Pharyngula

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.

Comments

  1. #1 John Danley
    May 29, 2007

    I thought Mel Gibson is the centerpiece of western civilizaion. What gives?

  2. #2 doctorgoo
    May 29, 2007

    it’s amazing how holding an opinion contrary to the majority suddenly elevates you to a controlling power

    How else do you expect Deace to play the victim card if he doesn’t have anybody in power keepin’ him down!

  3. #3 Brandon
    May 29, 2007

    Reading between the lines here …

    If they do that they may not vote the way folks like Mr. Avalos prefer (instead, they will vote the way we prefer), nor will they likely live the way folks like Mr. Avalos do (instead, they will live the way we do).

    It’s amazing how these folks can’t see or won’t acknowledge the wider world around them. It’s always black or white; good or evil.

  4. #4 Rey Fox
    May 29, 2007

    Guy sounds like a pro-wrestling manager.

  5. #5 DaveX
    May 29, 2007

    I’ve got one that would make his head spin– get rid of the whole athletic program, and focus on using brains for more than something to put a football helmet on!

  6. #6 Steve_C
    May 29, 2007

    I love the term Ranting Godbot.

    I must use it more.

  7. #7 Magpie
    May 29, 2007

    Homoeroticism of sport + homoeroticism of the love of Jesus = some kind of super-homoeroticism?

  8. #8 MartinC
    May 29, 2007

    “Heck, they’ve even convinced an entire generation of Americans that the words “separation of church and state” are actually written in the Constitution. They’re not, but the Constitution does end with the words, “…in the year of our Lord.”

    Well thats me convinced.
    OK, this guy is clearly a numbskull but its amazing the firepower that the Discovery Institute still has in its promotion of one of its own, Guillermo Gonzales and its disparagement of Hector Avalos. On their recent podcast they
    had both Sam Brownback and Newt Gingrich calling for Gonzales to be given tenure.

  9. #9 Christian Burnham
    May 29, 2007

    I thought all that ‘I love Jesus’ stuff was a bit gay. Then I noticed the website is headlined by a big ‘purple-pride’ banner.

    I think it’s great that Deace and this Jesus guy are lovers. And I thought that sports-writers were homophobic.

  10. #10 dogmeatib
    May 29, 2007

    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.

    I’m not sure I’d blame him for the lies, there is some evidence that his basic message was “be nice to each other” and that his “followers” turned him in to the “son of God,” etc. etc.

  11. #11 Les Lane
    May 29, 2007

    Photo – Steve Deace

  12. #12 Alex
    May 29, 2007

    “….are convinced that this life is all there is….”

    This common, inane, sentiment always stupifies me when I hear it.

    It’s a pure display of arrogance. It announces that in their estimation of ALL things, that Nature itself is CLEARLY insufficient to provide humanity full meaning.

    Wow.

  13. #13 Chayanov
    May 29, 2007

    “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.”

    I believe this is the only true statement in that screed. I am making the best of my life, the only life I get, and I will fight against the demented God-botherers who are trying to force their idiotic beliefs on me and everyone else. I refuse to waste my life dreaming about the supposed rewards of some bizarre fantasy afterlife.

  14. #14 Anthony Jeffries
    May 29, 2007

    Chiming in from Ames, Iowa…home of Iowa State University.

    Just a couple of things before this liberal, NPR-loving atheist catches the next CyRide bus home…Mr. Deace is on our local far right wingnut Clear Channel station (which I don’t listen to). Here’s a few links for your perusal:

    Iowa Underground: CityView’s Best of Des Moines
    Iowa Underground: Steve Deace/WHO is horrible
    Deace’s page at WHO

    The drive time show on WHO used to be pretty reasonable, now they have this jerk. I listened to his show once, and then tuned back to our local NPR station. Read the comments on the first two links.

    BTW, I decided to listen in again, and he’s interviewing Sam Brownback. They’re doing the “Christian America” thing, with how the separation of church and state are PURE EVIL, etc.

  15. #15 Peter McGrath
    May 29, 2007

    Bastardize Him? Bastardize Him? I’m a bastard and Jesus, you’re no bastard. What? Your mother wasn’t married to your father? Jesus welcome to the Deuteronomy club, where no Bastard shall be allowed into an associaton of the Lord. Hope you like cool jazz, cos that’s what’s going to be playing in my circle of hell.

  16. #16 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.

  17. #17 Sonja
    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?

  18. #18 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.

