Pharyngula

I neglected Molly again!

But let me correct that and catch up with some more administrative tidying up here.

The winner of the Molly Award for the month of November is Aratina Cage! As is traditional, he now owes you all a drink at the bar.

Now we have to find the most popular commenter for December of 2009: leave comments with your nominations right here in this thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Carlie
    January 17, 2010

    Congratulations aratina!!!!
    (who I thought was a him?)

  2. #2 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 17, 2010

    Congrats for Aratina Cage, whom I’ve been calling he. . .

    John Morales of the next! He’s very sagacious, and deals with people in a more controlled manner than I ever could

  3. #3 Jadehawk, OM
    January 17, 2010

    w00t! congratulations!

    I didn’t make a list for December since I was on vacation for half of it, and all I remember from that time were discussions about snow and bread.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    January 17, 2010

    We are not gender-biased here, so who cares what sex lies behind the pixels? But I shall make a formal correction of the pronoun is in error.

  5. #5 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 17, 2010

    Congratulations to Aratina Cage. Well deserved. Going back a month, wow, that’s like ancient history. But John Morales always gives low keyed, but cogent comments, and Aquaria gives some high octane comments. And in the middle is both AJ Milne and Celtic Evolution make more infrequent, but cogent posts.

    Dang, I need to clear my lists of excellent people whose rate of posting has fallen off. Gotta create some room for fresh talent.

    And for Jadehawk who loves snow, only 110″ to date.

  6. #6 Kel, OM
    January 17, 2010

    Well done Aratina.

    This month, Leigh Williams for taking YECs to the proverbial sword and John Morales for being consistent over a long period of time.

  7. #7 Zeno
    January 17, 2010

    Welcome and congratulations to Aratina.

  8. #8 Rorschach
    January 17, 2010

    Congrats to Aratina Cage, and well deserved !

    My nominees this time ’round are a bit out of left field maybe, but I have enjoyed their commenting for a long time now, therefore I suggest for December tsg and strangest brew.

  9. #9 mark.ormandy
    January 17, 2010

    I vote Dennis Markuze for poster of the year for the intelligent contributions he brings to this community and also the compassion and humility with which he delivers his message of enlightenment!

  10. #10 Kamaka
    January 17, 2010

    This month, Leigh Williams for taking YECs to the proverbial sword

    I agree, made me lmao, this hammer-wielding christer. Really, the YECs come to take on the godless horde…and they get Leigh…

    Hahahaha….

    Hey, Leigh, you’re not another, slyer Smoggy, are you??

  11. #11 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 17, 2010

    Congratulations, Aratina. Unfortunately, since you’re a man, your invitation to the OM initiation orgy has been lost in the mail. This happens with every invitation sent to a male OM.

    For December I vote for two people I’ve voted for before: John Morales and Aquaria.

  12. #12 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 17, 2010

    The lovely bookworm Ms. Alan B
    The always captivating Ms. Sven DiMilo
    The ever enchanting Ms. AJ Milne

    And lastly but not leastly…

    The multi-talented Mr. Megan Fox

  13. #13 mythusmage
    January 17, 2010

    John Morales, just to be ironic.

    (John, just because you’ve been wrong at times is no reason for me not to like you. :) )

  14. #14 Cacille
    January 17, 2010

    Though he’s had a Molly award in the past, I have to nominate Cuttlefish. His comment on the thread with Jesus and Astroglide was priceless comedic timing and poetry.

  15. #15 Lynna, OM
    January 17, 2010

    A conga line of rats to aratina cage! I voted for you last time, and this Molly Award is well-deserved.

    Votes for December:
    1 to Alan B., honorary member of the Wild Women of Pharyngula
    1 to John Morales, who never cuts the bullshitters any slack
    1 to AJ Milne for consistently high quality

  16. #16 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 17, 2010
  17. #17 Feynmaniac
    January 17, 2010

    Congrats Aratina Cage!

    My vote goes to….

    Leigh Williams for going after creationists. It’s fun to see them get their ass handed to them by a Christian.

    John Morales, who is long overdue.

  18. #18 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 17, 2010

    GWIAS is a loser troll. And shows he is a loser troll by nominating himself. What a LOSER. Even he should know that is bad loser taste.

  19. #19 Feynmaniac
    January 17, 2010

    Wow, I didn’t think it was possible to be more pathetic than Mabus….

  20. #20 otrame
    January 17, 2010

    Bye bye GWIAS.

    I would love to see Leigh get a Molly. She pulls no punches.

  21. #21 Kel, OM
    January 17, 2010

    I nominate Global Warming Is A Scam.

    pfft, you can’t get both dungeon and a Molly. It’s one or the other.

  22. #22 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 17, 2010

    Now, now Tis, I know those invitations to the male OM’s go out for every orgy. I personally give each one a SWAK.
    *looks innocent*

  23. #23 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 17, 2010

    Loser banned troll, you weren’t banned for your politics of AGW. You were banned for your loser methods you used to get your message across. Like your constant asking of an inane, insane, and irrelevant question. And the abuse you heaped upon people when they called you on it. And your inability to say “this is what I believe, and this is the peer reviewed literature backing me up”. In other words, you stink at your message. Still do. As a LOSER. Losers get their asses banned. Loser continually ignore said ban. If you aren’t a loser, prove it by ceasing your posts. I bet good money you will continue to show us your losership. You are too stupid and ignorant not to.

