Jim Wright on Facebook:
Bigger than Adam and Eve getting evicted by their shitty landlord!
Bigger than when God mooned Moses!
Bigger than the Great Deluge!
Bigger than Jesus even!
So big. So tremendous! Like the plagues of Egypt -- only bigger!
Bigger than Adam and Eve getting evicted by their shitty landlord!
Bigger than when God mooned Moses!
Bigger than the Great Deluge!
Bigger than Jesus even!
So big. So tremendous! Like the plagues of Egypt -- only bigger!
Coronavirus: Hobby Lobby billionaire keeps stores open after ‘God spoke to him’ – but won’t pay sick leave
The US arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby has said it will remain open during the coronavirus epidemic – but has also refused sick pay for workers who fall ill, including from Covid-19.
The chain is keeping some stores open in states that have not ordered non-essential retailers to shut down. In a letter to all employees on 19 March, founder and CEO David Green warned that times would be tough: “To help ensure our company remains strong and prepared to prosper once again when this passes, we may all have to ‘tighten our belts’ over the near future.”
Mr Green, a devout conservative Christian whose net worth is in the region of $6bn, also wrote that “I cannot adequately express how much I appreciate each one of you.”
However, in a March 23 memo to store managers seen by Business Insider, store operations vice president Randy Betts wrote that the business would “make every effort to continue working the employees”, and that sick workers will be expected to use their personal paid leave or take an unpaid leave of absence.
Much of the reaction to the revelations focused on the discrepancy between the Christian values expressed in the letter and the hardline payroll policies in the memo. Left-wing blog DailyKos, for instance, headlined its story “Hobby Lobby founder tells workers that God spoke to his wife and forgot to mention paid sick leave”.
Sure enough, in the 19 March letter to employees, Mr Green wrote that when his wife Barbara prayed for guidance the week before, “God put on [her] heart three profound words to remind us that he’s in control: Guide, Guard and Groom.
“While we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control.”
There was no "science" of medicine at that time. Surely this is not news to you? Aristotle preached that women had fewer teeth than men. A belief he could have disabused himself of by looking into his wife's mouth.Big RR wrote: ↑Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:18 pmIf I'm not mistaken, it goes back to the early Egyptian times as well. Byt physicians and surgeons were taught by their senior physcians, and later by medical schools to do this; and it carried well forward into the 19th century. We may argue whether the practice of medicine is rooted in science, but at the very least "science" did very little to discourage this, and I have seen "scientific" papers defending/promoting this practice from the late 18th century. Respected doctors and surgeons made this a regular part of their practices. It was not just a folk superstition.rubato wrote: ↑Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:45 am
Blood letting was a cultural practice grounded in superstition dating back to Roman times. No relation to science.
Indeed, treatment with herbs and other sustances (which form the basis of some modern phamaceuticals) is more based in folk superstion than bloodletting.
You made a statement with no evidence (and still have not had the integrity to respond factually) that people crowded into churches during the pneumonic plague (whatever that was), proving that science is better than religion.
logs.nature.com/soapboxscience/2011/05/18/science-owes-much-to-both-christianity-and-the-middle-agesScience owes much to both Christianity and the Middle Ages
This week’s guest blogger is James Hannam, he has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and is the author of The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (published in the UK as God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science).
The award of the Templeton Prize to the retired president of the Royal Society, Martin Rees, has reawakened the controversy over science and religion. I have had the pleasure of meeting Lord Rees a couple of times, including when my book God’s Philosophers (newly released in the US as The Genesis of Science) was shortlisted for the Royal Society science book prize. I doubt he has welcomed the fuss over the Templeton Foundation, but neither will he be particularly perturbed by it.
Few topics are as open to misunderstanding as the relationship between faith and reason. The ongoing clash of creationism with evolution obscures the fact that Christianity has actually had a far more positive role to play in the history of science than commonly believed. Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress turn out to be bogus. For instance, the Church has never taught that the Earth is flat and, in the Middle Ages, no one thought so anyway. Popes haven’t tried to ban zero, human dissection or lightening rods, let alone excommunicate Halley’s Comet. No one, I am pleased to say, was ever burnt at the stake for scientific ideas. Yet, all these stories are still regularly trotted out as examples of clerical intransigence in the face of scientific progress.
