The Iraqi General and the Pentecostal Missionary

Claims by a former Iraqi general that Saddam Hussein smuggled WMDs into Syria aboard converted passenger planes have been creating a bit of a stir. The New York Sun reported a few days ago:

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada [var. George Sada], makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week.

…Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.

…In his visit to the Sun yesterday, Mr. Sada was accompanied by Terry Law, the president of a Tulsa, Oklahoma based Christian humanitarian organization called World Compassion. Mr. Law said he has known Mr. Sada since 2002, lived in his house in Iraq and had Mr. Sada as a guest in his home in America. “Do I believe this man? Yes,” Mr. Law said. “It’s been solid down the line and everything checked out.”

…Mr. Sada is an unusual figure for an Iraqi general as he is a Christian and was not a member of the Baath Party. He now directs the Iraq operations of the Christian humanitarian organization, World Compassion.

Sada is apparently Iraq’s Rommel; a non-Baathist military career man who found himself in the unfortunate position of working for Saddam Hussein. His agent provides a brief biography:

Georges Hormis Sada graduated from Iraq’s Air Academy in 1959…Georges Sada was born into an Assyrian Christian family in northern Iraq and became a born-again believer in 1986…

Now retired, Georges is director of the Iraqi Institute for Peace and also serves as spokesman for the newly elected prime minister of Iraq. He is also the president of the National Presbyterian Church in Baghdad and chairman of the Assembly of Iraqi Evangelical Presbyterian Churches.

In recent years, Georges held the position of principal advisor to the former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi. Additionally, he acted as the lead consultant for the reconstruction of all three branches of the Iraqi defense system. In June of 2003, Georges received the prestigious International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation presented by the Bishop of Coventry, England…

Conservative blogger Mark in Mexico has rounded up various other internet tit-bits, particularly concerning Sada’s refusal to execute prisoners in Gulf War I, at some danger and discomfort to himself. Sada’s book is published by Integrity Publishers, a Christian publishing and recording firm that operates out of Tennessee, and was co-written by Jim Nelson Black, a Charles Colson associate and stalwart of conservative outfits such as the Heritage Foundation and Accuracy in Media. Curiously, Black’s name is absent from the book cover that appears on Amazon, and it doesn’t appear to have been cropped off by accident (compare with image on publisher’s website here).

Particularly interesting for our purposes, however, are Sada’s links to the Pentecostal Terry Law and World Compassion. Law started out with a Christian “contemporary music” group known as Living Sound, which he founded while at Oral Roberts University in 1969. However, in the early 1970s he decided to turn his attentions to the Communist world. He gives his reasons on World Compassion’s website:

In 1971, in South Africa, I was praying during a service when I felt the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the room with me. I did not look up, but I knew He was there in His Glory. His presence was overwhelming. I heard Him say, “I am going to send you to minister among the closed countries of the world. You will do things there that most men will believe impossible. If you trust Me and are obedient, I will protect you.”

His music group then headed for Eastern Europe, where they eventually found favour with the Cardinal of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla. Law’s author bio at Harrison House has further details:

Terry has been ministering the Gospel in dangerous places for 35 years and has preached in over 60 nations, including countries like Russia and the Republics of the former Soviet Union, China, India, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and most recently Iraq…In 1990…”World Compassion” was formed to help meet the needs of people who were not only in need of the Gospel, but also in need of food and medicine…

Since September 11, 2001, World Compassion Terry Law Ministries has focused on Afghanistan and Iraq. Through the delivery of humanitarian aid, God has opened doors for Terry to go into refugee camps to light a candle of hope through the ministering of the Gospel in the darkness of postwar Afghanistan. A church plant in Afghanistan is already ministering to more than 500 people.

Terry and his organization, World Compassion, have teamed with International Health Services Foundation to provide a medical clinic for Kabul University, through which medical care, along with prayer, is offered to the students and faculty of the premier school in the country…

God has enabled Terry to establish connections at the highest levels of government in these countries and in our own country, as well. Plans are being laid for the planting of two Signs and Wonders churches in northern and central Iraq.

The Alumni Foundation of Oral Roberts University gives a bit more information (from 2003):

“We are praying that the new constitution of Afghanistan, which our country is helping to write, will include a clause that will allow some freedom of religion,” Law said. “We are opening an underground church in Kabul, Afghanistan, the first one, working with Ulf Ekman (a member of the ORU Board of Regents and pastor of Livets Ord Church in Uppsala, Sweden).”

