Handy-Dandy Public School Test For Constitution-Waving Conservatives Who Think The President Is Our Problem

9 09 2009

Watch closely for evidence that the presidential speech protesters have real principles, or if it’s mere propaganda behind their outrage over public school indoctrination. Cock of the snook to Lynn, our high priestess of evangelical excess as “education” —

Take Me to the River, On the Public School Bus, Never Mind My Parents, Coach Is God or Near ‘Nuff:

The head football coach at Breckinridge County High School took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them were baptized, school officials say. The mother of one player said her 16-year-old son was baptized without her knowledge and consent, and she is upset that a public school bus was used to take players to a church service — and that the school district’s superintendent was there and did not object.

. . .Superintendent Janet Meeks, who is a member of the church and witnessed the baptisms, said she thinks the trip was proper because attendance was not required, and another coach paid for the gas.

The Meeks shall inherit the earth, indeed! 😉

Wonder if their coach blasts Al Green at practice and on the bus to keep them plugged into his matrix and dependent on his control when they can’t literally go to his river or pray in a circle on one knee during school events:

Take me to the river
Drop me in the water
Take me to the river, dip me in the water
Wash me down, cleanse my soul
Take me down by the dirty stream, dip me in the water
Hold me
Wash me in the water
Keep me satisfied
[screaming with a beat you can dance to, segue into Soul Train]

baptism-2 NYT column by Robert Wright, evolution of god
Of course Take Me to the River is powerful power of story for all kids in the South, not just for sports stars but even for those who will outgrow the indoctrination to be scholars (like Doctor JJ!):

In the mid 1960s, when I was 8 or 9, I did get born again. At a southern Baptist church in Texas, I felt the tug of God and responded to the altar call, and several weeks later got baptized. But within a few years I was losing my Christian faith, and it finally disappeared. So that’s about 40 years of sin accretion since the last bath.

. . .where did this need for forgiveness and affirmation come from?

I spent much of the last decade researching ancient, and even prehistoric, religion for my book The Evolution of God, and I now have some clues as to how I got into this predicament.

Would you prefer salvation with the Talking Heads to Al Green? If I’m going at all, I guess I’d go with their version, dunno which the public schools use in their um, services?:

Take Me to the River is the first song that popped into my head, but now I’m thinking our B-side packaging should be John Fogerty’s Put Me In, Coach, maybe even flip the order because this one is its essence, the power of sports as salvation even in public school and kids just want to have fun:

Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again. . .
and headed for home

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62 responses

9 09 2009
COD

So if I can summarize what I’ve learned in the last 24 hours…

Indoctrination by black christians is bad. Indoctrination by white christians is ok.

Glad we got that cleared up…

9 09 2009
JJ

I told you that you had an eyelash-bat-worthy brain! 😉

9 09 2009
JJ

Although white Christians keep swearing race has NOTHING to do with any of this . . .

9 09 2009
JJ

My Gators of course have the ultimate Christian (and homeschooled) quarterback and we could mine that for parallels, but first here’s another example I haven’t heard any conservative Christians take up arms against as unconstitutional, from last year’s news — religious dogma as race politics in southern school sports, and obviously hurting the individual because that’s not REALLY what we care about, nor is liberty, equality and pursuit of happiness. Not the other guy’s anyway, just our own.

p.s. I wrote this comment back when it seemed Obama could transcend his black half; this week we’ve of course learned that too was a lie. Even as president, he’s unfit to get near the precious little white kids praying in school for another Bush president and complete corporate capitulation to deliver them from what’s left of real democracy . . .
****************

Apparently UF’s amazing defensive coach Charlie Strong is a great guy in every way, except he acted on a dangerous urge that wasn’t “good for him” and married despite society’s disapproval. . . Strong is black and his wife is white.

I guess the only reason Obama is acceptable to be our president-while-black is that he (unlike his own mother and father ) wisely controlled his own errant biology and liberal delusions, with his own safe same-race marriage? Hmmm, and President Thomas Jefferson had the sense not to acknowledge where his sexual urges led . . .otherwise I suppose he’d be in hell too. Maybe he is anyway?

MIAMI – During a morning press conference the day after winning the BCS National Championship, Florida head coach Urban Meyer said he didn’t want “to spoil a great day” by talking about how his much-admired defensive coordinator is being overlooked for head-coaching jobs.

Then he proceeded to get mad anyway about the apparent lack of advancement opportunities for Charlie Strong, who is African American.

During media day on Monday, an Orlando Sentinel reporter asked Strong if his interracial marriage played a role in his being passed over for jobs, including one at a Southern university a few years ago.

Strong reportedly shook his head affirmatively.

“Everybody always said I didn’t get that job because my wife is white,” Strong said at media day Monday. “If you think about it, a coach is standing up there representing the university. If you’re not strong enough to look through that [interracial marriage], then you have an issue.”

Wow, Nance is right. Strong’s urges and choices have been so GOOD; they don’t seem sinful in any way that would hurt him or others, yet society is manipulating situations to serve their own unethical prejudices, to make his urges and choices hurtful to him anyway.

So it seems anti-marriage agitation against gays isn’t about the good of the individual at all, loving and working to help everyone be happy and fulfilled and moral as [Rick] Warren claims, but merely the conventions of the conventional insisting their way is the Only Way.

9 09 2009
JJ

Cock of the snook to Chris for this just now:

The Mainstreaming of Crazy. Brilliant. My manifesto. I think therefore I am, and I think they are not merely wrong but crazy.

If I sound angry, then, yeah, I am. I’m tired of ignorance held up as inspiration, where vicious anti-intellectualism is considered a positive trait, and where uninformed opinion is displayed as fact.

[JJ’s note: Vicious anti-intellectualism is what killed the NHEN forums. That’s a fact.]

It’s killing any real debate in this country, where the system of government depends utterly on a well-informed public. When rampant idiocy is presented as reasonable discourse without any rebuttal, then we all suffer.

What we need are government officials not afraid to talk like Barney Frank did to such a voice of lunacy. To reiterate, crackpots have a right to air their diseased notions, just as we have the right to tear those ideas to shred when they do. More than that, the news media have a responsibility to do so.

Let me leave you with this revolutionary and dangerous notion from President Obama:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. . .

I would add that we all need to not be afraid to speak out against nonsense and to call out willful ignorance when we see it.

Never give up. Never back down against evil. Never tire, because this struggle will be eternal.

9 09 2009
Crimson Wife

I think it’s fine for the coach to take the players to church on non-school time to be baptized- but ONLY in private vehicles or a private charter bus. Definitely not okay to take them in a government-owned vehicle!

9 09 2009
JJ

Not okay for the superintendent of schools and her employee to usurp the mom’s teaching no matter who drives — is it?

9 09 2009
JJ

I’ve known FAMILIES where one person’s sneaking the child to be baptized in one faith or another without the consent of both parents, has caused irreparable breach of trust. How in the world can it be okay for public employees to do that, on anybody’s “time” — although I suppose if the girls’ basketball coach helped someone get an abortion or a morning after prescription or even contraception, or access to forbidden books and boyfriends, that would fall in the same general category, hmmm.

So do we thinking parents have one consistent position on this?

10 09 2009
JJ

And what about Jewish ps kids, and “Jewish education” in the same sense CW and others talk about Christian/Catholic education? I just came across a piece comparing Jewish education for ps kids, private religious school and Jewish homeschooling, emphasizing religion rather than academics in a way that perfectly echos conservative Christians . . .

10 09 2009
boremetotears

CW: “I think it’s fine for the coach to take the players to church on non-school time to be baptized.”

Really? Even knowing that the one boy’s father is Catholic? You probably already know that many SBC churches (like the one at which his son was baptised) teach that Catholics are fake Christians, who engage in idol worship and are, therefore, deserving of – and destined for – Hell.

Or, what if, using the example of Hemant Mehta, an atheist coach “took players to (an atheist event) on non-school time to be (de-)baptized”?

Imo, both reveal abuse of influence, on the part of the coach. They also exploit peer loyalties, pressuring a child to do something he wouldn’t otherwise do.

It’s a football team. Why can’t they just play football?

10 09 2009
JJ

Not to mention, what if the coach had secretly smuggled in forbidden video of the [gasp!] PRESIDENT to motivate them with, against their parents’ teachings??

