Jehovah’s Witness Leader Rants Against Higher Education, Saying It’ll Lead to “Spiritual Disaster”

Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body member Tony Morris is the host of the January video on the new JW online television network and what he says is a terrifying tirade against higher education.

You can see the full episode here since it’s not embeddable, but in short, they show us that what JWs fear the most is being challenged on their beliefs — and places where your beliefs are scrutinized are to be avoided at all costs.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Pastor Creates a Fake “World-Renowned” Atheist To Rail Against, and Imagines Him Abandoning His Godless “Faith”

For the lazy and the dishonest, creating a straw man is a great shortcut to winning an argument. You can ascribe to your opponent whatever twisted view you have of his beliefs, without bothering to make sure that it accords with reality.

The craftiest practitioners of the genre may subsequently claim that they were only engaging in satire, which may make criticism of the fudged-together fantasy less potent, as violators find easy refuge in saying “What’s the matter, can’t you take a joke?

Which brings me to Bo Wagner, a pastor in Mooresboro, North Carolina, who is also a professor of 15 years at Carolina Bible College. Wagner is the author of a satirical article about atheism that is currently doing the rounds in some Southern newspapers and websites.

Count along as we trudge through Wagner’s fiction while keeping an eye out for inanities, lies, and half-truths. I originally thought we should do this as a drinking game, but I wouldn’t want you to booze yourself into a stupor.

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Make Your Own Beard for Darwin Day

This is just cute.

Veronica Chenik Gilmore‘s family is hosting a Darwin Day celebration in a couple of weeks that involves a scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. (I’m very jealous that I can’t be a part of this.)

But no celebration of Darwin’s life is complete without some long white beards for everyone, so they went ahead and created their own. Even the dog got in on the action:

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Michigan Towns Are Riled Up by an Atheist Activist Trying to Get Christians to Play Fair

Mitch Kahle is the atheist activist responsible for getting a hydraulic cross taken down in Grand Haven (Michigan), having a sign with an Old Testament verse on it removed from a public park, and getting Hawaiian churches to pay up for their illegally-cheap rental prices at public schools.

The Detroit News has a profile of Kahle and his activism that you can read here:

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Culbert Olson: the California Governor Who Wasn’t Afraid to Admit He Was an Atheist

At an event sponsored by the California State Library and California Archives this week, Debra Deanne Olson spoke about her grandfather and former California governor Culbert Olson.

Olson, who died in 1962, was notable for being that rare atheist in public office. Not only did he skip the “So help me God” part during his oath, he didn’t even swear in on the Bible. He affirmed his oath in 1939 with a hand in the air and the other in his pocket:

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