Why is shit like this news? I don't get it. It's not like I write a little editorial every time a theist becomes an atheist. It's not that newsworthy. So, let's see what this article has to say, shall we?
A student ambled out of the University of Toledo's Driscoll Alumni Center
auditorium the other night and noticed a plaque on the wall that honors Dr.
Julian Davies, distinguished professor of chemistry and medicinal chemistry.
He turned to the Rev. Julian Davies, pastor of University Church, and said,
"Wow, look, there's a guy here with the same name as you!"
Ugh. $20 says this will be glurge in my in-box within two weeks. Any takers? Of course, by the time it hits glurge status, Davies will have saved an atheist student who was about to get hit by a bus or spit out a piece of bread during communion or something.
Mr. Davies said he smiled and said, "Yeah, that's a real coincidence."
What? That someone can read or that you're a scientist and a pastor at the school?
Truth is, Julian Davies the distinguished professor and Julian Davies the United
Methodist minister are one and the same person, separated by a few years and a
calling from God.
OMGZ NO! *rolls eyes* I hate to be cynical, but I'm going to be. The author of this article should go work for Focus on the Family. Already, we've seen a bunch of logical fallacies. I hate it when people have to use a huge set-up to make their point and this guy's doing it in spades. I get it. He's a theist who is also a scientist. Are they going to put him in a carnival freakshow and charge $5 to see him? That this is the cause for a news article sort of shoots their "well, there are a lot of scientists who believe in God argument" in the foot. For, if that were the case, it wouldn't be newsworthy. But, let's move on.
Mr. Davies, 53, a native of London, came to Toledo to teach chemistry in 1981
and moved swiftly up the ranks of academia.
Ahhhhhhhh!! England! Stop sending your smart scientists here. I think there's something in the water!
He earned full tenure, earned honors for outstanding teacher and outstanding
researcher, was named one of only 10 distinguished professors on the UT campus,
and served as an associate dean of natural sciences and mathematics.
"See! He's smart! REALLY!" *rolls eyes* If I didn't live with a professor, I'd probably be more impressed by the outstanding teaching and tenure. As it is, I'm not. That's your job! That he does it well should have no bearing on how we see him as a scientist. These are the same people who won't give Dawkins the time of day, but I'm guessing Dawkins has received way more accolades than just doing his fucking job! Do I sound angry? Perhaps. I'm sick and tired of the double standard.
In addition, Mr. Davies was a lifelong and rather smug atheist.
Who decided he used to be a "rather smug atheist"? Davies himself? Let me guess. It's a self-awarded description, rendered AFTER his conversion?
"My parents and the rest of my family, we grew up entirely outside the life of
the church. I had literally never been inside a church other than maybe a
wedding or two all the way through to my adult life - ever," he said in an
interview this week. "So I was an atheist and actually a pretty serious atheist.
I quite enjoyed baiting Christians about their faith."
NO! NO, NO, NO! Simply not participating in religion does NOT make you an atheist! Not participating in naked unicorn sex makes me an a-unicornist. Not going to a mosque doesn't make me anti-Muslim. That he uses this as part of his argument makes me pretty damn sure he has no idea what atheism is. His self-description as a "serious atheist" is hanging just as tenuously as his self-description as a "smug atheist." Engaging in debates with Christians about their religion doesn't necessarily make you an atheist.
But after 23 years at UT - two years before being eligible for retirement - he
quit his professorship in 2004 and enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in
Wilmore, Ky., where he received a master of divinity degree.
And? In addition to being completely irrelavent and stupid, that's an awfully long time not to vest in your retirement.
Today, Mr. Davies is an ordained United Methodist minister and pastor of the
fledgling University Church, which he founded to meet the spiritual needs of
UT's 21,000 students as well as alumni, faculty, staff, neighbors, and friends.
The path from atheistic chemistry professor to Christian believer and pastor did
not take a straight line, nor did the journey occur overnight.
