This week’s Religious Shenanigans.

A couple bits of news in religious ignorance which have caught my eye today. The first is just rediculous, but the second may have far-reaching negative effects on most American public school children.

But first:
♦ Ford dealership uses bigoted radio ads to sell cars

In a gorgeous display of perfect irony, this Ford dealership radio ad states that 86% of Americans believe in god, and the remaining 14% should “sit down and shut up” while the Christians practice their right of free speech.

Yep.

Well, first of all, according to the last U.S. census, only 72% of American’s professed to being Christian. According to the recent exhaustive and comprehensive Pew study, 78% of American’s claim to be Christian (and 16% being non-believers of any faith). Well, 3/4 of the population claims to be Christian…not 86% but better than half, one could say. But according to the Assotiation of Religion Data Archives, only 71% of “Christians” believe Jesus is the son of God…argueably the one quality that defines what it means to be “Christian”. And I can say from unscientific personal anecdotal experience, even living in the Bible Belt, that a significant number of people who reflexively claim to be “Christian” do so out of conditioning and the idea that there isn’t anything else to believe in. That the alternatives are Islamofascism and nilistic atheism.

But this is pedantry. The real gauling part of this story is he whole “because we’re the presumed majority we have the right of free speech, the rest of you don’t–suck it.” Yeah, you have the right to say what you want,and even make public radio commercials saying whatever you want. But so does the 14% (or 16%, rather, or 25%…). Free speech works the way it’s designed to when those with the unpopular speech are given the same rights and accord as those in the majority.

That stuff is annoying. But this is scary:

♦ That’s it. Texas really is doomed.

It seems a very outspoken and activist creationist who is vocally anti-science is in charge of education in Texas. He recently ignored nearly three years of expert work on research and study for English standards, and had his own standards agenda written overnight by social conservatives and then ramroded it through the Texas Board of Education. The science curriculum standards are next up for review.

Why the effects of this is more far-reaching than it seems is because text book editors look to Texas (as well as California) when setting their own standards and content because of the number of copies both states buy from the major textbook publishers.

Ah, the marriage of ignorance, ideology, and corporitism! What a country!