Tag Archives: Intolerance

William Lane Craig: churches should focus on apologetics to attract more men

Church sucks, that's why men are bored there
Church sucks, that’s why men are bored there

I saw that Triablogue quoted an interesting passage from William Lane Craig’s newsletter.

Here it is:

One overwhelming impression of these engagements is the way in which the intellectual defense of Christian faith attracts men. Both at Texas A&M and again at Miami every single student who got up to ask a question was a guy! I wondered if the girls are just shy. But then I remembered a lengthy clip Jan and I watched of cast members of Downton Abbey doing a Q&A with an audience in New York. Almost every person who came to the microphone at that event was a woman! It wasn’t until late into the evening that a man finally asked a question, which was remarked by all the cast members. Why the difference between that session and the ones I experienced?—simply because the Downton Abbey program is highly relational, which is more appealing to women, whereas my talks were principally intellectually oriented, which is more appealing to men.

Churches have difficulty attracting men, and the church is becoming increasingly feminized. I believe that apologetics is a key to attracting large numbers of men (as well as women) to church and to Christ. By presenting rational arguments and historical evidences for the truth of the Gospel, by appealing to the mind as well as the heart, we can bring a great influx of men into the Kingdom. I’m so pleased that the church in Canada seems to be awakening to this challenge! I’m convinced that we have the opportunity to revolutionize Western Christianity by reclaiming our intellectual heritage.

I could tell you many, many stories of what it was like for me being shut down by churches who were overly sensitive to the desires of women. In college, I and the other male students had every attempt to bring in scholars to lecture or debate shut down by female leadership. Every single week it was prayer walks, testimonies, hymn sings… over and over. Eventually, the more manly Christians just quit going. Later on, I witnessed apologetics being shut down in the church from the top down and from the bottom up, as well.

I remember one week an excited male friend invited me to his church because his male pastor was giving sermons using Hugh Ross and Gerald Shroeder books. He was trying to tie in the existence of God to cosmology. Well, I showed up the next Sunday to hear, and was disappointed. I could tell that the pastor wanted to go back to that subject, but he never really did. Later on, we found out that a female parishioner had complained that too much science and evidence had ruined her experience of feeling good and being comforted.

I could go on and on and on telling stories like this. To this day, I cannot stand being in a church unless that church has organized things like apologetic training classes, public lectures, public debates or public conferences. But that’s the minority of churches. The fact is that churches are attended far more by women than by men, and pastors are catering to women more than men. Not only will apologetics not be mentioned, but elements of feminism will creep into doctrine (egalitarianism) and all political issues will be avoided. Church has become a place to have good feelings, and it is far divorced from anything like evidence or politics which might be viewed as judgmental and divisive. And yet those are the things that men like to talk about most: right and wrong, public policy, evidential apologetics.

Is the Human Rights Campaign blaming Christians for Orlando terrorist attack?

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign
Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

My Christian friends who follow these things and try to read the times are telling me that they are seeing a lot of articles blaming Christians for the recent terrorist attack committed by an Islamic terrorist.

National Review reports:

Well, that didn’t take long. It was just a matter of time before opposition to the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policies was linked to the massacre at an Orlando gay bar, committed by a shooter who took time out from his horrific killing spree to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

And sure enough, this morning’s New York Times reports that gay rights “movement leaders” wonder whether “high-profile policy fights like the one over the Obama administration’s recent directive requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice” is increasing violence against gays. The Times’s article, by reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, offers potential frames for the mass murder, none of which include Islamic terrorism: “What did it mean that it happened in June, Gay Pride Month? Was it a hate crime against gay people or simply evidence that gun violence is out of control — or both? Gay rights have been advancing at a rapid clip. Has that lessened homophobia? Or maybe made it worse?”

The Atlantic’s religion reporter, Emma Green, posited a “loose connection” between what she called “anti-trans rhetoric” and the Orlando violence, during a segment on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning entitled “Orlando and the State of the Gay Bar”: “There is a loose connection that is very difficult to pin down between some of the anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric that we’ve seen in the U.S. not primarily from Muslim groups but from Christian groups that have laid a foundation for homophobia and transphobia. Although most of the groups that are supporting that type of rhetoric would not condone the type of violence we saw in Orlando, it does create an environment of bigotry and acceptance of homophobia against LGBT people.” (Green went on to say that some people who hold “sincerely held beliefs” about homosexuality can “still extend messages of love and fellowship.”)

