29th Carnival of the Liberals!

January 3, 2007

Step right up — not even one thin dime, not even one-tenth of a dollar!

The 29th Carnival of the Liberals is up over at Daylight Atheism.


And one of my blog posts is included, the one where I take Roy Moore to task for his uncharitable, anti-American views on having a Moslem in Congress. And while this is a blog of history, events have overtaken that post on the day the Carnival set up its tents — Rep. Ellison creatively pointed out the value of religious freedom and tied it to the founders (go see how.)

Go see the Carnival of the Liberals — there are a lot of posts noted there that are worthy of your attention.

Russian creationists miss Stalin’s views in biology

January 3, 2007

The good news is that Russian high school biology textbooks talk about Darwin, at long last, after the 74-year rule of the Communists decimated the corps of teachers who taught Darwinian evolution, partly because Darwin was ‘too bourgeois.’

The bad news is that Russian creationists, with what appears to be the support of the Russian Orthodox Church, are suing to bring back the old Stalinist views that Darwin was wrong. The case is loaded with irony, not the least that Theodosius Dobzhansky, the famous biologist who noted that biology is only clear under the light of evolution theory, was devoutly Russian Orthodox.

This case appears to have gone on for some time, but details are only now coming to these shores. The Baltimore Sun had a story on the case today. And, as if one would not guess, it appears the case is brought by a public relations company — perhaps the Moscow branch of the Swift Boat Veterans?

Tip of the scrub brush to Panda’s Thumb, where there is guaranteed to be more discussion of the issue.

Rep. Ellison and the Islamic roots of American law

January 3, 2007

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., delivered a lesson to critics today on the value of knowing history.

First, Los Angeles conservative radio host Dennis Prager embarrassed himself by calling on Ellison to use a Christian Bible to put his left hand on while being sworn in as a Member of Congress, the first Moslem to be a Member. Ellison pointed out that in the swearing-in ceremony, no book is used, and noted that other religious texts have been used by people of other faiths during the photo session afterward, when members re-enact the swearing in with the Speaker of the House. Prager compounded his history sins by refusing to back down. Ellison correctly stood his ground.

Then Virginia’s U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode pushed it farther, warning that unless we control immigration, Ellison will be the beachhead for a Moslem take-over of Congress. Ellison, defending the Bill of Rights, stood his ground and refused to get into a name-calling discussion.

Then Roy Moore of Alabama, who was rejected by voters for governor after having made a spectacle of himself and the Alabama Supreme Court over his efforts to install his own religious shrine in the Supreme Court Building, called for Ellison to be denied his seat. Ellison coolly ignored Moore, defending the First Amendment instead.

Now Ellison has acted, and his action comprises a neat, clean and witty rebuttal to the critics.

Read the rest of this entry »

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