This Is Why Math Is Important, Everyone

From the Christian Post:

Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, stated that he was “stunned at this decision today to take a 360-degree turn away from the biblical definition of marriage.”

Huh. I figured he’d be pretty excited about that…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • flyb


  • Brian Westley

    Why, that’s pi radians away from what he meant!

  • baal

    Round and round they go, where they going to stop? Noone knows.

  • Tainda

    I’m a math idiot but I understand why that’s wrong rofl

  • dats3

    What’s funny to me about that statement is one could read it as SCOTUS never was turned toward the biblical definition of marriage.

  • flyb

    How obtuse.

    Am I doing it right?

  • TiltedHorizon

    Seems Sam Rohrer made a one too many 360-degree turns, his logic is dizzy.

  • Holytape

    Well Sam’s math is correct. There were two decisions by the supreme court. Each made a 180-degree turn from biblical marriage. Therefor, the country made a 360-degree-turn in total. It would explain why the religious right got a dizzy and started vomiting words and sentences that made no sense.

    Luckily for us, if the courts had upheld the laws, that would have been two 360 turns. That spin, plus the twists in Scalia’s logic, and the religious right would have had the sea-sickness of ages. And who knows what words they would have vomited from the dark abyss they harbor in the pit of their stomachs?

  • Frank Mitchell

    Perhaps the Christian Post writer lives in some bizarre non-Euclidian space where circles have more than 360 degrees. Clearly conservative Christians don’t live in the same world we do.

  • digitalatheist

    Ye Gads! Why not a 90 or 270 degree turn? for the love of… Never give these idjits a map and a compass and expect them to plot their way to sanity.

  • Rain

    If you’re moving forward and then you make a 360, then you’re still moving forward after your 360 (albeit being a bit of a show-off.) So yeah he’s right again.

  • cryofly

    And for that we salute the SCOTUS and request Sam to go back to 4th grade.

  • digitalatheist

    being of old military vintage.. maybe he meant Mils…? 360 mils would be probably closer to the SCOTUS rulings.. away from the babble’s (so called) version of marriage, but not quite enough to be a complete turn around and say “well humans are humans and deserve equal rights”.

  • Jasper

    Immediately, the movie “Last Action Hero” came to mind.

  • Charles Raymond Miller

    He may be accurate. Their doublespeak tends to spin them in circles.

  • Holytape

    Well, Euclid was a heathen.

  • C Peterson

    Math’s important, but so is ensuring your organization’s spokesman (let alone president!) doesn’t have a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease. And idiot is going to say stupid things even if he has a degree in mathematics!

  • compl3x

    Immediately thought of this:

  • Stev84

    They certainly live in an alternate universe over there, so it’s easily possible.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Peter Noone?

  • Bridget Gaudette

    Hemant- I <3 you.

  • The Other Weirdo

    That’s what happens when your book says pi=3.

  • Terry Firma

    I really dislike it when people talk about “two choices.” No — there’s one choice, two options. Even if there are two HUNDRED options, that’s still one choice.

    Why do people make that mistake? I figure it’s half laziness, half innumeracy, and half muddled thinking. ;-)

  • Reginald Selkirk

    UNLESS – You are heading north, approaching the North Pole, and just as you reach it you turn by 360 degrees – then you are facing south. It’s magic!

  • Ian Reide

    lol 100x

  • Morva Ádám


  • Compuholic

    And the great thing is that you still would be moving forward :-)

  • Steve Barry

    He must have 360 degrees on the brain with all the circular reasoning he has to do.

  • Susana Paço

    just kidding :)

    let’s say that theology and maths don’t combine. just remember who taught (a supposed deity that inspired a book full of mathematical errors) and do the math….

  • arensb

    You know what they say: two U-turns don’t make a right.

  • Thom Mills

    Hehehe. I see what you did there. Clever.

  • koseighty

    Still waiting for the right to push for the REAL biblical definition of marriage:

    Marriage is between a Man, his Wives, his Concubines, his Female Slaves and the Female Slaves of his wives and concubines.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    It’s true, but who are “they”?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Choice, prime or select? It’s still only one choice.

  • Sam B

    One of my pet peeves, doesn’t matter about the context, just flat out annoys me.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Well, even if we go with “180 degrees” instead, a 180-turn from Biblical marriage would be either marrying for love with women dominating the process, or else everyone being considerede married at birth and having to undergo a ceremony to become unmarried.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    He has an acute case of innumeracy.

