Saturday, February 19, 2011

Colbert on Bill O'Reilly's Tide/Moon Argument for the Existence of the Christian Deity

     Stephen Colbert's humorous responses to FOX Gospel's Bill O'Reilly's scientific ignorance:
(Sorry I missed this story for so long.  I've been deep in the thesis.)

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Glenn Beck's Hateful Anti-Christ Theology, Bill O'Reilly's Tide Argument, FOX "News" or the Church of Rupert Murdoch?: a "Scientific" Explanation

     Here's Rachel Maddow's report on Glenn Beck's "reporting" about the connection between President Obama, the "antichrist," and the "end times."  Even ten years ago, this religious nonsense would have been laughed off as crazy by reputable news organizations, but now it's broadcast as "news."  If you don't think they're effective, you might be shocked to discover in the embedded report that 35% of the people polled in New Jersey--not Mississippi, Idaho, Arizona or Texas, but politically diverse New Jersey--think that Obama is either the "antichrist" or don't know whether or not he is.

     What Glenn Beck and FOX are doing is not reporting.  As I listened to him, I recognized his method; I learned to structure such a presentation in seminary, in my homiletics classes.  Beck  is preaching--admittedly poorly--the religious xenophobia of fundamentalist Christians.  FOX is not a news organization, but a church.  (Let's just hope Holy Father Rupert doesn't realize this and apply for religious tax exemption.)

     In other FOX "News"/Gospel preaching, Bill O'Reilly has been arguing for the existence of his god based on what he claims is humanity's inability to explain the rise and fall of the tides and the origin of the moon and the sun.  The Huffington Post reports:
     In a video for Premium Members of his website, Bill O'Reilly doubled down on his statement that the existence of the tides is definitive evidence that God exists.  
     The Fox News host took a lot of heat for claiming that science cannot explain why the tides occur in such a regular fashion when in fact the tides are the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth.
     O'Reilly remains unimpressed:
     'Okay, how did the moon get there? How'd the moon get there? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd the moon get there? How'd the sun get there? How'd it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it? Venus doesn't have it. How come? Why not? How'd it get here?'
     In fact, prevailing scientific theory is that the moon formed as the result of a massive impact with Earth; Mars has two moons; etc, etc. 
     And those who continuously say, "See it's just a scientific 'theory'!" need to learn the actual scientific meaning of the term before projecting their colloquial usage.  A scientific theory is a proven scientific hypothesis.  (We should have learned this in middle school science class or even sooner.)

     There's a great explanation of this middle-school wisdom on Wilstar.com.  Here's a clip:
     A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole.
     Here's the equation of the day.  Don't worry, it's easier to comprehend than E = mc2.

     Scientific Ignorance + Religious Fundamentalism = FOX "News" Hypotheses about the Tides, the Moon, and President "antichrist" Obama

The GOP's War on Women's Rights and Poor Children; Democratic Representatives Moore & Speier Fight Back

     Do you remember October and November, when Republicans said that the election was about job creation?  Well, the past month has shown their true agenda.  One of the groups they are targeting is women.  How is this for the Gospel According to Hate?

     MoveOn.org compiled the following report:

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.
2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that couldmake it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids. 
5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life. 
6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said.Women should really be home with the kids, not out working. 
7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing toeliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).

Sources: 

1. "'Forcible Rape' Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding," The Huffington Post, February 9, 2011http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206084 
"Extreme Abortion Coverage Ban Introduced," Center for American Progress, January 20, 2011http://www.moveon.org/r?r=205961 
2. "Georgia State Lawmaker Seeks To Redefine Rape Victims As 'Accusers,'" The Huffington Post, February 4, 2011http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206007 
3. "South Dakota bill would legalize killing abortion doctors," Salon, February 15, 2011http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/02/15/south_dakota_abortion_killing_bill 
4. "House GOP Proposes Cuts to Scores of Sacred Cows," National Journal, February 9, 2011http://nationaljournal.com/house-gop-proposes-cuts-to-scores-of-sacred-cows-20110209 
5. "New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion," Talking Points Memo, February 4, 2011http://www.moveon.org/r?r=205974 
6. "Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should be Married and Home with Kids," Think Progress, February 16, 2011http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/16/gop-women-kids/ 
7. "Bye Bye, Big Bird. Hello, E. Coli," The New Republic, Feburary 12, 2011http://www.tnr.com/blog/83387/house-republican-spending-cuts-pell-education-usda-pbs 
8. "House GOP spending cuts will devastate women, families and economy," The Hill, February 16, 2011 http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/144585-house-gop-spending-cuts-will-devastate-women-families-and-economy- 
9. "House passes measure stripping Planned Parenthood funding," MSNBC, February 18,2011 http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/18/6080756-house-passes-measure-stripping-planned-parenthood-funding
"GOP Spending Plan: X-ing Out Title X Family Planning Funds," Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2011http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/02/09/gop-spending-plan-x-ing-out-title-x-family-planning-funds/ 
10. Ibid. 
"Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women," Blog for Choice, February 17, 2011http://www.blogforchoice.com/archives/2011/02/birth-control-f.html
    Here's Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) speaking out against #9 on the above list, from her own experience of becoming a teenage mother in poverty.  She calls the GOP out on their claim that they are helping black babies and both parties for the gutting of support programs for low income mothers.


     Here's Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives calling the Republicans out for their hypocrisy of speaking about job creation while attacking people's private medical decisions.