ethical: that necessary moral negotiation which is required of every person who lives with other people.
If that weren’t enough, the faithful and godly always at this point, say — shout, actually — as on queue, “…you’ve been talking to the wrong people…” before then declaring definitively and finally for all around them to hear, the nature of the true god, according to their own in-group assessment.
What else can I say to that but, “Says who?”
Oh, godly of the world, I cannot un-see;
You’ve made your point too well for me.
Jedi Knights demand Britain’s fourth largest ‘religion’ receives recognition. Well, isn’t that just great. That was the headline.
With their vast intergalactic knowledge and ability to harness the Force, the task of convincing UN officials to recognise their cause should be a walkover for a pair of Jedi Knights
Ugh. Jedi knights and their confused black-and-white, Corporate v. Monarchy, Moral Magic, “Creation Science” thinking!
It’s too much to ask, I know, but, oh for a world without any more proponents of the Force cult!
Honestly, the best Yoda could do was lift an X-Wing out of the water! Um, that’s it?? That is the great power in the Universe?? And, you know that “these aren’t the droids you are looking for” isn’t exactly revolutionary psychological manipulation; water to wine; flying their horses over Jerusalem; raising the dead temporarily. These are nice tricks, but not really that useful. Nor are they terribly impressive after you’ve seen them once or twice. I’d like to see some amputees healed, thanks very much. Malaria eradicated. That would hold my attention.
I will concede that, yes, they make decent pilots and can swing a sword, but I don’t see Jedis really supporting revolutions or speaking out for representative democracy or being great proponents of education. They seem to be all about status quo and standing behind “good” kings; their own definition of “good”, of course, and kings nevertheless.
Just between you and me, I think that the likes of Yoda and Skywalker and Vader, et al, fought mainly to defend their precarious positions in the community — as institutional religious figures. Job insecurity, you know? They backed monarchy or Empire to keep their respective power bases.
I know, I know, “Conspiracy thinking”.
Well, I can’t help it. The older I get, the more I find that I despise Jedis and the ridiculous Force they pretend to represent.
This is one of those “messy field posts” I keep threatening you with. Proceed at your own risk. I’ll clean it up later, but it may be a while…
Well now! I discovered some interesting things about someone who goes by the name “Dr. Andrew Snelling”! Let’s ignore for a moment the simple and sad fact that an “Answers” article, “Emeralds–Treasures from Catastophe” is, predictably, a huge disaster. In short, it pretty much demonstrates (obliquely) that the Earth is quite a bit older than anyone at that organisation is willing to admit or face bravely.
Is there anything interesting about “Dr. Andrew Snelling”?
It turns out he is (or was) two people with one PO box, one of whom likes (liked) to go on lengthy preaching tours, collecting fees for speaking at churches and whatnot. The *other* Snelling liked to write papers in his specialty (uranium mineralization) in which he frequently made reference to eras “millions of years ago” — reasonable, of course, since all evidence continuously reenforces this.
Again, what is interesting about “Dr. Andrew Snelling”?
He is one person who acted like two people, each “Snelling” writing for a different audience, each careful to never mention the other or cite the other. “Dr. Andrew Snelling” .
And Dr. Andrew Snelling had something to hide, I reckon. Archives for SMH only go back a few years and the snapshots on the Wayback Machine are spotty at best. The earliest is from 1996.Fun bit of trivia from 1996 from another source, however, describing some of Snelling’s shenanigans:
Here’s an article written by Alex Ritchie for The Skeptic, ~1995 (?):
PDF version of The Skeptic from Summer 1995 that mentions the above article.
The long and short of it is that Snelling appears to have “altered” the perception of his integrity, to put it niceley.But, all that is practically irrelevant. The opening article is really little more than a collection of assertions and material yanked nearly verbatim from Wikipedia (without attribution!). I would have a hard time believing that that article was written by anyone even moderately acquainted with academic standards.
The non sequitur at the end is just silly and without any merit:
“…and the global Flood provided the mountain-building forces necessary…”
That is pure fantasy with absolutely no evidence.
Conclusion: The Earth is many hundreds of millions of years old (~4540 million, actually), formed through a series of convoluted changes which, coincidentally enough, provided plenty of opportunities for the formation of crystals of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate.
