Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Yep, this guy is actually a member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship maintains that we do not have to worry about climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again after Noah’s flood. (Via Juan Cole)

I probably should be keeping up my Sunday sermons, but what the heck, Tuesday is just as good a day for one.  I don't think Shimkus is an idiot, per se; nor do I think he is insane, per se.  He is, however, religious, and I am hard pressed to tell the difference. People can hear voices in their heads commanding them to do all sorts of pointless acts, or to hold beliefs directly contrary to observable reality, and they are by definition psychotic unless they claim they are hearing the voice of the culturally endorsed God.

Now, even if Shimkus happened to be right about God and Noah, climate change is not expected to "destroy the world," it's just expected to be a really big pain in the ass, and God didn't promise to spare us that. (Nor has he.) But logic aside, you can pluck any old arbitrary bit of nonsense from the Bible to prove just about any point you want to make. Most people just concentrate on the parts they like, and pretend the rest of it isn't there. But God didn't just make a covenant with Noah. He commanded us to kill people who pick up sticks on the Sabbath, and to drive people with skin diseases into the desert to die, among other interesting ravings. And of course, according to the last book in the Bible, God did promise to destroy the world after all. So I guess you just can't depend on anything the old fart says.

Given that God is a fraud and a psychopath, I think we should just go ahead and toss him on the dust heap of history. It's time for humanity to grow up.


Daniel said...


I'm going to disagree with you on two issues. First, I think the odds are that he really is an idiot if he said that.

Second, even though I believe that the Bible is tribal lore and nothing more, I have to ask you... How do you know God is a fraud and psychopath? Seems to be a harsh statement. Ok, the Judeo-Christian representation of God is most odd, but don't forget these people need a justification for slaying their enemies (men, women, children) with the jaw bone of an ass. Hardly civilized.

I prefer to accept a divine mystery in all that we are.

I thought the stent post today was very interesting. I did a quick Google but did not see any major news source beaming this out, seems like it should receive wide coverage.

Cervantes said...

The God of the Bible is a fraud and a psychopath. I know that by reading the Bible.

A "divine mystery" is not a defined, perceptible, or meaningful entity.

There was some coverage of the stent survey. At least one of the major networks covered it on its web site, might have been CBS.