  24. #24 aratina cage
    January 17, 2010

    Wow! This is very surprising and much appreciated! I never thought I would ever win a Molly. Thank you everyone who voted for me. That’s two Alaskans in a row (Lynna and me). Drinks all around! What’ll you be having?

    We are not gender-biased here, so who cares what sex lies behind the pixels?

    That’s all very true and I don’t mind at all. Since we are all friends here and since I know some of you in the flesh, I will clear up the confusion: yes I am a male.

    Unfortunately, since you’re a man, your invitation to the OM initiation orgy has been lost in the mail. This happens with every invitation sent to a male OM.

    Aw, darn it! *pouts* I actually have been a bad boy lately, please don’t tell Patricia. *grin*

  25. #25 Sili
    January 17, 2010

    Congrats, aratina (of the minuscules)!

    I’m sillilly pleased to see I’m not the only one to get your sex wrong. (Sorry.)

    Not being one to not follow a herd once it’s formed:
    John Morales
    AJ Milne
    I find it hard to believe they’ve not been Mollified yet.

    Would someone please link to Leigh’s execellence? I’ve missed it.

    Honourable mention to Gregory Greenwood who’s aiming for a January Molly by facing off the intemperate troll with grace and eloquence.

  26. #26 Aquaria
    January 17, 2010

    Hehehehehe!

    Someone actually nominated himself? Now that’s some serious stupid.

    On topic: I nominate Leigh Williams.

    Thanks to those who voted for me, but I don’t deserve any nominations. I’ve been too angry to post much of anything for a while, after finding out that my position at work is being abolished. Not my job itself, thank goodness, but all that I’ll be able to choose from with my pitiful seniority will be a terrible job, on a terrible shift.

    I suppose I could become a window clerk, but can anyone imagine me dealing with the public for a living? Seriously? Get the fuck outta here! LOL

  27. #27 david.utidjian
    January 17, 2010

    Cheery Yodels Aratina. I do like to read your comments.

    I missed the voting these past months though.

    -DU-

  28. #28 aratina cage of the OM
    January 17, 2010

    There were so many excellent discussions in December that once again it was hard to decide who to vote for, but I have it narrowed down to three:

    Josh, Official SpokesGay for an inspired, geeky tribute to Lynna.

    CJO for informative comments like this one on ancient history.

    Hypatia’s Daughter for giving a bible-thumper a delicious dosage of critical thinking.

  29. #29 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 18, 2010

    Now that we’ve re established the traditional post OM orgy I am now caught in the dilemma between voting for those I want to win based on merit and those I just want to bonk.

    For this month however I shall turn lesbian and vote for the deliciously salacious Leigh Williams.

  30. #30 ABR.
    January 18, 2010

    I’d like to nominate pixelfish for her comments on the Mormon Prophesy thread, with a shoutout to Lynna and Red John as well.

  31. #31 Strangest brew
    January 18, 2010

    Congratulations aratina!

    Mines a Jay Dee with lightly toasted creationist for roughage ;-)

    Next…John Morales because of consistency & the ever focussed Celtic Evolution.
    I am also happy for Leigh Williams getting several well deserved mentions…a rare talent indeed!

    This bizz gets more difficult each time…and with the influx of more talent it is not likely to improve the task!

  32. #32 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 18, 2010

    Wow, I didn’t think it was possible to be more pathetic than Mabus….

    We should give him his own special award with a certificate that says:

    This is to certify that GWIAS has fulfilled the requirement to be a bigger loser than a mentally ill man that wanders from cafe to cafe in Montreal.

    Signed PZ Myers
    Head of Pharyngula

  33. #33 boygenius
    January 18, 2010

    Congrats, aratina. Well deserved, IMO. Despite all your rage. ;)

    For December, I’d have to go with John Morales.

  34. #34 Walton
    January 18, 2010

    My vote goes to Leigh Williams.

  35. #35 https://me.yahoo.com/a/KtrH9g4llpHui8s2.0ezzjBOheU0WpQaoHA-#ab4e8
    January 18, 2010

    Well done, aratina cage!

    I agree with Kel and others

    * Leigh Williams for quality of writing and for sticking to her guns, against both passing idiots and the regulars

    * John Morales for long-term sterling service (and for writing the “how to insert a link” instruction which is still taped to the top of my computer – thanks John)

    mb

  36. #36 eddie
    January 18, 2010

    Grats to aratina cage.

    But I thought the name, wasn’t male or female (although it sounds like a feminine name), but it was a play on ‘a rat in a cage’. Also, I thought that was the new nym of someone who already had a molly, but I forget who I thought it was at the time they first commented.

  37. #37 MetzO'Magic
    January 18, 2010

    Congrats, Aratina.

    And for December, it has to be Leigh Williams, the Queen of Cognitive Dissonance™.

