Monday, November 21, 2011

Jerry Coyne sniffs out more theocracy

Jerry Coyne's got his Unterhose in a knot over the latest Act of Theocracy.

Kentucky governor proclaims official Bible Month
When I was in Kentucky, an alert student brought to my attention the fact that the state’s governor, Steven Beshear, had just proclaimed this November “King James Version of the Bible” month in Kentucky. Here’s the official proclamation ...

Note how the language is twisted to emphasize the “secular” contributions of the Bible: how it has entered into American culture and has been the source of many now-familiar phrases. This “secular effect” ploy is often used to defend the placing of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and schoolhouses.
The "secular effect" is because the proclamation is... secular. It's not a "ploy". Each of the 'whereases' is objectively true. Secularly true.

Javert  Jerry furiously sniffs out Christianity. Theocracy is everywhere, even when it's not theocracy. The cognescenti can't be too careful.

Why not just make any statement about religion illegal, Jerry? Saves you all the trouble of distinguishing secular from theocratic. Just ban it all

Except for critical statements, of course. They'll always be zulassig in the godless-Utopie.

This is so clearly unconstitutional that it screams for an ACLU lawsuit and an injunction. Let’s hope the relevant lawyers and organizations (FFRF, are you listening?) get on this one.

The proclamation of the secular importance of the King James Bible is 'so clearly unconstitutional that it... screams'?

What is unconstitutional about the public proclamation of the secular importance of the KJB?

Why does this simple truth make you... scream?

Why be so candid about your hatred of all things Christian, Jerry? I expected at least a shred of public discretion. Raw totalitarianism is so ugly.
Ten to one they’d never proclaim “Qur’an Month” or “Torah Month” in Kentucky.
They would, Jerry, if the Qur'an had contributed substantively to our civilization.

And the Torah, which is (approximately) the first five books of the KJB, is implicitly honored in the proclamation, and rightfully so.

But you don't believe in that either, Jerry. You just hate it all. Even purely secular truths about the importance of our Christian heritage.

And you'll prosecute people in federal court to make them obey.


  1. I am really starting to like this blog.

    Obviously, this is not "screaming" unconstitutional. I can hear Jerry's intolerance wailing, but that's about all.

    When he asks why we don't have Koran month or Torah month, I think he's suggesting that there's a preference there. Why celebrate the KJV and not the holy books of other religions.

    I'll do something a little annoying and answer his question with a question. Jerry, do you ever ask yourself why we have "safe zones" for homosexuals and no other group? Shouldn't the school be safe for all students, whether homosexual, heterosexual, black, white, Mormon, Hindu or whatever? Why is it that one group--and only one group has a designated "zone" where they are supposed to feel safe? And why is it that their "safety" always seems to involve censorship of other points of view?

  2. @Anon,
    "When he asks why we don't have Koran month or Torah month, I think he's suggesting that there's a preference there."
    I think you're correct, Anon. But I see no problem with a preference, so long as the people of Kentucky hold that preference by a decent majority. Seems they do.
    "Why celebrate the KJV and not the holy books of other religions. "
    I realize this is not your question, Anon - that you are defining Coyne's position - but I will answer it anyway just to irritate the Atheists.
    Becuase the KJV Bible has historical relevance. It is the moral code by which the people of Kentucky have lived for centuries. The Bible, and the KJV in specific, have been the basis for all laws and rights in Kentucky and so they honour it.
    In the same vein as Anon, I will ask a question of Coyne too:
    "Why is Bible Month so bad simply becuase of a religious connection, when 'black history month' is okay even though it is blatantly racial? Is racial preference and discrimination okay, but religious preference or discrimination NOT?
    I pretty sure Herr Jer would probably just call me a cretin, or make fun of my culture or nation for asking this - but I think there is a valid comparison here, especially seeing as that KJV played a HUGE part in Abolition and the Civil Rights movement.

  3. If this is not an endorsement of religion by government then I don't know what is.

  4. It seems like this proclamation could be a shameless attempt at damage control by a politician. Should have guessed. Linky.

  5. Oleg,
    If this is not an endorsement of religion by government then I don't know what is.

    It is not, because Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus.

  6. OK, normally i would agree with Coyne and say this is in violation of the 1st amendment.

    But reading the proclamation, he refers to it as an influence on culture, which is has been. It doesnt mention any 'truths' or Jesus, etc.

    However - to be fair, could there be another month for other influential books?

  7. However - to be fair, could there be another month for other influential books?

    Good idea. Next month we'll have Mein Kampf, the atheists' holy book, so they stop whining about the gummint promoting other religions.

  8. Of course. And just to be inclusive, don't forget this work of Martin Luther.

  9. CrusadeRex,

    And your evidence that the KJV played a 'HUGE' part in Abolition and the civil rights movement?...

  10. "They would, Jerry, if the Qur'an had contributed substantively to our civilization."

    Both the Bible and the Qur'an always have been, and still are impediments to civilization. What contributions have these books made to science and medicine? Nothing. If these books had truly been inspired by an all-knowing and loving God, why didn't they explain how to produce antibiotics from fungi, or how to inoculate people against deadly viruses like smallpox? That advice alone could have saved hundreds of millions of lives.

    Instead, these books have hampered progress from the beginning. How nice that they have enriched our language, but how sad they have impoverished our knowledge of the natural world.

  11. Bach,
    The KJV Bible was/is the most popular regional version of the bible and therefore a direct influence on the religious and moral position of the abolitionists. It is not the sole influence, and I have made no such claim; but, it is a major one.
    Christian Ministries and Churches were a major force in the abolition and suffragist movements. The city in which I live is the Terminus of the 'Underground Railway' and each year on 'emancipation day' (similar to a small scale MLK day) there is a great religious clamour from the groups of Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Anglicans and all the various groups that participated in the freeing of slaves and also the push for abolition of slavery in the USA - already banned in practice by whites in the 1774 Constitution (Quebec Act) and further by trade/treaty law in 1830 in order to prevent 'Indian Slavers' (Native peoples) from trading captives legally.
    In both the legal and social push for the end to this abomination the Bible was quoted and used as justification frequently. Attempts at the same kind of biblical justification by the proponents of slavery were obvious twists of the Word, and were thus rejected by most observant Christians on both sides of the border, and both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

    My 'evidence' is the record. But if you would like further evidence, I suggest you look up the various figures in the abolition movement from it's beginnings at Westminster to it's victorious climax during the civil rights movements. Lots of 'Brother' this and 'Reverend' that, eh?
    Maybe listen to some of the hymn/songs of the abolitionists? You will soon pick up the connection, Bach.