Admittedly, Galileo was put on trial for claiming it is a fact that the Earth goes around the sun, rather than just a hypothesis as the Catholic Church demanded. Still, historians have found that even his trial was as much a case of papal egotism as scientific conservatism. It hardly deserves to overshadow all the support that the Church has given to scientific investigation over the centuries.
That support took several forms. One was simply financial. Until the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was the leading sponsor of scientific research. Starting in the Middle Ages, it paid for priests, monks and friars to study at the universities. The church even insisted that science and mathematics should be a compulsory part of the syllabus. And after some debate, it accepted that Greek and Arabic natural philosophy were essential tools for defending the faith. By the seventeenth century, the Jesuit order had become the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers and spreading new discoveries around the world. The cathedrals themselves were designed to double up as astronomical observatories to allow ever more accurate determination of the calendar. And of course, modern genetics was founded by a future abbot growing peas in the monastic garden.
But religious support for science took deeper forms as well. It was only during the nineteenth century that science began to have any practical applications. Technology had ploughed its own furrow up until the 1830s when the German chemical industry started to employ their first PhDs. Before then, the only reason to study science was curiosity or religious piety. Christians believed that God created the universe and ordained the laws of nature. To study the natural world was to admire the work of God. This could be a religious duty and inspire science when there were few other reasons to bother with it. It was faith that led Copernicus to reject the ugly Ptolemaic universe; that drove Johannes Kepler to discover the constitution of the solar system; and that convinced James Clerk Maxwell he could reduce electromagnetism to a set of equations so elegant they take the breathe away.
Given that the Church has not been an enemy to science, it is less surprising to find that the era which was most dominated by Christian faith, the Middle Ages, was a time of innovation and progress. Inventions like the mechanical clock, glasses, printing and accountancy all burst onto the scene in the late medieval period. In the field of physics, scholars have now found medieval theories about accelerated motion, the rotation of the earth and inertia embedded in the works of Copernicus and Galileo. Even the so-called “dark ages” from 500AD to 1000AD were actually a time of advance after the trough that followed the fall of Rome. Agricultural productivity soared with the use of heavy ploughs, horse collars, crop rotation and watermills, leading to a rapid increase in population.
It was only during the “enlightenment” that the idea took root that Christianity had been a serious impediment to science. Voltaire and his fellow philosophes opposed the Catholic Church because of its close association with France’s absolute monarchy. Accusing clerics of holding back scientific development was a safe way to make a political point. The cudgels were later taken up by TH Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, in his struggle to free English science from any sort of clerical influence. Creationism did the rest of the job of persuading the public that Christianity and science are doomed to perpetual antagonism.
Nonetheless, today, science and religion are the two most powerful intellectual forces on the planet. Both are capable of doing enormous good, but their chances of doing so are much greater if they can work together. The award of the Templeton Prize to Lord Rees is a small step in the right direction.
In evolutionary biology, a spandrel is a phenotypic characteristic that is a byproduct of the evolution of some other characteristic, rather than a direct product of adaptive selection. That is, it is a trait that is not particularly advantageous to have, though it is retained because it is not particularly harmful to have.
The Christian right’s perverse hostility to science is definitely going to get people killed
Scientists and health experts largely agree on the steps needed to fight COVID-19, the rapidly spreading new coronavirus: Widespread testing, if possible. Widespread and often stringent social distancing protocols in communities where it’s taken root, to slow the spread. Hygienic practices like frequent hand-washing and sterilizing commonly touched surfaces. Protective gear, like masks in medical settings, to keep health care professionals from catching it and spreading it.
But when it comes to conservative evangelical Christians, who are already hostile to science on many levels, advice from health experts is all too often being treated as something that can be dismissed out of hand, if it threatens the political or theological goals of their movement.
To be clear, Christian right leaders aren’t denying that coronavirus is a real problem (at least not anymore). If anything, the bevy of snake oil salesman who call themselves ministers sees the panic around the virus as a marketing opportunity to make money from selling dangerous supplements, to declare the virus can be beaten with the power of prayer and to declare that the pandemic is a divine punishment inflicted on sinners.