  19. #19 Reginald Selkirk
    May 29, 2007

    I thought Mel Gibson is the centerpiece of western civilizaion. What gives?

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

  20. #20 RamblinDude
    May 29, 2007

    I am convinced that there is, hard wired into the ape-brains of many within our species, an overwhelming compulsion to fawn over and curry favor from some dominate alpha male. It seems to completely override their ability to think straight.

  21. #21 QrazyQat
    May 29, 2007

    Roosterfarianism.

  22. #22 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.

  23. #23 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!

  24. #24 Reginald Selkirk
    May 29, 2007

    Heck, they’ve even convinced an entire generation of Americans that the words “separation of church and state” are actually written in the Constitution. They’re not…

    Sure. Now, can you show me where the word trinity appears in your Bible?

  25. #25 Gerard Harbison
    May 29, 2007

    Anyone who can swallow the premise that college football has anything more than a peripheral connection to universities or academics, should have no difficulty believing in virgin birth.

    ‘Student-athletes’ or the six-day creation: which is the more outrageous myth?

  26. #26 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.

  27. #27 Sonja
    May 29, 2007

    Very good QrazyQat, or maybe

    Zoroosterianism?

  28. #28 RavenT
    May 29, 2007

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

    Peter, you remind me of the definition of a gentleman: someone who can play jazz guitar, but doesn’t.

  29. #29 Gerard Harbison
    May 29, 2007

    Why would an atheist, and an activist one at that, want to teach in the religious studies department?

    I dunno. Why would a non-felon want to teach criminology?

  30. #30 Reginald Selkirk
    May 29, 2007

    I found this on a web forum:

    On Friday, Deace said that Jewish baseball player Shawn Green should not skip games last weekend for Yom Kippur observation. Deace said that Green should compromise and fullfill his Jewish faith by accepting Jesus Christ as his savior. I have not given his comments full justice and the context which they were delivered reaked of Anti-semitism and Christian Right-Wing Fundamentalism.

    What a guy.

  31. #31 KC
    May 29, 2007

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry when a “ranting godbot” goes off on how special the Jeebus was. As if stating the first century equivalent of “don’t piss in other people’s cheerios” is some major insight.

    They remind me of small children who’ve just ‘discovered’ that it’s wrong to hit people and have to repeat to everyone within earshot until their next big moral ‘discovery’.

  32. #32 Elf Eye
    May 29, 2007

    This quotation has interesting implications: “What Mr. Avalos, and others like him, really fear is that Coach Chizik’s plan for a team chaplain may inspire a generation 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 the efforts of the chaplain did have this effect–one which Deace seems to feel would be a desirable one–doesn’t that suggest that the good offices of the university would have indeed been used to prosyletize?

  33. #33 forsen
    May 29, 2007

    Aw, c’mon… the ties between sport and underplayed homoeroticism is as old a theme as there is. The greeks, anyone?

  34. #34 C. elegans
    May 29, 2007

    He [Jesus] asserted absolutes, and said that if you weren’t for him you were against him.

    Jesus Christ: Dark Lord of the Sith. Who knew?

  35. #35 Reginald Selkirk
    May 29, 2007

    RE the “Purple Pride” thing: the article got reprinted at a Kansas State site. The original article is at Cyclone Nation, a site founded and published by Steve Deace, moron and bigot.

  36. #36 Reginald Selkirk
    May 29, 2007

    Cyclone Nations Forum – for those who care enough to register in order to tell Deace what a moron and bigot he is.

  37. #37 Russ
    May 29, 2007

    Just to add to #10’s point, and to highlight the fact that even a good message can be misrepresented, I should note that Deace (and so many other fundies) have gotten at least one of Jesus’ messages completely screwed up. To whit…

    “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. ”

    As I recall (and it has been a while), the story this quote comes from (Don’t recall the book, line, or passage (as I said, been a while) involves an incident where some disciples noticed a few “magicians” casting out demons by invoking Jesus’ name. When they asked if they shouldn’t thump the magicians to put an end to it, Jesus responded by saying “he who is not my enemy is my friend” or “he who is not against me is with me” (again, been a while). How this got turned 180 is a bit of a mystery to me, but unfortunately isn’t surprizing.

  38. #38 Russ
    May 29, 2007

    O.k., they got it turned by quoting Jesus in a different passage (Luke and Mark, Apparently) where he says “he who is not with me is against me.” After I posted, I did a quick Google and found the quotes. I even found a site trying to reconcile the two statements.

    This is the point where I scratch my head, mutter something about feeling like an idiot, and apologize for posting without doing a little background reading.

