The howling and wailing by atheist bloggers has begun! And their hopping mad with Kentucky Democratic governor Steve Beshear for scheduling a press conference with Answers in Genesis about the opening of a job creating theme park, Ark Encounter, in the Northern Kentucky region. Not unexpectedly, Pharyngula’s PZ Myers and Friendly Atheist’s (sic) Hemant Mehta, are taking the lead in calling for an Internet attack on the Kentucky governor. Both bloggers posted shortly after midnight as news began to spread throughout the United States. (International coverage will probably begin in the next 24 news cycle.)
Oddly enough, Kentucky’s atheist lawyer and long time Creation Museum opponent, Ed Kagin, was quoted in the Louisville Courier-Journal paper as “defending” Answers in Genesis:
Edwin Kagin, a Northern Kentucky attorney who is also the national legal director for the group American Atheists, said it doesn’t appear to him to violate the law. If other projects with religious themes could qualify for the tax incentives, the law doesn’t discriminate.
“It might not be discrimination, but it might not be a good idea,” Kagin said.
We suspect that Answers in Genesis is very pleased with how our atheist friends are helping to spread the word about the Ark Encounter project!
Scott Hatfield is an atheist who runs a blog called Monkey Trials – Evolution, Creation and ‘All That Jazz’. Scott purports to be a “High school biology teacher, advocate for science education, part-time musician, full-time troublemaker and baseball fan.” Perhaps to save embarrassing himself, he should leave out the part about being a “high school biology teacher.”
You see, Scott put up a post on January 23rd titled, WE NEED A WISE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST FOR THIS CONSPIRACY!. (All caps are his.) Scott used the post to make a rather rambling rant against creationist Kurt Wise, Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, Kentucky, and Texas. Now, this is nothing out of the ordinary for the typical atheist high school biology teacher pajama blogger, but Scott somehow has come to the conclusion that the 1925 Scopes Trial took place in Dayton, Kentucky. He even shows us a nice image of the ‘real‘ location of the 1925 Scopes Trial, with a paragraph of explanation in case you don’t get it:
“In case you don’t know, Dayton, Kentucky is where the original ‘monkey trial’ showdown of Darrow and Bryan took place, with a chilling effect on science education. To cap it off, the most famous ‘creation scientist’ of Kentucky origins is none other than former Bryan College (Dayton) professor (and Answers in Genesis consultant) Kurt Wise…”
Of course, Scott assumes Bryan College is in Dayton, Kentucky and thus, that Kurt Wise is also from Kentucky.
Note to Scott: Next time READ the articles you link to in your posts. Than you can at least get some of the basic stuff correct!
Let’s hope you are more careful in your Fresno, California high school biology class than you are with geography or history…
Despite some exaggeration, the UK’s Guardian G2 magazine insert featured a rather nice piece on Clarence Darrow. The occasion was the 85th Anniversary of Darrow’s defense of the notorious Leopold and Loeb. Like many other liberal views of their crime and Darrow’s defense, the UK applauds Darrow for his emotional appeal to spare their lives and his tirade against capital punishment.
See www.ScopesTrial.org for a critique of the movie, Inherit the Wind.
Defender of the Damned
G2 (The Guardian), UK
by Donald McRae
June 11, 2009
Eighty-five years ago, on 2 June 1924, during a blistering early summer in Chicago, a ravaged courtroom bruiser stepped into the future. Clarence Darrow, with his seamed face and stooped shoulders making him look every one of his 67 years, was America’s greatest and most controversial defender of the lost and the damned. But, as he hunched over his desk to write to the secret love of his life, Mary Field Parton, the old lawyer felt breathless.
Earlier that day, Darrow had agreed to represent Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two teenage lovers and the sons of Chicago millionaires, after they confessed to the world’s first ‘thrill-killing’ of a 14-year-old boy with whom Loeb had sometimes played tennis. Darrow, the Ohio-born son of an abolitionist father and suffrage-supporting mother, was himself a leading civil libertarian and vehement opponent of the death penalty. In this case, however, he confronted seemingly insurmountable odds; his disturbing and disturbed young clients faced certain execution in what newspapers would soon call the trial of the century.
It’s nice to see that atheists, humanists, secularists, free thinkers, and rationalists can now get together in UK schools and whine about how much it bothers them that God is mentioned in the public square. But does the world really need another club that is opposed to free speech?
First the buses. Now atheists get a student society
by Jessica Shepherd
The Guardian (United Kingdom), p. 14.
February 19, 2009
Ads on London buses encouraged atheist students to find their voice
Every religion on campus has its student society, from the Christian Union to the Jedi Knights. Now the non-religionists will have theirs too when the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies launches today to mobilise non-believers.
The “anti-God squad”, as it is happy to be called, says it will fight for the voices of what it believes to be the majority of students to be heard on campus and further afield. It is planning campaigns and events across the country to protest against religious privilege and promote the understanding of science.
Affiliated to the British Humanist Association, it has the support of some leading critics of religion: scientist Richard Dawkins, philosopher AC Grayling and Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.
Canadian atheists certainly have a taste for the absurd when they don’t get their way. Having been turned down by the Ottawa transit authority for their silly bus ad campaign, they staged a photo-op with their mouths taped shut as a protest against the decision. How ironic considering they are the usually the first ones to try and shut down any displays of Christianity in the culture.
Atheist ads have no place on buses, Ottawa transit rules
The News, New Glasgow (Canada), p. 8.
February 18, 2009
There will be no atheist advertisements on Ottawa city buses.
The national capital’s transit committee voted Wednesday to support OC Transpo’s decision to reject the ads.
Members of the Humanist Association of Ottawa are disappointed with the decision and call the city’s ad policy discriminatory.
Group member David Burton said he and others were shocked when they learned the city refused to allow the ads, sponsored by the Freethought Association of Canada.
The ads, which have been accepted for display on buses in Toronto and Calgary, say, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”