  38. #38 eddie
    January 18, 2010

    I nomed John Morales before and he didn’t get one. So This time I’ll nom him again. Also Josh, for weebles and partly because it’ll make him sound like Josh Homme.

  39. #39 Cosmic Teapot
    January 18, 2010

    Congrats Aratina, mine’s a Jägermeister.

    _____________<;,><_____________

    I can’t nominate anyone for December as I have not been around much due to the log in hassle (and playing with the cretinists on facebook).

    For long term, sterling contributions, I second both John Morales and Aquaria.

    _____________<;,><_____________

  40. #40 Cath the Canberra Cook
    January 18, 2010

    Carlie. Carlie has been consistently awesome, especially on those gender argument threads.

  41. #41 Cath the Canberra Cook
    January 18, 2010

    Damn, Carlie already has one. Oops. Well, tentacle clusters, please.

  42. #42 Kel, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Also Josh

    Carlie. Carlie has been consistently awesome, especially on those gender argument threads.

    ahem

  43. #43 Knockgoats
    January 18, 2010

    John Morales for December.

  44. #44 WowbaggerOM
    January 18, 2010

    Congratulations, Aratina.

    I will add my vote to the growing pile for John Morales – a) because he’s deserving and b) if he wins I think by taking the total to two it’ll make SA the Molliest state in Australia!

  45. #45 martin.benson
    January 18, 2010

    I don’t really post here often enough to have a valid opinion; but if my vote counts, then I’d go for Leigh Williams. She tears into YEC’s with the best of them, and also takes flak from the other regular posters here about her Christianity with equanimity and politeness – dare I say it, in a Christian way! (I know a helluva lot of Christians who could learn a lot about Christian behaviour from her.)

  46. #46 David Marjanovi?
    January 18, 2010

    Let me just repeat this:

    John Morales
    AJ Milne
    I find it hard to believe they’ve not been Mollified yet.

    Would someone please link to Leigh’s execellence? I’ve missed it.

    Also, why is everyone forgetting about a_ray_in_dilbert_space?

  47. #47 Rorschach
    January 18, 2010

    and also takes flak from the other regular posters here about her Christianity with equanimity and politeness – dare I say it, in a Christian way!

    Good ‘ol christian way eh….
    That’s just beyond stupid.

  48. #48 Celtic_Evolution
    January 18, 2010

    Congrats to Aratina Cage! You would have gotten my vote for December had you not already taken November, so job well… continued. ;^)

    And while I also appreciate Leigh’s contributions and frankly like her moxy, I just can’t vote her for a Molly while she continues to add in little nods to her caring, loving, pink and fluffy sky-buddy and defending her special version of christianity in her comments. Love your style, Leigh, but you really need to put down that heavy suitcase.

    So, I will then add another log on the John Morales bonfire. He manages to remain poignant and articulate in the face of abject stupidity without (usually) losing his calm demeanor… a skill I have yet to master.

  49. #49 Rorschach
    January 18, 2010

    Buggering altarboys–keeping pedophile priests happy the christian way !

    Condemning condom use in Africa– infection control the christian way !

    Burning scientists at the stake–freedom of ideas the christian way !

    Confusing tone with content–winning debates the christian way !

    Continue ad nauseam….

  50. #50 badgersdaughter
    January 18, 2010

    Leigh Williams, please, for gaining our respect and keeping it, for showing that dissenters can participate and contribute value, for cutting through the crap and confounding the noodleheads who believe religion trumps reality, and for being generally (I said generally) levelheaded and cogent the whole time. Definitely above and beyond the call of duty. Hooray. :)

  51. #51 Rorschach
    January 18, 2010

    Leigh Williams, please, for gaining our respect and keeping it

    Speak for yourself.
    And could you pls refrain from yelling at people via bold font?

  52. #52 badgersdaughter
    January 18, 2010

    Oh, for… I do know how to close a bold tag, really I do. Sorry.

  53. #53 Walton
    January 18, 2010

    Rorschach, what the hell is your problem with Leigh, exactly?

  54. #54 Knockgoats
    January 18, 2010

    Also, why is everyone forgetting about a_ray_in_dilbert_space?

    Good point. Consider him seconded (but without withdrawing my vote for John Morales).

  55. #55 martin.benson
    January 18, 2010

    Rorschach –

    I thought someone would pick me up on my description – that’s why I said “dare I say it…”

    There is a world of difference between the way many so-called Christians behave and what is usually described as “Christian behaviour”.

    If you prefer, I’ll merely substitute “polite, tolerant and understanding” for “Christian”, and leave it at that.

  56. #56 Rorschach
    January 18, 2010

    Rorschach, what the hell is your problem with Leigh, exactly?

    ?? I don’t remember saying I had one….

    If you prefer, I’ll merely substitute “polite, tolerant and understanding” for “Christian”, and leave it at that.

    Yeah good, because “christian” couldnt be further from “polite, tolerant and understanding”, really.

  57. #57 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 18, 2010

    Aratina
    Damn! You go girl!

    My nominees for December are

    John Morales for suffering goobers much more gladly than they deserve.

