Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Phelps Family Chapel invited to "Reason Rally"

From the Evangel blog at First Things comes this curious tidbit from Tom Gilson:
The organizers of the upcoming secularist Reason Rally have placed themselves in a pickle. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for these who portray themselves as the defenders of reason and science.

Every scientist knows it’s unprofessional to draw conclusions from a non-representative sample, and that it will lead to false results every time. In a word, it is both unscientific and unreasonable.

Now we have news that a vice-president of the National Atheist Party has invited the inflammatory fringe “church,” Westboro Baptist, to the rally. Notably no such invitation has been sent to the True Reason group that’s planning to bring a non-disruptive, reasoning Christian presence there. (Full disclosure: I’m involved in leadership of that initiative.)

So what will the Reason Rally representatives do with the Westboro Church’s shouts, picket signs, and expressions of hatred? The scientifically responsible, reasoning thing for them to do would be to say, “Okay, folks, draw no conclusions about Christianity or religion from this group! They are a non-representative sample! There’s no reason for us to think Christianity is at all like that!”

I’m sure that’s why they invited them there–so they could do exactly that. Right?
It doesn't take a genius to understand what is going on here. An enterprising idiot from the "National Atheist Party" has invited Fred and his cadre of sign-carriers to the "Reason Rally" for the purpose of exhibiting them as somehow illustrative of the ignorance and bigotry of the whole Christian enterprise. As any "reasonable" person knows, however, there is nothing remotely "Christian" about the Phelps Family Chapel. In a strange and bizarre way, its members fit in perfectly with the "Reason" crowd. After all, the "God" they worship and for whom they claim to speak doesn't really exist, either.