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told MSNBC today that what happened in Orlando was an example of the toxic mix that occurs when a “deranged, delusional person is taught to hate” by a “preacher on Sunday morning in church or by a politician.” Actually, no “Sunday preacher” taught mass murderer Omar Mateen to hate; we can be sure, however, that radical Islamic propaganda did.

You might remember that the Human Rights Campaign has been featured on this blog a number of times, because they are the leading group seeking to silence, coerce and otherwise suppress Judeo-Christian values in the public square.

Let’s review the history the Human Rights Campaign to discover their agenda from actual actions:

And so on.

A friend of mine pointed out that if you Google “Human Rights Campaign”, Google displays a special rainbow colored banner to celebrate their group. That’s not surprising since many large corporations are on board with the Human Rights Campaign agenda of anti-Christian bigotry.

Here are their Platinum corporate partners:

Human Rights Campaign Platinum Partners
Human Rights Campaign Platinum Partners

Here is Hillary Clinton, being endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign:

Hillary Clinton and her ally, the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and her ally, the Human Rights Campaign

Having strong allies in the White House will enable them to destroy his “religious right” enemies all the more effectively. How far would the Human Rights Campaign go to achieve their ends? We’re going to find out, because lots of Democrats who falsely claim to be Christians keep voting for the Democrat Party.

By the way, the Orlando Islamic terrorist was a registered Democrat.

Gay marriage collides with freedom of conscience and religious liberty in the UK

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

It’s not just happening in Canada and the United States.

Here’s the UK Telegraph article.

It says:

The Christian bakers taken to court for refusing to make a cake promoting gay marriage say their experience is like living in a dystopian “science fiction” world where the state orders people to say things they do not believe.

[…]The family firm, based on Newtonabbey, near Belfast, found itself at the centre of an international storm in summer 2014 after cancelling an order for a cake featuring the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the slogan “support gay marriage”.

[…]The McArthurs, who are evangelical Christians, said they could not in conscience make the cake because they believe same-sex marriage is against the teaching of the Bible.

[…]But Mr Lee, backed by the Equality Commission, a state-funded body which operates in Northern Ireland, said it amounted to discrimination under laws which ban refusing to provide services on grounds of religion, race or sexual orientation.

[…]Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that refusing to produce a cake calling for the change did amount to discrimination against Mr Lee.

She said the McArthurs did not have the right to ‘manifest’ their belief in a commercial setting.

You don’t have a right to act like a Christian outside your church. When you are outside your church, you have to act like a progressive atheist. That’s “neutrality”. Progressive atheists have to act like progressive atheists in public, and  Bible-believing Christians have to act like progressive atheists in public. That’s “equality”, according to the taxpayer-funded “Equality Commission”. That’s their job, actually – converting the taxes collected by Christian taxpayers into witch-hunts against those same Christian taxpayers.

But look, there is more hope in the UK than there is here:

Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.

It came as Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, emerged as a surprise supporter for the McArthurs’ appeal.

He said that, while he totally disagreed with their views on gay marriage, it is a basic “infringement of freedom” to force people to promote ideas to which they conscientiously object.

See? Now look here. I have no problem with gay people living how they want, signing contracts about wills and hospital visitation, and so on. But what I do object to is their desire to redefine marriage for all of us, so that people like me who have a different view of what marriage is have to be fired, pay fines and go to jail – all for disagreeing with their view. Well, excuse me, but I am allowed to have a different view.

At least one gay activist (Tatchell) has sense enough to be tolerant of those who disagree with him. That’s real tolerance, not like these secular leftist fascists in the UK government. I hope there are more like him.

Last point. How did the Christians feel about it?

Excerpt:

Speaking to The Telegraph, the couple said they had received hate mail and online abuse but had no regrets.

[…]Mr McArthur said he had been bewildered to find himself up against the courts and a state equality body for supporting what is currently the law.

[…]He insisted that, rather than discriminating against a gay customer, the family were themselves effectively suffering discrimination by being denied the right to refuse to endorse gay marriage.

“For us, I think it means you have to leave your Christianity at your house and in your church, once you go out the door in the morning you can forget about your Christian beliefs,” he said.

