Tag Archives: Secularism

Harvard psychology graduate fired for threatening to stab people she disagrees with

Harvard University graduate Claira Janover wants to stab you for disagreeing with her
Harvard University grad Claira Janover wants to stab you for disagreeing with her

My wise advisor Dina sent me this news story about a privileged young woman who graduated Harvard University and got a job at the prestigious accounting firm Deloitte. She recorded herself threatening to stab people who disagreed with her Democrat convictions. Deloitte fired her. Now she’s complaining that she is the real victim.

Here’s the story in the New York Post:

Claira Janover, who graduated in May with a degree in government and psychology, went viral after posting a short clip in which she attacked anyone with “the nerve, the sheer entitled caucasity to say ‘all lives matter.’”

“I’ma stab you,” the Connecticut native said, zooming in close on her face.

“I’ma stab you, and while you’re struggling and bleeding out, I’ma show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut matters too,’” she added.

And in another New York Post article:

In her new videos, she blamed supporters of President Trump for going after her job.

“Trump supporters took my job away from me,” she said in another new video posted Wednesday.

[…]“Now my future’s entirely compromised because Trump supporters have decided to come for my life.”

Yeah, getting fired for being a psychopath definitely is the same thing as Trump supporters coming for your life.

Here are the videos:

She’s trying to make herself into a victim now. I think it would help if she could Jussie Smollett or Bubba Wallace up some fake threats and hate crimes against herself. That’s what the universities teach young people – always be a victim, so that you can demand sympathy when you get caught being a fascist.

Keep in mind that the standard operating procedure for secular leftists Nazis nowadays is to dox you, vandalize your property, threaten your life, get you fired from your job. But when a young, entitled leftist gets fired, it’s the end of the world. These things aren’t supposed to happen to them. Christians and conservatives have been putting up with hate speech and violence from secular left terrorists for years, and no one batted an eye. No matter how gentle and respectful we are when putting forward our views, we know that some unhinged secular leftist is just waiting with a knife to stab us or get us fired.

By the way, I checked her Twitter account, and she hasn’t been suspended. Because making threats against conservatives doesn’t violate the Twitter terms of service. It only applies one way.

Book review of R.C. Sproul’s “If there’s a God, why are there atheists?”

I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery
I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

Brian Auten has a book review posted up at Apologetics 315.

The book is “If There’s A God, Why Are There Atheists?”, by theologian R.C. Sproul. R.C. Sproul is one of my favorite theologians. The book in question has a very, very special place in my heart, because I think that it is one of the major reasons why I was able to resist pernicious ideas like religious pluralism and postmodernism for so long. Once you put on the glasses of Romans 1 and see for the first time what man is really doing with respect to God, you can never see things the same again. I’ll say more about this at the end, but let’s see what Brian wrote first.

The review

So often, you hear atheists complaining about religion is nothing but wish-fulfillment or some sort of crutch for people who are frightened by a variety of things. They think that God is invented to solve several problems. 1) how does the world work?, 2) is there meaning to suffering and evil?, 3) why should I be moral?, and 4) what will happen to me and my loved ones when I die?. On the atheistic view, God is just a crutch that people cling to out of weakness and ignorance. But is this really the case?

Sproul starts the book by investigating three atheists who sought to explain religious belief as a result of psychological factors.

Brian writes:

Before tackling the psychology of atheism, Sproul spends a chapter on the psychology of theism, from the perspective of Freud’s question “If there is no God, why is there religion?”11 What follows is an overview of various psychological explanations of theistic belief: Feuerbach’s “religion is a dream of the human mind.”12 Marx’s belief that religion is “due to the devious imagination of particular segment of mankind.”13 And Nietzche’s idea that “religion endures because weak men need it.”14 The author properly reiterates: “We must be careful to note that the above arguments can never be used as proof for the nonexistence of God. They can be useful for atheists who hear theists state that the only possible explanation for religion is the existence of God.”15 That being said, Sproul also reveals what these arguments presume:

Their arguments already presupposed the nonexistence of God. They were not dealing with the question, Is there a God? They were dealing with the question, Since there is no God, why is there religion?16

Sproul points out the weaknesses of each of these approaches and says “there are just as many arguments showing that unbelief has its roots in the psychological needs of man.”

Wow, could that really be true? What are the real reasons why people reject God? Does the Bible have anything to say about what those reasons are?

