Dopey Wilmington News Journal Letter of the Week

Once again, borrowing one of Hube’s topics, I present a letter from this mornings paper: Religion has compounded human suffering for ages:

The controversy surrounding the documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” is not surprising. As with Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” and the subsequent film, and Martin Scorsese’s movie “The last Temptation of Christ,” biblical scholars and archaeologists deride anything contrary to established church doctrine.

They are the descendants of those who put Galileo under house arrest for insisting the Earth was not the center of the universe. Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was criticized for revealing the biblical creation stories are myths.

The atrocities committed in the name of God are documented. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the decimation of the millions of indigenous peoples living in the Americas, the Holocaust were caused by irrational belief in a superior being. Genocide in the Balkans and in Darfur, along with sectarian violence plaguing Iraq and Sri Lanka, are but a few examples of this illusion that has held humanity captive for millenia.

With close to half of the Earth’s human inhabitants living in abject poverty, dispensing with God is necessary if we are to alleviate the suffering of those less fortunate. The developed countries, especially the United States, have the means to eliminate hunger and poverty within a relatively short period of time. Ignoring the plight of fellow humans by holding superstitious beliefs dear is morally reprehensible.

David C. Martin, Wilmington

It boggles the mind how this short a letter can contain so many errors.

First, it’s not just Christians who have trouble with The DaVinci Code and the “tomb of Jesus.” Historians reject many of Dan brown’s supposed “facts’ in his work and many archaeologists roundly reject most of the arguments supporting the claim that the tomb was Jesus’. (And did it five years ago, before the documentary was even conceived.)

While the Church was far from blameless in the Galileo controversy, he was not put on trial for his claims about science as much as attempts to use his scientific discoveries to attempt to change Church doctrine. The Church then overreacted by making him recant his discoveries. As far as Darwin proving the Creation story was a myth, early Christian thinkers (Augustine, for one) clearly interpreted it that way.

The Crusades, while having many sins committed during their fighting, as all wars do, were largely a defensive war against continued Muslim aggression. The Middle East and Northern Africa were once largely Christian until conquered by Islam. Forced conversions and murder destroyed once thriving Christian communities. Europe was being invaded by Muslim armies from the East through the Balkans and the West through Spain. The Crusades were an attempt to push back the invaders.

The decimation of the indigenous people in the Americas was done in spite of Europeans’ Christian beliefs, not because of. Many Popes spoke out in support of the rights of indigenous peoples. The conquering of the Americas was done for political, not religious, purposes.

His final paragraph begins: “With close to half of the Earth’s human inhabitants living in abject poverty, dispensing with God is necessary if we are to alleviate the suffering of those less fortunate.” Hmm… where do we see concern for the poor as a central value? Who is it who encourages charity and love?

Hey! That would be a religious value! But Mr Martin assures us that religion is the source of all evil in the world. If only we dumped religion, we’d be living in paradises like Cuba, the Soviet Union and North Korea where poverty is a thing of the past and the rights of all people are respected.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps Mr. Martin needs to remember that human rights is a religious concept. It’s Darwinists that believe we’re just a collection of random cells that arose through a random process that makes us no more special than a rock or (shudder) a cat. It’s only because religion teaches us that each person is special that we have the concept of human rights. Drop religion from society and see how quickly the poor are abandoned.

The religious aren’t perfect, but without the constraint and support of religious values things would be a whole lot worse.

Maybe Man’s Best friend, but not the Phanatic’s

Sent via email, not sure of the original source:

The Phillie Phanatic was attacked Saturday morning by 93.3 WMMR DJ and Sixers’ PA announcer Matt Cord’s dog Scout. Cord was on air covering the line at the Wachovia Center box office, where tickets for The Police, playing this summer at Citizens Bank Park, went on sale, according to the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS.

The Phanatic came outside of the Wachovia Center to start giving stuff away, when the mutt lunged at the lovable green goofball, prompting a man in line to shout that the dog “must be a Mets fan.” The Phanatic retreated inside the Wachovia Center until Cord safely put Scout back in his car. Cord says that the dog is great with people and other dogs, and that he can’t say why she went after the Phanatic, who was not injured by the canine.

Cord can’t say why his dog went after a big giant green monster? I’d be disappointed in a dog that didn’t attack such a beast.

Quote of the Day

“The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person… Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend. This principle, sublime and refined, deserves to be viewed and examined on every side.”

— James Wilson (Of the Natural Rights of Individuals, 1792)

Quote of the Day

“The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person… Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend. This principle, sublime and refined, deserves to be viewed and examined on every side.”

— James Wilson (Of the Natural Rights of Individuals, 1792)

Quote-a-palooza

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” —Thomas Jefferson

“The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.” —Ayn Rand

“Conservatism is a grasp and understanding of the value of every human being and the fact that when they earn money, they should be able to keep as much of it as possible so they can gain independence. That’s Reagan conservatism.” —former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore

“[T]he initial aim of campaign ‘reforms’ was less the proclaimed purpose of combating corruption or ‘the appearance’ thereof than it was to impede the entry of inconvenient candidates into presidential campaigns. In that sense, campaign reform is a government program that has actually worked, unfortunately.” —George Will

“Political correctness is not really about sensitivity and courtesy, which require mutual respect. Rather, political correctness entails intolerance for some prejudices but impunity for others.” —James Taranto

“Stop the presses: Senator Barbara Boxer of California has a good idea. Ms. Boxer, who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, suggested last week that a first step in reducing greenhouse gases would be to require that federal buildings use more efficient light bulbs, and ask federal bureaucrats to turn off their computers at night. ‘Don’t you think it’s time the federal government were a model of energy efficiency?’ she asks. We warmly agree, not least since the United States Government is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. It’s also one of the most inefficient energy users. According to a 1999 report by the Alliance to Save Energy, the ‘federal government, consumes about 32% more energy per square foot than the nation’s building stock at large.’ This inefficiency costs taxpayers an estimated $1 billion a year. In Al Gore’s phrase, Uncle Sam’s leaving one giant ‘carbon footprint.’ Of course, it follows from all this that the best way to make the federal government more energy efficient would be to undertake a government-wide policy of… lights out, permanently. Save the environment; kill a federal program. Start, needless to say, with the Department of Energy, operating at an annual cost of $22 billion. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that from 1980 to 1996 Energy frittered away more than $10 billion on programs that were ‘terminated before completion.’ On behalf of combating climate change, America could live without DOE’s Energy Hog Webgame for kids, which cost taxpayers $325,000. The Senate Government Reform Committee has identified more than $200 billion of budget savings, enough to easily balance the budget, by eliminating redundant and wasteful federal activities. They’d have to open that nuclear-waste dump at Yucca Mountain to bury all the turned-off lightbulbs and computers. At this rate, Barbara Boxer might eclipse Al Gore as the Democrat who saved the planet. The key to success is one wonderful word—‘efficient’.” —The Wall Street Journal

Jay Leno: Kind of an embarrassing situation for Al Gore with his whole global warming thing. Turns out his Tennessee home has been using 20 times the energy as the average household. To be fair, it is still not as much energy as John Edwards’ blow-dryer is using. … Iran is going to build an island just for women who want to go on vacation. No men will be allowed on the island. Which of course leads to the philosophical question: If something goes wrong, whose fault will it be? … Prince Charles says he wants to ban McDonald’s. He said banning McDonald’s is the key to living a healthy lifestyle. Really? Why did he single out McDonald’s? I think banning Dominos would make more sense. They deliver the junk food to your house. At least with McDonalds you have to get off your rear and walk to your car. Prince Charles says he wants to ban McDonald’s to teach people that excess is bad. Who better to teach people that excess is bad than a guy who lives in a giant castle?