[…]but [our faith affects] every part of our lives.

“It is impossible for us not to bring it with us during the day.”

He added: “It is our human right to live according to those beliefs and we can’t do something that goes against those beliefs, we can’t be forced to do it.

“That is basically what the Equality Commission expect us to do, they expect us to go against our Christian beliefs despite how we feel.”

“It is like something out of a science fiction book: ‘you have to do this, there is no choice … you must do this, no matter what your conscience tells you, no matter how hard, never mind that you couldn’t do that, you have to do it we demand it of you’.”

So, UK taxpayers must pay taxes to the government that wants to silence and coerce them. I wonder that anyone who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian could support overreach by a bloated secular government. We need small, limited government where government is focused on its Constitutional responsibilities – not on using force to make us all think alike.

I don’t think that most people of other religions, except perhaps Orthodox Jews, really understand what is required of Bible-believing Christians. We are expected to honor God in everything we do, and acknowledge him in all of our thinking and decision-making, including decision-making about morality. Although most secular people think morality is illusory and that truth takes a backseat to hedonism, that is not the Christian view.

Jesus says this:

Matthew 10:32-33:

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

You may not believe that, but don’t push your views on us, using the power of government. Christians are not like you. We are not here to have a good time on Earth. Our religion is not a community activity that is engaged in for social cohesion of feelings of comfort. Bible-believing Christians think that Christianity is true – objectively true. You’re not just trying to get us to try a different flavor of ice cream when you push your different morality on us – you’re trying to get us to live a lie. And your “feeling offended” by our disagreement is not justification for using the government to coerce us (which is fascism, by the way). If we Christians are right, the worst thing that a non-Christian person can do is to discourage us from pursuing God in Christ. You do not want to face God if you are the person who causes a Christian to turn away from God. That is the worst thing you can do. And yet so many people on the secular left do exactly that… in the public schools, in the university, in the court rooms, in the media, in Hollywood, etc. Stop it.

New survey: ratio of liberal to conservative sociologists is 314 to 1

A new survey was reported at Heterodox Academy.

Excerpt:

Bill von Hippel and David Buss surveyed the membership of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. That’s a professional society composed of the most active researchers in the field who are at least five years post-PhD. It’s very selective – you must be nominated by a current member and approved by a committee before you can join. Von Hippel and Buss sent a web survey to the 900 members of SESP and got a response rate of 37% (335 responses). So this is a good sample of the mid-level and senior people (average age 51) who produce most of the research in social psychology.

[…]At the end of the survey, they happened to include a very good set of measures of political identity. Not just self-descriptions, but also whom the person voted for in the 2012 US Presidential election. And they asked nine questions about politically valenced policy questions, such as “Do you support gun control?” “Do you support gay marriage?” and “Do you support a woman’s right to get an abortion?”

The results are interesting, here’s the part I wanted to highlight:

A third way of graphing the viewpoint diversity of these senior social psychologists is by computing an average score across all 9 of the politically valenced policy items. For each one, the 11 point response scale was labeled “strongly oppose” on the left-most point and “strongly support” on the right-most point. I converted all responses to the same 11 point scale used in figure 1 so that “strongly supporting” the progressive position (e.g., pro-choice) was scored as -5 and “strongly supporting” the conservative position (e.g., prayer in school) was scored as +5. That puts the leftists on the left and the rightists on the right of the graph. Here’s the graph:

Diversity of opinion in academia
Diversity of opinion in academia

I counted anyone whose average score fell between -1.0 and +1.0 (inclusive) as a centrist. The graph shows that 314 of the 327 participants (96.0%) had an average score below -1.0 (i.e., left of center), one had an average score above +1.0 (i.e., right of center), and 12 were centrists. That gives us a Left to Right ratio of 314 to one.

The one right of center guy is not even that far right of center!

So what should we say about this? Well, I’ll say this. Secular leftists in academia are the most narrow-minded, intolerant, bigoted people on the planet. They have all kids of hateful prejudices, and they are completely unable to consider any opinion that is different from their own. They only read material that they agree with, never anything they disagree with, because that causes them discomfort. They have no awareness of arguments and evidence from conservative or Christian viewpoints. All of this hateful bigotry does lead to active discrimination against Christians and conservatives in areas like hiring decisions, promotions, and so on. And what’s more, this secular leftism is not the result of any honest investigation of arguments and evidence. It’s just feelings-based nonsense.

