Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How... touching.

Currently a court case is being waged in California over whether or not students graduating from certain religious high schools will receive credit from the University of California system. At issue is, particularly, the instruction given in biology and evolution. The textbook used in many of these classes, Biology for Christian Schools, is published by Bob Jones University Press, which is not exactly a powerhouse in academic publishing. Bob Jones University, of course, is dedicated to promoting one of the most startlingly oppressive versions of Christianity Messianism the world has ever seen. The religious schools contend that the book teaches standard biology and simply adds material of a religious nature. That is not, of course, all that they do, and I don't need to explain why: the links above will do that for me.

What I just want to point out however, thanks to the fine work of Mike Dunford over at The Questionable Authority, is that some of the material in the book goes a shade beyond what we might regard as strict biology. For example, on pages 779 and 780 in a box on "Sexually Transmitted Diseases:"

When the AIDS epidemic began, some people said that the disease was God's judgment on the sins of homosexuals and fornicators since they were the primary ones affected by the disease. Many were offended by such an analysis, claiming that it is unreasonably cruel to tell people in pain that they have caused their own disease. Nevertheless, the Bible does teach that diseases that result from sexual impurity are part of God's punishment of sin (Rom. 1:27). Such punishment is in fact evidence of God's grace. It allows the sinner to experience the offensiveness of his sin and points him to the need for a Savior - "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

This argument is repulsive enough in and of itself, but only suffers when we consider that 5% to 10% or worldwide infections with AIDS derive from blood transfusions, and that without treatment infected mothers can transmit the disease to their unborn or breast feeding children as much as 25% of the time. Does anyone really think that bearing a child or getting a blood transfusion is an offense to god? No? I suspected as much.

Ignoring the issue of whether or not this book should be regarded as acceptable course material, I truly do not understand why anyone would want to portray their god as such a stupid, clumsy, heartless monster.

Nor, come to think of it, can I understand why anyone would want to be made in such an image. More likely, it seems to me, that we made him in the image of ourselves.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think that bearing a child or getting a blood transfusion is an offense to god? No? I suspected as much.

Bzzt. Wrong answer. Thank you for playing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Drek said...

Holy shit, really?

My reader base is more diverse than I thought.

Good to know.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, haven't you heard of Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions? Or bearing a child before the necessary paperwork has been completed?

Of course if you meant "Does anyone who reads this blog really think ..." then that's a more easily sustained claim.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 6:29:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

"Of course if you meant "Does anyone who reads this blog really think ..." then that's a more easily sustained claim."

Exactly what I meant, actually. I know those folks exist, I just didn't/don't think any read my blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jay Livingston said...

Cognitive dissonance, belief in a just world. That works for AIDS (so long as you focus only on gays). But I wonder how Christians deal with the geography of natural disasters in the US. People like Falwell are always predicting disasters for places like that town in Pennsylvania that tossed out creationism/intelligent-design. But it seems that the places God hits are usually red-state religious.

I wonder if anyone has compiled serious data on this.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:25:00 AM  

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