10 09 2009
Crimson Wife

They’re high school age and IMHO old enough to make their own decisions about which religion they wish to practice. I’m not going to force my kids to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. In fact, I would discourage them from receiving it unless they’re sure they want to commit to Catholicism. I’d rather have them join a different church that they truly believe in than be nominally Catholic but not actively practicing the faith. Would I be disappointed? Of course. But I would be less disappointed to see them become devout Evangelicals than to see them spiritually adrift while calling themselves “Catholic”.

Taking a minor to have an abortion is different because that action can never be undone. Someone converting as a teen can easily “re-vert” later on if they wish (I know several Catholics who’ve done exactly this). But there’s no bringing back the baby if the teen later regrets having had the abortion.

10 09 2009
Crimson Wife

I’m not familiar enough with Jewish schools to comment specifically about those, but if they’re anything like the parochial schools in my area, the mom probably could do a better job teaching religion at home. I know I could do a better job teaching orthodox Catholicism than the highly secularized “Catholic” schools near me do. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra attended S.F. parochial schools from K-12 and has been quoted as saying they never taught her about abortion or homosexuality being sinful.

10 09 2009
JJ

Have to think about that — seems to me most teens who use contraceptions and even have abortions, go on to give birth at some later point and be moms. But I get your general drift.

Why wouldn’t it be simply because schoolfolk shouldn’t be involved in a teen’s personal life though, or even a college age student (or employee, hmmm.) Improper if not illegal, isn’t it, for the power side of a relationship to use its power outside the official relationship?

I was also thinking that in a high school, any employee who dared lay a hand on my child either as corporal punishment, molestation or seduction, would be in DEEP trouble with me. I don’t think experiences are reversed or undone exactly even when they don’t involve irrevocable choices — they all go into your psyche and affect who you are, how you are in the world.

11 09 2009
Nance Confer

And there’s no restoring the teen’s life if she has the baby and later decides she shouldn’t have. Or protecting the baby from abuse.

That’s why having, or not having, an abortion is a tough decision.

Nance

11 09 2009
Nance Confer

It is encouraging to read your thoughts about your children making their own choices, CW.

Nance

11 09 2009
JJ

So true — don’t bring a life to life in the first place unless you can and will be responsible for it.

11 09 2009
JJ

CW, I’m having trouble keeping the train of thought straight. The issue in this case was public schooling that legitimately has NO role in “religious education” of any kind, yet getting involved in it anyway. Not whether a particular faith is transmitted better or worse here or there.

Do I understand you thinking it’s fine, in textbooks and curricula, assemblies and field trips, as long as it’s Christian and teaches sin as you believe, and even without specific parent permission if the children are older though still minors?

11 09 2009
boremetotears

JJ:

Do I understand you thinking it’s fine, in textbooks and curricula, assemblies and field trips, as long as it’s Christian and teaches sin as you believe, and even without specific parent permission if the children are older though still minors?

I was wondering about it, too, though I’ve already been argumentative enough this week (I can hardly bear waiting for Monday when the clock restarts). 😛

I’ll just add that when people become “saved” in this manner (regardless of their age), they are not joining “a church that they truly believe in”; they’re responding to emotionalism and social pressures. In fact, the first things you’re told to do after receiving salvation in this manner is “buy a bible” and “find a good, bible-believing church” (to learn about the religion that you just joined). 🙂

And, there’s always the question about what would be the “old enough” cut-off age for being targets of evangelism in schools? Who decides? How do you protect “not old enough” kids (from aggressive evangelism) when they share a school with “old enough” kids?…

I still like my suggestion that they just stick with to football on the football team.

11 09 2009
JJ

Hmmm, not to mention what does a non-religious school do to protect kids from the other KIDS’ aggressive evangelism at any age? Under current law it’s considered constitutional and even proper, for kids to speak freely about their own faith at school, and when that faith is aggressive evangelism then it can’t really be separated and apparently no one is trying very hard TO separate it, from such emotional and social pressures.

It’s one of the dirty secrets we’re “taught” not to talk about in civil society — especially in the South — because it might offend someone or someone’s god, but in both techniques and results, seducing the spirit and seducing the body are pretty much the same thing, both not morally right to do to others who all deserve respect for their own personhood (right?) even as handy, curious, perhaps eager-to-experience children.

Even your own, I believe. And certainly mine!

(Come to think of it, if that kind of respect for every individual’s independent personhood isn’t the most important lesson for public education to impart every day in every way, what else would be?)

