Boycott Dobson

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm... back?

I desire to resurrect this blog, despite being away for quite some time.

Given that I'm addicted to World of Warcraft and working 60-80 hour weeks right now, it might not happen soon. Plus, I need to get kind of pissed off about something before it turns into a real post anyway.

So, I realize that no one has this bookmarked, but just in case... stay tuned. I imagine if I keep reading World Net Daily for cheap laughs at lunchtime I might get pissed off about something pretty soon.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Unintelligent Design

So I don't post here much. In fact, I'll be quite surprised if anyone reads this. Nevertheless, I have a lot I want to get off of my chest, and it should be pretty easy to guess what it's about given the title of this post.

First off, let me say that I've given up caring about origins. I like to acknowledge that it's impossible to state definitively what did or did not happen in the past based on evidence that's 5000 years old, much less 5 million years. I lean towards Creationism, recognizing that it and evolution are not mutually exclusive, just because I give the Bible the benefit of the doubt most of the time. But really, how human life got here doesn't particularly affect how I am to live as one who strives to emulate Christ.

Now, I know a little bit about Intelligent Design, a little bit about evolution, a little bit about the Constitution, and a little bit about Christianity. I won't claim to be an expert in any of those four fields, but I like to pretend that I know a tad bit more about each subject than the average Joe. And all of these subjects collide in an interesting little court case that happened recently.

Today, a few short days after it was ruled that Intelligent Design was not to be presented as an alternative to evolution in some biology classes in the state of Kansas, I read that people are mad. In fact, they're apparently so mad that they are delirious. For instance:

"This decision is a poster child for a half-century secularist reign of terror that's coming to a rapid end with Justice Roberts and soon-to-be Justice Alito," said Richard Land, who is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and is a political ally of White House adviser Karl Rove.

Now I realize that some in the religious right like to blame everything they don't like on activist judges, but this seems a tad extreme. If mentioning Intelligent Design in a biology class is the same thing as teaching religion, then the decision to disallow such a thing was very appropriate. Whining about activist judges tends to make you look like a crazy person with no foothold in reality, just for the record. I'm kind of sad to see the Christian Right take this tactic so often, but given the amount of work it takes to shove Christianity into the box that is right-wing politics, I guess they just got tired of trying to make sense.

But that's not really what this post is about. It's about how ridiculous this trial was in the first place, and how ridiculous the decision ended up being. You see, Intelligent Design wasn't being taught in Kansas, as some news reports would have people believe. It was being
mentioned.

Imagine that for a second. What if by some insane stretch of logic Intelligent Design actually is religious? Is there any case law or Constitutional basis for disallowing the mention of a religion in a public place or school? I could sit and research that question, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if the public mention of religion is a crime under the Constitution, then perhaps the Articles of Confederation weren't so bad in the first place.

Of course, I have a surprising amount of respect for the Constitution, and in general I like how it has been interpreted by the courts. But this trial was a missed opportunity. Really, it's irrelevant whether Intelligent Design is a valid scientific theory. If it's not, and I think I probably lean that way, then mentioning it in a biology class is just a stupid idea, not a matter of religious liberty. Somewhere along the line someone apparently decided to assume that if ID isn't science, it must be religion, but that's a pretty stupid assumption and has lead to a lot of stupid commentary.

So really, the only outcome for this trial that would have made me happy would have been a complete smackdown of the plantiffs. It would have gone something like this: "ID isn't religion and thus this whole trial was a waste of time and money. If Kansas wants to mention ID to their biology classes it's their prerogative, even if it doesn't make any sense."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Justice Sunday

Well, I promised to talk about something, but screw it... this is an intermission.

The thing that bugs me most about Dobson's Justice Sunday initiative is that I can't find anything specifically wrong with it.

Now, people still might not understand the perspective that I'm coming from. I believe that Christianity is inherently an apolitical religion. The government shouldn't be much of a concern to Christians because frankly it doesn't affect us much. I understand that political power is alluring, and that in a republic it's tempting to try to use it to accomplish the goals of the kingdom. But this is a dead end. Political power always corrupts, and I believe that its use should be avoided as we follow the example of Christ.