Ekman is a well known Prosperity Gospel preacher; he’s also a fervent Christian Zionist (his church was the subject of a very good anthropological study by Simon Coleman back in 2000). Law’s efforts in Iraq include help with founding the Kurdzman Church, which currently serves around 300 Kurdish ex-Muslims.

Law has strong beliefs about the reality of miracles and supernatural phenomena. This site gives a summary of his views about the physical characteristics and attributes of angels and demons.

george-sada-and-terry-law

(Name variations (from a discussion forum): Giwargis Hurmiz Sada, Gewargis Hormiz Sada, Gewargis Hormis Sada, Gaggo Sada, George Sada, Giwargis George, Gaggo Tayyar)

Accelerated Christian Education Under Spotlight

Thanks to Richard Dawkins, the British public are finally taking notice of the Accelerated Christian Education syllabus in use in fifty independent British schools (see my 2004 blog entry on the topic here). From his Diary in the latest New Statesman, where he discusses his recent TV polemic against religion:

One of my TV locations was a London school that follows the (American) Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) syllabus. The day after watching my show, three colleagues told me they had interviewed, for a place at university, a young woman who had been taught (not at the same school) using ACE. She turned out to be the worst candidate they had ever encountered. She had no idea that thinking was even an option: her job was either to know or guess the “right” answer. Worse, she had no clue how bad she was, having always scored at least 95 per cent in exams – the National Christian Schools Certificate (NCSC). Should my colleagues write to Ofsted [the British schools inspectorate] about ACE and NCSC? Unfortunately, Ofsted is the organisation that gave a rave review to Tony Blair’s pet city academy in Gateshead: a Christian school whose head of science thinks the entire universe began after the domestication of the dog.

The school that Dawkins visited was the Phoenix Academy in Edmonton, and a partial transcript of his encounter with the headmaster has been provided by a poster at The Brights.net:

DAWKINS: In one section of the science thing, I was taken aback because I suddenly started reading about Noah’s Ark. What’s that got to do with Science?

[ADRIAN] HAWKES: (LAUGHS) I suppose that depends on your opinion. It could have a lot. If you believe in the story, it could have a lot to do with science.

Dawkins’s programme also led to an article on ACE in the Times Educational Supplement, although I could find only a brief extract.

Another London school which uses ACE is the Tabernacle School in Kensington, which is known for taking on troubled students. The Conservative Party in particular has had a long-standing interest in this school – former party leader Iain Duncan Smith is the school’s patron, and just a few weeks ago Tory Diary noted the enthusiasm of Shadow Education Secretary David Willetts:

He praised the Tabernacle School of North Kensington which, run by an evangelical church, provides a high quality education to children outside of the state system and for lower income parents.

The school has also been recently praised by the right-wing Social Affairs Unit:

I learned that the school taught Creation, but was told that the school:

made the children aware of the existence of Darwin’s Theory. To us it is only a theory.

I would say it is more: it is a heresy, a heresy of Anglicanism so Anglican in flavour as to have become the Official Faith of England. Tabernacle School is better off without it. (1)

The BBC has a profile here.

****** 

(1) The Social Affairs Unit has a habit of publishing absurd and pompous articles decrying the supposed deficiencies of evolutionary biology – PZ Myers has demolished a couple. Perhaps they’ve now decided they’re on safer ground if they make criticisms that are so bizarre and vacuous that really nothing can be said about them at all.

(New Statesman hat tip to MediaWatchWatch)

Who Wants to be a Soul Billionaire?

…just about everyone, judging by the line-up for the Global Pastors Network “Billion Soul” Conference in Orlando – a who’s who of American Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism (plus some international figures), offering their expertise to other pastors and leaders:

Would you like to see a record number of souls saved this year? Would you like to become a soul-millionaire and impact your world?

…With over 35 leaders from all over the world scheduled to speak at this year’s conference, you will not want to miss out!

Endorsers are liberal with the exclamation marks:

God is bringing together the streams of Christianity to create a mighty river of global evangelism. Join us today! – Billy Joe Daugherty, Victory Christian Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

In the years ahead, through the Lord’s grace and salvation, countless people will be changed throughout the world. You are launching a world-changing venture! – George Gallup, Jr.

ASSIST Ministries notes the inclusion of Rudolph Giuliani, giving his “six points of effective leadership”:

It is a great honor for me to be here because of the work you do,” a news release reported Giuliani said at the beginning of his 35-minute speech. “The principles of leadership apply universally, whether in business, government, a sports team – or a church. It is wonderful to see you improving yourselves in a way to make your ministries more effective. It is a miracle what you do.”