    Sorry,

    Russ

  39. #39 CalGeorge
    May 29, 2007

    Gimme a D…
    Gimme an E…
    Gimme a M…
    Gimme an E…
    Gimme a N…
    Gimme a T…
    Gimme an E…
    Gimme a D…

    Whaddas it spell?

    DEMENTED!

  40. #40 Kseniya
    May 29, 2007

    That photo (#11) isn’t really of Steve Deace… it’s a “funny caption” contest photo. It does tell us, though, what at least one person thinks of Steve Deace.

    The caption that made me LOL was the second runner-up: “Oh my God, he’s wearing those boots with THAT belt?”

  41. #41 Ric
    May 29, 2007

    That Deace guy is a moron. Of course atheists care about Jesus, or rather they care about all the wingnuts running around trying to force fascist-style laws on everybody in the name of Jesus. It’s hard not to.

  42. #42 dogmeatib
    May 29, 2007

    My take on this moron’s screed about Dr. Avalos being in the Religious studies department is that an atheist should be fired for his beliefs (in Deace’s view) being in conflict with his chosen profession. Would that mean then that all devout Christians should be fired from biology, paleontology, geology, anthropology, physics, and astrophysics departments? If they truly believe what the Bible teaches, then how could they possibly work in those areas?

    Of course if one were to suggest that to him, it would be “anti-Christian” bigotry and discrimination.

  43. #43 nicole
    May 29, 2007

    …an atheist should be fired for his beliefs (in Deace’s view) being in conflict with his chosen profession.

    Well, really I think Deace’s problem is that he doesn’t understand what religious studies is. You don’t have to believe in something to describe or write about it. But then, Deace seems to have trouble understanding a lot of stuff, like the fact that starting a petition does not equal running the university.

  44. #44 stmarnock
    May 29, 2007

    Not to flood the forum, my two cents’ worth is at http://stmarnock.multiply.com/journal/item/23. Thanks for keeping me posted on the latest unsanity.

  45. #45 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.

  46. #46 raven
    May 29, 2007

    Deace: “Heck, they’ve even convinced an entire generation of Americans that the words “separation of church and state” are actually written in the Constitution. They’re not, but the Constitution does end with the words, “…in the year of our Lord.”

    Technically he is right, the words separation of church and state do not appear. But the idea does and those words are mentioned by one of the people who actually wrote the thing, Jefferson. I’ve pointed out all along that the agenda of the wingnut godbots is to overthrow the US government and set up a theocracy. Also been called an alarmist exagerating for effect. But, if you ask clowns like Deace and Brownback and Dembski if that is what they want, they say, Yes, sure.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The separation of church and state is an important legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” The phrase separation of church and state was introduced by Thomas Jefferson in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists. The phrase itself does not appear in the constitution, or any other founding American document, but it has been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court.

  47. #47 Max Udargo
    May 29, 2007

    I’m glad it wasn’t just me doing a double-take at his comments about an atheist taking religious studies classes. I took a couple of religious studies classes in college and found them fascinating.

    What does this brickbrain think happens in a religious studies class? Does he think it’s a prayer meeting? After roll call everybody breaks out his hymnal? The classes I took offered secular, rational, scientific analysis of the origins and history of the Judeo-Christian religion. There was no proselytizing. The unspoken assumption – as I understood it, anyway – was that the miraculous elements and divine interventions depicted in the Bible were to be approached the same way we approach the same depictions in The Iliad or The Epic of Gilgamesh. And we spent a lot of time looking at the non-Biblical origins of Old Testament mythology.

    I can’t think of anything that would undermine a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture more effectively than a good religious studies class. At least, that was my experience.

  48. #48 MikeG
    May 29, 2007

    I’m a bit confused by this bit in the article, re: Gene Chizik,

    The new man in charge of Iowa State football strives to live his life with eternity in mind. Gene Chizik is a man with a strong Christian faith and Judeo-Christian value system, which puts him squarely at odds with Mr. Avalos. He didn’t pick this fight, he didn’t even want to. But living out your Christian faith has a tendency to attract folks like Hector Avalos in this world, like a dog returns to its own vomit.

    Is Chizik being compared to vomit? Avalos to a dog? I don’t get it.

    MikeG

  49. #49 Dan
    May 29, 2007

    Deace is so wrapped up in his own efforts at self-aggrandizement that he probably didn’t even know that ISU had a football team until the team chaplain thing happened. He’s not a sports fan in any meaningful sense.