If that didn’t properly put a damper on any cult enthusiasm about “the Flood”, then this abstract from Grundmanna and Morteanib, Harvard and Munich Technical:
I was particularly interested in these bits:
“…The emerald-bearing biotite schists and quartz lenses are interpreted alternatively as a product of (i) thrust-fault-shear zone – controlled large scale alkali-metasomatism driven by post-magmatic fluid flow or of (ii) a large scale interaction between syntectonic pegmatitic magma or hydrothermal fluids with pre-existing basic to ultrabasic rocks, or of (iii) a syn- to post-tectonic regional metamorphism and small scale blackwall metasomatism….”
“The complex interplay of magmatic and regional metamorphic events during the genesis of the Egyptian emeralds/beryls makes it impossible through stable oxygen isotope data to relate their genesis to the one or the other event.”
So, it is tough to pin down the exact sequence and mechanism of formation of specific types of crystals. But this much is obvious: It is a modulated, sequential series of events.
BUT, what would happen in a cataclysmic event that would flood the Earth to the point where all mountains were covered within the space of a month or two?
Why, it would be a slurry of homogeneous pandemonium! It would be one huge slurry of muck and mess, brown from top to bottom! Add some “mountain building” fireworks and tectonics to that and absolutely nothing, but *NOTHING* would be modulated and sequential. All you would have is a scoured surface and homogeneous deposits of fairly uniform thickness everywhere on the planet. No fine stratification. No orderly deposits. No periodic fossil layering. Just a giant blender set to brown puree and all contents poured everywhere to a thickness of one mile! The earth would look like a huge pumpkin pie for as deep as you could dig everywhere you dig!
Lethal rays?! Ha ha ha!
Unlike the current atmosphere which is dominated by nitrogen (and about 1/5 oxygen), the early environment was predominantly outgassings from volcanic action — carbon dioxide, elemental sulfer and sulfer dioxide, carbon monoxide; also Cl2, N2, H2, NH3, CH4, and gaseous H2O.
The point is that the early atmosphere amply shielded the surface from ultraviolet (-α and -β!) — probably more-so that the current atmosphere. I don’t know, personally. I think you could look it up. Or, you can take my word for it — I don’t care, one way or the other. (seriously, though, look it up)
How do we know any of this?
Largely from the strata record. Deposits that used to be exposed to air and were slowly covered over by volcanic or tectonic action preserve the state of chemical reactions that took place.
I was not much of genius in chemistry, but you can see and analyze these for yourself. It is not that hard. These chemical reactions can be seen in so-called “red-beds”, various kinds of iron formations — branded, sulfide, hematite, pyrite, etc. etc. etc; also in uranite, siliciclastic deposits, and so on. Wyoming is a fantastic location for some of this! I’ve been to some of these sites. You should really consider a road trip.
I mean, all that stuff didn’t just “pop” into place: They tell a story about the environment and the length of time in which they existed.
Afghanistan, like the state of Kansas in the United States, was at one time a beacon of the Progressive Left; deliberately modern and a regional leader in the art of resistance and the practice of a informed democracy. Afghanistan under an internal, home grown Communism, independent from the Soviet Union, was comparatively egalitarian, prosperous, and educated.
The contemporary collapse of states like Kansas and Afghanistan may well represent the failure of Leftist Progressivism when threatened with organized and demagogic, corporate push-back making use of religious fundamentalism. In the case of Afghanistan, we can blame, in part, the Reagan administration for supporting the Taliban — explicitly supporting Osama bin Laden! — against the Soviets and helping to roll the gravestone on Afghan secular society. Whom will Kansas blame for their own collapse? TV preachers?
Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis
e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem;
non quia vexari quemquamst iucunda voluptas,
sed quibus ipse malis careas quia cernere suavest.