    Leigh Williams for bringing a much needed minority voice and elegant bitchslapping to the battle with the forces of stupidity.

  58. #58 Walton
    January 18, 2010

    Fair enough, Rorschach. I apologise for misinterpreting your comments.

  59. #59 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 18, 2010

    Alan B for dropping Geosci on all of us (David Marjanovic and Josh have one already, but they helped).

    Sven DeMilo for the smoovest snark on the interwebz.

  60. #60 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Also, why is everyone forgetting about a_ray_in_dilbert_space?

    He definitely isn’t forgotten, but his rate of posting has dropped the last couple of months. The quality of his posts hasn’t dropped.

  61. #61 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Are you telling me that this is our winner? Perhaps Aratina Cage could attend attend the initiation orgy if he dresses like this.

    As for my votes; AJ Milne, aquaria and John Morales.

  62. #62 Lynna, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Oh, dear, I completely forgot to vote for pixelfish, who was all over the “Mormon Prophecy” thread.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/mormon_prophecy.php

    Points to destlund, to Red John, to Kevin from Utah, and others for their contributions to the same thread, but pixelfish outdid herself. It was bravura performance.

    See http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/mormon_prophecy.php#comment-2160055

    This was also the thread in which pixelfish said that even when she left BYU, she was still a speed-limit obeying virgin — now that’s original.

  63. #63 SC OM
    January 18, 2010

    Hi, everyone! Lost my connection last evening and just got it back.

    Congratulations to aratina cage!

    Morales, again
    AJ Milne, again

    Thanks to David M. (who’s been great himself this past month) for the reminder about a_ray. Have appreciated especially his comments on the AGW threads. Next month.

  64. #64 Rey Fox
    January 18, 2010

    Matt Penfold. Also, pixelfish for his/her performance on the Rex Rammell thread.

  65. #65 otrame
    January 18, 2010

    Rorschach

    Most Christians are actually pretty nice people. Sure they believe something we don’t believe, but I think we can park our arrogance when it comes to giving credit where it is due. Like many of the Christians I know, Leigh probably despises the YECs and other forms of hateful!Christianity even more than we do, for reasons that should be obvious. And she says so with vigor and relish. She believes in a God and a Christ that are love. I don’t agree that they exist, but frankly, if all Christians approached their religion the way she does, I couldn’t be bothered to argue about it. As Aronra has said,

    “It’s one thing to believe something that might be true, like God in general and Christianity specifically, even though neither can be substantiated or tested in any subjective way. But it is a whole other matter to willfully deceive others into believing things which are definitely not true–like creationism…”

    Leigh fights with us against the liars while dealing with occasional harassment from atheists with grace and a sense of humor. She gets my Molly vote.

  66. #66 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Well deserved, Aratina Cage!

    My noms this month for John Morales and Josh, Official SpokesGay (not to be confused with the other Josh, who [IIRC] has already been Mollified).

    BTW, fans of our monthly award’s namesake may want to wend their way to the Philadelphi Theater Company this spring.

  67. #67 pixelfish
    January 18, 2010

    John Morales isn’t a Molly already? Well, add another vote to the pile for his logical and patient posts.

    Thanks Lynna, Rey, and ABR for the noms. (Lynna, actually it was Ricks, AKA WhyBeYou-Idaho, but yeah, that’s the gist of my big “rebellion”.)

  68. #68 aratina cage of the OM
    January 18, 2010

    Re: Janine #61,

    Why, that’s the dress I wear while doing the conga! (I use a live long-tailed pussycat as my boa, too.)

    Re: eddie #36,

    Yes to the first (I am quietly eating my humble pie after laughing it up at a certain lurker’s nym *head→sand*). On your second sentence, I’m not sure who it could be. The list of people who have won Mollies is linked to under “Commenters” on the menu bar at top. I find it is easy to mistakenly think that regulars (from A to Z) already have a Molly because there are so many who deserve one.

    Again, thanks to all! One Jägerbomb and a comforting whiskey on the way!

  69. #69 Kel, OM
    January 18, 2010

    Also, why is everyone forgetting about a_ray_in_dilbert_space?

    For the same reason I forget about AJ Milne, and Aquaria. It just feels like they are already Mollified.

  70. #70 Lynna, OM
    January 18, 2010

    @67

    Lynna, actually it was Ricks, AKA WhyBeYou-Idaho, but yeah, that’s the gist of my big “rebellion”.

    Oh, crap. I knew that. Hey, maybe that’s the neuronal circuit that got fried during the recent TIA, and which was then replaced by a craving for oranges.

  71. #71 Lynna, OM
    January 18, 2010

    I agree with Janine. aratina cage can attend the all-female OM initiation orgy if he wears a dress … but it better be an impressive dress, one that we can fight over after we get you drunk.

    Rorschach is not an OM? Maybe Rorschach is too complete, too much the perfect man, to need to be a Molly as well. I can see I’m going to have to bookmark the Molly Award page for future reference.

  72. #72 pixelfish
    January 18, 2010

    Technically, if Rorschach were ever made a Molly, he’d have to be Rorschach, OM, MO.

  73. #73 Dania
    January 18, 2010

    Congratulations to aratina cage!