James Dobson has obviously thought of none of this, and believes that the government can and should be strong-armed by religious conservatives into doing his bidding. Oh, I'm sorry... God's bidding. But they're the same, right? (Incidentally, one of the first things that soured me on evangelical Christianity is the groupthink.)

So while I think that the Justice Sunday concept is generally lacking common sense and a somewhat offensive blending of religion and politics, I can't say there's anything specifically wrong with it. If a bunch of people who think that Schiavo wasn't vegetative and that homosexuals are terrible people want to get together and listen to Lee Greenwood and Bill Frist Tom Delay, who am I to complain?

I can't complain. All I can do is try to point out this misguided nature of this venture, because frankly I'm more concerned about that than I am about the odd political stance it has advanced. Will Dobson listen? Of course not. He's got a brand going here. I'm just slightly surprised that the term Justice Sunday wasn't already the name of a WWE pay-per-view.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why the Religious Right is Very Wrong, Part 1

Part 1: Failure should be a big hint

I suspect that anyone who is willing to read a website titled Boycott Dobson will probably agree with a good deal of what I have to say here. While this is an unfortunate paradox, it does give me an excellent opportunity to throw out ideas and have them fine-tuned through intelligent discussion.

So here is a little of where I'm coming from. I am in my mid-twenties, and I work in the entertainment software industry. I am a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian. I believe in a divine Christ, a reliable Bible, a literal Hell, and an unearned salvation. I find voting unimportant and politicians untrustworthy. I would not describe myself as a patriotic individual.

In the past few years of my life I've become increasingly dissatisfied with both the actions and the answers of evangelical Christianity in the United States. I observe that Christianity to many has more to do with compact discs and self-help books than it does with helping orphans and widows. I observe that Christianity, democracy, and capitalism have somehow become linked in the minds of many. I assert that Christlikeness has little to do with financial or political means and motives.

It is here that I come to my chief disagreement with the Religious Right. I do not think that political involvement is an effective means of accomplishing the goals of the Church.

First, an illustration. In 1973, the Surpreme Court of the United States decided that any State law restricting abortion should take the health of the mother into account. Contrary to popular belief, the Roe v. Wade decision did not allow abortion on demand, but acknowledged that the State does indeed have a legitimate interest in protecting the lives of the unborn. This particular case put restrictions on laws regarding abortion, which effectively made existing laws all across the United States unconstitutional.

Since I was not alive in 1973, I cannot make any comment about the immediate evangelical reaction to this decision. However throughout the 1980's and 1990's, evangelicals loudly and sometimes violently opposed the practice of abortion, seeking to end the practice through political means. Here we are, over 30 years later, and not a single state law restricting abortion has been passed. By all indications, another 30 years could pass with similar results.

The complete and utter failure of political involvment by evangelical Christians in the area of abortion should be both instructive and humiliating. We lost the battle because we fought it with the wrong tools. The tools the Christian should use to create change in society are prayer, compassion, forgiveness, and love. Instead, we've adopted violence, ballots, courts, and propaganda as our tools.

Most evangelical leaders today assert that abortion is a crisis of epidemic proportions. The irony of this is that had the Church as a whole responded to the issue in a Christlike manner, it is hard to believe that there would be anywhere near as many abortions in the United States as there are currently. Imagine if all the resources we've spent on propaganda and politicking had been put into crisis pregnancy centers, mentoring ministries to teen mothers, and poverty relief programs. Political involvement destroyed the ability of Christians to respond in an effective and appropriate manner.

Next up... homosexuality.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Purpose...

I've started this site because a thought came to me earlier today. Can James Dobson be stopped? Could America separate Christianity from partisan politicking?

I think it's possible, but I don't know how.

I do not want James Dobson to be the mouthpiece of American Christianity anymore. If it takes a boycott, then I call for a boycott.

What do you think? How can we make America understand that Dobson speaks for himself and not for Christians? Is it even necessary?