An English translation never seems to shine so brightly, but the idea comes off clearly enough:
‘Tis sweet, when, down the mighty main, the winds
Roll up its waste of waters, from the land
To watch another’s labouring anguish far,
Not that we joyously delight that man
Should thus be smitten, but because ’tis sweet
To mark what evils we ourselves be spared;
Which instantly makes me think of Christopher Hitchens and his quip in reply to a slightly (I think) disingenuous question put to him about what gives his life meaning. He said — and it’s worth the quote in full:
Well, I can only answer for myself. What cheers me up? I suppose mainly gloating over the misfortunes of other people. I guess that has to be it, yeah, mainly crowing over the miseries of others. It doesn’t always work, but it never completely fails. And then there’s irony. There’s irony, which is the gin in the Campari, the cream in the coffee. Sex can have diminishing returns, but it’s amazing. No, that’s pretty much it and then it’s a clear run to the grave.
A self-identified and self-appointed peacemaker asserts that the opposing arguments underpinning a disagreement, to quote:
“boils down to one thing, the interpreting of the facts. Whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist, you interpret the same set of facts based on your belief system.”
Which is categorically false. You can see the topic of discussion, shining through, but I am not going to address that. I am content, for now, to just say that the falsity of this statement can be demonstrated indirectly from history. You see, to ignore boring facts or to be ignorant of facts or just to not understand the thrust of seemingly irrelevant facts is not the same as having a mere “interpretation” of facts.
That is my introduction. Before we continue with the rest of these few paragraphs, I’d like you to keep this question in mind: Is not an argument that is devoid of facts merely an assertion? Surely I don’t need to supply an example here. Take any claim from everyday life. Add facts and you have something against which mere “interpretation” and “belief system” has little relevance. I do have an example from history, however:
A concrete example against mere interpretation
The shape of the Earth.
A belief system most certainly exists (or has existed) in support of a particular view, an opinion, or an interpretation of assertions. Should I state it? Yes, the assumption was that the Earth is flat. Makes sense. No one is hurt. It doesn’t seem to affect anyone. Unless you really are one of those who are actually affected, as say maritime merchants might be.
One cannot simultaneously acknowledge particular facts regarding the length of shadows at different latitudes and still retain the force of conviction of the counter assertion. You must either ignore the differences in shadow length or change your conception of the shape of the surface.
It just so happens that Eratosthenes additionally assumed that the surface of the Earth was consistent all the way ’round. That is, he didn’t stop at disproving a flat Earth, but put his theoretical framework to full work by projecting a constant curve. He could have been very wrong or inaccurate; he was not immedialtely justified insofar as he had no way of examining the entire arc of the surface all the way around!
No one could persist in the belief that the Earth was strictly flat any more, even if Eratosthenes only succeeded in merely disproving flatness and did not continue on toward proposing a continuous arc. Interpretation was, from that point onward, completely irrelevant: Even if no one could determine the exact shape, nevertheless, the Earth was (and is) clearly not flat.
Is Science more useful than Philosophy? The 2500 year development of the scientific method may speak for itself. Because of this invention, planets and cures have been discovered.
But it a misrepresentation of both to force philosophy into the same space when it is this mode of discourse which is most useful for revealing, as Slavoj Žižek discusses, with reference to Lacanian psychoanalysis, that which “we don’t know that we know” already. Finding this is to go beyond merely obsessing about what we might “not know what we don’t know” and is to discover, possibly, the most dangerous ignorance: That which we already know.
Only by argumentation and the constant turning over of ideas can one begin to discover one’s own prejudices and assumptions; the truth or falsity of a question. Naturally, an investigation requires data, but how do you even know whether or not a question itself is not the very problem you need to solve?
How’s this for a ‘statement of faith’:
…Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind…
Even though Einstein was clearly ignoring the power of scientific method over the purported truth claims of religion; though he was clearly putting emphasis on the aspiration toward truth and understanding; though clearly he chose here to define a sort of “religion” quite different from religion as it is actually invented and actually practiced; though we see consistently that, in fact, religion never determines any goal but merely follows the lead of the culture; nevertheless, smarmy idiots everywhere love to quote the last sentence, stripped of context, and exclaim, “You see?! Einstein thought religion is great! Take that, you atheists!“
Or some such foolishness.
“I cannot know.”
Agnosticism is a valid, default response to aspects of well defined problems: That which is known is known; that which is unknown is also known. The agnostic position, then, can recognize where a particular question is not adequate. The question is the problem. Change the question.
