Monday, July 11, 2016

#1690: Robert Hall

Robert Hall is a pastor at Calvary Chapel Rio Rancho and (surprise) an anti-gay activist. At a 2013 Family Research Council event, “Stand with Scouts Sunday”, to oppose the proposed resolution that would end the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members under the age of eighteen (featuring politicians such as Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Steve Palazzo), Hall warned that the push to end the ban on gays is a sign of the End Times and will ultimately make America “self-destruct.” Because, you know, Hall doesn’t like gays and anything that Hall doesn’t like will bring about the End Times. Which he ostensibly does like but still warns against.

Hall is also a creationist, and when the Rio Rancho school board’s initially adopted a policy that would allow discussing “alternative ideas to evolution” in science class only to walk back on the idea, he was not pleased. According to Hall, there is a bias within school systems that protects the teaching of evolution (an “unproven hypothesis”) while discrediting creationism by calling it “religion in schools,” which it is, regardless of whether pastor Hall adamantly asserts that “it’s a scientific movement” or not. In particular, according to Hall, there’s a conspiracy afoot, “a chokehold on the educational system and certain scientific outlets by evolutionists,” something that he, as an end times pastor and advocate of a literal reading of the Biblical, is in a particularly privileged position to discern.

Hall accordingly launched his own lecture series, which featured luminaries like John Doughty, a mechanical engineer and adjunct professor in scientific apologetics at Trinity Theological Seminary in Albuquerque. According to Doughty himself, he “was trained in evolution,” but “found out there was another model that made a whole lot more sense – and that was the creation model,” ostensibly because of the laws of thermodynamics, no less (no, he doesn’t even faintly understand the basic principles of evolution); according to Doughty creationism fit within the thermodynamic laws better, which, if you think about it, is a spectacularly silly thing to say. “The Bible is first and science is second,” said Doughty: “The Bible stood on its own merit for centuries before science arrived on the scene.” Indeed.

Diagnosis: Yes, another one. Stupid and evil and fanatic nut.

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