Brian cites Sproul’s contention:

The New Testament maintains that unbelief is generated not so much by intellectual causes as by moral and psychological ones. The problem is not that there is insufficient evidence to convince rational beings that there is a God, but that rational beings have a natural hostility to the being of God.

[…]Man’s desire is not that the omnipotent, personal Judeo-Christian God exist, but that He not exist.

In Romans 1:18-23, the apostle Paul explains what is really going on:

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

On this blog, I regularly present many, many arguments for theism in general, and Christian theism in particular:

Sproul explains why atheists cannot allow themselves to live according to the evidence that is presented to them:

The cumulative effect of this knowledge that is clearly seen is to leave men ‘without excuse.’ Herein lies the basis of the universal guilt of man. No one can claim ignorance of the knowledge of God. No one can cite insufficient evidence for not believing in God. Though people are not persuaded by the evidence, this does not indicate an insufficiency in the evidence, but rather an insufficiency in man.

[…]The basic stages of man’s reaction to God can be formulated by means of the categories of trauma, repression, and substitution.

[…]If God exists, man cannot be a law unto himself. If God exists, man’s will-to-power is destined to run head-on into the will of God.

And this is the force that is animating atheists today. They don’t want to be accountable to God in a relationship, no matter what the evidence is. They have to deny it, so that they can be free to get the benefits of a universe designed for them, without having to give any recognition or acknowledgement back. If they have to lie to themselves to deny the evidence, they will do it. Anything to insulate themselves from the Creator and Designer who reveals himself in Jesus Christ.

The rest of the book review, and the book, deals with explaining in detail how atheists respond to an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator/Designer. I encourage you to click through and read the whole book review. You can read the review, and the book, and then investigate for yourself whether atheists really are like that.

My survey of atheists

By the way, did you all see my survey of atheists that I did a while back? It’s relevant because one of the questions I asked to my volunteers was “How you begin to follow Christ if it suddenly became clear to you that Christianity was objectively true?”. I got some very strange responses that dovetail nicely with Sproul’s book.

Here are a few of the responses:

  • I would not follow. My own goals are all that I have, and all that I would continue to have in that unlikely situation. I would not yield my autonomy to anyone no matter what their authority to command me.
  • I would not follow, because God doesn’t want humans to act any particular way, and he doesn’t care what we do.
  • I would not follow. Head is spinning. Would go to physician to find out if hallucinating.
  • I hope I would be courageous enough to dedicate my life to rebellion against God.
  • I would not have to change anything unless forced to and all that would change is my actions not my values.  I would certainly balk at someone trying to force me to change my behavior as would you if you were at the mercy of a moral objectivist who felt that all moral goodness is codified in the Koran.
  • He would have to convince me that what he wants for me is what I want for me.

This is all part of my series discussing whether morality is rationally grounded by atheism.

Well Spent Journey did a similar survey of atheists, inspired by mine, and got this result on the relevant question:

12. How would you begin to follow Jesus if it became clear to you that Christianity was true?

– Would follow (5)
– Wouldn’t follow (6)
Might follow the teachings of Jesus, but that isn’t Christianity (2)
– It would depend on how this truth was revealed (3)
– Christianity can’t be true (3)
– No answer given (4)

…What would be the hardest adjustment you would have to make to live a faithful, public Christian life?

– Adjusting wouldn’t be that difficult; would eagerly welcome knowing that Christianity was true (2)
– Praying, since it seems weird, creepy, and strange
– Trying to figure out how the Bible became so corrupted

– Trying to convince myself that the God of the Bible is deserving of worship (2)
– Don’t think it would be possible to adjust

– No clear response, or not applicable (16)

Yes, they really think like that! Just ask an atheist questions and you’ll see how “objective” they really are. Atheism is entirely psychological. It’s adopted in order to feel sufficient and to operate with autonomy, with the goal of self-centered pleasure-seeking above all. Evidence has nothing to do with it.

Can a person be a committed Christian while ignoring apologetics?

Ratio Christi event at Ohio State University featuring Frank Turek
Ratio Christi event at Ohio State University featuring Frank Turek

I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

Here is the situation

Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer novel, or check on the schedule for her local sports team, “the Vicariouses” (she has tickets for Thursday). Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cubicle. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research papers. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and teaches night classes for a well-known university. She earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives an expensive car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays every night, because it helps her to get sleepy before bed. She gives lots of money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to very small children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels five times! She even has a calendar filled with nature scenes and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny Bible verses posted on her office wall at work! Judging from all of these facts, you might expect Eve to get in on that conversation with Alice and Bob, and set them straight.

