Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Anti-Christian Bias in Schools

Demon art? Pass. Christian art? Fail!


Atheist teachers

The above title (Demon art? Pass. Christian art? Fail!) comes from Michelle Malkin’s website. I want to give here the props for the pictures and I want to give FOXNews the props for having this story, alongside a teacher who bashes Christianity, which you can listen to after the “picture” story.

Okay, let’s look at the picture that failed, first:


This picture is actually really well done. You have the crown of thorns alongside the road as well as other hints of symbolism. Now let’s look at some of this other art that got passing grades.



I personally think all three drawings are very well done. If I were the teacher I would have given passing grades to all three along with a slap on the back to all three students mentioning that they have some great art skills. Now on to another story. Another student recorded his teacher having some very explicit anti-Christian rantings, seen/heard here:

In case the audio was too rough to follow on that last clip, here is some text of what the teacher “taught:”

  1. “How do you get the peasants to oppose something that is in their best interest? Religion. You have to have something that is irrational to counter that rational approach.. ..[W]hen you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”
  2. “Now, the Boy Scouts have said, unless you’re willing to love God, and unless you’re willing to — unless you’re not gay, um— they are saying, being gay excludes you. Not believing God or not professing a belief in God also excludes you. . . .But you see, until they started these rules, Boy Scouts used to — or Boy Scout troops usually met at schools, and places like that, parks, government buildings. They can’t do that anymore. can’t do that anymore, because now they are, in their mind, homophobic a organization. simple.. .It’s call{ed) separation of church and state. The Boy Scouts can’t have it both ways. If they want to be an exclusive, Christian organization or an exclusive, God-fearing organization, then receive any more support from the state, and shouldn’t"
  3. “People — in the industrialized world the people least likely to go to church are the Swedes. The people in the industrialized world most likely to go to church are the Americans. America has the highest crime rate of all industrialized nations, and Sweden has the lowest. The next time somebody tells you religion is connected with morality, you might want to ask them about that. Urn, and let’s see. Is there something else on that? No.”
  4. “After an outbreak of pregnancies among middle school girls, education officials in the city [of Brooklyn, Maine] had decided to make birth control pills available at the middle school health centers...1’ [O]ther people say, you know, we shouldn’t be teaching our kids how to have sex safely. We should be teaching our kids abstinence. Well, we know abstinence doesn’t work. And we know one other thing; and that is, once people become sexually active, they often don’t stop for, like, 40 or 50 years. I mean, generally, when you start you don’t, like, have a conversion and try to become re-virginized, you know. It’s not going to happen.”
  5. "Let’s say — and there is a lot of reasons women take birth control pills, including just, you know, organizing a period so that it happens — instead of randomly, that it happens at the right time. So, you know, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there is a girl in here that a doctor gave birth control pills to because she needed to regulate her cycle. Girls, as soon as you start taking those pills, at the moment, you’re going to be going, ‘Whoopie. Time to have sex.’ I don’t think so. You know, so the argument that it’s just going to make them have sex is just absurd. If that were true, girls, then the first time somebody takes you out on a date and halfway through the date pulls out a condom, and says, ‘Hey, we’re safe. Let’s go,’ all the girls would say, ‘Sure.’ But they’re not gonna say that, you know. Urn, now, uh, you know, the arguments — the way it works is, parents have to give permission for their child to go to the health center. But they do not have to have parental permission to get the birth control pills. And, in fact, it’s confidential. . . .So, you know, some parents are objecting, saying it’s taking too much power away from the parents. Parents are pretty irresponsible. And so is the Bush administration with its abstinence policy. Spending billions of dollars on something they know doesn’t work, wonderful. Wonderful. Idiotic. Urn, birth control pills for middle school girls. My mother has a solution to this problem. And I’m sure the girls were careful. My mother thinks that all the boys, when they reach. puberty, should be given a reversible vasectomy."
  6. "Conservatives don’t want women to avoid pregnancies. That’s interfering with God’s work. You got to stay pregnant, barefoot, and in the kitchen and have babies until your body collapses. All over the world, doesn’t matter where you go, the conservatives want control over women’s reproductive capacity. Everywhere in the world. From conservative Christians in this country to, urn, Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan. It’s the same. It’s stunning how vitally interested they are in controlling women.”

I want to debunk one main aspect in this teachers “statistics” that other students and Christians can share in their debates with atheists and other skeptics. One main quote by the teacher deals with crime rates and the South. I would contend that where liberal churches thrive (ones that pass out condoms to their congregation like the many urban churches in Los Angeles), and where there are liberal city councils and a large portion of the city population on welfare (not having to work and worry about paying bills, but are paid to do nothing), crime rates are high. Where there are conservative churches and a working population that rebuff liberalism and all the programs that follow it, there are low crime rates.

