Written by ̆Brian Dunning
Monday, 24 November 2008 00:00
By now most of you are aware of Conservapedia, an online wiki that bills itself as "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia". It's best known for its extreme Christian Conservative bias, but it's so whacked there's no way it could possibly represent the viewpoints of either most Christians or most conservatives. We've discussed it in the past for its promotion of Young Earth anti-science, but its take on the recent US election warrants another look.
Conservapedia's article on Barack Obama must be seen to be believed.
We've been discussing it in a thread on Skeptalk, and here are just a few quotes from the article as of today:
President-elect Obama could become the first Muslim President, and may be sworn into office at his inauguration on January 20, 2009, using the Koran.
To announce his trip to Berlin in July 2008, Obama used posters which show a marked similarity to posters of Lenin.
Obama is the first person having ties to a known former terrorist to gain control over America's nuclear weapons.
Doctors from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons have stated that Obama uses techniques of mind control in his speeches and campaign symbols. For example, one speech declared, "a light will shine down from somewhere, it will light upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will say to yourself, 'I have to vote for Barack.'"
Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset," and recited "with a first-class Arabic accent" the opening lines: Allah is Supreme! ... I witness that there is no god but Allah ...."
Obama's small donations are consistent with atheism and were perhaps influenced by his nonbelieving mother.
I didn't even scroll through 10% of the article to collect those quotes. My favorite bit is the photo of Obama trying on traditional clothing while visiting his father's native Kenya, a photo obviously included because of the clothing's superficial similarity to Arabic garb.
Who does an article like this serve? Intelligent criticism is much more compelling than nonsense. Off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen legitimate quarrels that can be made with Obama's stated policies, and I don't have to leave the planet Earth to come up with them. If Conservapedia's purpose is to promote conservatism, which can and is often done intelligently, why derail themselves with this total departure from sanity?
Conservapedia was originally conceived as an online educational resource for homeschooled Christian children. Conceptually that's a fine project to undertake, but if Conservapedia in its current iteration is considered by its founders to be on the right track, then I'd hope and expect intelligent Christians and intelligent conservatives to be the first ones to speak out against this attack on reason.