    For December, I was just going to nominate one commenter: a_ray_in_dilbert_space. I saw a lot of good stuff from him in December (and in the months before… and this month… and I’m sure he won’t stop being awesome in the future). He’s long overdue.

    But then I remembered… John Morales isn’t an OM yet! This must be fixed!

    So there you have it. My two nominations for December.

  74. #74 The Chimp's Raging Id
    January 18, 2010

    My vote goes to Leigh Williams for her excellent YEC stomping.

  75. #75 gigi
    January 18, 2010

    Grats, Aratina Cage. I always enjoy reading your smashing comments.

    For December, my vote goes to Leigh Williams.

  76. #76 SC OM
    January 18, 2010

    Leigh fights with us against the liars while dealing with occasional harassment from atheists

    Please. No one has fucking harassed Leigh Williams on this site.

  77. #77 pdferguson
    January 18, 2010

    Leigh Williams, please, for gaining our respect and keeping it

    She has neither gained my respect, nor (obviously) kept it.

    It’s rather bizarre to see such an outpouring of votes for her. She’s only been here a very short time, and rarely responds to criticisms of her own faith. It seems people like her because her spouse is a real scientist. To be perfectly honest, though, about the most one can say about her is that she isn’t batshit crazy and can write in complete sentences, which makes her stand out from many of the theists we get here. But a “liberal” theist is still a theist; as Sam Harris and others have rightly pointed out, liberal theists are actually really bad theists (so is that why people are voting for her?)

    When she has a deconversion similar to what Walton went through, if she wakes up to all the damage religion inflicts on society and stops giving her time and money to perpetuate the power religion wields, maybe I’ll reconsider.

  78. #78 eddie
    January 18, 2010

    Re: aratina cage of the OM @68;

    “I’m not sure who it could be”

    Me neither. I think, after looking at the list of previous winners that, at the time I started noticing your fine work, I thought we’d not heard from probly Ichthyic or Kseniya in a while. Must be some weird pattern recognition gone wrong. I seen Ichthyic comment just yesterday. Last I seen of Kseniya was around the Ukraine’s got talent thing.

  79. #79 OurDeadSelves
    January 18, 2010

    My vote goes to Josh, the Official Spokesgay for his consistent intelligence.

  80. #80 Kel, OM
    January 18, 2010

    But a “liberal” theist is still a theist; as Sam Harris and others have rightly pointed out, liberal theists are actually really bad theists

    If Sam Harris did point this out (I thought his main point against Liberal theists is that they legitimise extremists) then he’s wrong. The worshipping of a book is not the same as worshipping a deity, there’s nothing more inherently contradictory about believing in a god that works through nature than one who works to the accounts of ancient middle eastern tribes.

    As for why I voted for her, it’s because I enjoyed reading her posts. Do I need anything more?

  81. #81 Rorschach
    January 19, 2010

    Most Christians are actually pretty nice people.

    A bizarre wishi-washi statement if there ever was one.

    Like many of the Christians I know, Leigh probably despises the YECs and other forms of hateful!Christianity even more than we do

    Good on her, so? Btw I deeply mistrust your false dichotomy between hateful and non-hateful, charming, nice christianity.

    Leigh fights with us against the liars while dealing with occasional harassment from atheists with grace and a sense of humor

    You seem to confuse harassment with criticism or argumentation, it is something religionists tend to do.Noone here has harrassed her.
    I can’t believe I have to point this out, but I don’t care if she gets a Molly or not, or whether she’s a xtian or not, I just didn’t think her contributions were Molly-worthy !

  82. #82 SC OM
    January 19, 2010

    The worshipping of a book is not the same as worshipping a deity, there’s nothing more inherently contradictory about believing in a god that works through nature than one who works to the accounts of ancient middle eastern tribes.

    I don’t know how this is supposed to apply to Leigh, a Christian.

  83. #83 John Morales
    January 19, 2010

    Grats Aratina Cage!

    Sorry I’m late here, been working.

    Uh-oh, it’s looking worrisome for me this time.

    Perhaps I may escape the obligatory orgy if Leigh Williams gets up… Hence I nominate her.

    (Actually, I confess I’ve not got a standout for December¹ if judged solely by posts for that month; but I’ll second the other nominations on this thread, as I’ve myself nominated them previously.)

    Regarding Leigh, I only recently opined she was Molly-worthy, so here I am “putting my money where my mouth is”.

    PDFerguson:

    She’s only been here a very short time, and rarely responds to criticisms of her own faith.

    For certain values of ‘very short’, maybe.
    Here is her comment from November 2007; a rather good one I think.

    PS, you’re a pretty good commenter yourself, IMO.

    ¹ Um, technically, no commenters who aren’t already OMs. ;)

  84. #84 Kel, OM
    January 19, 2010

    I don’t know how this is supposed to apply to Leigh, a Christian.

    It’s not, it’s against those who think that religious belief need to be in the fundamentalist form; the adherence to holy books and strict devotion. My argument was against those who take an extreme view of what religion should be as opposed to trying to be objective in what religion is.

