Why Atheist Conversion Stories So Damned Unconvincing

found online by Raymond

 
From PZ Myers at Pharyngula:

There most certainly are people who made sincere conversions from a state of godlessness to one of devout certainty. This is actually a very interesting process, and I’d like to know more about it, because I can’t imagine myself ever becoming a god-believer. I want to understand what makes for a persuasive argument for patent nonsense.

One example is Holly Ordway, an atheist professor of literature who became a Catholic. She’s got a whole memoir on the subject, which I haven’t read because all the summaries make it sound awful and unbelievable.

For example, Ordway describes her state of atheism:

Dr. Holly Ordway has published a book titled Not God’s Type, telling her personal story. She begins “I had never in my life said a prayer, never been to a church service. Christmas meant presents and Easter meant chocolate bunnies–nothing more.” But her views get hardened: “In college, I absorbed the idea that Christianity was historical curiosity, or a blemish on modern civilization, or perhaps both. My college science classes presented Christians as illiterate anti-intellectuals who, because they didn’t embrace Darwinism, threatened the advancement of knowledge. My history classes omitted or downplayed references to historical figures’ faith.” Still later, “At thirty-one years old, I was an atheist college professor–and I delighted in thinking of myself that way. I got a kick out of being an unbeliever; it was fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, superstitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians.”

Uh, what? I’m probably about as radical and harsh an atheist as you’ll find on any college campus, and am openly hostile to Christianity. But even I don’t teach what she claims:

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Dr. Patrick Johnston’s Dangerous Advice to Depressives

found online by Raymond

 
From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Dr. Patrick Johnston is an Ohio family practice physician, founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians, and the director of Personhood Ohio. He and his wife have nine children, all of whom are homeschooled. Several years ago, Johnston wrote a rebuttal to a post that I published about my views on abortion and personhood laws. Johnston believes there are no justifiable reasons for women to have abortions. Rape? Nope. Incest? Nope. Life of the mother? Nope or maybe. Severe physical malformation? Nope. Ectopic(tubal) pregnancy? Nope Huh? That’s right, Johnston does not think women should have access to abortion services if they have an ectopic pregnancy. In a December 2015 Personhood Ohio article, Johnston stated:

Many sincere advocates of life fall prey to the argument that abortion is occasionally necessary to save the life of the mother. An example of an ectopic pregnancy is often given. However, a cursory investigation of the evidence reveals that many babies have survived ectopic pregnancies. There are life-saving alternatives to treat the mother and her ectopically-implanted baby. Successful transplantation of the embryo from the Fallopian tube to the uterus has been reported in the medical literature as far back as 1917. We do not have to kill these babies to save the mother. Their cases is not hopeless.

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Wingnut Wrapup

found online by Raymond

 
From Green Eagle:

Let’s just start off with a good laugh:

David Limbaugh, Town Hall: “Some Trump supporters will be offended by the suggestion that they want to de-emphasize the Constitution or do not hold Trump to ordinary standards of decency”

Some Trump supporters. David continues:

“In contrast, when Hillary Clinton recently denounced Trump for buying up properties at depressed values, he didn’t defensively scramble to offer some irrelevant excuse. He ridiculed the allegation and affirmed capitalism in one fell swoop. In response to Clinton’s claim that he bought properties at low prices to sell at higher prices and make profits, he said, “Who the hell doesn’t?” Apart from my issues with Trump, that’s how you handle leftist bullying.”

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Leftists the Last People Qualified to Lecture on Race

found online by Raymond

 
From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

Leftists are the Last People Qualified to Lecture on Race
The Left-leaning New Jersey Star-Ledger used the occasion of the June 7 primary to tear into Donald Trump, mainly for his alleged bigotry. In N.J. Republicans: Your vote for Donald Trump is a stain on the party, the Star-Ledger wrote:

If you are Muslim, the Republican Party now wants to use the machinery of government to discriminate against those of your faith. If you are Mexican-American, the party has just embraced a man who has slandered your countrymen as rapists and criminals. And if you are in either group, Trump just declared you unfit to sit as a judge on any case that involves him. Because it is you who are biased, inevitably, thanks to your race or religion.

