If you’ve recently had lunch, don’t go to this opinion piece from a fanatical sports fan at Iowa State University. It will turn your stomach. It’s a tirade against Hector Avalos, of course, who is apparently the man who runs ISU (it’s amazing how holding an opinion contrary to the majority suddenly elevates you to a controlling power). It’s an appalling demonstration of ignorance and idiocy by some born again fool named Steve Deace.

This isn’t about the separation of church and state, and this isn’t about tolerance. This is about one thing and one thing only—the separation of Christ and state.

Jesus Christ is unique among all other figures in history, and that’s why over two millennia later a boy born in a barn is still making folks like Mr. Avalos nervous. He asserted absolutes, and said that if you weren’t for him you were against him. He leaves no middle ground about who he is, and doesn’t provide you the escape hatch of a good moral teacher. That’s because billions of people across the globe worship him every day as the embodiment of the only true God. A good moral teacher doesn’t lie about who he is.

OK. He’s not unique; he doesn’t make us nervous; we’re against him; and since he lied about who he is, we should conclude that he is not a good moral teacher.

Mr Deace could splutter indignantly now, if only he’d heard my opinion while he was writing that tripe. Since he didn’t, he carries on, unfortunately.

Other religions, like Islam, bastardize him. Other religions dismiss him. Other religions try to downplay him by including him in a pantheon of other gods. But nobody — and I do mean nobody — ignores him.

He’s the greatest phenomena that ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s the centerpiece of western civilization. He’s unique…he’s unparalleled…he’s unprecedented. For folks like Mr. Avalos, try as the might they can’t get him out of their minds, and they can’t outlive him nor can they live without him.

What Mr. Avalos, and others like him, really fear is that Coach Chizik’s plan for a team chaplain may inspire a generation of young men wearing the Cyclone uniform to reconsider their eternal destiny, which will cause them to reconsider how to live their temporal lives on this planet. If they do that they may not vote the way folks like Mr. Avalos prefer, nor will they likely live the way folks like Mr. Avalos do. And when you’re of the mindset of a Mr. Avalos and are convinced that this life is all there is, you will fight to the grave for it.

No, that’s not what we fear, and that’s not why we care about this unquestioning and fervent belief in superstition. It’s because it turns people like Steve Deace into demented morons. Thanks, Mr Deace, for reminding me why I despise religion!

Maybe he should take one of Dr Avalos’s religious studies courses and learn that what Deace considers an absolute truth is actually a collection of self-serving lies that have turned him into a ranting godbot.


  1. #1 Brownian
    May 29, 2007

    What Mr. Avalos, and others like him, really fear is that Coach Chizik’s plan for a team chaplain may inspire a generation of young men wearing the Cyclone uniform to reconsider their eternal destiny, which will cause them to reconsider how to live their temporal lives on this planet.

    When are the religious going to wake up to the fact that there is no evidence that guys like this are any more moral than the rest of us? I’ve never known any born-agains to actually become nicer, kinder, more considerate, more conscientous, more selfless, more truthful, or more anything (besides obnoxious) than they were before they were born again. This doesn’t necessarily mean that none are, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be any correlation.

    Oh, unless you count teetotalling and gay-bashing as morality.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    Hope you like cool jazz, cos that’s what’s going to be playing in my circle of hell.

    …and when you tire of cool jazz, come on over the endless bad sci-fi marathon I’ll be running.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    Why would an atheist, and an activist one at that, want to teach in the religious studies department? For the same reason a rooster wants into the hen house.

    I’m confused. Is Dr. Avalos hitting on his students?

    Or are roosters trying to convert hens to some militant rooster ideology?

    I think there was some discussion over the preoccupation with sex the creobots seem to have on another thread.

    evidently, it’s so bad they tend to even mess up their own lame-ass metaphors.

    If I’m not mistaken, I think the author meant to invoke the “fox in the henhouse” metaphor, but ended up providing another data point to support the “preoccupied with sex” hypothesis.

  4. #4 Brownian
    May 29, 2007

    I don’t normally like to attack people for the way they look, etc., etc., but that photo of Steve Deace scared me more than any sermon from my Catholic upbringing ever did.

    If Brandon (#3) is right and those of his ilk pine for a time when we all act and think like them, then somebody please stop this monster before he destroys us all!

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    You are sadly misinformed. The Hostess Twinkie is the centerpiece of western civilization.

    Isn’t Mel merely a subset of that? I’ve always viewed him as rather twinkie-like.

  6. #6 Blake Stacey
    May 29, 2007

    I hope this smear campaign helps sell Avalos’s books. I know it motivated me to buy two of them (the second will be arriving soon, or so the Internet tells me). Fighting Words (2005) was good. I recommend it to everybody, and I hope to post a review of it soon; my only real complaint is that the book, or at least the printing I got, was not thoroughly proofread.

    In other news, I got my first creationist troll today (in response to this post). I junked the comment, actually, because as much as I appreciate free discourse, drivel is not the same as content.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2007

    Are you still opposed, P.Z.? Don’t you want to be position to tell the team to “win one for the kracken?”

    somehow, I don’t think the kraken works as a carrot.

    more likely, it would be used as a stick:

    “Win this one or I’ll feed you TO the Kraken!”

    but then, he probably would do that at the end of the season anyway.

    Krakens gotta eat too, after all.

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