Consider this post by moderate sociologist George Yancey.

He writes:

It is well established that academics tend to be more politically progressive and secular than the general population. It is obvious that they are highly educated. So academia theoretically should be a place where we would find a higher than normal level of Christianophobia. This Christianophobia may manifest in discrimination against conservative Christians. A few years ago I conducted research suggesting that this is the case. I found that academics were willing to discriminate against a prospective candidate for an academic position if they found out that the candidate is a conservative Protestant. In fact, they were more willing to discriminate against conservative Protestants than against any other social group included in my survey. Their willingness to discriminate against those Protestants was even more powerful than their willingness to discriminate against political conservatives. Religious intolerance trumps potential political intolerance among academics.

Of course simply because academics state that they are open to discriminating against conservative Protestants does not mean that they actually engage in such discrimination. A survey is not sufficient evidence. However, Rothman and Lichter conducted research documenting that academics with socially conservative beliefs tend to be located in lower status occupational positions even after controlling for demographic variables and their level of productivity. If conservative Protestants are more likely to have socially conservative beliefs than other academics, a reasonable belief, then this research suggests systematic evidence that there are occupational disadvantages in academia to having conservative Christian beliefs. Since academics have a willingness to discriminate against those Christians, this disadvantage cannot merely be due to their inability to do science, as the common stereotype of Christians seems to imply, but discrimination from academics who may be motivated by Christianophobia is likely an important factor.

So, do you still think it makes sense to take out loans to study subjects that are dominated by the secular left? They will literally deny you a degree that you earned, if you dissent from their radically leftist dogma at any point.

Should you borrow tens of thousands of dollars to be brainwashed by ivory-tower leftists? I think a better plan is to study something that pays – petroleum engineering, computer science, etc. It seems to me that it’s not really an education to spend four years learning the catechism of secular leftists. A real education should involve learning the arguments for both sides, in an environment that is open and truth-focused. The non-STEM departments of the university are not the place for learning. It’s just a secular leftist seminary.

Gay activist group tells Obama administration to bully religious schools

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

The largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist group in the country is calling on the Department of Education to address what it calls a “disturbing trend” on college campuses.

Specifically, the Human Rights Campaign is calling for more transparency towards what it sees as a trend of schools citing religious reasons for not adhering to Title IX.

The Human Rights Campaign believes that in granting such exemptions, schools are given  a “license to discriminate.”

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs that receive federal funding. If schools are found in violation of the statute, their federal dollars could be at risk.

To address these concerns, the Human Rights Campaign wants the Department of Education to issue public reports stating which institutions request or receive religious exemptions, and to detail the scope of those exemptions.

Conservatives reacted to this news so:

Hunter Baker, a fellow for religious liberty at Union, told The Daily Signal that the erosion of religious liberty exemptions, would make it “illegal” for schools to operate in accordance to their religious beliefs.

“If we were unable to choose faculty members who both live out and have a traditional view of Christian sexual morality, then that really damages our ability to pursue our mission as an institution,” Baker said. “You’re making it illegal for us to insist on a Christian life and worldview.”

Baker said it would be a “major intrusion” on the school’s standards of conduct for its student body. Union University, a Baptist college in Jackson, Tenn., follows a traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, for example.

“Any kind of activity that would occur between two same-sex individuals would be unacceptable by our standards of conduct,” he said.

Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, calls the Human Right Campaign’s requests an attempt to “blacklist religiously-affiliated schools.”

You might remember that the Human Rights Campaign previously denounced the socially conservative Family Research Council as a “hate group” after they were attacked by a gay activist who was later convicted of domestic terrorism. The Human Rights Campaign was never charged with hate speech by the Obama administration.

The Human Rights Campaign was also connected to the leaking of the names of pro-marriage donors by a gay activist inside the IRS. The IRS was able to settle that case, receiving only a slap on the wrist.

Unfortunately, the Human Rights Campaign enjoys broad support from many American companies, as well as prominent Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It’s difficult for me to see how religious liberty can survive if we keep electing Democrats who want to give gay activists what they want: an end to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.