11 09 2009
JJ

Coming for Sunday, I’ll throw this book review in the mix:

Why are Jews liberal?

Judaism is not liberal and it is not conservative; it is Jewish. But this is the beginning of the matter, not the end. For Judaism is immense and various . . .

Norman Podhoretz loves his people and loves his country, and I salute him for it, since I love the same people and the same country. But this is a dreary book. Its author has a completely axiomatic mind that is quite content to maintain itself in a permanent condition of apocalyptic excitation. His perspective is so settled, so confirmed, that it is a wonder he is not too bored to write.

The veracity of everything he believes is so overwhelmingly obvious to him that he no longer troubles to argue for it. Instead there is only bewilderment that others do not see it, too.

. . .I share Podhoretz’s concern that the American Jewish attitude toward Christian conservatives too often looks like contempt, but not his view, which seems to me preposterous, that the American public square has been stripped of religious expressions.

I run into Jesus all the time. And I pity the religion that requires politics and politicians for its validation.

. . .So American Jewish liberals are not only bad Americans, they are also bad Jews. And their stubbornness is owed to their stubbornness. They are stiff-necked. The explanatory power of this notion is obviously very limited. It is, in fact, another kind of sputtering.

The alternative, of course, would be to consider the possibility that liberalism is not just an undifferentiated darkness, and that there may be some substance to what some liberals believe about some principles and some policies. But those would be heretical thoughts, which are unlikely in a heresy hunter.

11 09 2009
lori

//They’re high school age and IMHO old enough to make their own decisions about which religion they wish to practice.//

They’re not making the decision, their coach is. He’s abusing his power, as others have noted above. How much playing time do the kids who don’t convert get vs. the kids who do? We’ll never know the answer to whether the coach can coach fairly, but the mere fact that the question arises at all — and I can’t imagine a kid not wondering if he’ll lose out on playing time if he doesn’t go along — is the reason the coach should keep his religion to himself and leave the kids alone. It’s abusive and intrusive.

And btw, this doesn’t only happen in h.s. in this country. A college student of mine a couple of years ago was on the women’s basketball team. She’d transferred in from a school in the Midwest. She’s an Israeli Jew who left the Midwest school and scholarship behind because the coach and team pressured her to attend church on Sundays. Unbelievable. They had zero respect for her and her beliefs. And it was abuse of power, plain and simple.

11 09 2009
JJ

And that all connects to several states where laws and/or constitutional provisions remain on the books to discriminate by belief in gods, in public matters such as holding office, working for government and testifying in court. That’s abuse of power too, the power of the State which is supposed to be the power of the People, we the people, who love to love “America” as long as we’re the ones who get to define the REAL America, and throw the bums out if we can’t bring them to heel under the beliefs we declare sacred.

Betty has a new essay up btw, today’s anniversary seen through Christian-liberal introspection: Who is the terrorist among us? Barack Obama, Jesus Christ, or you?

11 09 2009
JJ

Lynn! You found it! Answers my question:

KY school district official ok with baptizing footballers, but students forced to ‘opt-in’ for Obama speech

In other words, students at the school district where a top official — the superintendent — does not see anything wrong with taking football players to be baptized at a Christian revival, were forced to get a parent’s signature to “opt-in” (instead of out) for the president’s speech.

11 09 2009
lori

lol… unbelievable.

11 09 2009
JJ

The Friendly Atheist (who btw is a high school math teacher getting grief just for BEING atheist, not for debaptizing kids) posted on this and drew a comment from someone re: a site called Debaptized dot com — here’s a list of who they’ve been undoing from their sacred ties, with or without permission.

14 09 2009
Crimson Wife

I’ve since learned that the trip was advertised as going to see a motivational speaker and getting a free steak dinner. Given that the location and purpose of the trip was not made explicitly clear to the participants beforehand, I now believe it was completely inappropriate even had private transportation been arranged.

As for curricula used in government-run schools, I want it to be neither pro-Christian nor anti-Christian but to provide a balanced treatment of the faith. Teach about the Bible as literature and its influence in history but not as a religious text. Don’t call it a “myth” as I’ve seen some secular materials do (whether it is or not is a matter of opinion) and don’t include statements along the lines of (emphasis mine) “Given that most educated people today measure the age of the universe in billions of years…” (while I happen to agree with the timeline I totally disagree with the snobby dismissal of those who hold other views).