But Christian right leaders are also not about to let medical science supersede their authority, much less get in the way of their quest for power and cold, hard cash. Because of this, the Christian right has become a vector of bad advice, misinformation and dreadful business decisions that are directly threatening the health not just of their followers, but the public at large.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the shamelessly greedy president of Liberty University, has spent weeks downplaying the coronavirus threat, accusing the media of wildly exaggerating it to “destroy the American economy” and of course to damage Donald Trump. While nearly every university and college in the country has shut down their campuses and moved to online teaching to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Falwell seems determined to keep Liberty open.
Falwell is already allowing students back on campus, claiming it’s more imporant “to give [students] the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life.”
Roy Moore, the Christian right figurehead and twice-failed Senate candidate brought low by multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, is similarly defiant of the calls for social distancing that threaten to disrupt in-person church activities.
“I am writing a letter to pastors on the duty to continue church assemblies, even in the midst of these trying times,” Moore wrote in an open letter, adding on Twitter that “churches are closed by tyrants who pander fear in the place of faith in God.”
Moore invoked the example of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the Declaration of Independence signer who stayed in Philadelphia and caught yellow fever during an epidemic in the 1790s. Of course, Rush risked his life to save people with his medical expertise, an entirely different situation than a pastor insisting that people must come to church.
To be clear, most churches, especially mainline Protestant and Catholic churches, are prioritizing the health of members and closing their doors for the duration the crisis, often pointing believers to online services. But the pressure to keep the doors open, when it comes from someone like Moore, is no small thing. He may seem like an offensive joke to many liberals, but Moore has immense influence in the world of evangelical Christianity, which often favors megachurches that gather hundreds or even thousands of people at once, and whose pastors have been reluctant to close their doors. Reports suggest many of these churches are defiantly refusing to cancel services.
Along with pastors who want those collection plates to keep flowing, at least one wealthy and prominent Christian right family is determined to keep its business open to the public. David Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby, is keeping most of his stores open during the pandemic, except those actually forced to shut down by local governments.
His reason? His wife, Barbara Green, prayed about it and decided to focus instead on “profound words to remind us that He’s in control.” Those words were “Guide, Guard and Groom,” though the P-word, “profit,” may also play a role.
The Green family, let’s remember, was behind a recent lawsuit in which the Supreme Court granted privately held corporations the right to block their employees from using health insurance plans to pay for contraception. The case was presented by the Greens and their religious right allies as a relatively minor question of balancing reproductive rights against religious freedom. In reality, the case was about opening the door, both legally and culturally, to Christian right demands that arbitrary religious beliefs should trump human rights, public health, science and government authority.
The presumption undergirding the Hobby Lobby case — that Christian conservatives should be able to defy the laws that the rest of us are bound by — wasn’t taken seriously by many people in mainstream politics at the time, perhaps because the victims were low-income female employees who wanted access to contraception. But post-Hobby Lobby, the Christian conservative belief that they’re entitled to exempt themselves from any laws or public health regulations they disagree with is shaping the reaction to the coronavirus — and threatening the health of everyone in the country.
Ilyse Hogue of NARAL pointed this out on Twitter Wednesday night, writing that Republicans have been co-opted by “a radical right for whom fundamentalism [has] completely supplanted any rational thought or science and data-based policy approaches.”
“We’ve seen them use disinformation” to block access to contraception, suppress LGBT rights and close abortion clinics, she noted, adding that “now they’re doing it at a national scale during a global pandemic.”
Indeed, the power the religious right now wields through the White House only amplifies the dangerous impact of its anti-science views on the coronavirus response. Vice President Mike Pence — a Christian conservative with a long history of anti-science views, including both denying that condoms are safe and cigarettes are dangerous — is running the White House coronavirus task force, which is no doubt one of the big reasons the U.S. has one of the worst responses to the pandemic in the world. Pence is also wasting time on conference calls with religious right leaders who are more interested in exploiting this crisis to force women to give birth against their will than in preventing thousands or millions of people from dying.
Trump himself has surrounded himself with a phalanx of Christian right pastors who are eager to lie to their flocks about what a great leader he is and to amplify his relentless drumbeat of lies and misinformation. This includes Dave Kubal, the head of Intercessors for America, who told an audience on a prayer call last week that coronavirus “testing has limited value.” This is flat-out untrue — testing has been a critical element in every country that’s been able to get the virus under control — but it suits Trump’s approach to the disease, which has been to minimize testing access in hopes of keeping the official number of cases artificially low.