  85. #85 SC OM
    January 19, 2010

    It’s not, it’s against those who think that religious belief need to be in the fundamentalist form; the adherence to holy books and strict devotion. My argument was against those who take an extreme view of what religion should be as opposed to trying to be objective in what religion is.

    Well, I don’t know who that is. We were discussing Leigh specifically. She seems to want to invent her own form of theism and call it Christianity. Christianity – not just fundamentalism – is about its holy book, and claiming some bullshit about how its message is simply that “God is Love” (a claim which is never made consistently, in any case) is unworthy of an intelligent or honest person. Her explanation for how she gets around the Bible and its monster-god while continuing to identify as a Christian was ridiculous, and she didn’t even attempt to defend it.

    OK, to work…

  86. #86 John Morales
    January 19, 2010

    [OT]

    SC, see what happens in the Endless Thread — Leigh has said she is willing to discuss (de facto ‘defend’) her faith, or at least her own self-classification.

    Walton is one we know gained from such an exercise.

    [/OT]

  87. #87 Kel, OM
    January 19, 2010

    Christianity – not just fundamentalism – is about its holy book

    It is? I never got that impression learning about Christianity. Most of them seemed to think that Christianity was about believing in salvation through Christ. That’s it, different scripture teachers of different denominations and the only commonality I could find was a belief in salvation through Christ’s sacrifice.

    Well, I don’t know who that is. We were discussing Leigh specifically.

    I was commenting on the part I quoted: But a “liberal” theist is still a theist; as Sam Harris and others have rightly pointed out, liberal theists are actually really bad theists – Is this about Leigh specifically? It would be hard to take such a statement as merely commenting on Leigh.

    Her explanation for how she gets around the Bible and its monster-god while continuing to identify as a Christian was ridiculous, and she didn’t even attempt to defend it.

    I’m not seeking to defend Leigh’s beliefs, or any other liberal theists. I don’t find any theism a defensible position at all. My comment was on the insistence that liberal theism is bad theism to which I disagree. It feels like arguing a straw man.

  88. #88 Mr T
    January 19, 2010

    Congrats, aratina cage.

    I will go against the flow of Leigh Williams-supporters (because honestly, I don’t think creationist-bashing is very challenging) and nominate another fine, muddle-headed liberal theist, Karen Armstrong.

    But seriously, John Morales, Sven DiMilo, AJ Milne, and a_ray_in_dilbert_space would all be well-deserved. I’ve never been terribly active in the comments, but at least I should thank them and so many others for the excellent reading.

  89. #89 Rorschach
    January 19, 2010

    Is Leigh Williams really Karen Armstrong ??
    Inquiring minds want to know !!

    And Sven got the thing already, folks….

  90. #90 Mr T
    January 19, 2010

    Kel:

    It is? I never got that impression learning about Christianity. Most of them seemed to think that Christianity was about believing in salvation through Christ. That’s it, different scripture teachers of different denominations and the only commonality I could find was a belief in salvation through Christ’s sacrifice.

    So where do turn to learn anything about “Christ”, and how is that “salvation through Christ” supposed to happen? You guessed it: it’s all there in the holy book.

    If somebody thinks that when I say “Jesus Christ” I actually mean “ham sandwich”, then I don’t consider them a “Christian”. If you don’t believe some version of the Bible containing some version of the New Testament, then you’re not a Christian.

  91. #91 Kel, OM
    January 19, 2010

    So where do turn to learn anything about “Christ”, and how is that “salvation through Christ” supposed to happen? You guessed it: it’s all there in the holy book.

    For those arguing it, the books were historical accounts. The four gospels were eyewitness testimony, not God’s word. The book is an account of the holy, a socially-constructed human-edited volume regarding the nature of God and our relationship thereof.

    If you don’t believe some version of the Bible containing some version of the New Testament, then you’re not a Christian.

    Just to clarify, I’m not arguing that the book is to be discarded. But that there’s a big difference between someone taking the bible as the inerrant word of God to divinely-inspired (whatever that means) to those who use it more as a historical record. Growing up, I mostly encountered those who would either sit in divinely-inspired or historical record. I didn’t come across biblical inerrancy until I was about 20. I had come across creationists long before then, but I always found it silly that they would take a literal account which there were no witnesses for :P

  92. #92 John Morales
    January 19, 2010

    Kel,

    I was commenting on the part I quoted: [quote] Is this about Leigh specifically? It would be hard to take such a statement as merely commenting on Leigh.

    Since SC is off to work, I take the liberty of pointing out her comment as a whole related to Leigh, and that this proposition was included because Leigh belongs in the set of its constituent members (liberal theists).

    The proposition itself is arguable, but that SC intends it to relate to Leigh in that comment is clear; that Leigh belongs to that set is also arguable, of course.

  93. #93 Mr T
    January 19, 2010

    Just to clarify, I’m not arguing that the book is to be discarded. But that there’s a big difference between someone taking the bible as the inerrant word of God to divinely-inspired (whatever that means) to those who use it more as a historical record.

