I’m no expert, but I think Susan Martinuk is going to hell
Well, I’m back from vacation. I needed a break. I like to kick back, drink too much tequila and play where it’s warm. Actually, I don’t know if I needed a break or not, but it sure felt good having one. (Note to alternative medicine flakes: there is a difference between something that makes you feel good and a medical cure. If not, I’ll have Alberta Health compensate me for my trip and my tequila. Really, I feel great.)
Speaking of breaks (from reality) I returned just in time to come across an article in the July 24, 2009 edition of my Calgary Herald (motto: Canada’s largest Christian daily) entitled: Strange ideas and friends in media, and Obama by Susan Martinuk. The focus of Susan’s piece is John Holden, Obama’s recent appointment as director of the Office of Science and Technology. Dr. Holden has come under a great deal of fire by conservatives concerning his co-authorship with Paul Elrichof of, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, published in 1977.
Susan Martinuk continues this attack, but lacking any evidence for her claims, indulges in simply making things up. In the journalism world this is called spin. In the real world, it’s called lying. In the Christian world, of which Susan is most definitely a part, it’s called breaking whatever Commandment that says you shouldn’t bear false witness against your neighbor. Why do Christian columnists, who claim to adhere to these commandments, break this one so often?
Take for example, the following quote from Susan’s column, which apparently draws from a rich fantasy life:
He (Holden) also believes Earth would be better off without people, subscribes to population control policies held by Chairman Mao, and thinks earth should be run by a global authority called the planetary regime.
In fact, Holden:
- doesn’t believe the earth would be better off without people,
- does not subscribe to the population control policies held by Chairman Mao and
- does not think the earth should be run by any global authority,
all of which is made clear in Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment which Susan cites as the source for her claims. I’ll bet real money Susan hasn’t even read Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment.
It is true that Holden discusses these and other options in the text, as would be expected of any academic writing about the topic, but it is equally true that there is a big difference between discussing options and promoting a specific option. Most Grade 9 students would understand the difference. It is still eluding Susan. It is also true that Holden did suggest a global authority, but not to run the earth as Susan states, but rather to fill in the gaps where international law was weak on issues arising from the behavioral effect of the poverty of the commons — including over population.
So let’s see, that means three violations of the ‘don’t lie’ commandment for Susan.
Oh, but Susan is just getting warmed up. Next she states the following:
He (Holden) suggests a government control population by:
1) Mass Sterilization – governments could add sterilants to water supplies . . .
2) Forced abortions – governments should deal with illegitimate births by forcing adoptions . . .
Two more violations of god’s law. Holden never suggested these solutions in his text (or anywhere else). He does list them as options, again as would be expected in an academic text. Holden never suggests he supports these options. So again, Susan confuses the difference between discussing possible solutions to a problem with the endorsement of those solutions.
Using this logic, I could argue that Susan Martinuk supports mass sterilization. After all, she wrote: . . . governments could add sterilants to water supplies, although it would be problematic since science has yet to produce a uniformly effective substance without side effects. Wow! Susan Martinuk supports mass sterilization, who would have thought?
There’s more. Susan Martinuk moves on from Dr. Holden to defend Gary (the goofball) Goodyear. You may recall that the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) got into a whiff of trouble when he refused to answer a reporter’s question concerning whether he believes in evolution. In an spectacularly incompetent effort to address the situation, the Hon. Mr. Goodyear appeared on a TV interview program shortly thereafter to say:
“We are evolving every year, every decade. That’s a fact, whether it is to the intensity of the sun, whether it is to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it is running shoes or high heels – of course we are evolving to our environment.” (See ASkepticRTN : First Alberta science, now Canadian science. How long must we wait for Real science.) Given the stupidity of this comment, readers may question whether Mr. Goodyear really said this or whether I am making it up. I am not making it up.
So when Susan Martinuk states that: Just four months ago, the Globe and Mail publicly questioned the judgment of Gary Goodyear, our federal minister of Science and Technology, simply because he was a Christian, this, too, is clearly a lie. The media didn’t question Mr. Goodyear’s judgment because he was a Christian. The Globe (and others including ASkepticRTN) questioned his competence because he clearly has no understanding of even the most basic principles of biology or science — as his own words on evolution make clear. Having this understanding would seem to me anyway, as something important to have for the Minister responsible for science.
It is this last lie that Christian zealots like Susan Martinuk love to tell and they do so frequently in the Calgary Herald. Forget the Bible, it has become the enduring myth from which Christians like Susan take comfort. It is a rich fantasy world where Christians are the little hurt puppies of the universe, misunderstood and discriminated against (especially by the evil blue media meanies) and who are locked in mortal combat with this planet’s dark side, that strangely enough, most people refer to as the enlightenment. That fantasy world though, is really little more than the paranoid delusion of the terminally self-pitied. These people need to get a life. A little tequila wouldn’t hurt either.
So if you were keeping count, that’s six lies or fabrications or violations of some commandment or other. Now I’m no expert on Christian theology, but I believe if she keeps this up, she could be headed straight for hell.
I’m sorry you couldn’t cut a career in science, Susan, but surely there are better ways to deal with it than lying about those who could.