  • arensb

    Give Rohrer a break, everyone. Clearly he meant to say 720 degrees, not 360. Or something. At any rate, Jesus.

  • arensb

    The ones who might be giants.

  • flyb

    Yogi Berra salutes you.

  • Rich Wilson

    And Biblical Divorce

  • Matt D

    Wow. And I thought my math skills needed work.

  • Spuddie

    If they were good at math, they would be in a different kind of racket like ponzi schemes and stock fraud.

  • Spuddie

    Thanks to HP Lovecraft, I can’t read “bizarre non-Euclidian space” without thinking hey are a bunch of Chtulu worshippers.

  • Mark W.

    Lets not get off on a tangent.

  • Mairianna

    He should have said “69″. :)

  • spookiewon

    I think my favorite part is “no it isnt, r u dum” because of the very delicious irony.

  • Guest

    don’t forget your dead brother’s widow.

  • spookiewon

    Laziness or muddled thinking, maybe. It’s not innumeracy. It’s misusing a word, and that’s not innumeracy.

  • Moi

    HA!!! I noticed that yesterday while perusing Whirled Nut Daily. Not exactly a stellar geometry student, I’m guessing?

  • John Evans

    C.L., you are my kind of pedant. :)

  • meekinheritance

    20 cups per second

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Holy shit that is funny.

  • Yoav

    It’s probably the one where π=3 like the bible say.

  • Karen


  • Hat Stealer

    360 degrees, ergo Jesus.

    Actually, I think Rohrer was talking about the temperature that was required to fry his brain cells to the extent that they’ve been fried.

  • 100meters

    Hey, Sam, is that 360 degrees Celstricus, or 360 degrees Frankenheit? Be pacific!

  • James

    I’ll just leave this here.

  • wmdkitty


  • wmdkitty

    Three lefts do.

  • Mario Strada

    This is a very American thing to say. We all know that a 180 degrees turn is very dramatic. A 360 degrees turn must be really incredible since it’s DOUBLE THAT!!

    That’s why we ended up with supergulps, double meals and pizza that can be found only after an archaeological dig to get to the dough. If a little bit of mushrooms is good, let’s make it a layer 3″ high!

  • Dangerous Talk

    A few years ago I interviewed Sam Rohrer’s boss and predecessor, Colin Hanna, on my radio show. Hanna when into a local radio station in a conservative area thinking he was going to push his religious hate. He was wrong. He did not like the interview at all and got really snippy with my producer afterward.

    As for Rohrer, he is a dangerous person. He is very active in politics and has already run unsuccessful primary fights for Senate and Governor of the state. He has a Libertarian support base similar to that of Ron Paul. It is likely he will run for high office again and at some point he just might even win.

  • UWIR

    Failing to follow your made-up rules is a mistake?

  • McAtheist

    540 degrees……?

    But yeah, because jesus.

  • UWIR

    Perhaps SCOTUS has non-integer spin.

  • Drakk

    Of course not, that would be a sin.

  • wmdkitty

    I’m willing to cosine that…

  • Kevin Sagui

    And your rapist.

  • Guest

    360 degrees is a revolution.

  • Heathen Mike

    What do these silly comments all add up to?

  • Heathen Mike

    I suppose we’re all just < that guy.

  • Heathen Mike

    …you know, because he’s got God on his side.

  • wmdkitty

    I’m not sure — they seem to be multiplying, though.

  • Keljopy

    And the guy above him is not so good at percents: “That’s why 38 states and 94 percent of countries worldwide affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, just as diverse cultures and faiths have throughout history.” Actually wikipedia has 49 countries listed where marriage is the union of a man and one or more women (which is actually more biblical than his version). Add that to the 17 where gay marriage is legal in all or part of the country and you are down to 66%. Actually, I’m not sure where he got any of his numbers since, even ignoring the polygamy thing and ignoring the two countries where it’s legal in some parts, you still only get 92%.

  • Justin Bonaparte

    Fahrenheit 451?

  • Mike Mei

    Even if you are operating inside a hyperbolic or elliptical non-Euclidean geometry, after you make a 360 degree turn, you’re still facing the same direction.

    It’s only if you do some walking (like if you walk to make a triangle)
    that your angles don’t begin to add up because the lines are
    metaphorically curved.

  • Cheryl in Tucson

    Man, that’s quite a complex analysis you have going there ;-).