14 09 2009
boremetotears

I agree with all your points, CW – and it’s Monday, finally, so arguing could have been an option for me! 🙂

14 09 2009
JJ

CW gets points for that. Pun intended. 🙂

So now for a more difficult challenge, for all of us thinking about the problem together: what about the Friendly Atheist math teacher, who is not teaching anything about faith but nevertheless will not be trusted by many of the same parents who could not trust the president?

What do we do about the breakdown of trust, that has the football mom unable to trust the school supt and coach, or the Christian science teacher with a bible and a cross-burning demo he likes to run in class, anymore than others can trust the science teacher TO indoctrinate (or not to anti-indoctrinate a la President or at least not to make their faith sound uneducated) — because that’s where I think the real progress will be made.

14 09 2009
Nance Confer

Well. . . JC is supposed to be motivational. Isn’t he?

No, I guess that trip was out of line. 🙂

Trust? When “the end justifies the means” is a standing rule for the religious side, how can they be trusted? CW and her thinking brethren not included.

Although, CW, I don’t see how you teach one religion as history and most of the previous ones as myth and get away with that in ps. And it ain’t great literature. It is referenced in great literature. Maybe that’s how you work it into English class. But history class without somehow either offending every member of the Bible Belt or crossing the line of separation?

And science class could do without a reference to what “most people” of any kind believe. State the age of the earth as the fact that it is. A fact that is repeatedly verified and fine-tuned by scientists. As they are supposed to do.

Nance

14 09 2009
JJ

Second that last part especially. I thought the “most educated people” was offensive pandering to religion already, that did not belong in science you could, ahem, TRUST.

14 09 2009
Crimson Wife

Why can’t they just say “most scientists today believe the age of the universe is measured in billions of years…”? That’s a fact. The YEC set may disagree with that belief but wouldn’t dispute that it’s what most scientists today do believe. But as more than 1/3 of college graduates in the U.S. are YEC’s (including nearly 3/4 of Evangelicals and sad to say 2/5 of Catholics), I do take issue with the original wording. There are plenty of educated people who simply do not believe that the universe is billions of years old. I don’t share their belief, but I do think they deserve to be treated in a respectful manner. And that’s what the author fails to do in that particular passage.

14 09 2009
JJ

Do you have a source for the “1/3 of US college grads” CW?

14 09 2009
boremetotears

“There are plenty of educated people who simply do not believe that the universe is billions of years old.”

Although, just because someone is an “educated person” (aka a college grad?) – or, as Daryl pointed out recently, a “scientist” – doesn’t put their opinions on par with professionals working in their fields of expertise. The obvious example is Discovery Institute’s “dissenting scientists” list, which includes dentists and chiropractors, etc.

14 09 2009
boremetotears

Nance: “And it ain’t great literature. It is referenced in great literature.”

I agree, but have never heard anybody with guts enough to say so. 😀

14 09 2009
JJ

Hadn’t thought of it quite this way, but it does give another dimension to my hobby horse about the difference between School and Education.

After learning about Regent U stacking the justice department with its grads, I am less sanguine about “college grads” than I once was . . .

15 09 2009
boremetotears

JJ:

Hadn’t thought of it quite this way, but it does give another dimension to my hobby horse about the difference between School and Education.

It has also been interesting to me that, after the lengths to which homeschoolers go to delegitimize *schooling* and distinguish it from *real* education, we often point to standardized test scores and college acceptance letters as *proof* that home education *works* 😕 It seems a little illogical — or am I missing something?…

JJ:

Regent U stacking the justice department

And, (Michael Farris’) Patrick Henry College (for homeschoolers) supplying the White House and Congress with interns.

Hanna Rosin (God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America ):

Farris doesn’t just want to produce students who are on fire for the Gospel — he wants to train them to occupy the highest offices in the land, to upend the conventional wisdom that seizing worldly power requires compromising spiritual principles. He doesn’t want “adapters who bend to the will of the mainstream,” Rosin asserts, but “shape-shifters who can move between two worlds with their essential natures intact.

15 09 2009
Nance Confer

Why can’t they just say “most scientists today believe the age of the universe is measured in billions of years…”? That’s a fact.

