Court To Hear Arguments On Campus Christian Group

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There is a current conflict between religious college campus groups who discriminate and the non-discrimination policies many colleges have. The US Supreme Court is planning on visiting the issue. It seems clear to me.

Having attended college and experienced first hand the rules groups have to abide by for recognition and funding, it doesn’t seem like a big deal for Christian groups to let people who don’t follow their strict moral rules to attend and lead the group. We’re not talking about a Church.

I just think the group in question, and most strict campus religious groups are paranoid about having their groups taken over – which rarely if ever happens.

The California university said it requires all registered student organizations to be nondiscriminatory if they want to operate on campus, regardless of viewpoint.

Groups that support gay rights “cannot exclude students who believe homosexuality is morally wrong any more than CLS is permitted to exclude students who believe it is not,” university lawyer Gregory Garre said in court papers.

Court To Hear Arguments On Campus Christian Group

Except for the silence, yes not all believers are wackos

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As usual there has been a lot of ink spilled over a book by an atheist who went undercover as an evangelical who came out the other side with some empathy for the common believer. Our church and state issues have never been about the average John and Jane Believer. The issues come up and the anger boils because John and Jane remain silent while their leaders stir things up and cause the problems.

As one conservative blog post noted:

Reading Welch’s interview makes you wonder if perhaps those “objective” media people who rain fire on evangelicals ought to immerse themselves a little more. Welch felt she learned a little about how evangelism doesn’t have to be hostile:

Evangelism seemed invasive to me. I thought of it as an imperialistic arrogance — that they wanted to overpower people. My experience with evangelism was something very different. They felt that they could do something about the eternal suffering of others. I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect.

For her part, Time’s Olofsson seemed skeptical that Welch would actually find nice, sincere people in the “enemy” camp…

Atheist Author Laments Evangelicals Painted by Media as ‘Brainwashed, Simple-Minded, Angry’

So while noting that the atheist admitted she was wrong to paint with a large brush, the author of the blog post saw no reason to return the favor. At the end of the post they wrote this:

Welch clearly had a problem with “homophobia” in the church she investigated. It wasn’t explained how Jesus would have favored “gay marriage.”

We have once again seen where a public face of evangelical is at odds with the actual everyday evangelical in practice yet the average evangelical stays silent.

There might be more understanding and less hostility if angry evangelicals would go undercover in an atheist group and see how we aren’t all brainwashed and angry either.

Oklahoma Seeks to Ban Sharia Law

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I am so glad someone is doing something about this (end snark) of course it messes up the meme to mention that Biblical law needs to be banned and probably, based on the text of the release, might mean that courts can’t use British common law as a base for rulings either.

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 15, 2010) – State lawmakers have voted to allow Oklahoma voters to prevent judicial rulings in foreign countries from impacting local court decisions through approval of the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment.

The proposed amendment declares that courts “shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”

Legislation Advances to Prevent Foreign Court Rulings from Impacting Oklahomans’ Rights

So this not only strikes out at Islam but also the United Nations because it would ban entry of any treaty or international law the US is signed on to.

Donate to Camp Quest

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Camp Quest Ohio meets in June but it is filling up now. Camp Quest is a summer camp for atheists, Humanists, agnostics and other freethinkers. They have a fund you can donate to help provide free or low cost fees for needy campers.

From their website:

Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view.

The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents a residential summer camp dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

Camp Quest was first held in 1996 and until 2002 was operated by the Free Inquiry Group, Inc. (FIG) of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The idea for the project originated with Edwin Kagin and he and his wife Helen served as Camp Directors for the first ten years of the original Camp Quest, retiring at the end of the 2005 camp session.

Camp Quest website

They have several branch camps across the country, one in Canada and one in the United Kingdom. I personally know the current leadership of the group and have known both campers and staff at the Ohio branch and it is an excellent way for freethinking children to have freethinking summer camp.

In February, Helen Kagin, co-founder of Camp Quest, died. The group created the Helen Kagin Memorial Campership Fund to honor her work and life. The fund will help provide free or low cost fees to needy campers.

I’m going to donate to The Kagin Fund because back when I was in Boy Scouts (before the religious right took it over) I got to go to Summer Camp through generous donations from community members and now I have a place to repay that favor without giving up my principles.

Please, mess with Texas

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The Texas state school board is working on a statewide curriculum that ignores Thomas Jefferson – you know the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence – and that refuses to discuss the separation of church and state. If we aren’t careful then this cancer could spread to other states and other children.

Meet the graduating Texas senior class of 2020 and beyond. This group of students has some unique identifying characteristics, products of an education based upon textbooks crafted with an agenda. If you were to test them on their knowledge, here’s what you’d discover:

* They don’t know who Thomas Jefferson is and why he’s significant, but they do known who John Calvin is and believe he was instrumental to the formation of our nation.
* They believe the terms church and state are interchangeable.
* They do not believe in evolution as fact, but are inclined to embrace creation theory or intelligent design as the explanation for how the universe came into existence.
* They believe the right to bear arms is a first AND second amendment right granted by the Constitution. (see 11:12 entry)
* They do not understand the term “democracy”, but can define “constitutional Republic” and apply it to the American system of government.
* They don’t know that the United States Constitution bans placing one religion over others.
* They can name at least three pro-free market factors contributing to European progress in medieval times. (Yes, I’m serious. Read the 6:43 pm entry)
* They cannot define capitalism, but are completely familiar with the idea that taxation and government regulation inhibits free enterprise.
* They ignore Hispanics and their role in various historical events in the United States, such as the Alamo.

The Texas textbook two-step

This is part of a long term effort by the religious right and other conservatives to worm their way into the system that makes these decisions and then throw out actual facts and replace them with their agenda.

The reason the issue is important and focused on Texas is because Texas is one of the largest buyer of school text books and their “standards” are spread to other districts in other states that buy the same books.

The main problem is the response from the left and those of us who support church and state separation has been to laugh at Texas but the writer of the article karoli has a warning:

Still, in all the reports I’ve seen about this, there’s a certain derision from the left that sends danger signals off in me. Laugh at the Texas School Board at your own peril. They have just succeeded in approving a statewide curriculum indoctrinating students, educating them on a single point of view, and threatening our national curriculum in far too many ways. To shrug them off or paint them as buffoons misses their larger, and largely successful, plan.

I worry that we will all be caught flat footed like we were when Intelligent Design swept the nation before the science community and its supporters were able to ramp up to fight the effort.

Sorry, science facts can’t be changed just because you don’t like them

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The other day a friend of mine posted a link on his Facebook page to some article about FOX News host and resident loon Glenn Beck proving once again how much he lies and uses violent words to his crowd. Another “friend” then commented about how the article was unfair to Beck and then made the claim that the creationism vs Evolution “debate” was also open to personal points of view and agendas. I couldn’t let that crap go unchallenged.

Here is a quote of what the person wrote that set me off:

As for creation/evolution, that is for each individual to decide for themselves and I don’t care a flying r’s a what they think. I’m just glad I don’t have kids. They would be home-schooled just like most of my friends kids are.

Well creation or Evolution isn’t “for each individual to decide for themselves”.

Questions about science isn’t something open for he said/she said debates. Science when done correctly is based on factual evidence. It is either true or not irrelevant of what the person viewing the conclusion feels. We can’t like or dislike gravity – it just is. Same with Evolution – it has been proven by facts since 1859 so it just is whether one likes it or not.

Once people get over it then we can move on and fulfill our rightful place as a leader in science and technology.