    And as a Texas fan, I’m greatly disappointed in Coach Chizik (who was recently the defensive coordinator here in Austin), as well. Who does he think he is, Fisher DeBerry?

    Here’s the explanation for the Fisher DeBerry reference, for those of you not athletically informed:

    Although DeBerry has been portrayed a role-model for most of his career, he came under fire for controversial racial remarks made he made in October 2005 after a 48-10 loss to Texas Christian University (TCU). DeBerry said TCU “had a lot more Afro-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did. Afro-American kids can run very well. That doesn’t mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can’t run, but it’s very obvious to me that they run extremely well.” Earlier that year, DeBerry had been criticized for a banner posted in the team’s locker room that was interpreted by some as inappropriate religious proselytizing.

  50. #50 Ed Darrell
    May 29, 2007

    I heard that the top of the list for team chaplain is none other than P. Z. Myers. Something about getting the word from on high, “and Morris is much higher than anything in Iowa, according to my map.”

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

  51. #51 tomh
    May 29, 2007

    raven wrote:
    Technically he is right, the words separation of church and state do not appear. But the idea does and those words are mentioned by one of the people who actually wrote the thing, Jefferson.

    As long as you’re being technical, Jefferson was not “one of the people who actually wrote the thing”. He wasn’t even in the country when the thing was written.

  52. #52 CalGeorge
    May 29, 2007

    I hope the god-intoxicated players on the ISU team are pointing up at the sky when they score. That’s always fun to watch.

    Look, honey, another idiot is giving credit to Mr. invisible sky god!

  53. #53 Jon
    May 29, 2007

    @Max

    That’s a very good point. I went to a Catholic high school, and they required us to take a “World Religions” course (I do live in the D.C. area, so I suppose it’s a bit more liberal than most places). At that point I knew something was up with Christianity, but I didn’t really know anything about other religions. It really was a great class. Gives you perspective.

  54. #54 Daniel R Hansen
    May 29, 2007

    “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.”

    Well, I sure don’t think about him much. I’m confused about the part where I can’t outlive him…I mean he was dead before I was born. Oh yeah, on the last part, seems easy enough to live without him too. You say you can’t live without somebody who’s been dead for 2k years? Man, that’s not a good sign.

  55. #55 paul
    May 29, 2007

    Lost to UConn 37-20, Started blog, perhaps turned to Jesus for help.
    All in 2002. Coincidence?

  56. #56 Ben Abbott
    May 29, 2007

    Steve Deace: “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.”

    As I recall Jesus did *not* assert the absolutes that Steve embraces, but asserted absolutes that *Steve* is in violation of.

    Steve is just *vainly* trying to substitute his desires for those of Jesus (real or fictional is irrelevant).

  57. #57 Todd Adamson
    May 29, 2007

    Ugh, I forgot how loathsome Deace is. He used to be on Des Moines’ only sports talk radio show and often went off on extreme right wing politics and Jesus babbling during his afternoon show. What’s sad is that he really has great sports knowledge, but he suffers from the Jesus virus, which turns you into a blithering idiot. Thankfully, he’s been moved down the hall to the same channel that hosts Rush and Dr. Laura and the sports talk has returned to sports. Well, except for when Jim Rome is on.

  58. #58 khan
    May 29, 2007

    a boy born in a barn

    Did anyone else’s mother ever say: “Were you brought up in a barn?”
    ===============================================
    Did he leave out any cliché/bromide/existential inanity?

  59. #59 jb
    May 29, 2007

    “He’s the greatest phenomena that ever crossed the horizon of this world.”

    Must be, since he’s plural. As for myself, I’m only a phenomenon.

  60. #60 Dustin
    May 29, 2007

    Whoa man, Steve Deace plays for team Jesus Christ! We should listen to him. After all, nobody who puts on an effusive display of enthusiasm about homoerotic ball tossing to prove he’s very manly and straight could have anything less than an erudite understanding of philosophy and the humanities. Avalos must really hate America and God, and those nice straight men who shower together, dress up in tights, and slap each other on the ass.

    Fisher DeBerry

    DeBerry sometimes does car commercials that are aired on the radio stations here in Colorado Springs. They make me wish I was deaf, and would probably make me go deaf if I listened to them enough.

    I hope this smear campaign helps sell Avalos’s books.

    Same here. For my part, I’m going to pick them up just based on the posts he’s written here. Ahh, we should OM him next time the election is up if he continues to post here.

  61. #61 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.