Secular business leaders are also involved with what’s billed as a “Global Evangelism Plan”:

S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A will speak Friday afternoon

Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Disney, speaks Friday night.

Zion Oil Asks for More Cash

After a two-month hiatus, Zion Oil & Gas has finally updated its website. I’ve been keeping an eye on this company since 2004, when Christian “prophecy expert” and WorldNetDaily columnist Hal Lindsey urged his readers to buy shares – without disclosing (as was exclusively revealed on this blog!) that his cousin Ralph DeVore was a major share-owner. DeVore later fell out with the rest of Zion Oil’s board, since when Hal has been silent on the subject, but last year the company’s plans to use the Bible to find oil in Israel caused a small media flurry.

Zion Oil’s founder is John Brown, a Texas oilman who believes that the Scriptures predict that he personally will be the one to uncover this massive bonanza for the Israelis (see my blog entry, and critique, here). All last summer, the Zion Oil website gave daily updates on how an exploratory drill was proceeding; but that all disappeared in November, replaced with a notice that a “revision” was underway. But now the website is back up to date…and asking for more cash:

DALLAS, TX, January 25, 2005. John M. Brown, Founder and Chairman of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc., announced today the filing of a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of a minimum of 350,000 shares up to a maximum of 2,000,000 shares of Zion’s common stock at $7.00 per share.

…The net proceeds of this offering will be principally used for a completion attempt on a well drilled by Zion in 2005 to a total depth of 15,842 feet and, if the maximum offering is successfully completed, to drill an appraisal well on its license.

A bit like Vendyl Jones and his quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, an amazing breakthrough is always just around the next corner, if only there were just a bit more money…

jesusgas

(Image via Jesus General)

Colorado School Board Slams NCBCPS Bible Curriculum

From the Steamboat Pilot:

In [a] momentous, unanimous decision…Monday night, the Steamboat Springs School Board voted against bringing an elective class titled “The Bible in History and Literature” to Steamboat Springs…

Board members made their decision on the Bible class at 11 p.m. and cited existing curriculum at the high school and respect for diversity as reasons for turning down the proposal brought forward by local parents Michelle Diehl and Roger Johnson.

…A district curriculum committee found that Bible instruction already is offered at the high school in geography, civics, American studies, world history and English courses, along with instruction about other religious documents and cultures.

…Part of the school district’s mission statement is to “respect diversity in all forms.”

“This (class) does not follow that objective,” said Tom Miller-Freutel, president of the School Board.

…”There are subtle feelings of religious intimidation that Jewish students feel in a Christian environment, especially in a small town like Steamboat,” said resident Jerry Kozatch, who said he spoke for himself and other members of the local Jewish community who did not wish to speak publicly.

It’s a shame that the critique concentrates so much on feelings; as I have noted previously, the main problem with the this particular curriculum, authored by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, is that it is junk – no scholar of any standing has had anything to do with its development, and Mark Chancey of Southern Methodist University has written a devastating report on its shortcomings. Not only does the NCBCPS curriculum contain wildly inaccurate facts about the Bible in the service of Biblical fundamentalism, but it also promotes a skewed and theocratic interpretation of American history penned by the pseudo-historian David Barton. Unaccountably, the curriculum is in use in several hundred American schools, and just recently it was adopted by the Ector School Board in Odessa, Texas.

Meanwhile, an alternative curriculum which has been widely praised for its scholarly approach has recently been adopted in New Braunfels. The Houston Chronicle reports (link added):

Six of the seven New Braunfels Independent School District trustees voted in favor of the course, which has divided city residents and prompted heavy turnover at the Monday meeting where it was approved.

The class, to be offered to juniors and seniors, will be based on the textbook The Bible and its Influence, which examines the Bible’s impact on art, literature and popular culture.

UPDATE: A commentator brings to attention an article critical of this second curriculum, by Americans United. My thoughts on that are given in the comments.

American Pastor Helps SPLA Battle LRA in Sudan

ASSIST Ministries introduces a fascinating character (link added):

Pastor Sam Childers, founder of World Missions, which operates orphanages in Southern Sudan and Uganda…In the last eight years, Childers and his organization have rescued over 300 children caught up in the conflict between the North and South. Most of the children he rescues and houses at his orphanages were part of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group operating in Uganda and Sudan.

