go to church. get fat. praise the lard!

Jesus in Toast

Jesus appears in a piece of toast.

A new study out this week links obesity to religious activity.

The study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, found that young adults who frequently attended religious activities were far more likely to become obese than those who didn’t.

“Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“And that is true even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index,” he added.

The study, presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

The study says it may be all of the cheap, high-in-fat potluck foods. Then again, it could be attributable to a demographic overlay of southern cooking traditionally being high in fat and the Bible Belt being in the south. Maybe.

Or,

Do overweight people tend to gravitate toward church because it is a place they feel is more likely to accept them, since churches are not supposed to be concerned with physical appearances?

Or, do people who go to church get fatter over time (perhaps for the same reason)?

Whatever conclusion you reach, the numbers don’t lie: praise the lard!

fake study: men who stare at breasts live longer, healthier

Fox News reports German "Staring at Breasts" Study

Really? German study says "staring at breasts" increases men's health.

According to an old fake German study making the rounds again, the healthiest men are those who stare at a woman’s breasts for at least ten minutes a day. And myFox Boston fell for it, and even provided video:

Five-hundred men participated in the German study. Half were told to refrain from looking at breasts for five years, the other half were told to ogle them daily.

The study claimed that men who stared at breasts more often showed lower rates of heart problems, a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure.

The authors of the study recommend that men stare at breasts for 10 minutes a day.

Really? REALLY? There is some German study that gives men an “excuse” to ogle women (like they need one)?

The purported author of the study, gerontologist Dr. Karen Weatherby (yes, a woman to make the story more believable), supposedly argues that gawking at women’s breasts is a healthy practice, equivalent to an intense exercise regime.

She added, “Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out.”

Seriously? Staring at a woman’s breasts for 10 minutes is the equivalent of a 30 minute workout???!!! This simply cannot be true. How do I know? If staring at women’s breasts for 10 minutes was the equivalent of a 30-minute workout, bibliobloggers would be the most physically fit people on earth. And this is simply not the case. And I know – I’ve seen them all together in a room together.

I shake my head. In fact, I have a few questions that arise from a “scientific study” like this one:

  • How does one muster enough nerve to propose a study like this?
  • Who actually funded this study, the porn industry?
  • Is the decreased heart rate due to the process of looking at the breasts, or some correlated physical activity that may immediately follow the ogling?
  • Who volunteered to be in this study? (And how did they react when they were told they’d be in the control group?)
  • How do women decrease their resting heart rate?

Seriously, I can hear it now: “Honey, I have to. Doctor’s orders.”

HT: RC

Update: This appears to be a recurring hoax, which MyFoxBoston fell for.

james mcgrath on agnostic christianity

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

James McGrath has written an excellent post on “Agnostic Christianity.” Dr. McGrath concludes:

For me, the answer to the question someone asked recently about Christian agnosticism is that there not only can be Christian agnosticism, but that in fact that is all we have. There are no people who have actual historical certainty about every historic Christian claim about Jesus. There are only people who have managed to attain a feeling of certainty. But being honest about the uncertainty, even though it can be unsettling to feel it, is not at all something to be ashamed of. Instead of describing it as “agnosticism” we could also call it “honesty.”

Dr. McGrath has written about this subject in the past, and I referenced him in an article I wrote for my friend, Jason Boyett, entitled, “On the Virtue of Doubt: A Brief Autobiography of the Skeptic in the Sanctuary.”

I recommend Dr. McGrath’s thoughts to anyone wrestling with issues stemming from a critical study of the biblical text.

(old) spice up the library

i love digital media. i love instructional technology. in fact, i should love both since i’m the instructional technology coordinator at ucla, and i get paid to love instructional technology and keep my eyes glued to three monitors at all times scanning the web for new ideas.

however, few know that my dream job has always been to write for a sketch comedy troupe, specifically, the colbert report or daily show, which uses comedy and satire to poke fun at politics and the media.

but for now, i work at a university, which explains why i love those who use creativity and parody for instructional purposes. take, for instance, this parody of the old spice commercials, which promotes the lee library at byu. very, very funny.

to the rest of you, let’s see what you can do with technology for your university

on ‘heresy’ and the critical study of the bible

Cap and Gownthought for the day:

it is never heretical to point out the inconsistencies of the biblical text to students. ever! if one’s faith can’t survive a few critical questions, it’s either deeply flawed or it is not worth maintaining. shielding students from textual problems does not help their faith, it only sets them up for a greater fall.

professors should challenge students to examine the biblical text as critically as they do any other piece of literature or legislation. if even half as much time that is spent attempting to disprove ‘other’ religions or unpopular pieces of legislation was spent critically examining the bible, the faith would not only be far better off, but people of faith would be far more educated, and might even know what their bibles say and how to interpret its message properly.

since when are scholars heretics because they ask tough questions of the bible? since when is pointing out inconsistencies within the text harmful to a student’s faith? (unless we want them to believe something that is simply not true or possible.) and since when is the dogma and inbred self-affirmation of systematic theology the final say on all things religious? any system of belief or government that cites itself as an authority is doomed to fail. all systems of government or faith must be constantly examined and critically prodded to ensure their integrity and viability. otherwise, they are not worth maintaining.

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