I may write more about some of these stories over the weekend, but in the meantime, I just had to make quick mention of them:
• Prominent evangelical pastor John MacArthur, whom Daylight Atheism readers have heard about before, has a new pearl of wisdom to bestow on us as regards the democratic revolutions currently sweeping the Middle East (HT: Slacktivist):
I think there are a lot of ways to approach that but if you just talk about a biblical thing, [the protesters] are all in violation of a biblical command – to submit to the powers that be because they're ordained of God. I'm not saying Moammar Gadhafi is the best leader, I'm not saying that Mubarak is a great, benevolent and just leader, not when he's got $70 billion in his own pockets at the expense of people.
But what I am saying is that whatever the government would be, even if it was Caesar in the New Testament, that the believers are commanded to live orderly lives, peaceful, quiet lives, subjecting themselves to the powers that be because they're ordained of God... After all, who said democracy's the best form of government? No matter what the form of government is, the Bible doesn't advocate anything but a theocracy.
I think there's a good case to be made that taxing people to protect the Earth from an asteroid, while within Congress's powers, is an illegitimate function of government from a moral perspective.
And emphasized by the author, in a comment:
Yes, the view I've stated opposes taxation even to prevent the end of civilization, provided that end happens by purely natural means.
I laughed a lot at this, until the sobering realization that some people who believe this have probably been elected to high office. Do read the post about it on Slacktivist - he also discusses a very interesting distinction between "first-order insanity" and "second-order insanity", which could be very useful concepts for atheists.
• A discussion of conservative atheists. Unfortunately, it rather proves the point that they are, for all intents and purposes, utterly irrelevant compared to the religious right:
In 2008, feeling the absence of irreligious voices on the right, Mr. Khan, who also blogs about science for Discover magazine's Web site, started SecularRight.org. Today, the site usually gets 500 to 1,000 hits a day, Mr. Khan said, although there are spikes as high as 10,000.
Sheesh. I get more than 10,000 hits on an average day. When do I get a writeup in the New York Times?