Childers was also profiled by the Sudan Tribune back in October:

This titan, who could easily pass for Hulk Hogan’s younger brother, sold hard drugs in the late 70s and early 80s and was a rider with the Outlaws, a motorcycle gang in Florida . He has since put his notorious ways behind him and now uses his muscular prowess to save lives in Sudan and Uganda.

This is interesting: an American Christian tough guy who actually walks the walk, rather than boring us all with a posturing “media ministry” (Doug Giles, Dave Daubenmire, I mean you). But while you have to admire a guy who’s willing to actually pull his finger out and do something about the victims of the truly horrible LRA (a “Christian Khmer Rouge”, as Christopher Hitchens recently put it), there is cause for concern. Here’s Childers’ take on Indonesia, for instance:

World Missions was on site in Banda Aceh early this years [sic] working to help those in crisis from the devastation of Tsunami. We are now looking for people to return with us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with no fear. We need to rescue the people and children from the Islamic faith and teachings and begin to teach the people about the freedom we have in worshipping Christ Jesus. The entire area of Banda Aceh is all Islamic faith and Christianity is strictly forbidden.

Firstly, that’s not actually true. Yes, life is doubtless hard for Christians (and for converts from Islam, near impossible) but it’s simply not the case that “Christianity is strictly forbidden”. Here’s a recent report from the Malaysian National News Agency (chosen more or less at random):

BANDA ACEH, Dec 24 (Bernama) — Christmas this year is expected to be more meaningful for some 1,500 Christians in Banda Aceh after last year’s Dec 26 tragedy caused by the tsunami.

In this city where 93 per cent of the population is Muslim, there are four churches, including a Catholic church beside the Regional Military Commando (KODAM) base camp and a Protestant Church in Jalan Pocut Baren…

So why would Childers make such a claim? That itself suggests an unfortunate lack of judgement. There’s also a whiff of opportunism. We all know that evangelicals are looking to make converts, and I would say that anyone should be free to join them; but the way some Christian groups have been using post-Tsunami relief efforts to evangelise is, in my opinion (and as I blogged here and here) ethically somewhat problematic.

A report from CBN gives some more details about Childers’ work in the Sudan:

For some of the children orphaned by the fighting, Childers has opened a small children’s village in Nimele, just inside Sudan.

Here some 30 children live in relative safety, and many embrace the same Christian faith that motivates this Pennsylvania preacher.

Back in Uganda, Childers urges youth to follow Christ. The appeal may be familiar to many in this audience. Uganda has a high proportion of Christian believers.

But another worry is Childers’ closeness with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA); an aspect of his ministry which is underplayed in the various Christian media reports of his work (ASSIST makes a brief allusion). Back to that Sudan Tribune profile:

For the past five years, the SPLA has been assisting the Ugandan Government in fighting and capturing LRA soldiers. As both a pastor with Abundant Life Ministries and a SPLA commander, Sam can be seen praying with a group of soldiers before they go out and attack areas where the LRA are active. He stockpiles weapons for SPLA soldiers at his orphanage. Many of his soldiers are also pastors. According to Sam, one of the reasons why the orphanage has remained untouched by the LRA is because the LRA knows it is well protected.

That’s actually very worrying. First off, should an orphanage be doubling up as an arsenal? And Human Rights Watch noted the following, back in 2004:

In 2000, the SPLA made a commitment to UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy to end its use of child soldiers. The following year, the SPLA cooperated with UNICEF and other organizations in the demobilization of over 3,500 children from its forces and their reunification with their families. By 2003, however, the process of demobilization had stagnated. UNICEF estimates that 7,000-8,000 children remain with the SPLA, and that some recruitment continues, including re-recruitment of children who had been previously demobilized.

That was before the peace agreement which ended the Sudan Civil War in 2005; but with continuing conflict (and perhaps a new civil war coming?), the future of Childers’ orphans is far from secure.

And is a man fired up by the “need to rescue the people and children from the Islamic faith” really the best kind of person to be pastoring SPLA soldiers?

UPDATE: As it happens, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has just profiled some other American missionaries in Sudan (hat tip: Christianity Today Weblog):

Five years ago, [Dennis and Lillian Klepp] left their jobs, sold nearly all their possessions and moved from northeastern Wisconsin to create the 15-building complex where they, [Kelly] Schill and three other missionaries offer discipleship, hope and healing to orphans and widows in a war-torn land.

…Southern Sudan is populated by black Africans from different tribal communities, including many followers of traditional African religions and a dramatically increasing number of Christians, said Dick Robinson, senior associate pastor at Elmbrook Church in the Town of Brookfield, where Schill is a member. The mega-church spends about $1.7 million a year to help support about 70 Elmbrook missionaries and 30 other missionaries worldwide.”

