Around the web 2/18/2013

CHELYABINSK METEOR WAS REALLY AN AMERICAN WEAPONS TEST — At least according to one Russian politician, as reported at Russia Today: US tested new weapon, no meteor in Chelyabinsk – Russian LibDem leader.

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a good video of the meteor.

LEAVING THE HATE CHURCH — Two granddaughters of Fred Phelps—pastor of the heretical “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church—have left the “church.” Here are a few thoughts from an article in Christianity Today (The Westboro Baptist in All of Us):

Most of us wouldn’t go to the same lengths as those at Westboro, but collectively, we have our own prejudices, rigid rules, regulations, and zealotries. These drive us to marginalize, cast aspersions upon and exclude others within our own churches, Christian organizations and institutions who so much as dare to differ, even slightly, from our own political or theological stances.
“Zealotry is conscious zeal to be radically committed, so radically committed that one goes beyond the Bible to defend things that are not in the Bible…. Zealots…convince themselves that, even though the Bible does not say something, what they are saying is really what the Bible wanted after all.” — Scot McKnight
“The underlying assumption is that my thoughts are God’s thoughts; my cause is God’s cause. This divine alliance makes me exempt from obedience in order that I might bring about God’s purposes.” — Tim Gombis

The CT article is directed at Christians, but there is a little bit of Westboro in everybody.

INTOLERANT TOLERANCE — Many “progressives” preach tolerance as the highest virtue, and then act a little Westboro-ish towards anyone who disagrees with them. Ligonier Ministries has a review of two recent books on tolerance: The Intolerance of Tolerance and A Queer Thing Happened to America.

GREEN ELEPHANTS FOR PRESIDENT — The top leadership of environmental organizations such as The Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace were given the opportunity to pick a list of greenest presidents. The top two vote-getters were Republicans: Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. See America’s Greenest Presidents. (HT: ConservAmerica)

Why Teddy Roosevelt? He clearly loved nature and did much to set aside land for preservation and stewardship.

Why Richard Nixon? The Environmental Protection Agency, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act…

What does the current crop of Republican leaders want to do about all of this?

AT MIZZOU, EVERY DAY COULD BECOME A NO-TEST DAY — No exams on Wiccan, Pagan holidays at University of Missouri? I would feel discriminated against because Good Friday is not a school holiday.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANITY CONTINUESHow China Plans to Wipe Out House Churches and Four Missionaries Arrested in Benghazi May Face Libya Death Penalty (post-Arab Spring “democracy” at work).

IF I ONLY HAD A (CHIMP) BRAIN — If my wife sends me to the store with a list of more than three things, I must have them written down. If I were a chimpanzee however, I could do much better. Chimps have better short-term memory than humans.

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