@Eddie: That’s what I’m doing – defending my church when …

Comment on NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science by Sean Pitman.

@Eddie:

That’s what I’m doing – defending my church when it is under attack by those who have long been undermining its core principles, goals, and ideals within our own schools and some local church groups – on the church’s dime.

More subtle approaches have not worked. Personal pleadings and warnings have not worked. Requests from the church leadership have not worked. Eventually, the fact that our own young people are being misled to question and doubt the church’s position on origins, within our own schools, needs to become general knowledge so that parents and students can make informed decisions. Only by this very public method has this serious problem been brought to the forefront of attention within our church where something is starting to be done about it.

At the very least, parents, students and the church membership at large are much more aware of this problem because of the efforts of those who have contributed to this website…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science
@MiddleGround:

Again, I agree that the public confrontation of this website is not the most ideal method given any other more private method that would have actually worked. However, what else would you have done that has not already been tried to substantively address the long-standing and entrenched problem at LSU? I’d really like to hear some other reasonable approach to this problem that has not already been tried without any effect…

I’m sorry, but you guys seem to me to be more concerned about the reputation of teachers and institutions than you seem to be over the undermining of the faith of the youth of our church or the very long standing and determined attacks on various fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church – the SDA position on origins in particular.

Again, I ask you, why is it such a problem to publicly declare, in no uncertain terms, what parents and students can expect from our own schools? – especially given the great personal cost involved for most parents who send their children to our schools? Shouldn’t our primary concern be for them? How can such an effort to inform parents, students, and the church membership at large rationally be referred to as a “scorched earth policy”?

If our schools cannot proudly and publicly proclaim the honest truth of what they are teaching our young people, we obviously have a real problem. I don’t think it is right for individuals or institutions to hide behind arguments for Adventist privacy over what we actually teach in our schools while they attack the very fundamentals of Adventism, on the Church’s dime, for decades. It’s time for this sort of thing to stop.

If you have a better idea on how to get this done, I’m all ears…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science
@Sterling:

As I’ve explained many times before, the maintenance of church order and government (i.e., only hiring those paid representatives who will actually represent what they are being paid to represent) has nothing to do with salvation.

These are not moral judgments. These are practical judgments regarding the maintenance of church order and government. One does not have to be SDA to be saved you know. However, one does need to be SDA to be an effective leader or paid representative of the SDA Church.

If you don’t believe in the SDA message, that Ok, just don’t expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church while you go about undermining the basic goals and ideals of the church. Try working for an employer who has goals and ideals more in line with your own.

Also, no one is arguing for the exclusion of anyone from basic attendance and worship with us in our churches. Anyone who actually wants to fellowship with us is welcome. Many of my best friends are not members of the SDA Church, a number are even agnostic and a few are pretty ardent atheists. Yet, we get along just fine and occasionally these same friends of mine come to my church with me to support something I’m doing.

You see, the problem here isn’t over basic socialization or diversity in worship. The problem is over paid representatives of our church attacking the church on the church’s dime. That’s the main issue here. No organization of any kind can long tolerate such subversive activity coming from within…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science
@Christina:

I actually agree with you on one level. I most certainly agree that a public forum is not the most ideal place to air any form of the church’s dirty laundry. However, at some point for certain important issues one is left with little choice but to use less than ideal methods to address very important issues within the church. For example, I’m sure Martin Luther wished there were some less public way to effectively address the significant problems of the church of his day rather than to nail his 95 Theses to the most public forum available – the front door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. Likewise, I very much wish there were some much more private and inconspicuous way to effectively address the active and long-standing attack on the church from within one of our own universities. Unfortunately, I was unable to think of any other way (which had not already been tried).

If you know of another way, by all means do share it with me…

You’ll have your reward one day.

You certainly sound gracious and Christlike to me 😉

How about at least giving me the benefit of the doubt as far as my motive and possible ignorance is concerned before passing moral judgment? How about at least pardoning me as far as Jesus did when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”? – Luke 23:34

But, perhaps, I’m beyond all hope? My doom is sealed? – for trying to protect Adventist young people in our own schools from the unending attacks on Adventism from within – from our own hired professors?

Oh, and by the way, while I get many anonymous E-mails and even hand written letters on occasion (which I do not read unless they are signed) I’ve only been privately contacted by a handful of individuals who’ve identified themselves and who’ve expressed concerns about the effect of this website. As far as the one’s who’ve actually identified themselves, all have been male (as far as I recall). So, I assume your private message must have been anonymous?

Also, you should know as well as anyone (and should explain to your friend in case she is not aware) that public comments to the articles posted to any discussion website like this do not necessarily represent the perspective and/or goals of the managers/owners of this website. The attitudes of many commenters certainly do not reflect my own positions or attitudes. What then should I do? – block all comments with which I personally disagree? – including yours?

Also, you’ve failed to respond to my most sincere question as to how the issue at LSU should have been dealt with? How would you have dealt with the problem? What, specifically, would you have done? I’m really interested in any useful advice along these lines…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
First off, it’s Dr. Marcum, not “Marcus”. Secondly, the “natural immunity” he speaks of was the result of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus. Sure, the antibodies against COVID-19 that his immune system produced after his infection are helpful in preventing future infections with the alpha variant, but, unfortunately, not so much when it comes to the delta variant (Link). The fact of the matter is that the best and safest way to educate the human immune system to effectively resist the delta variant is via the mRNA vaccines. Why on Earth people believe that getting infected by the COVID-19 virus is somehow safer than exposing one’s immune system to a tiny inactive part of the virus is beyond me. Upon what rational basis do you believe this? Where is your scientific evidence or medical mechanism for this notion of yours?

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m at all opposed to the Adventist Health Message. Since the very beginning of this pandemic I’ve promoted good health, diet, exercise, vitamin D, etc as a great place to start to improve one’s immune system (Link). Unfortunately, however, for many this just isn’t enough. I have very good SDA friends who live very strictly according to the Adventist Health Message, yet they still got very sick and many died. Even some young SDA friends of mine in their 30s and 40s who didn’t die almost did die and some have permanent injuries from their COVID-19 infections.

The problem is that the COVID-19 virus attacks the lining of blood vessels throughout the body, even for many very good and very healthy SDAs. This results in long-term injuries and organ damage – to include damage to the lungs, heart, and even the brain. It can even permanently reduce your IQ (Link).

Regarding Revelation 18:23, in particular, the term “pharmakeia” is best translated as “sorcery” here. There is no intended advice at all against modern medicine in this passage. What, are you suggesting that medications like antibiotics to treat bacterial infections or insulin to treat diabetes are evil “sorceries”? Again, such arguments only make the Christians who say such things look sensational and irrational – which puts the Gospel Message itself into a bad light for those who are considering following Christ. (Link)

This isn’t to say that vaccines are without risks. As with pretty much everything in life, the mRNA vaccines have various known risks, including a very very small risk of death. Of course, these risks are all very minimal compared to the very same risks for getting infected by COVID-19 – which are much much MUCH greater with the COVID-19 infection than with the vaccines. The odds of dying due to an mRNA vaccine are less than the odds of getting hit by lightning! The same cannot be said for the odds of dying and/or getting permanent serious injuries from a COVID-19 infection. The odds of death from COVID-19 double for every seven years one is older than the age of 20. By the time you’re over the age of 75, your odds of death are 32 times greater than someone in their 20s. I have spoken to the various relative risks of the vaccines in this forum many times. It’s not like I’m trying to hide anything. I want all the cards to be on the table. Why would I want to hide anything? The unvarnished truth is, again, that even though there are real risks to vaccines, these risks are minimal compared to the much MUCH greater risks of getting infected with the actual COVID-19 virus – when it comes to every single type of risk one can imagine (Link, Link). You mention “heart inflammation” in young men, for an example. And, that’s indeed a real risk of the vaccines. However, this risk is minimal at around 1 in 200,000 – with no deaths or evidence of long-term injury resulting from this particular type of risk (Link). Compare this with the risk of myocarditis from getting infected by the actual COVID-19 virus at around 30%. That’s right, around a third of otherwise healthy young people who get infected by COVID-19 will get heart inflammation (Link). Again, the risk of COVID-19 infection far FAR outweighs the very same risk for the vaccine. This is true for every other valid risk that you or anyone else can list.

Why then would you choose to expose yourself and those close to you with the much riskier option that is available to you?

Regarding censorship, I’m not a fan of government censorship of free speech. While I do agree that misinformation on this topic is, in fact, killing people, I also believe that free speech is fundamental to this country and to the very fabric of our society. That doesn’t mean that I have to provide a platform, however, for speech that I consider to be dangerous. The same is true for others who provide platforms for various forms of conversation. They are also free to promote whatever they want on the platforms that they own.

In any case, I have yet to see a medical or scientific argument coming from you that I can actually understand as offering some reasonable support for your claims or that effectively undermines anything that I’ve said in favor of the mRNA vaccines. Really then, what do you have as a solid empirical basis for your position? – beyond your personal feelings? – or your appeals to various authority figures who are making claims that you personally haven’t investigated as to their actual scientific basis? Do you have any scientific background or medical training or understanding at all? Where is your weight of empirical evidence that might help a pathologist like me actually understand the validity of your position?


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Yeah, well, it might help to actually understand the primary data one is looking at before one makes up his/her mind… which Dr. McCullough clearly doesn’t understand – particularly when it comes to the meaning of the VAERS data.


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
If you’re going to just present one side of an issue, just do that. Don’t bother citing your “academic” credentials and history of “always” trying to present a balanced perspective. And, don’t complain about others, like the mainstream media, doing the very same thing that you’re doing – presenting only one side of an issue.

Beyond this minor point, have you nothing of real substance or interest to say about the actual primary claims being made? about all the scientific data that appears to strongly counter the sensational claims that Dr. McCullough’s presented in this video?


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
Then don’t complain about others doing exactly what you’re doing…

Anyway, the real issue with the video is that the main claims are almost all completely false and those that are true are presented in a very misleading manner – which has the potential to harm or even kill people. That’s the real problem.

Now, I know that you’re a registered nurse and lifestyle director of the Eden Valley Institute of Wellness in Loveland, Colorado. And, that’s great! I would suggest to you, however, that excellent health would also help someone do very well with the mRNA vaccines. But why not just rely on excellent health alone? Doesn’t the Adventist Health Message completely negate the need for vaccines? Well, no, it doesn’t. I know of several very healthy vegans who have been seriously sicked by COVID-19 with some having sustained permanent and progressive injuries – and some have even died. So, I would suggest to do both – to follow the Health Message as carefully as possible and to take the mRNA vaccines. This will provide the greatest level of protection possible to our Adventist brothers and sisters. It’s certainly what Mrs. White advocated in her own day when smallpox was killing many people. She certainly wasn’t opposed to the smallpox vaccine and supported her own son William White getting vaccinated, along with his staff and associates (Link). And, her own secretary (D. E. Robinson) wrote that Mrs. White was also vaccinated for smallpox (Link).


Scott Ritsema, Dr. Lela Lewis, Pastor Wyatt Allen an Dr. Peter McCullough on COVID-19 Vaccines
That’s just it. Scott didn’t claim to “be providing a neutral platform”. He just complained about others not doing so, and then didn’t do so himself. He said that,

“I believe that everybody needs to hear both sides. My background in academics was in history, I was a history teacher. I got into ministry later in life… but I come from that academic background of dialogue and inquiry. And, as a history teacher, whenever I notice that maybe one side was getting a little more play and imbalance, and the other side had some valid and interesting things to bring to the table, whether I agreed with them or not, I would always want to give air to that other side – to let people think and evaluate for themselves and grant people that they are capable, that they are individuals with a mind, and can evaluate the evidence for themselves.”

Yet, immediately after saying all this about being all even-handed with presenting a topic, he immediately says that in this particular video, he’s “Looking forward to hearing another side of this discussion” – without actually evenhandedly presenting and/or discussing both sides for his audience to “evaluate the evidence for themselves”.

Again, I don’t mind if someone wants to present one particular side of a discussion. However, when someone states, upfront, that they are an “academic” who is all into presenting data on both sides of an issue so that people can make up their own minds, it comes across as a bit non-academic when only one side is then presented without any time given for anyone on the other side to address and give their own take on the claims being made.