    Yes, there’s a big difference, but I don’t think you’re emphasizing enough that it’s still a matter of degree. I would say Christians all believe to some extent that Bible is true about some things (quite a few things, though not necessarily that it’s completely inerrant) and that some of it was divinely-inspired.

    I don’t think that’s a very controversial claim, but let me try to explain what I mean. If you do not believe Jesus is God, then I don’t consider you a “Christian”. If you do believe Jesus is God, and that the parts of the Bible relating to his divinity are essentially true, then how could one consistently believe that part is not divinely-inspired? (This of course leaves open the very real possibility that their beliefs are inconsistent….) Unless you take a whole lot of things in the Bible to be metaphorical (e.g., God, prophesies, miracles, etc.), there’s still a lot of garbage that you believe literally.

    There are some who don’t believe Genesis, but do believe Revelation. Both are anti-scientific, and one of the bigger differences is which kind of scientific theories they do not accept to be true. The Answers in Genesis crowd is cleraly batshit crazy and worthy of scorn, but others with more “liberal” views are only relatively more sane.

  94. #94 eddie
    January 19, 2010

    A couple of things on the Leigh Willshewontshe debate:

    First, I think that many of the posts Leigh has made were good and interesting. Even strong in their opposition to extreme nutjobbery. The question is; in defense of what? Were they in defense of reaon and the oppressed minority atheist community, or in defense of moderate xian accommodationism, or something else. I know this is argument from authority but think it stands on it’s own merits; PZ, and others have spoken out against accommodationists and I agree with the points that have been made there.

    The second thing is that this is the nom thread for december’s molly. I searched the site using;
    http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&safe=off&client=pub-5976931228913298&cof=FORID%3A13%3BAH%3Aleft%3BS%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fscienceblogs.com%3BCX%3AScienceBlogs%252Ecom%2520Search%2520Engine%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fscienceblogs.com%2Fchannel%2Fimg%2Flogo_science-blogs.gif%3BLH%3A66%3BLP%3A1%3BVLC%3A%23551a8b%3BDIV%3A%23cccccc%3B&adkw=AELymgU3bOYTUBqPte-tNZ_DDrLjiNgv4a_5VDY22UkVFrzJU0JKG_7NzDU7BIOXHQ_P_LYybhUIb9lQiWYMsMboYXPSoeKryz3kDGT0O0t_x1CyZidZwXRQbnLL_htBuzfGtVFycsw1gtSZ1lOmSY9dpfZNOQcKqa5nHe7HM0G6YYDsg9rceI2aPf4DZvaO1996VqxQ1p3sUKVDcBtfrsmesR_X9nc-wg&boostcse=0&q=%22by%3A+Leigh+Williams%22+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fscienceblogs.com%2Fpharyngula%2F2009%2F12%2F&btnG=Search&cx=017254414699180528062%3Auyrcvn__yd0
    which is probly gonna be mangles, and only fount three threads in december 2009 where LW posted. Quite good posts but even I had more input that month.

  95. #95 eddie
    January 19, 2010

    To be honest, one of those three threads was dominated by Leigh’s comments; almost a hundred of them. A good shift.

  96. #96 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 19, 2010

    Having been brought up in a liberal Methodist, I can perhaps relate somewhat to Leigh’s position. In the church I grew up in, you were as likely to hear Einstein or Gandhi quoted from the pulpit as St. Paul. So that is why I continued to attend church and even sing in the choir until I left home at 18–even though I’d stopped believing in God and especially Xtianity at 11-12. I just didn’t hear much coming from the pulpit that was patently absurd. Not only was the Bible not the inerrant word of God or even divinely inspired; it was instead an attempt by bronze age shepherds to make sense of the realities we confront as humans. To the minister of that church, the challenge was for people to separate the wisdom in the Bible from the stuff that was patently absurd or political window dressing. The minister was one of the first to come out in opposition to the Viet Nam War and he did pretty much practice what he preached.

    Now, I stress that I find even this interpretation to be somewhat strained–as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t been back to this church or any other (at least not more than once). Even so, I think that Leigh did yeoman’s work confronting the denizens of stupidity in December, and I think she even made a couple of us hard-core atheists think (not doubt, but think). I respect her ability to express herself clearly, and I would certainly rather debate her as a thinking believer than the god-said-it-I-believe-it-that-settles-it crowd. Maybe she can help us to reach the poor, benighted fundies.

  97. #97 Celtic_Evolution
    January 19, 2010

    I respect her ability to express herself clearly, and I would certainly rather debate her as a thinking believer than the god-said-it-I-believe-it-that-settles-it crowd. Maybe she can help us to reach the poor, benighted fundies.

    Agreed and agreed… as I stated way up above, I like Leigh’s posts in general, but according to my own, completely non-binding and self-serving criteria regarding my vote for Molly, Leigh’s continued, if even occasional, defense of her own special brand of christianity is a disqualifier. It shows a continued disconnect with reality, in my opinion, that taints her otherwise fine commentary. The Molly is given for content of posts, and unfortunately the content of some of Leigh’s posts contain defense of christianity.

    It’s a personal thing with me. But I hold no grudge against anyone who would vote for her, nor would I try to argue that they shouldn’t if they feel she is deserving by their own criteria.

