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By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them: The Dover Id Trial




blog-0707410001333459422.jpgI just got finished reading the 150-page judge's report on the Dover trial, and just got done watching hours of documentaries about ID that also covered the Dover trial.


The one thing that springs out at me throughout the media I've absorbed is the sheer mendacity and duplicity of the ID proponents. The Dover school board's leader, Alan Bonsell, lied pretty much from the moment he joined the board, and lied pretty much every moment during his part of the trial. He lied about whether or not he'd talked about bringing prayer and creationism back to schools, about how his school had gotten funding for the ID textbooks he tried to buy, about how the textbooks had actually been purchased, about how much research he'd done before adopting ID as his method of choice for pushing Christianity on students, about why he contacted the ID groups he did, about pretty much everything. He was refuted constantly by verbal and written records from other board members, parents, teachers, and the school administration. The judge mentioned several times how non-credible Bonsell was and how completely astonishing it was that he'd lie like that. But the beefy asshole still did it and still insisted he had done no wrong at all.


It's one thing to lie to Christians--let's face it, Christians will buy any fish story as long as the guy telling it has a Bible in one hand--but another to try those sad lies out on a judge who has training in critical and rational thinking. Bonsell and his henchmen got slapped hard, and to this day they whine about how pissy the "activist judge" got about little tiny one-minute statements they made, acting like he was focusing on an error in speaking or some tiny little human mistake. Meanwhile, the rest of the world, which has no reason to swallow any fish story told by guys with Bibles in their hands, looks on astonished that anybody could be so dunderheaded, so deluded. I kept thinking, No, you idiot. YOU LIED. You totally lied. You didn't just misspeak or get taken out of context. You absolutely lied. You, putative follower of the One True God, the transforming savior, the fount of all that is good and holy, you, who say you were infilled by the messiah of all mankind, you fucking lied on the stand over and over and you got caught. I can't even say Bonsell was just sincerely wrong. He knew better, he knew what he was doing, and he knew it was wrong. And he did it anyway, and then he lied about it.


One cannot say that Bonsell wasn't a True Christian, either. Clearly Bonsell thinks he was a true Christian. If anybody dared tell him otherwise, I can see that delusional lunatic taking a swing at his accuser.


And I've got to ask: Why do Christians tolerate liars like these in their midst? Why is lying, as a conversion technique, tolerated? Why are all these "ex-atheist" and "ex-Satanist" converts not challenged as to the veracity of their pre-Christian life stories? Why are faith healings and their witch-doctor faith healers not investigated thoroughly before they can fleece the unsuspecting flocks? Why do they not apply their peculiar double-standard, "He's just not a true Christian," to these con artists long before they get to a pulpit or to a school board to wreak havoc on their faith's reputation? Why didn't anybody take Bonsell aside and tell him that despite what he may think, he's certainly no true Christian and needs to get his act together? Hell, Pat Robertson actually defended the Dover school board and threatened God's vengeance upon the entire city for refusing to kowtow to fake science, though he didn't mention what he thought about Bonsell getting caught lying half-a-dozen times.


Here's what it comes down to: I am allowed to judge a faith by the constant and utter failures of its followers to adhere by its simplest commands.


One person who lies and cheats like Bonsell, I can kind of excuse. Every group is allowed to have a failure in it. But when there are so many failures in a religion that it generates a named logical fallacy ("No True Scotsman") for how often it must make excuses for those failures, when Christians as a group are the biggest moral failures in my entire country, when Christ-pushing politicians are most noteworthy for their scandals, then I'm allowed to think that this can't possibly be a true, transforming faith.


Make no mistakes: Christianity is no transforming faith. A con artist is still a con artist after conversion. A controlling, lying sack of shit corn-fed right-wing nutjob is still precisely that even though he believes in Jesus. I knew even while I was fundie that assholes were still assholes even after meeting this divine, transforming, wonder-working God. God's supposed infilling of love and mercy doesn't actually change anything or anybody.


I'm allowed to judge Christianity by its fruits, and those fruits are rotten. If it bothers Christians that "untrue Christians" are ruining their image, then it's on them to fix that, not get mad at others for calling their faith out for tolerating liars. The problem isn't me judging them by their failures, but on them for having so damned many failures. If Christians were known far and wide as the most moral people ever, if everyone could see that they were the healthiest, kindest, most compassionate people in the world, that'd be a decent argument in their favor. But if the people following the religion can't even figure out how to live by their own religion's demands, then I don't see why I should take it seriously. They're just people, and there's nothing divine about their morality as a group. I'm free to disregard, refuse, and rebuff their outrageous claims and demands.



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This an excellent post, and makes a lot of good points. I would like to add one of my own in the form of a few rhetorical questions:


If it is so important to God that intelligent design* is taught in schools instead of or alongside evolution, why would he cause his followers to have to lie about their motives and their actions? Why should they have to sneak it in through the back door, instead of being transparent and forthright? If God approves of what they're doing, shouldn't they be brazen and loudly proclaiming his glory about getting intelligent design into the curriculum?



*I cringe whenever I have to type this phrase. There is nothing intelligent about "intelligent design."

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Exactly! The idea of having to push ID like it's Amway, sneaking around and never saying just what it is, grates at me. I'm glad I quit church before most of this creationism shit got popular.

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