******
Because it’s science class. Not comparative religion class.

In science class, the lesson should read: “The earth is billions of years old.”

Various opinions held by scientists and non-scientists do not figure in.

Nance

15 09 2009
Nance Confer

we often point to standardized test scores and college acceptance letters as *proof* that home education *works* 😕 It seems a little illogical — or am I missing something?…

*********

I don’t think you’re missing a thing. 🙂

Nance

15 09 2009
JJ

Lynn: after the lengths to which homeschoolers go to delegitimize *schooling* and distinguish it from *real* education, we often point to standardized test scores and college acceptance letters as *proof*. . .

Exactly! I am having this set-to with Spunky in her comments right now, because she’s insisting the Harvard law professor of a president we elected shouldn’t be trusted to speak with schoolchildren until he produces all his own school transcripts and academic papers for her personal satisfaction!

I pointed out this was a shockingly counterproductive position for home education to stake out and argue, but she came up with something about citizens like us having all those privacy rights but not candidates for public office. So the president’s private school records (and his wife’s — what about his kids?) are all fodder for the politics of personal destruction.

The politics of personal destruction: that’s the only real consistent “principle” I can see in the Right’s arguments and governmental action (or lack thereof) during my lifetime. I’ve only recently and reluctantly concluded this, after two or three decades trying mightily every way I could think of, to disprove that thesis . . .

15 09 2009
Nance Confer

And what is Obama’s 3rd grade transcript supposed to show us? In Spunky’s fevered imagination, anyway.

Nance

15 09 2009
JJ

That would be a logical question — but this so clearly isn’t about logic.

15 09 2009
JJ

And it’s not about being “united” in constitutional self-governance for the common good either. Clearly.

Nor is engaging any of the fevered fantasy to debunk it getting us anywhere but right where the Authoritarian Right wants us, responding to them as if they really are the Chosen.

15 09 2009
Crimson Wife

Isn’t the reason why Spunky and lots of other conservatives want Pres. Obama’s entire school records released because they’re convinced that somewhere within those documents there is mention of his “true” birthplace? The whole conspiracy theory about his supposedly being born in Kenya rather than Hawaii?

15 09 2009
Crimson Wife

Do you have a source for the “1/3 of US college grads” CW?

Newsweek did a poll back in March of 2007. The original article no longer appears to be online, but I found it referenced in several places including here.

15 09 2009
Nance Confer

Doesn’t say much for being a college grad. . .

And that sounds right, CW. Somewhere in Obama’s “permanent record” there is an art project showing African something and that will prove. . . something. . . 🙂

Nance

15 09 2009
JJ

Well, I was hoping for some pollster data or at least prose describing the findings. Somehow a blog with the tagline “serving the Intelligent Design community” doesn’t inspire my thirst to research the matter. I already had the Discovery Institute’s interpretations on file. 😉

The wording of the question, for instance, would help . . .

15 09 2009
JJ

Funny coincidence, just as I was typing that last comment, the Ed Show came on with a clip of Glenn Beck saying a university had studied the weekend teaparty protest pictures from DC and scientifically calculated the crowd size at 1.7 million. His own FOX companion says, oh, what university? — and Beck says, “I think it was, um, I don’t know what university . . .”

15 09 2009
JJ

Probably the one that gave degrees to all the creationists! 😉

15 09 2009
boremetotears

CW: “As for curricula used in government-run schools…”

I just pulled out my daughter’s new, 6th grade, public school, history text:

About 2.5 million years ago, early humans developed a useful new skill. They learned how to make tools out of stone. This innovation, or new way of doing things, was so important that archaeologists call this period the Paleolithic Era, or the Stone Age.

The age of the earth is treated in a matter-of-fact manner. No talk of so-called controversies or “beliefs,” thank goodness.

Now, the nonsense style of writing is a whole different matter. [groan]

15 09 2009
Crimson Wife

I could’ve easily gotten a degree from my alma mater without ever having taken a biology class. IIRC, all that was required was any science class including one that had the nickname “rocks for jocks”.

15 09 2009
JJ

Was that the one young CW chose? 😉
Young JJ would’ve been tempted!

15 09 2009
COD

I have 3 college degrees (AS / BS / MBA) and I never took a college level biology class.