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School Choice, Stability and Keeping Garrison Keillor Happy

found online by Raymond

 
From conservative James Wigderson at Wisconsin Watchdog:

Michael Ford of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Fredrik Andersson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studied the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to see what causes schools that participate in the program to close. Between 1991 and 2015, 41 percent of private voucher schools in Milwaukee failed. In an interview, Ford explains what the study found and the implications for policy makers and parents.

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Trump Campaign: Women Judges Biased Against Him, Too

found online by Raymond

 
From Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice:

The saga of Donald Trump & Company Out of Control continues with the latest inflammatory statement from the Trump camp: an assertion that it’d be OK to accuse a woman judge of being biased against him, too. And, ironically, this new twist came hours after the (AP and NBC declared) presumptive Democratic Party nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicted Trump would consider women judges biased, too.

To defend real estate mogul Donald Trump‘s claim that a federal judge is biased against him because of his “Mexican heritage,” his campaign spokeswoman argued on Monday that it also would be acceptable to accuse a female judge of bias on the basis of gender.

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Today In Both Sides Do It: Gerson Swings For The Fences

found online by Raymond

 
From driftglass:

Former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior policy adviser and reliable Beltway stalactite, Michael Gerson, has spent a couple of columns crying in his beer about those millions and millions of bigots who suddenly appeared out of thin air, snuck into the Party of Lincoln and ruined the place while his back was turned.

Dammit, now he’ll never get his deposit back!

Anyway…

So having used up a few hundred words scolding the entire Republican party for letting him down so terribly, it was time for Mr. Gerson to level-up his Beltway street cred by lurching awkwardly to the Both Siderist Center.

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Relativity

found online by Raymond

 
From Capt. Fogg at Human Voices:

Seems like most politics these days ( and everything is politics) involves creating a bubble, a frame of reference that doesn’t necessarily have a one to one relationship with the world as an outsider might see it. Many of those Republicans for whom Obama is a “disaster” and Hillary is a “trainwreck” inhabit a place where the economy is bad and getting worse, where freedom is being eroded and where America is no longer “great.” That makes it easy to support things that drag down economies, erode freedom and make the world hate us. The “tyrant’ Obama has taken no guns, created millions of jobs, and all the dire predictions are still dire, but unfulfilled, or they are from outside that bubble anyway.

But that’s a cheap shot, or an easy one at least, it’s harder to see such things in your own bubble.

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Spies Like Us

found online by Raymond

 
From nojo at Stinque:

When we signed up as a Gawker commenter ten years ago, we needed a persona — a screen name and avatar. Our own name is terribly dull and terribly common, so we chose an in-joke nickname we had been using among friends. And for the avatar, we cropped a low-rez webcam photo showing us wearing old-school 3D glasses while leaning over a battery hamster. The combination pleased us.

Gawker was already on its third blogger by the time we discovered it — Elizabeth Spiers and Choire Sicha were gone, leaving Jessica Coen to toil in their wake — but what attracted us to it was the feeling yet another attempt at reviving Spy, the satirical magazine we had called Mad for grownups. Like Spy, Gawker covered the Manhattan media scene with a jaundiced eye and healthy wit. And like Spy, Gawker would stray outside those bounds if something sufficiently amusing merited the attention.

It was during that period that “Gawker Stalker” was introduced — a feature, tied to MapQuest, that listed celebrity sightings around town by time and location.

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Scumbag Republican Senator Prays for Obama’s Death

found online by Raymond

 
From Tommy Christopher at the Daily Banter:

Luckily, we’ve only got to put up with seven more months of this derangement before Hillary derangement takes over, but this is still pretty sick. At the “Faith and Freedom” shindig, Sen. David Perdue of Georgia hilariously joked that God might just smite Obama if they all prayed hard enough:

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