Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked by the Templeton Foundatation (yikes - not exactly well thought of in most scientific circles) if the Universe has a purpose... his answer in the form of a short series of sketches (one minute science style)
I grew up in Montana where some people were very religious, but most made a place for it in their lives on days like Easter and perhaps Christmas (although Christmas was really a mostly secular holiday). I suspect if you really tested the allegiances of people, many would give up religion before football or hunting and fishing.
In high achool I had a great history teacher who was given a bit of freedom to create his own course. His history of religion course was one of the best high school classes I had, but it was quickly shut down by the school board and he received a reprimand and suspension as a result. It seems he presented religions as equal - just very different manifestations of man's belief in something else and basically a thread that probably ran to ancient times. His sin, in the eyes of some in the community, was not setting Christianity apart as special and correct.
There is a separation of church and state here, but it is a bit leaky ... a couple of religions are strongly favored and are given amazing tax exemptions and public square benefits. Occasionally atheists and people of unusual religions test what has evolved, but there has been little success as many in authority either believe or fall in line with the notion of some that perhaps there is only one true belief.
I wonder what would happen if blue laws were returned in force and Sunday football, non-religious television and hunting and fishing was banned? Perhaps this is something the Republicans can work on to strengthen their ties with the religious right...
I'm all for teaching about religion in public schools - but only about religion. They should be presented in their multitude and fairly compared and contrasted in proper context rather than promoting one. Their existance and enormous variety is fascinating and may well point to something else - perhaps something deep about the workings of the human mind.
What happens when some rational people happen to live in a district with the only candidate has a nut-job worldview.
snip (emphasis mine)
A spot check Thursday of some of the other counties in the east Georgia congressional district revealed a smattering of votes for Darwin, although it wasn’t always clear, based on information provided by elections offices in those counties, whether those votes were cast in the 10th District race. And because the long-dead Darwin was not a properly certified write-in candidate, some counties won’t be tallying votes for him, whether in the congressional race or other contests.
A campaign asking voters to write-in Darwin’s name in the 10th Congressional District, which includes half of Athens-Clarke County, began after Broun, speaking at a sportsmen’s banquet at a Hartwell church, called evolution and other areas of science “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Jim Leebens-Mack, the University of Georgia plant biologist who started a “Darwin for Congress” Facebook page in the wake of Broun’s remarks, said the number of Darwin votes cast in the race were “in the ballpark, a little bit more” than he had expected.
The Darwin votes, Leebens-Mack added, made it “clear to me, and I hope everybody, that Paul Broun is vulnerable” in terms of continued re-election to Congress. Broun was first elected in a special 2007 election, and won re-election in 2008, 2010 and again on Tuesday in a newly drawn 10th District, reconfigured as part of congressional reapportionment.
just the thing for women as they will be losing their reproductive rights ... odd how a party that claims it wants to reduce government is so hell-bent on controlling women and their medicine cabinets...
An apology for the strong subject and the graphics, but this is centrally important to many women I know and the Republicans want to outlaw the practice. Of course they can work for what they want, but it is very important to consider the repercussions. They basically don't trust women.
Imagine the "moderate" Republican position (supposedly Romney's position this week, although it wasn't that for the past year when he was siding with that of Ryan and the extreme right) ... namely it is allowable if there was a rape. Whose word will they trust? The woman, the man, a judge, the police? Will the decision be challenged? How long will the challenged take and will that move beyond the abortion window? Has Romney thought this through...?
Ryan and his ilk have proposed criminalizing it for the provider and the woman. They have been trying to get this sort of thing through Congress without luck - so far.
Now consider that four of the Supremes are over 70. It is likely the next President will have the opportunity to appoint one or two. A revisit to R v W is probably a 5-4 split now considering the makeup of the court. I would imagine Romney would apply a litmus test and we would get a 4-5 split and women would lose a fundamental right and the control of their own bodies.
Nothing like moving the clock backwards to a worse time.
People are great at pattern recognition. This has proven to be extremely useful to our species, but we also have a tendency to see patterns where none exist. We tend to seek these patterns in random information to create explanations to support notions about gambling and luck, religion, paranormal phenomena and so on.
My own scouting experiences were less than ideal and I had assumed that it must be reasonably irrelevant these days, but it is still very popular with Mormons and is seen as training for missionaries.
“Scouting fits in nicely with our spiritual goals,” said David L. Beck, president of the church’s Young Men organization, in an interview at the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We want our young men to be upstanding citizens and good husbands and fathers.”
The all-in support of the Mormons has, in turn, been a boon for the scouts as they have struggled against a 20 percent decline in membership over the last dozen years and, most recently, faced criticism for failing in the past to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
In 2011, Mormon-sponsored packs and troops accounted for more than one-third of the country’s scout units, and the 421,000 boys they enrolled, from ages 8 to 18, made up 15 percent of the country’s 2.7 million registered scouts. (Because every ward has its own unit, many Mormon-sponsored troops are smaller than average.) They have provided comparable shares of the $51 million in dues the Boy Scouts of America collects each year, although the Boy Scouts, with revenues of $269 million in 2010, also receive large corporate donations and make tens of millions of dollars selling scout supplies.