  98. #98 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 19, 2010

    CE, Understood. I often don’t know how to phrase an argument until I bounce it off of somebody else, so I tend to value a sharp foil who sees the world differently from me. And I think it is admirable posting one’s views where you know they will face criticism.

  99. #99 Kel, OM
    January 19, 2010

    Yes, there’s a big difference, but I don’t think you’re emphasizing enough that it’s still a matter of degree. I would say Christians all believe to some extent that Bible is true about some things (quite a few things, though not necessarily that it’s completely inerrant) and that some of it was divinely-inspired.

    I guess if you believe Jesus is Lord, then the gospels are divinely inspired by definition – but that’s a different type of inspiration to one that conjures up what people mean by “divinely inspired”. It’s more like saying an artist was inspired by a sunset or the way light reflected off a bowl of fruit. The general sense of divinely inspired is one of a ghost writer, the one that is being mentioned here is echoing vision. Though I would agree these aren’t discrete quantities and there is a continuum among believers.

    There are some who don’t believe Genesis, but do believe Revelation. Both are anti-scientific, and one of the bigger differences is which kind of scientific theories they do not accept to be true. The Answers in Genesis crowd is cleraly batshit crazy and worthy of scorn, but others with more “liberal” views are only relatively more sane.

    I’m with you on that, I don’t think any form of theism is intellectually defensible. And I’m not arguing for a particular interpretation, they aren’t my beliefs. What I was arguing against (which does seem somewhat lost) was the notion that liberal theism is bad theism. That anyone could think that the “batshit crazy” are correct in their take of theism and those who look at it as a socially-constructed human-edited volume are wrong sounds like they just want to argue a straw man.

  100. #100 Jadehawk, OM
    January 19, 2010

    *peeks into thread*

    oh my… the only way this election could be any more controversial would be if Walton was getting enough votes to possibly win, too :-p

    *tip-toes back out of thread*

  101. #101 Walton
    January 19, 2010

    oh my… the only way this election could be any more controversial would be if Walton was getting enough votes to possibly win, too :-p

    Don’t worry, I think that fad is long over (as flattering as I found it at the time). I’ve pissed off too many people; one day, maybe, I’ll understand humanity well enough to figure out why. :-)

    But I’d really, really like Leigh to win the Molly for this month. I think it makes an important point, which is this: it is not necessary to try and build a world in which everyone is an atheist. Nor is it impossible for a religious person to earn intellectual and personal respect.

    In and of itself, I really don’t think it matters whether people believe in God or not. What matters is whether they hold beliefs that actually harm other people’s lives. Creationism, faith healing, religious homophobia and the like are actively harmful beliefs that, in measurable ways, make our society worse. The same can be said of many non-religious dogmas, such as homeopathy.

    By contrast, Leigh’s brand of ultra-liberal Christianity is not harmful, in any way that I can discern. In practical terms, her actual moral and ethical beliefs and practices don’t seem to differ substantially from most of the atheists on Pharyngula; indeed, politically, she’s much closer to the Pharyngula mainstream than I am. So I don’t see why her brand of religion should bother us at all. It’s far more important to encourage conservative Christians to become liberal Christians, than to encourage liberal Christians to become atheists.

  102. #102 CJO
    January 19, 2010

    Meh. Scott Hatfield’s already got one. How many token Christians do we need? (disclaimer: I do not dislike Leigh. I appreciate her comments, just as I do those of many others for whom I would likewise not vote for Molly.)

    John Morales gets my vote for December.

  103. #103 Bobber
    January 19, 2010

    Congratulations to Aratina Cage (who is always a victim, like Daffy Duck, of “pronoun trouble”).

    I would like to put forward my vote for John Morales, who has been a constant warrior in the Good Fight, and has wielded his rhetorical saber with good humor, as well.

  104. #104 aratina cage of the OM
    January 19, 2010

    Thphanx, Bobber! I’ll try to get on top of things to avoid becoming a duck dinner what with rabbit season fast approaching.

  105. #105 Bobber
    January 19, 2010

    “Shoot me now! Shoot me now!”

  106. #106 David Marjanovi?
    January 19, 2010

    The Molly is given for content of posts

    Erm… no, it’s just a pure popularity contest. Full text:

    We have a monthly award here on Pharyngula, in which commenters can nominate and vote for one of their own as the best and most interesting and most deserving of acknowledgment. It’s called the Order of the Molly, after the late Molly Ivins, who was also one of those people most of us know only from her writings, but with whom we also wish we could have a conversation?and you know they’d be great at it, too.

    So here’s the list of people we look forward to in the comment threads?people we might all think to emulate.

    Incidentally, I agree with comment 101 on the “mostly harmless” issue. :-)

  107. #107 Islander
    January 21, 2010

    Sorry for being late to the orgy party.

    I vote for Celtic_Evolution , tsg and Sven Dimilo . If they don’t get mollified soon, I’m going on strike. For whatever good that would do.

  108. #108 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    January 21, 2010

    John Morales

  109. #109 Sven DiMilo
    January 21, 2010

    I already done been mollified; thank you though.