This episode seems to have a special theme: those whacky Christian fundamentalists, up to their silly hijinks in their classic laugh-a-minute way that we all know and love.
So without further ado, on to the links!
First up, we have this breaking news from Muckflash: Christian Group to Produce Clean Pornography.
The group, recently incorporated as the Southern Coalition for Progressive and Pure Change (an obscure sub-branch of the International Congress of Church and Ministries), will pay for the production of 5 films which they say will act as a “stepping stone away from iniquity” as viewers use the films as an intermediate step as they “switch paths from the sexually impure world of the devil to the white shining path of the Lord.”
“We’re envisioning a kind of ‘nicotine patch’ for the tortured souls that struggle in this world to find a Christian voice in the midst of a popular culture that has lost the Word of God in a heathen cacophony of selfish desire,” said Reverend Dr. Stanley Lovett, Founder and Executive Director of SCPPC.
Let's not forget the subtext of racism and good old-fashioned slave-era stereotypes about blacks, which tend to follow conservative Christianity like flies following a charnel wagon:
Dr. Lovett was willing to give a general description of the the first film, however. According to Lovett, Jodie and the Great Black Whale will feature an 18 year old missionary in Jamaica who is swayed by native temptors into working as an exotic dancer.
And just in time, too, because over at the God and Science site, we learn that pornography leads to sex with robots, and sex with robots leads to the extinction of the human race.
The data underlying the "radical" predictions laid out in this page come from scientific studies that have examined the pervasiveness and effects of pornography upon men and women. In particular, recent data show widespread acceptance of pornography among today's young adults as "an acceptable way to express one's sexuality."1 For males the acceptance rate is 67% compared to 37% for their fathers. Among young adult women the acceptance rate is 49% compared to 20% among their mothers. So, the rate of acceptance of pornography has doubled in just one generation. When those young adults raise their own children, the acceptance rate will probably be greater than 80% for both males and females. The step between watching pornography through technology and engaging in sex acts through an attractive technological object is not that far, especially when the object acts as if it were a real human being.
I don't know what's more silly about this article--the notion that human beings don't actually sex out to have babies and certainly won't go out of their way to have one if there's a convenient, non-baby-making alternative, or the even more insulting notion that human relationships are a dismal, unhappy affair, filled with complication and weighed down by erratic, moody women, and that anyone who could skip the whole sordid mess by having sex with robots would never want human companionship.
The Religious Right truly is the village idiot of American culture. These guys never cease to blow my mind with their bizarre misunderstanding of basic human emotion. They really, truly do not get it, on a level that borders on autistic.
Oh, and anti-intellectualism. Mustn't forget anti-intellectualism. Over on the NY Times Stanley Fish blog comes this astonishing condemnation of intellectual enquiry, Does Curiosity Kill More than the Cat?
Most conservative Christians seem content to keep anti-intellectualism as the subtext of their basic world view. Not so for Stanley, who puts it right out there:
In short, curiosity — sometimes called research, sometimes called unfettered inquiry, sometimes called progress, sometimes called academic freedom — is their God. The question, posed by thinkers from Aquinas to Augustine to Newman to Griffiths, is whether this is the God — the God, ultimately, of self — we want to worship.
And finally, PZ Myers posted this little gem, which neatly sums it all up: