• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Cincinnati Zoo Controversy: Ken Ham Speaks

From the AP:

The Cincinnati Zoo has canceled a joint ticket promotion with the nearby Creation Museum in Kentucky…

Ham says it is not true that the zoo is scientific while the museum is not. “The zoo talks about animals and animal behavior and so on. We would agree with all of that,” he points out. “The only statements [with which] we would disagree is [sic] when they talk about the origin of the animals — where they came from in the first place — which is not observational science.”

There you have it. Total agreement on all other points…

dinosaur-with-saddle

Suicides Used in Culture Wars

From WorldNetDaily, last month:

A New York man is linking the suicide of his 22-year-old son, a military veteran who had bright prospects in, to the anti-Christian book “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins after a college professor challenged the son to read it.

“Three people told us he had taken a biology class and was doing well in it, but other students” and the professor were really challenging my son, his faith. They didn’t like him as a Republican, as a Christian, and as a conservative who believed in intelligent design,” the grief-stricken father, Keith Kilgore, told WND about his son, Jesse.

…The first inkling of a reason for the suicide came, Keith Kilgore told WND, when one of Jesse’s friends came to visit after word of his son’s death circulated.

“She was in tears [and said] he was very upset by this book,” Keith Kilgore said. “‘It just destroyed him,’ were her words.

From This is Bristol (UK):

A Bristol teenager who killed himself with painkillers was upset that his school had sidelined Christianity in favour of “alternative religions”, an inquest heard.

…Mr Tucker, 53, an ex-marine, told the inquest in Flax Bourton his son had problems at St Katherine’s comprehensive school, in Pill, over a number of issues.

He said:…”He was deeply concerned that his religious education consisted mainly of alternative religions and ignored Christianity.

“The religious education concentrated on the Muslim faith at the expense of Christianity.”

Both cases have predicably been seized on by certain elements of the right as evidence for the need to re-Christianize education; of course, the reality of the motives for the suicides are somewhat more complicated. Tucker was

…also troubled by what he saw as unfair detentions, his sexuality, and the fact his mother’s ex-partner threatened to burn down the family home in his early childhood.

Kilgore, meanwhile, was a self-described “culure warrior” who appears to have enjoyed and invited religio-political debate.