But, when you don’t know that you don’t know, is an assertion like “I cannot know” even valid or meaningful?
“My religion has little to say about how I make life and death decisions that directly affect over 300,000,000 citizens and likely the rest of the world; it cannot say how I am to mobilize the world’s largest military or alter the world’s economy; it will not tell me how to make use of the deadliest arsenal of weapons ever conceived of by the human race.
But, they say I can’t show you my tax returns.”
–Mitt Romney, Why I am So Very Privileged and You are So Very Not, 2012
In 1990, businessman Clayton Williams unwittingly established the timbre of the Republican platform with regard to rape when he quipped during his bid for the Texas gubernatorial vote:
Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.
He was immediately and uncompromisingly shamed and disowned by the Republican Party.
However, the following twenty years offered a nearly endless repeat of his remarks from nearly every other Republican representative from every corner of the country! Clearly, this was a talking point and emphasis of the Party. Not something they wished to have too much distance from, this was rather a position they were very enthusiastic about.
The Rape Party
What follows is just a small sampling of reproductive wisdom offered by the American Republican Party.
When asked why abortion should be banned even in the case of rape, incest, or endangering a woman’s health, Paul Ryan, Wisconsin 1st District Republican Congressional representative replied:
I’m as pro-life as a person gets. You’re not going to have a truce.
When asked about jailing women for having an abortion he said:
If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.
James Leon Holmes, Federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Bush appointee offered:
Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.
Holmes, citing Buck v. Bell 274 U.S. 200, compared the abortion movement to the eugenics of the Nazis, coincidentally and ironically unaware that the Nazis eventually targeted women for “lifestyle crimes” against the State! This is precisely the actions Republicans are institutionally taking against American women, brown-skinned people, gay men and women, and atheists! Who is more closely emulating the Nazis then?
Henry Alderidge, North Carolina House of Representatives, Republican, offered his take about bodily emmissions and the biology of reproduction:
The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow; the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant.
Briefly, I can’t help but notice that Alderidge began by referring to women with the generic people. Did this help him qualify the idea of what it means to be “truly raped” and make reference to “juices” and “functions” not working? After all, men can be raped too, I suppose. He ended with a pregnancy note, demonstrating that while he is sympathetic with people who are “truly” raped, he is not sympathetic to women who are raped: Is this because women cannot be “truly” raped?
Stephen Freind, Pennsylvania General Assembly, Republican, gave his statistical analysis of rape-related pregnancies:
The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are ‘one in millions and millions and millions’
Freind is the author of God’s Children (Beech Tree Books, 1987). The odds are actually approximately 5% (five percent); that is, 1 chance in twenty, to put it in more statistical form. This is far from the suggestion in Freind’s opaque statement, of being on the order of millionths of a percentage!
It may be worth noting here that the odds of becoming pregnant as a result of rape are greater, not less, as dictated by the Republican platform. I will refer you to two studies:
- Jonathan A. Gottschall and Tiffani A. Gottschall, Are per-incident rape-pregnancy rates higher than per-incident consensual pregnancy rates?
- Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women.
Continuing on then, Senator Chuck Winder, Idaho Senate, Republican wanted the state to be sure to be involved in the marital relations of a woman by offering:
I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage: Was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.
Todd Akin, Congress, Missouri 2nd District, Republican summarized the extent of medical knowledge understood by his Party:
First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare…If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
What is happening in America?
Three issues are at work in the abortion “debate”:
1) Opponents to abortion focus their attention on the fetus almost exclusively. If it seems to be strictly arbitrary it is because it is. Discussion is often deliberately kept away from any mention of the woman and never involves the man.
2) When people talk about the two parties of interest, woman and fetus, the fetus is referred to, frequently and spontaneously, with the adjective innocent, as in ”innocent child”.
3) Women are implicated in their own rapes. Indeed, in America, most victims are implicated in their own suffering. It is only after the convoluted and ritualistic story-telling we have in our culture that a person can hope to vindicate themselves and turn themselves into a right and proper Victim.