I did take a class titled “Marriage and Family Relations.” I took it because the previous semester a friend took it and was the only guy in a class of about 20. Coming from EET, where there was one girl in our entire major, this was big! I didn’t get quite so lucky, my class was about 50/50 – which was still amazing given what I was used to.

It was a very easy A.

That was the same semester I met Michelle – not in that class though.

What? Were y’all talking about something serious? 😉

15 09 2009
JJ

You’re a lot smarter than they gave you credit for . . .

16 09 2009
JJ

Scientific American podcast on Why People Believe as They Do:
University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Tania Lombrozo talks about why people believe what they do, especially regarding evolution or creationism.

16 09 2009
JJ

One long excerpt from the link:
****************
So we really need to understand how they reconcile those things in their psychological lives. . .in surveys or questionnaires that have allowed people to, in a more fine-grained way, indicate what their beliefs are, you do find that most people aren’t at the extremes where they completely reject evolution 100 percent or completely accept it 100 percent without any kinds of other views about human origin.

I think a very common position is something referred to as the theistic evolution; or people think that God is something like the first cause that got the process started, and evolution is the mechanism by which God works

. . .Different questionnaires will find different numbers; you do typically find that if you give people that option you get what looks like a larger numbers of people accepting evolution. . . . So you really have to be careful about what it is you are asking people to accept and making sure they understand what it is you’re asking them to accept in order to even make assessments of what kinds of views people have.

Steve: And again we are not talking in any way right now about what is really known about evolution. We are, you know, as a science, we are just talking about people’s ideas about evolution and their acceptance of whatever it is they think evolution is. . .From your research and the research of others you’re familiar with, why is something like intelligent design attractive to people, other than a basic kind of religious viewpoint that says that humans are specially created; but why would this whole concept of creationism or intelligent design be something that is attractive to somebody to accept?

Lombrozo: That’s a great question. . .
There’s actually an emerging literature suggesting that there might be some reasons why humans find particular kinds of explanations especially attractive. For example, the biologist Richard Dawkins writes that humans have purpose on the brain. We seemed to really like explanations that give us some kind of purpose or reason or underlying function for why it is something would have the properties that it has. And one of the things that is interesting about a creationist position, or intelligent design, is that it allows us to provide that kind of explanation for most things

. . . .[I]f you have a creationist or intelligent design sort of position, you’re going to be able to explain all aspects of the biological world in that kind of purpose, ever-goal-directed way, and it seems like people find that much more satisfying. And there’s a quite a lot of evidence for that now coming both from the preferences for explanations from young children but also from adults, also from Alzheimer’s disease patients.

. . .So for example, you could say, “Why is there rain? Is there rain because water condenses in clouds, or is there rain because that way plants and animals can grow?”

That second explanation might sound pretty peculiar to most Western adults, but what you find is that young children seem to overwhelmingly prefer that kind of explanation . . .[and] if you do a task like the one I described with preschool children with the Alzheimer’s disease patient’s—they will also prefer the teleological option much more often . . .

19 09 2009
JJ

Oh dear. Another unfortunate public school (major university) with a football coach just oozing conservative Christianity. . .and the univ. president is one of his former players and fellow Baptist church members. What are you gonna do, right? This is the SOUTH.

Religion has always been part of Bowden’s game

He believes it was God’s purpose for him to coach, and as a coach to witness. Bowden can’t ever recall having a conversation with an administrator at either West Virginia or FSU about something he said during Friday night pre-game meetings or in heartfelt conversations following the loss of a teammate or family member.

But that doesn’t mean administrators aren’t aware of the fine line that Bowden walks as a witness to his faith and a publicly paid football coach. That includes Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, who was baptized in the same First Baptist Church that Bowden is a member.

Wetherell said he has never received a complaint from a parent or player, but he does hear complaints from time to time. Recently he had to address concerns from the public that FSU players met with opposing players on the field after a game to say a prayer because it was something Bowden required. The same goes with players who kneel after a touchdown. Wetherell and Bowden said it was not required.

19 09 2009
JJ

Which all ties to federal secular politics; is it why the NFL is what it is politically, or is that more Corporate Elite than Christian Elite? Can anybody even tell the difference any more?

19 09 2009
JJ

One thing’s for sure: Wetherell and Bowden are both multi-millionaires. And Tim Tebow sure will be.

30 09 2009
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