Southern Sudan has been the area in the global Christian movement that has seen the most dramatic growth in the last 15 years,” said Robinson, who visited Schill in December while traveling in Africa and South America.

…Harvesters Reaching the Nations, the organization the Klepps started to support their mission work, is “really taking off,” and they are in demand as speakers at churches, Lillian Klepp said.

Neda the Twain

I contacted UNISPAL (the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine) with my concerns that their site’s list of pro-Palestinian NGOs included the Neda Institute in Tehran – an institution which, as I noted a few days ago, seems to be more active in promoting Holocaust denial. I received a very polite reply thanking me, and Neda is now off the list.

Pass the Sickbag

World O’Crap brings to our attention yet another Christian masculinist…coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries and Minutemen United. Daubenmire sings an all-too-familiar lament about the need for men to be warriors, how churches “effeminize” them, and so on:

Longing to do something great for Christ, we have instead been given effeminate, nursery school duties. How many dishes do we have to wash? How much bread must we hand out to the needy?…The Lion of the Tribe of Judah lives in us and is itching to roar. Unfortunately, the church is trying to domesticate us, trying to transform the Lion into a Lamb.

And who wants to be like some soppy Lamb, giving out loaves (and maybe the odd bit of fish) to the needy? Wo’C author SZ suggests a trip to Iraq might be of value, but, as with Doug Giles and the rest of the more-testosterone-than-thou “warriors”, the home front is a more urgent concern:

While millions of Christians gathered in the safety of their church on Sunday April 25th, the Minutemen, and women…trekked to Washington D.C. to stand for life against those who were marching for death. Hundreds of thousands of pro-death marchers spewed venom and hatred at us as we proudly defended the unborn.

“Hey buddy”, we yelled at the effeminized men in the parade who marched dutifully behind their bossy women, “Real men raise babies, they don’t kill them.” Seems pretty radical, eh?

It was the most gratifying church service of my life!

Much more fun than all those confessions of sins and such. But how did Daubenmire get spurred into action in the first place?

…it took a blindside attack from the ACLU for me to awaken. Sued for having the audacity to pray with our football teams, I was unceremoniously drug [sic!] kicking and screaming into the cultural war.

This was first reported back in 1998:

David Daubenmire, the football coach at London High School in London City, violated the First Amendment by leading players in the Lord’s Prayer, a parent said. Charles Bluestone wrote a letter to the education department charging Daubenmire with “blending religion and teaching,” United Press International said. School Superintendent Jacob Froning told the school board that the coach’s contract should not be renewed because he talked about religion in class and preached on a Christian radio station during school hours. The board ignored the request. “In this day and age, when kids are taking guns to school and getting pregnant and using drugs, I find it ironic that people find my faith in God to be a greater threat,” Daubenmire said.

The ACLU became involved, and elsewhere on his website, the coach gives us his take on how the ensuing legal action panned out:

Dave Daubenmire, a veteran 25 year high school football coach, was spurred to action when attacked and eventually sued by the ACLU in the late 1990’s for alledgedly [sic] mixing prayer with his coaching. After a two year battle for his 1st amendment rights and a determination to not back down, the ACLU relented and offered coach an out of court settlement. God honored his stand and the ACLU backed off. Coach’s courageous stand, an inspiration to Americans everywhere, demonstrated that the ACLU can be defeated.

But to paraphrase Douglas Adams, this must be some strange, new definition of the word “defeated” which I wasn’t previously aware of. The ACLU tells the whole story:

CLEVELAND — An eight year history of religious indoctrination of student athletes at an Ohio public school ended today with the successful resolution of a lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio announced today.

…The settlement, which ACLU attorneys have been quietly negotiating with lawyers for the district and the coaches since early last month, prohibits future acts of religious indoctrination and establishes a system for reporting violations of the agreement to the United States District Court in Columbus.

…During discovery depositions held in the last two weeks, Head Coach David Daubenmire admitted to leading the football team in the Lord’s Prayer after games, passing out a scriptural verse to team members, allowing ministers to lead the team in prayer, and to using Bible stories as a part of certain team meetings. Daubenmire denied having engaged in such misconduct after November 1997, although witnesses told the ACLU that such conduct persisted into the fall of 1998.

The Liar of the Tribe of Judah?

…Violations of the Establishment Clause could result in a citation for contempt of court. A second agreement, previously ratified by the lawyers in the case, awards the ACLU nearly $18,000 in attorney fees and court costs.