But she won’t. Why not?

Why won’t Eve stand?

I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

  1. God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of – she is a genius and has amazing entrepreneurial skills.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.
  2. Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.? She’s heard these questions about God’s existence and character all through high school and into university and then now in her career. Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to prepare a defense? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says to acknowledge God before men? Doesn’t she believe the Bible when it says that all authentic believers in Jesus will suffer a little for their faith?

It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two good things would follow:

  1. Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.
  2. Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor? If a Christian is smart enough to know how to get a degree and how to hold down a job, then that intelligence should also be used to defend God’s reputation when it is called into question. I don’t see how it is possible to claim that you love God, but then not apply your mind to defending him when you apply your mind to other things like education and work.

UK leftists ban Christian evangelist Franklin Graham because he takes the Bible seriously

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are dead in the UK
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are dead in the UK

My UK Christian friends are always tell me how weird it is that American Christians insist that government operate within Constitutional limits. Why not let government ban self-defense? Why not let government to run education and healthcare? Why not let government to control energy production and consumption? Why not let government open the borders for multiculturalism?

Here’s an example of what happens in a country where Christians decide to abdicate law and policy to secular leftists.

The Daily Signal reports:

Evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham’s seven-city tour of the United Kingdom is now a trial, as all seven venues have dropped him.

Graham’s canceled dates likely are due to an “an outcry over his homophobic and Islamophobic comments,” CNN reports.

[…]Graham has been outspoken about other cultural issues, including gay rights and radical Islam, both hot topics in the U.K., where Islam is the fastest growing religion. Graham has said gays should go to “conversion therapy” to change, and once called Islam “evil.”

Interestingly, although multiple venues canceled Graham this year, this isn’t the first time the U.K. has had enough of the evangelist. In 2017, several members of Parliament moved to ban Graham from the U.K. for “hate speech” regarding gays and Muslims.

At the time, a “petition against Graham being granted a visa” had gathered 4,600 signatures. Nina Parker, pastor of Liberty Church in Blackpool, who organized the petition, said Graham’s presence would be “extremely destructive.”

Parker told The Guardian: “As a Christian and as a leader of a church that particularly welcomes LGBT people, I’m horrified that other local churches are inviting someone with this record of hate speech.”

Censorship of free speech, discourse, and individual autonomy in the United Kingdom has increased in the past several years.

British officials have cracked down on internet freedom. Even though several groups have pushed back against the government’s flagship internet regulation policy—which is so vague it covers nearly every kind of speech existent—it’s been an uphill battle.

In several dramatic cases, parents have lost their rights to their sick children as the U.K.’s court system usurped them and decided what care was best—typically, a removal of life support against the parents’ wishes.

Of course, any discourse offering a different perspective on LGBT groups or anything that might be seen as anti-transgender receives the most censorship—including being fired from one’s job…

I’ve blogged before about how the police in the UK occupy themselves with monitoring the Internet to punish citizens who dissent from the UK’s promotion of LGBT rights. If you disagree with LGBT rights, you’re sure to get a visit from armed policemen. On the other hand, the police officers don’t have any interest in investigating multiple sex-trafficking rings in multiple UK cities being run by immigrants from Middle Eastern countries. They don’t care about the gang-raping of fatherless teen girls – the important thing is to not look Islamophobic. That’s how they keep their jobs – they attack critics of the government’s LGBT and open borders policies so the government can be re-elected. When they’re not suppressing dissent from the government, they’re blocking off parents from taking their child home from a government-run hospitals that decided that the child (e.g. – Alfie) is beyond medical treatment.

That’s big government in the UK, and it’s supported by many, many conservative Christian pastors, who think that the free and open practice of Christianity is somehow compatible with an overpowered secular left centralized government. So, the conservative Christians in the UK love to mock the gun rights and low tax rates of American Christians, even as they can’t even safeguard their own freedom of speech and religious liberty. American Christians knew that big government and widespread dependency on welfare programs would destroy our religious liberty, so we fought it. They capitulated.

I’ve spoken to several prominent Christians in the UK, and even some who are deeply involved in apologetics and pro-life causes. I just want to be really clear. These people are so bad at Christian worldview, that they literally vote in the secular leftists who then turn around and enact government-funded abortion, LGBT fascism and sex-trafficking rings run by unskilled immigrants from the Middle East. Then they have the temerity to COMPLAIN about the policies of the leaders they voted for.

