Michael Voris – Banned and Exposed!

The Diocese of Scranton has BANNED (and exposed) Michael Voris from speaking at any of its facilities! According to their website,

The Diocese of Scranton has determined that Mr. Voris will not be allowed to speak in a Diocesan or parish facility. After these engagements were scheduled, the Diocese became aware of concerns about this individual’s views regarding other religious groups. In videos posted on the Internet, Mr. Voris makes comments that certainly can be interpreted as being insensitive to people of other faiths. The Catholic Church teaches us to respect all people, regardless of their faith tradition. Read More

NECSS – See you there!

I’m going to be attending the Northeastern Conference on Science and Skepticism this weekend. I find that this is the rational antidote to Michael Voris coming to my area. I hope to see many of my Facebook friends there!

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS – pronounced “nexus”) is an educational conference held annually in New York City. As its name suggests, NECSS explores the intersection of science, skepticism, the media, and society for the purpose of promoting a more rational world.

Ignorance and Distortion in Rhode Island: Prayer Banner

 

I’ve been following the controversy surrounding what is quite a clear cut-and-dry case in Rhode Island regarding separation of church and state. A public high school has a prayer banner on its wall that should be taken down because endorsement of religion should be kept out of public schools. The words “Heavenly Father” and “Amen” denote a very clear endorsement of religion! The responses of the community at large in this Rhode Island case and the nativity controversy I was involved in are very similar; the same distortions and levels of ignorance are displayed. The “arguments” from the “pro-prayer banner” people are simply horrible.

 
Here’s a video from a Rhode Island FOX station distorting the issues:
 
 
Comments at 0:28 begin the distortions. Throughout this discussion, newscasters focus on the word “offended.” Offense, whether real or contrived, is not the issue here and is not the basis for a complaint about violation of the separation of church and state. The complaint here is that the school is endorsing a religion by displaying a prayer banner. Let’s focus on the real issue here.
 
0:40 contains a fallacious appeal to tradition. So what if the banner was up for a long time? If the banner were up for 40 years, 4 years, or 4 days, this would not make the banner any more or less legitimate. The banner is a violation regardless of how long it has been up.

1:15 Don’t like it, don’t look at it! Missing the point…and a really bad argument. If a sign were at the school saying “All Christians are inferior human beings who are deluded and worship imaginary gods. Scientology is the real deal,” Christians (or anyone else) certainly would see the huge flaw in this non-argument. The issue is not about people looking at a sign, liking the sign, or disliking the sign; the issue is whether or not the sign is a violation.

1:50 focus on offensive although it really has nothing to do with the real argument

2:09 another appeal to tradition

2:22 The city is hurting financially…so what? It’s obviously going to lose if it goes to court, but the school wants to go to court anyway. Claiming that the school is poor doesn’t matter at all. This is a veiled fallacious appeal to emotion.

2:50 Non-sequitur. The commentator asks why parents would allow their child to be public about this. Who cares? This isn’t relevant to the argument.

3:35 The majority want the prayer there. So what? It doesn’t matter what the majority wants because the constitution trumps mob rule. If everyone suddenly wanted to own slaves, this wouldn’t suddenly legalize or legitimize slavery.

5:12 features a poll that is not dealing with the central issue at all.
 
 

Nepatized Book Tour: April 15 Book Signing #2

Author Kenny Luck and I will be at Borders in Dickson City, PA on April 15th at 6PM to 8PM. Kenny Luck and I will be singing books and I will be giving a speech/presentation regarding the nativity controversy and separation of church and state.

Since 2008, Northeastern Pennsylvania has been the crossroads for presidential politics, the national media, and, above all: Fraud. Dominating the headlines are stories of greed and controversy; news reports that reveal the corrupt, the immoral, and the idiotic. With so much attention given to the region in recent years, it inevitably leads one to ask: Who and what defines us?

NEPATIZED! investigates the most recent scandals, controversies, and corruption in Northeastern Pennsylvania. With more than thirty interviews by local politicians, media figures, and activists, this book takes a critical look at some of the people and events that have redefined the region. Lou Barletta’s anti-minority rage; Bishop Martino’s divinely-inspired bigotry; and Steve Corbett’s cacophonous diatribes are all part of, what the author calls, “a spectacle of unequivocal idiocy.”

With wit and intellect, author Kenny Luck’s fact-filled expose, complimented by Ted Michalowski’s engaging illustrations, explores the region through the people who have helped to mold it: Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds Evie Rafalko McNulty, former WILK host Kevin Lynn, Filmmaker Josh Fox (“Gas Land”), Political Scientist G. Terry Madonna, Union Leader Michael Milz, Blogger Dan Cheek, and King’s College student Justin Vacula tell the recent story of Northeastern Pennsylvania in their own words, their roles in shaping it, and their grievances against it.