And as for Daubenmire’s “First Amendment” posturing:

In a separate case, the ACLU is still defending seven members of the London community who had criticized Coach Daubenmire’s religious activities.

Daubenmire had attempted to bully his critics into silence through a libel action, which he lost. He also failed at an appeal in 2004; a site noting Ohio Court Opinions records that (link added):

London High School football coach David Daubenmire was warned or reprimanded several times by the superintendent about his management and discipline of the team, and he was criticized by parents, including criticism for religious activity and prayers by the team. Several parents and faculty members lobbied the Board of Education to not renew his contract, and when unsuccessful, spoke publicly about Daubenmire. He sued for defamation, the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants on the basis that Daubenmire was a limited purpose public figure and a qualified privilege applied, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. There are four categories of defamation plaintiffs: (a) private persons, (b) public officials, (c) public figures, and (d) limited purpose public figures. Whether a plaintiff is a public figure is a question of law; it does not depend on the plaintiff’s wishes, and a plaintiff may not escape public figure status if he voluntarily engages in a course of conduct that invites attention and comment. A limited purpose public figure is a person who becomes a public figure for a specific range of issues by being drawn into or voluntarily injecting himself into a specific public controversy. Public figures and limited purpose public figures must show by clear and convincing evidence that the statements were made with actual malice.

Daubenmire v Sommers, 156 Ohio App 3d 322, 2004-Ohio-914 (12th Dist, Madison)

After that, I can see why the “limited purpose” Daubenmire would prefer to stick to yelling at “effeminized” pro-choice men and moaning about the washing-up. The Free Press gives further details of Daubenmire’s battles:

Minutemen United, the Warsaw-based men’s ministry, headed by former London High School football coach Dave Daubenmire, that partnered locally with Operation Save America’s occupation of City Hall in July, has a growing presence in Columbus and Central Ohio. Every Saturday since OSA’s departure, anywhere from a dozen to 30 or more “blue meanies in blue beanies,” waving baby blender-bits posters, pray and protest at Capital Care Women’s Clinic on the corner of N. High and Weber Road.

“blue meanies in blue beanies”? But that’s not all:

On October, 8, the Minutemen staged a protest at the OSU Law School during a town meeting featuring OSU President Karen Holbrook and various school officials. The Minutemen called the demonstration to “chastise” Holbrook’s for her public opposition to Issue 1, the Ohio Marriage Amendment, and to protest the recent decision of the OSU Trustees to offer domestic partner benefits to employees. Claiming that “Mrs. Holbrook” and the Trustees violated Ohio’s Open Meeting law by holding “secret meetings” to decide the domestic partner issue, Daubenmire demanded Holbrook resign saying she is attempting to transform OSU into an “institution of moral decadence.”

Daubenmire is also opposed to science, and since his “defeat” of the ACLU went so well, he tried to get onto the Ohio State Board of Education. From the Columbus Dispatch in 2004:

Daubenmire said he will be an “uncompromised Christian voice” on the board and wants to ensure schools follow board-adopted science standards that allow the teaching of intelligent design.

“We have to ask, ‘Why are parents pulling their kids out of public schools?'” he said. ‘‘I think it has to do with moral issues.”

The Loser of the Tribe of Judah fared badly there, too (although the Ohio science standards remain dodgy).

But, as with Prof Mike S Adams (who got into a bit of bother with his university authorities after his future wife sent a threatening email to a student who had sent him an anti-war email), Daubenmire’s efforts to package himself as a free-speech defender have succeeded in launching a wingnut media career:

In addition to his weekly radio show, Coach has made regular national appearances on Hannity and Colmes, CBS Evening News, Scarborough Country on MSNBC, Fox News, The Edge with Paula Zahn, Dayside with Linda Vester, and Court TV.

The Clash

A clip of Richard Dawkins’s meeting with Ted Haggard is available online at Tauqil, including the bit where Haggard turfs Dawkins off his church premises.

I last blogged on Haggard here. Interestingly, despite his views on evolution and the idea of an earth that is 4.5 billion years old (Haggard believes Dawkins’s grandchildren will “laugh” at the latter concept), Haggard is good on the environment.

(Hat tips to onegoodmove, which has an audio of the whole programme, and to MediaWatchWatch)

New email address

Due to Yahoo’s involvement in the jailing of Chinese dissident Shi Tao, I am no longer using my Yahoo email address.

There is a also a petition here.

shitao