Dispatches from the Creation Wars

It is absolutely incredible the lengths to which some religious right folks will go to create the fake appearance of persecution, and no one is more dishonest about it than the Worldnutdaily. They’re up in arms about the University of Edinburgh in Scotland allowing a pagan group to hold a conference at the university after, the Worldnutdaily claims, they previously instituting a “ban on Bibles” at the university:

Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, after proposing a ban on Bibles and denying a Christian campus group the right to hold a conference on the immorality of homosexuality, has extended the welcome mat to the school’s Pagan Society to hold its annual meeting on campus next month….

In 2005, WND reported plans to begin banning Bibles from Edinburgh student halls of residence due to concern they are the source of discrimination against students of other faiths.


The part about banning Bibles is an absurd lie. Here’s that 2005 article, which was actually headlined University To Ban Bibles. And here is the first paragraph:

Edinburgh University in Scotland will begin banning Holy Bibles from its student halls of residence due to concern they are the source of discrimination against students of other faiths.

Those who actually bothered to read down past the headline found out that this was a “ban on bibles” at all; the university had only decided not to allow the Gideons to place a Bible in every dorm room before students moved in:

A Gideon Bible is traditionally placed in the room of all new students, and there are currently about 2,000 bibles in the Pollock Halls campus near Holyrood Park. Gideons International has handed out 63 million Bibles worldwide in places such as hotels, prisons and hospitals.

Since the school has students from 120 countries and all different faith backgrounds, officials believe that the distribution of Bibles could be offensive to some students.

Ruth Cameron, an advocate of the removal of Bibles from the campus, and the student association president said, “The student association strongly believes in the importance of ensuring that students of all faiths feel at home in their university accommodation,” she said.

Well now that’s quite different from “banning Holy Bibles from its student halls of residence.” Imagine for a moment that a university allowed a Muslim group to come in and place copies of the Quran in every dorm room prior to students moving in. Forget any talk about freedom of religion, the Worldnutdaily would be all but calling the university terrorists. And if the university decided not to allow it, you can be damn sure that the Worldnutdaily would not be accusing them of “banning the Quran.” There appears to be no limit to just how deceitful these people can be when it suits their agenda.

Comments

  1. #1 MartinM
    May 30, 2007

    I lived in Pollock Halls before the Gideon Bibles were removed. Frankly, I’m appalled. What on earth are students supposed to prop windows open with now?

  2. #2 Scott Belyea
    May 30, 2007

    Absurd … and interesting personally, since my daughter is spending a year in Edinburgh.

    I’d disagree mildly with one specific, however.

    Since the school has students from 120 countries and all different faith backgrounds, officials believe that the distribution of Bibles could be offensive to some students.

    I suggest that it’s not necessary to postulate offense on behalf of some students. It’s quite sufficient to discontinue the practice simply because it’s inappropriate in 2007.

  3. #3 Pieter B
    May 30, 2007

    Those who actually bothered to read down past the headline found out that this was a “ban on bibles” at all; the university had only decided not to allow the Gideons to place a Bible in every dorm room before students moved in

    Slapping an “OhMyGawd!” headline on an article which is contradicted by the article itself is a frequent practice of the folks at WhirledNutDaily. It makes arguing with their readers the intellectual equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

  4. #4 Robert
    May 30, 2007

    Scott: why would it be inappropriate unless it caused offense or made people feel less at home? It is inappropriate because it can be taken as an effort of conversion or a statement of the superiority of one religion over another.

    It is inappropriate because its offensive and presumptious.

    Sorry, I don’t know why I am compelled to quibble. Its a personal defect.

  5. #5 Luna_the_cat
    May 30, 2007

    MartinM said:

    Frankly, I’m appalled. What on earth are students supposed to prop windows open with now?

    The student handbooks. Nobody seems to read them, either.

  6. #6 Gretchen
    May 30, 2007

    I’m stuck on the proposed “conference on the immorality of homosexuality.”

    What exactly would that entail? A program of papers with titles like “Ick, Ick, Ick: The Nastiness of Men Kissing, and How it Will Bring About the Ruin of Society”?

  7. #7 Ginger Yellow
    May 30, 2007

    I’m sorry, but no other WND story can top “‘Angels singing on tape'” sparks heavenly debate” for credulous religious insanity.

  8. #8 JC
    May 30, 2007

    Imagine for a moment that a university allowed a Muslim group to come in and place copies of the Quran in every dorm room prior to students moving in.

    I think the reaction from the majority of Edinburgh students would be total indifference. It would be fun to do it at Liberty though.

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