Maybe you, too, have noticed these features and thought nothing of them. Consider additionally, that these seem to occur without the slightest thought or premeditation. Believe me, I’ve asked! Drilling down into the replies offered by respondents, I found (informally) that they are at a loss for words and often attempt to back track and explain, retro-actively, why they mention the man, why they would describe a fetus as “innocent”, but not the woman, or why they put so much emphasis on the responsibility of the woman.
Incidentally, the above three do tend to cluster together and respondents are hardly aware of all three if they even are aware of just one. Also, I don’t think this is a Republican/Democrat, Conservative/Liberal divider; I think it is fairly universal and affects the quality of discussion on both sides, not to sound too agnostic about it all of a sudden.
The words you choose don’t affect reality, but do affect your conception of reality. I don’t have formal training in psychoanalysis, but I’ve begun to think that this is some sort of widespread, culturally embedded Freudian, subconscious block. A pathology of sorts. [I'd like to hear from sociologists or anyone else who may have studied this in depth]. It seems sick to me because it is ideological and therefore not easily amenable to the debate process. One who is not only practically-minded but also sensitive to issues of well-being can only respond with revulsion, being hardly aware of the invisible ideology embedded in American culture.
These examples are a fairly good indicator of the level of discourse in America. The incompetence and stupidity hasn’t quite descended to that depicted in Idiocracy, but ‘water cooler’ chit-chat rarely rises much higher than many of the political statements cited earlier. The political representatives cited in these quotes have tapped into all three of these aspects of American ideology.
With regard to a statement made by PZ Myers and an article I have yet to read, yes, a whole lot of us are converging on similar ideas right now. Some say it better than others*.
I think what Ms. McCreight said about participants and causes is worth repeating far and wide (emphasis mine):
I don’t want good causes like secularism and skepticism to die because they’re infested with people who see issues of equality as mission drift. I want Deep Rifts. I want to be able to truthfully say that I feel safe in this movement. I want the misogynists, racists, homophobes, transphobes, and downright trolls out of the movement for the same reason I wouldn’t invite them over for dinner or to play Mario Kart: because they’re not good people.
I haven’t yet arrived at a coherent mission statement, as you know, but I think I couldn’t say it much better.
Any two atheists, as such, are bound to converge only at a few common points. It is inevitable: Differences can arise as a result of demographics, the nature of the religion one rejects and, simply, “variation in a species”.
But, some disagreements cannot be ignored — must not be ignored. Instead, particular disagreements must be vigorously argued against and fought with as much energy as one fights religious hegemony and demagoguery.
*[Readers of this blog will agree that I will hit a readable literary style probably about the time I die].
Once in a while a metaphor so perfectly formed is just handed to you.
Todd Bentley won’t be long in the news. He is just a small player in the huge religious economy. Have no doubt, there are bigger guns in the game, for instance Rick Warren, who gave support and encouragement to Christian hate-crime advocates in Africa. The Daily Mail gave a characteristically lurid (and rambling and pandering) descripiton of Todd Bently’s escapades, but you should not be impressed! After all, this is, I think, viewed by most commoners among us as being little more than an anomaly in the larger religious (or, “Christian”) experience, instead of the necessary and inevitable condition, which it is, underpinning mainstream belief.
Shall I provide a list of examples of people who were metaphorically “kicked in the face” with, say, promises of happiness, healing, redemption, salvation? All the faithful who have nothing to show for all that but an equally metaphorical nasty bruise?
I need to ask though, where is all that “respect” for “other ways of believing” we hear of from the Liberal tolerant? No one fears taking the risk in criticizing this pastor, worrying about the prohibition against blaspheme while skewering his methods and beliefs! The Bentley entourage was full of denial anyway:
UK tour organizer, Shanee Lemos, denied spoke of Bently saying, ‘I’ve worked with Todd for a long time and I’ve never seen him kick someone.’
‘Kicking people in the face is not a practice of our ministry and I do not see this happening in the UK.’
It is farse.
Nazir-Ali (ibid) was very specific with regard to the threat to public order this man Todd Bently posed. I cannot help but wonder about the real threats to public order elsewhere. Like Bentley, Rick Warren too tried to distance himself as farcically from his intimate participation with Ugandan government affairs and the raw nature of the anti-gay message promoted from the pulpit. Hundreds of innocent men and women actually died. Some were also kicked in the face.