The Christian right has always been a threat to public health. They were a threat during the AIDS crisis, when they successfully exerted pressure on Republican leaders to minimize the disease, which conservative Christians saw as a punishment for sinful behavior. They have contributed to the spread of all manner of STIs, in fact, by convincing schools to replace sex education with programs meant to discourage the use of condoms. They’ve encouraged fear of vaccinations, especially the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical and other forms of cancer, for no other reason except that HPV is an STI and therefore viewed, sigh, as punishment for sinners. They’ve blocked access to contraception and abortion to punish women for having sex, even though unwanted childbirth is linked to poorer health outcomes for women and children.
But this renegade right-wing movement has been allowed to run rampant because their cruelty and hostility to science primarily affected marginalized people, especially low-income women and LGBTQ people. Now their attitudes are a threat to everyone, rich or poor, of every race or gender or faith (including no faith). But the sad truth is that as long as Christian right leaders keep on shilling for Republicans, the party will close its eyes and embrace them, no matter how many people have to die.
VIRGINIA — A 66-year-old Virginia resident who fell ill with the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, on a trip to New Orleans died Wednesday morning at a hospital in Concord, North Carolina. The death of Landon Spradlin, an accomplished musician and a pastor, has drawn viral attention online, in part because earlier this month Spradlin questioned whether media coverage of the disease was overblown.
Spradlin lived in Gretna, a small town in Pittsylvania County, about halfway between Lynchburg and Danville.
While driving home from New Orleans, Spradlin, who had pastored at several different churches over the years, started feeling much worse. He and his wife, Jean Spradlin, stopped in Concord, where he was admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. He was eventually put on a ventilator as his condition worsened before he died.
Because of hospital restrictions, Spradlin's daughter, Judah Strickland, was not able to be with her father before he died. Strickland told WTVD that she'll try to carry on her father's legacy of faith and music.
Some media outlets have noted that Spradlin shared a meme on his Facebook page that compared coronavirus deaths to swine flu deaths. The meme described the reaction to the coronavirus as "mass hysteria" and suggested the media was using the pandemic to hurt President Donald Trump.
Pastor says only “sissies” & “pansies” wash their hands to prevent coronavirus
By Alex Bollinger Thursday, March 12, 2020
A conservative Christian pastor issued an angry rebuke of churches taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, calling them “sissies” and “pansies” who have been “neutered.”
Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a televangelist who co-founded Revival Today TV, called out European churches that are taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Shame on every European full gospel church, bunch of sissies, that shut down during this thing,” he said. Italy is the country with the second-most confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world, after China, and churches there have taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus, like removing holy water and canceling large events.
Shuttlesworth went after those churches, which are mostly Catholic.
“Catholic Church not having holy water in the lobby — how holy is the water then?” he said in his rant. “That should be a sign to you that your whole religion’s a fraud. Any faith that doesn’t work in real life is a fake faith. Totally fake.”
But he went back to how he believes that it’s not manly to use hand sanitizer or be concerned about hygiene.
“If you’re putting out pamphlets and telling everybody to use Purell before they come into the sanctuary and don’t greet anyone, you should just turn in your ministry credentials and burn your church down — turn it into a casino or something,” he said. “You’re a loser. Bunch of pansies. No balls. Got neutered somewhere along the line and don’t even realize it.”
He also said that coronavirus prevention measures are the work of the devil.
“Let me tell you if the devil doesn’t want there to be mass gatherings — it’s time to hold mass gatherings. If I lived in Italy I would call an open-air crusade to pray for the sick. If you have to go to jail, go to jail.”
While he rejects a science-based approach to coronavirus prevention, he did say last week that there is something that will protect America from the disease: Donald Trump’s policy towards Israel.
“They can say whatever they want, he honored Israel. Obama honored the enemies of Israel; Trump honors Israel, and it’s a massive difference. And because of that, I predict America will be minimally affected by coronavirus,” Shuttlesworth said. (might want to rethink that one about now)
He said that “Pacific Northwest, California, and New York” are “four places” that will not be protected by Trump’s views on Israel (apparently not believing in science goes hand in hand with not knowing how to count) because they gave “God the middle finger in the shape of an Empire State Building lit up in pink to celebrate the passage of the [legislation] that you can kill a baby.”
You're kidding, right? The Christian right has all but deified the guy, going back to his posting of the Ten Commandments in his court, his reactionary rulings and his flouting of the federal courts.