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Showing posts from August, 2017

Attacking Joel Osteen for closing Lakewood is stupid

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Let me be absolutely clear: I'm no fan of Joel Osteen. I see him as more or less a Tony Robbins type with a Bible, someone who peddles in prosperity gospel and pop-psychology nonsense, and who has made a fortune off of people's gullibility. He also aligns himself with science-denying nutbags likes Franklin Graham. He lives in an absolutely extravagant mansion—something that seems a little un-Christian in light of Matthew 19:24.
But just for once, I'm going to come to his—and his church's—defense. Recently there was a piling on after word got out that Lakewood Church had been closed, despite the fact that it would presumably be an ideal place to house people who've been displaced by the flooding in Houston. Snide keyboard warriors have seized on the opportunity to criticize what they perceive as his hypocrisy. 
Osteen and crew claimed that the church was inaccessible due to flooding. Pictures then floated around the internet showing the streets around the church, an…

Why Veganism has failed (and what can be done), part 1: the data

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With the proliferation of documentaries like Earthings, Forks Over Knives, and Food, Inc., it's easy to get a sense that a rejection of animal agriculture is gaining traction in our society. Animal-welfare billboards dot highways. Protesters line up outside of slaughterhouses. Farm sanctuaries "rescue" animals from slaughter. Undercover activists record heartbreaking animal abuse in factory farms, sometimes spurring legal activism. Millions of dollars are raised for animal welfare non-profits, like the Farm Sanctuary. And for a while, particularly if you're surrounded by like-minded people, it might seem like this is starting to have a real effect, that things are changing and supporters of animal agriculture may soon be proved to be on the wrong side of history. But much like being in a small but growing evangelical church while national religious affiliation drops precipitously, the appearance of growth is largely an illusion. Veganism is not growing significantly,…