Another part of this teachers tirade I wish to rebuke is the connection with crime and Sweden (#3). I will import an article here from Verum Serum, one of the better religious blogs on the net, again, this excellent blog is property, and thus I am giving props to, Verum Serum:

Crime Rate Comparison: Sweden vs. Georgia

Posted by John at 1:39 am on March 19th, 2007

Ever since Gregory S. Paul’s study back in 2005, we’ve had plenty of discussion about the benefits of secularization around the blog. Paul’s study was a farce and has been criticized by social scientists and statisticians alike. In fact, the journal that published his “study” had two pieces debunking its claims in the very next issue. But it did get me interested in the topic of comparative crime rates.

I’ve recently thought of one way to make some cross-national crime comparisons that I didn’t think of back then. That is, rather than compare nation to nation, such as Norway to the US, compare nation to state. There are several advantages to this. First, by choosing a state with a similar population, you’re removing all sorts of unpleasant statistics from the mix.

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I’ve chosen to compare Sweden with the state of Georgia. Sweden’s population, according to the CIA World Fact Book, is 9,016,596 (July 2006 est.). There are actually two states in the US that have very comparable populations, Georgia and New Jersey. For comparison purposes I’m going with Georgia because it’s closest in population (9,072,576 - 2005 figures).

My data comes from two official sources. Data for Sweden comes from the Swedish Crime Statistics web site. You can download all the crime data for 2005 as an excel spreadsheet. Data for the state of Georgia comes from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation web site. This data is also for the year 2005.

As we noted way back in our original debunking of Mr. Paul, US murder rates are unusually high. And that holds true here. There were 526 murders in 2005 compared to 243 in Sweden. So slightly more than double. However, in addition to murders, Sweden also tracks attempted murders. Attempted murders in Sweden in 2005 totaled 690. Since Georgia does not have a category for “attempted murder” there is no comparison data, but this does seem quite a high number. I would be interested in knowing how Sweden defines attempted murder.

While Swedes may gloat over these murder statistics, things take a dramatic turn for the worse when it comes to other violent crime, especially rape. There were 2,086 rapes in Georgia in 2005. In Sweden, the number was 3,787. This represented a huge up tick of 44% over 2004. The Swedish Crime Stats web site notes:

The greatest increase is found in relation to reported rape offenses, which increased by 44 percent to almost 3,800 cases. In contrast, the number of reported crimes of sexual coercion, exploitation etc. decreased by eighteen percent by comparison with 2004. A legislative change introduced on 1 April 2005 has meant that some acts previously classified as sexual coercion are now regarded as rape, suggesting that much of the increase in the number of reported rapes is due to this change in the legislation. It is likely that this legislative change is also largely responsible for the decrease in the number of reported sexual coercion offenses.

Whether Georgia and Sweden are counting apples and oranges is a fair question. But however one parses the data, it is nevertheless true that “The number of reported sex crimes increased by twelve percent to just over 11,700 in 2005.” So the up tick isn’t merely an artifact of new laws. A 44% increase over 2004 means that there would have been something in the neighborhood of 2,600 rapes under the old laws, still about 25% higher than in Georgia.

Let’s look at a few more:

  • Assault: Georgia - 22,409, Sweden - 72,645.
  • Burglary: Georgia - 79,834, Sweden - 113,604
  • Robbery: Georgia - 13,801, Sweden - 9,398
  • Larceny: Georgia - 234,444, Sweden - 372,882
  • Motor-Vehicle Theft: Georgia - 43,414, Sweden - 56,719

Not quite the picture we’re usually presented, is it? Of course there are many other factors that are difficult to weigh. It’s possible Swedish police are simply better at catching crooks. Although, if this were the case year after year, one would expect the crime rate to drop as more offenders head to prison.

Assuming that these categories are at least roughly comparable, it appears that Georgia — a Bible belt state — is doing slightly better than secular miracle Sweden with regard to crime, with the one notable exception of homicide. Because this is such an outlying statistic, I wonder if it’s not an artifact of American’s easy access to guns. Based on the other crime figures (the assault statistics for instance) it doesn’t seem evident that Americans are more violent than Swedes. Perhaps it’s that in the US killers have recourse to more deadly instruments, i.e. handguns. In support of this idea I note that the Swedish crime stats make it clear that about 80-90% of “attempted murders” did not involve a firearm.

This might make a good argument for gun control, but looking at the overall picture, it doesn’t make a good argument for the superiority of secular socialism.

Update 3/19: Saw this today:

A full 15 percent of the world’s underground economy servers are located in Sweden, according to infrastructure software company Symantec. When taken on a per capita basis, the figures mean that Sweden has the highest concentration of online criminal activity in the world.

Update 5/23: Mark from Sweden has made a stirring defense of Sweden’s honor in the comments. Some of his points are convincing, such as the fact that Georgia’s numbers for assault may be one type of assault only, while Sweden’s may be a broader category. Sorting this out would require research time I don’t have at the moment. For his rebuttal see here.

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I suggest you pop-in and support Chad Farnan [.com] with at least a word of encouragement. A verse I think is appropriate is this one:

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10, The Message Bible)

As the Western world rejects more and more the foundations for its freedoms, e.g., the Judeo-Christian ethic founded in its religious edicts, we will become a stumbling block to the emerging secular (modern and postmodern) society.