Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why no one at FNC should be permitted to talk about science - Glenn Beck, 10/15/2010

The level of stupidity and ignorance that is displayed by Fox News and their guests never cease to amaze me. Then again, I'm not so sure that it's stupidity on the part of Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly, as much as it is the naivety of their viewers. These three make their livings on the fact that most of their viewers are too stupid to lift a finger to do any kind of research to their claims.

Take, for example, the October 15th edition of the Glenn Beck show as he, along with David Barton and Calvin Beisner, spent an hour ripping environmental protection to shreds. I didn't know whether to laugh myself or be scared that millions of people are believing what they were saying. Among the claims made by these three:

Environmentalists worship Ba'al.
Totalitarianism existed before it was actually conceived.
Ba'al was the god of the Babylonians.
Only 9.7% of scientists alive today believe in God.
Birds pre-date reptiles.
The Judeo-Christian God ended slavery.
The Ten Commandments are still relevant to today's society.
The daily activities of mankind play no role in climate change.
Progressives believe that social justice is evil; Glenn Beck is its champion.
Progressives think that mankind is horribly evil and wicked while earth is inherently good (this one will make you laugh).
Atheism is a religion.

In particular, the three were discussing a recent article released by the Tides Foundation titled "Let There Be...Stuff". Go to the Story of Stuff website here. Watch the Story of Stuff on Youtube here. The real problem that they have with the Story of Stuff is that George Soros is funding it, not the science behind it. They'd rather attack Soros than try to examine the information being presented.

Throughout the program Beisner, Beck and Barton spoke as if they have God's cell number on speed dial and just had dinner with him last night. Furthermore, they know God's will, which is the supreme height of arrogance. "But we're not just splitting hairs when what we see is pantheism being brought into the churches, saying that God is the Universe, that the Universe is God instead of saying God made the Universe," said Beisner. "That's not splitting hairs. That's a fundamental doctrine of historic Christianity called creation ex nihilo, creation out of nothing. Otherwise, you think that God created the Universe out of himself, and that's Buddhist and Hindu thought, not Christian."

Prove that your God created the Universe, Mr. Beisner, and prove that the Universe isn't a spiritual, sentient being that couldn't have created itself. This argument is already dead in the water. But, by the end of the first segment of the show, Beisner resorted to Genesis 1:28 as another example of how to use the Bible to justify stupidity. Not to be outdone, Barton offered the following as evidence of his argument:

Wow. Mind-bending.

Coincidentally, Glenn, the writers of the Hebrew Bible turned Ba'al from a god of rain, fertility, and agriculture to a demonic deity. None of these things sound demonic to me. Furthermore, the chief deity of the Babylonians was Marduk. Marduk later became Ba'al by default as the term means "lord". Ba'al was more of a title, much like Christ, than a deity. Glenn later corrected himself by stating that environmentalists are more likely to worship Gaia.

All of this aside, I do consider myself an environmentalist, at least to the extent that I'm conscientious of decisions that may impact my world. I make an honest effort to recycle every plastic bag and bottle, every glass jar, every newspaper, and every sheet of office paper I come across. I don't drive one of these; I drive one of these. I don't throw trash out of my car, nor do I let it idle for hours. And while I love kids, I think that irresponsible pricks like this misogynistic, brainwashing, control freak really need to have their tubes severed and seared and their tax-exempt status revoked.

That said, just like there are dangerous ideologues in the far right-wing, so are there in the far-left environmentalist movement. And yes, there are many mentally unstable environmentalists who would rather see humanity go the way of the dodo and that man is horrible and evil. But long before any environmentalist held this belief, Paul had already scribed Romans 3:10.

But this entire hit piece by Beck, Barton and Beisner has absolutely nothing to do with trying to suppress environmental extremism or even understanding climate change and environmental protection. It has the smell of New Age earth-worship, and these three hate it. Even Beisner is the founder of the Cornwall Alliance, which is dedicated to environmental protection, or as the website states, "stewardship". If this organization truly has the best interest of humanity and the environment at heart, then that's something I can get behind, even if it is a Christian organization. But they shouldn't expect any donations from me anytime soon.

Is there common ground that can be reached here? Yes, but very little. For the first time in years, Glenn actually said something that I agree with -- that we're too wrapped up in materialism to even notice what it means to be alive. Also, there are very unstable people within environmentalism. Other than that, the three offered no scientific evidence to support their claims, only ad hominem attacks and propaganda.

I need to remind Christians, including Barton and Beisner, that the Constitution protects every citizen and religion, not just them and their idealized version of Christianity. If they don't like it then I suggest they pack their bags and move to any of these countries.

David Barton has a B.A. in religious education from Oral Roberts University. He has no background in science, climatology, geography, environmental studies, ecology, or meteorology. Even though he and his idea that separation of Church and State is a myth have been thoroughly debunked, he still proclaims that the Founders were Christian and meant the United States to be a Christian nation. How then can we believe anything that comes out of his mouth? And if you're reading this Mr. Barton, I have a question for you; if the Founders meant this to be a Christian nation, why does the Constitution prohibit any kind of religious test in order to hold public office?

Calvin Beisner earned his B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion and Philosophy at USC, an M.A. in Society from International College (he doesn't mention which International College), and a Ph.D. in Scottish History from The University of St. Andrews. He graduated magna cum laude in his chosen majors at USC and International College, so he's clearly an intelligent individual. Personally, I think Beisner genuinely believes what he teaches and is a decent, kind human being. I don't think he's out to hurt anyone, but I do believe he has a certain disdain for science and definitely has a Christian agenda to push and books to sell.

Glenn Beck graduated from high school. That's it. He has no post-secondary education of any kind in any discipline. No background in biology, history, ecology, astronomy, cosmology, meteorology, physics, economics, demography, geography, theology, or even basket weaving. The most admirable accomplishment in Glenn's life is overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction. Other than that, all he has going for him is the ability to spin arguments and confuse people. Nearly every other word that comes out of this man's mouth is either a distortion or a bold-faced lie in an attempt to promote his agenda and get rich off people's stupidity.

So what do the backgrounds of these men have to do with climate change and the environment? Absolutely nothing. They combined their knowledge about ecology, physics, meteorology and climate change and the best evidence they can provide is an idealized chalkboard representation of God vs. Man? Please.

Overall, these three offer no credible evidence for their arguments, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence against theirs - 1, 2, 3, 4. The only one who even came close to making a reasonable argument was Beisner. This link has the video in three parts, plus some pretty interesting commentary by readers about why these three are wrong, and others who agree with them. Also, it is interesting to note that Beisner gave a speech in 2008 at the International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by the Heartland Institution, which gets funding from Exxon Mobil.

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