Controversial study on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria and transgenderism re-published

What's the best explanation of this data? Genetics or cultural pressure?
What’s the best explanation of this transgenderism data? Genetics or cultural pressure?

I blogged before about a study out of Brown University, which concluded that transgender behavior in children developed rapidly as a result of factors like peer pressures, social media, mental disorders, trauma, etc. I.e. – it’s not genetic. Brown University retracted it because some people complained. Well, it’s now been republished. Let’s see if there were any mistakes found.

Here’s how the study was first reported by Science Daily:

This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.

[…]The study was published on Aug. 16 in PLOS ONE.

Peer pressure / The Internet:

The pattern of clusters of teens in friend groups becoming transgender-identified, the group dynamics of these friend groups and the types of advice viewed online led her to the hypothesis that friends and online sources could spread certain beliefs.

[….]”Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” Littman said. “A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.”

Mental disorders / traumatic events:

Additionally, 62 percent of parents reported their teen or young adult had one or more diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before the onset of gender dysphoria. Forty-eight percent reported that their child had experienced a traumatic or stressful event prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria, including being bullied, sexually assaulted or having their parents get divorced.

This article at The Federalist had a few examples to illustrate the conclusion of the study. I’ll pick two.

The study includes other eye-opening information, such as case studies of several children’s stories.

  • “A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends were taking group lessons together with a very popular coach. The coach came out as transgender, and, within one year, all four students announced they were also transgender.”

  • “A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends are part of a larger friend group that spends much of their time talking about gender and sexuality. The three natal female friends all announced they were trans boys and chose similar masculine names. After spending time with these three friends, the 14-year-old natal female announced that she was also a trans boy.”

I thought this quote from that article was interesting as well, given the culture’s obsession with “bullying”, which is a nebulous term that can mean actual bullying, or mere disagreement.

The study also may indicate that school “anti-bullying” programs typically created by LGBT activist organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign may help accelerate children identifying as transgender by pushing peers and authority figures to profusely express their support.

Coming out as transgender means instant fame and popularity, because you’re a victim, and everyone has to be nice to you… or else:

“Great increase in popularity among the student body at large. Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one parent on the study response form. Another wrote, “not so much ‘popularity’ increasing as ‘status’ … also she became untouchable in terms of bullying in school as teachers who ignored homophobic bullying …are now all at pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.”

Well, we’ve had a delay of 6 months for Littman to answer her critics and submit her work to even more extensive peer-review. And now the study has been re-published in PLOS One. So were there any mistakes in it? Does it still reach the same conclusions?

The College Fix reports:

Here’s what actually changed, according to PLOS One:

Other than the addition of a few missing values in Table 13, the Results section is unchanged in the updated version of the article.

So, the results didn’t change, and that means that the conclusions stand. So what was the problem originally? The problem originally was that the research didn’t confirm the biased politically correct views of the secular leftists.

She lost her consulting job anyway

However, that’s not the whole story. I looked up her interview from this week on Quillette, and she got to tell her side of the story.

Two parts stood out to me.

This part, where she contrasted the favoral response of research scientists and clinical scientists with the angry outbursts of a social worker:

The third presentation was the smallest and least research-oriented audience of the three. In contrast to the other presentations, the vast majority of the comments were made by one person who I later learned was a social worker. Again, I tried to answer politely with comments such as “Actually, the scientific literature says the following…”; “Actually, social media can be both a positive and a negative influence, not just positive…”; “Actually, this method of data collection has been used in many studies…” But because her interruptions were so frequent and argumentative in nature, it quickly created a tense and adversarial tone in the room.

This part, where she explains the mob that contacted her employers and got her fired:

The worst outcome for me personally was losing my consulting job over this issue. Shortly after my paper came out, some local clinicians who are opposed to my research wrote a letter of complaint about the work and demanded that I be fired immediately. It was an interesting demand, as my consulting work was unrelated to gender dysphoria. Nonetheless, I was called in to several meetings to answer questions about my research… After the meetings, the leadership explained to me that their decision not to renew my contract was not related to the quality of my work but rather that they, as an agency, needed to remain neutral and not take sides regarding the issues raised in the letter.

Do you know what this whole episode reminded me of? It reminded me of the stories of scientists who publish work critical of Darwinian evolution, and work critical of the man-made catastophic global warming hypothesis. It seems as if the viewpoints of secular leftists are decide by emotions, and then defended with rage, coercion and harassment. What does it say about secular leftism that they respond to scientific progress with rage and censorship?