  62. #62 Not that Louis
    May 29, 2007

    Raven and Tomh; We’re talking about the non-establishment clause of the first amendment here and that’s Madison’s baby more than anybody’s. And you can find the idea of separation of church and state all over his writings. When Congress, during Madison’s presidency, established an official congressional chaplain, Madison opposed it, feeling that it violated the non-establishment clause.
    These founding father cats weren’t Christians. The most the religionists can hope for is that maybe they were Deists.

  63. #63 tomh
    May 29, 2007

    Not that Louis wrote:
    A bunch of stuff.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, but what I responded to was someone saying that Jefferson was one of those who wrote the Constitution. He wasn’t.

  64. #64 Mike Haubrich, FCB
    May 29, 2007

    These founding father cats weren’t Christians. The most the religionists can hope for is that maybe they were Deists.

    I have never really thought that the “spit” war over the religious beliefs of the Framers was all that important, nor is it really all that interesting. They managed to create a secular document and a set of amendments which were ratified by enough states to become the “Supreme Law of the Land.”

    They could have all been Celtic Pagans or “Musselman” for all it matters.

  65. #65 Chinchillazilla
    May 29, 2007

    But nobody — and I do mean nobody — ignores him.

    I ignore him. I’m just that awesome.

    (Also, shouldn’t “Him” be capitalized? I mean, if we’re going all-out fundie monster mode here…)

  66. #66 Coyotelibrarian
    May 30, 2007

    And for those listeners in need of a physical as well as a spiritual role model, Deace’s 1040 WHO web page offers:

    “You’ve heard me talk about the program that’s helping me lose weight and get healthier. You can find out more about this program at Preventive Health Sciences web site”

    Among the services provided by “Preventive Health Sciences” (see, Deace isn’t *totally* anti-science…) is Spinal Disc Decompression which also appears to reduce compression in the wallets of the gullible by relieving them of excess cash.

    You may call it “ignorance and idiocy” I call it targeted marketing.

  67. #67 Dan
    May 30, 2007

    CalGeorge:

    I hope the god-intoxicated players on the ISU team are pointing up at the sky when they score. That’s always fun to watch.

    Nope. The Big XII North hasn’t been fun to watch in at least five years, with or without the sky-pointing. And they’re going to get absolutely reamed four weeks in a row this fall (@ Nebraska, @ Texas Tech, vs. Texas, vs. Oklahoma).

  68. #68 Stwriley
    May 30, 2007

    On their recent podcast they
    had both Sam Brownback and Newt Gingrich calling for Gonzales to be given tenure.

    Martin,

    I’m not sure what academic credentials Brownback might have (I’m betting they’re pretty thin) but Gingrich has about the academic credibility of a can of spam. This is a man with a PhD in American History I once heard publicly (and badly) misquote the U.S. Constitution. I’ve long been of the opinion (being an historian myself) that they should revoke his PhD (but Tulane still hasn’t admitted they made a mistake with that, so I’m afraid my hope is vain.) Not exactly the man Guillermo Gonzales should want advocating for him.

  69. #69 Janine
    May 30, 2007

    Makes me wonder, why is the a battle for the souls of the football players? Are they part of a bigger plot? Will how the team accepts the great sky man have an affect on the rest of us. Damn, I thought it was just football. Or perhaps if the team becomes a force for Christ, the rest of ISU will follow. And where will this leave Avalos. No wonder he is so scared of the chaplain.

  70. #70 Kseniya
    May 30, 2007

    TomH wrote: “I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

    Well, you knew enough to know Jefferson wasn’t the man who drafted the Bill of Rights. Are you saying you have no idea what Madison’s views were?

    We’re talking about the non-establishment clause of the first amendment here and that’s Madison’s baby more than anybody’s. And you can find the idea of separation of church and state all over his writings.

    Right, Louis2, which makes David Barton‘s fabricated Madison “quotes” all the more contemptible. Anyone with even a casual understanding of Madison would look upon those dominionist statements (which Barton attributed to Madison) with profound skepticism.

    Barton, whose book The Myth of Separation is a vertiable fountain of disinformation, was hired by the RNC in 2004 to stump for Bush. He spent a year courting the evangelical vote, racking up 300 speaking engagements at RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors across the USA. Now why do you suppose Barton and the RNC would do that, given that churches risk losing their tax-exempt status if they endorse political candidates?

    The hypocrisy of this strategy, coming especially from those who would espouse the “one-directional wall of separation” interpretation of the establishment clause, is astonishing.

