Mayo Clinic study: Rhino-horn extract killed Michael Jackson

It's really a shame how damaging taking rhinoceros horn as "medicine" turns out to be.

Rhino-horn extract causes liver damage. Rhino-horn extract causes impotence. And baldness. Gout, flatulence, fatigue and lower-back pain. And cancer. The shady dealers trading in rhinoceros horns all secretly work for big multinational pharmaceutical companies. They deny this because they don’t want to be legally liable for the damage that ingesting rhino-horn is doing to the gullible rich people buying it. The bankers are all in on it. And Wall Street. And, um, the CIA. [Read more...]

Senators clarify the terms of the disagreement

With Hollywood's wizardry and George Soros' money behind it, the special effects making the climate-change hoax look real have been especially convincing. (Getty Images photo of a drought-stricken field in Illinois by Scott Olson.)

We can all get along. We can all agree that one side of this issue involves a realistic assessment of the evidence and the other side involves a delusional fantasy based on some perverse need to assert the absolute worst about others. Maybe we can’t agree on which side is which, but at least we can agree that this is the shape of the disagreement. [Read more...]

YouTube and the God of Job


Toward the end of the book of Job, the character of God starts off listing all the incredible things he’s created as a way of bolstering his authority and trustworthiness. But then it starts to get away from him a bit. God starts grinning goofily at the thought of all these amazing creatures and the argument morphs into more of a reverie about just how freakin’ cool all this stuff he created has turned out to be. It’s like part-way through this theological discourse, the character of God wanders off and just starts surfing the Web, laughing with delight at animal videos on YouTube. [Read more...]

In the story of Noah, climate change is humans’ fault

Entrance to the Museum of the Good Samaritan (photo by Josh Envin).

It should be impossible to read the story of Noah’s ark without very clearly understanding that this story is saying that: 1) humans are uniquely capable of destroying all of creation; and 2) humans are uniquely responsible to care for all of creation. But you can avoid that lesson if you decide to treat it as some other kind of story. [Read more...]

Those elusive green shoots of green evangelicals

This year the Evangelical Environmental Network celebrates 20 years of being ignored or marginalized as "controversial." Um, yay, I guess.

Fifteen years ago I believed that white evangelicals’ antipathy to environmentalism was due to a lack of familiarity with the facts and the evidence, or to an innocent failure to grasp the essential idea of stewardship in Christian theology. Ten years ago I thought maybe it was due to our failure to present those facts and that theology in a winsome, persuasive manner. Now I just think, feh. [Read more...]

Another ‘Noah’s Ark,’ but this one might be OK

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 1.30.58 PM

The story of Noah is particularly tempting for a certain kind of illiteralist reader. The book of Genesis doesn’t just tell us that Noah built an ark, it gives us specs for the project. For the sort of person who reads the Bible with an utter lack of concern for meaning, that passage presents an irresistible temptation. [Read more...]

Climate change is both a hoax and a sign of the End Times


“Bible prophecy scholars” insist that the Rapture and the End of the World are prophesied to occur in our lifetime. That’s what makes us special. It means that the Bible was written mainly for and about us — for and about the special 21st-century white Americans in whose special lifetimes these prophecies were ordained by God to occur. [Read more...]

Never side with the boss against the people who handle your food

"I don't mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one."

It’s one thing to ask someone to prepare you a chicken sandwich as an expression of your dislike for gay civil rights. It’s something else entirely to ask people to prepare and deliver you a pizza as an expression of your contempt for the people who prepare and deliver your pizza. [Read more...]