  71. #71 tomh
    May 30, 2007

    Kseniya wrote:
    Well, you knew enough to know Jefferson wasn’t the man who drafted the Bill of Rights. Are you saying you have no idea what Madison’s views were?

    I’m saying none of it had anything to do with my post, which simply corrected a mis-statement of fact. Jefferson was not one of those who wrote the Constitution.

  72. #72 Peter McGRath
    May 30, 2007

    Icthyic, I’m bringing the complete works of Brit sci fi author Peter Hamilton to the marathon. By the time we’re done with them (‘space operas’) eternity will be over.

  73. #73 One Eyed Jack
    May 30, 2007

    What is it with these retards and the term “militant atheist”?

    I don’t see atheists marching around in uniforms, carrying guns, or planting bombs. Oddly, we read about religious nuts doing it every day. So tell me again who is militant.

    Religion has enjoyed such a long run where nobody would challenge them, that I don’t think they know what to do when someone speaks out against them.

    I’ve think that the more reactionary a person is when their position is threatened, the less sure they are of it. Perhaps, deep down, many of these drones are filled with doubts, but they’re too afraid to admit it.

    OEJ

  74. #74 jeffy
    May 30, 2007

    “But living out your Christian faith has a tendency to attract folks like Hector Avalos in this world, like a dog returns to its own vomit.”

    I like how he equates Christian faith with Dog Vomit!

    Sounds about right.

  75. #75 Chris Hyland
    May 30, 2007

    “Jesus Christ is unique among all other figures in history”

    Isn’t everyone unique among all other figures in history?

  76. #76 Dono
    May 30, 2007

    #40 is correct–that picture is from the wacky caption contest in Cityview magazine. In real life Deace bears a striking facial resemblance to the silent movie star Fatty Arbuckle.

    And he’s an insufferable git.

  77. #77 Reginald Selkirk
    May 30, 2007

    Deace’s philosophy could be summed up as: “Jesus uber alles.”

  78. #78 J-Dog
    May 30, 2007

    The guy is a total moronic clueless Deace-bag. Everyone knows Jesus Christ is a Notre Dame Fan! GO IRISH!

  79. #79 Ray C.
    May 30, 2007

    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.

    Funny, I can say the same thing of that idiot Bush. Of course, goose-steppers like Deace probably admire him for that.

  80. #80 rjb
    May 30, 2007

    Hey, I’m feeling left out here. I got tenure this year, I’m a moderately outspoken atheist on my campus, and no one has written any letters like that about me!! What gives? How can I rise to the level of uber-lord of undead evil, or whatever it is?

    I guess if we had an ID-creationist here who was denied tenure at the same time, then there might be more of an uproar.

  81. #81 Rey Fox
    May 30, 2007

    #74:

    Reminds me of that scene in Happy Gilmore: “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?!”

  82. #82 Firemancarl
    May 30, 2007

    Ah as a Colorado Buffaloes fan I am designed to hate ISU (see design can be intelligent). But as this yutz does his muckety-muck about the US being a “xtian nation” I cannot help but recall the Treaty of Tripoli

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

  83. #83 Jurjen S.
    May 31, 2007

    The standard response to the “the constitution doesn’t say ‘separation of church and state’ anywhere” whinge is to point out that it doesn’t contain the literal phrases “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” either. But, like “separation of church and state,” those terms are convenient shorthand to refer to concepts which are enshrined in the constitution.

  84. #84 Hector Avalos
    June 1, 2007

    WHO-TV in Des Moines interviewed me yesterday concerning the chaplain situation at Iowa State University. The TV station later juxtaposed an interview with Steve Deace to counter mine on their website.

    For the Steve Deace interview, see:
    http://www.whotv.com/Global/category.asp?C=90994&nav=menu100_5_1

    My complete unedited interview is available at:
    http://www.whotv.com/Global/category.asp?C=90994&nav=menu100_5_1

    You can judge the difference for yourselves.

  85. #85 Keith Douglas
    June 1, 2007

    I note he also gets the role of Jesus in Islam wrong, too, but what else is new?

    And the bit about how certain phrases do not appear literally in the constitution – of course they put it that way. Think of how they treat the bible – as a bunch of sound bites and catchphrases to be taken “literally”.

    Max Udargo: Hence, people like Daniel Dennett have called for increased scientific study of religion.

    Chris Hyland: Of course. If they were identical, they’d be one. Mind you, Jesus might not be a historical figure at all, but that’s another story.

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