So...he figured out that bilking theists out of their dollar to start his own church is easier than bilking a bunch of scientific boards out of grant money. I don't know that that's true, but it wouldn't shock me. If you got $10 a year from every parishoner, then you've likely doubled or tripled the salary of a professor. Perhaps he's not stupid after all? How does not going to church make him an "atheistic chemistry professor"? And, what the hell is an "atheistic chemistry professor"? Chemisty is chemistry. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone's higher power or belief in God.
Mr. Davies, interviewed in his sun-dappled office at UT's Interfaith Center,
adjacent to the campus, speaks enthusiastically and articulately, with a
noticeable British accent.
Well, now that you've told me he has a British accent, he must be right.
He said the start of his spiritual journey began when he met his future wife,
Dr. Mary Kay Smith, a psychiatrist at UT's medical college.
AHAHAHAHHA!! Sorry. I shouldn't laugh. But, do you think they really thought about that line when they wrote it? It doesn't say WHERE he met her. "Doc...I've been a little depressed lately. I can has the Jesus?"
"Mary Kay had grown up in a little United Methodist church in Pemberville, which
was sort of the center of village life," he said. "And when we decided to get
married, Mary Kay always thought she'd get married in that church, which is
where her sisters got married. And I would have nothing to do with it. I said,
'Thank you very much but it's a deal-breaker for me. I can't do that.'•"
Wow. Not only was he not an atheist. He was also a jerk! How did that "deal breaker" not come up before they started planning the wedding?
The reason, he said, was that he felt it would be hypocritical for an atheist to
stand up in church and recite vows that meant nothing to him.
See above. I'm getting tired of repeting myself. And, what the heck does any of this have to do with him being a scientist?
"I felt the last thing we should do is go in and pretend. That seemed to me to
be wrong," he said.
And, here...ladies and gentlemen is where we know he wasn't an atheist. If he were, then standing in a church and saying a few words wouldn't have been "wrong". He would've had no moral judgement about it. What is wrong, in the atheist view, of standing in a BUILDING made by MAN and saying a few words to satisfy your partner? You're not doing anything wrong. This is akin to saying it's wrong to write to Santa Clause if you don't believe he exists. Or, it's wrong to go sit on Mall Santa's lap if you're an a-Santa-ist. It's not. You could do those things out of tradition or just to make your loved one happy. The desire not to get married in a church does not an atheist make.
"But I did make her a good counter-offer, though. We flew to Maui and got
married on a beach."
They were wed 22 years ago, and Dr. Smith said she
asked Mr. Davies if he would go to church with her on her birthday. He declined,
but went a week later
What a jerk! I'd go to Church with Pdaddy if he really wanted me to. He wouldn't even have to beg.
The couple attended Epworth United Methodist Church, a prominent, 1,500-member church in West Toledo.
"It was my first experience in a church and I can tell you, if you've never been
to church before, church is really strange," Mr. Davies said. "There are people
standing up and sitting down - the people know to do things at certain times and
you don't. It's very, very off-putting." Being an academic, he
said, he naturally had questions. During service, he tugged on the sleeve of the
man next to him and asked why everyone said "Amen" at the end of a
Oh for the love of Christ!! This man got a degree in chemistry? He's an idiot! He grew up British for the love of all things non-holy! Isn't a morning prayer pretty standard in most British schools? My four year old, who's really never been to church, knows what "amen" means and why people say it.
"The person just pulled away and said, 'I don't know, we just do!' And I said,
'Well that's strange to do something without knowing why you do it.'•"
I agree. That's why it wouldn't make me a theist.
Another time, he said, he wanted to raise his hand and ask the preacher a
question during the sermon. The person next to him gasped and urged him not to
I agree. That's why it wouldn't make me a theist.
"On the way out, the same man said to me, 'You know, we do have classes in the
church for people who want to learn more.' … It had never occurred to me, having
never been inside a church before. I didn't know that churches had classes."
This guy is full of shit or mentally challenged. Not paying attention your entire life doesn't make you an atheist!
Mr. Davies signed up for every class Epworth offered, and read a stack of books
on every topic. "It didn't take long before people said, 'Well, you could
teach this!' So I started teaching classes." He was still an atheist, he
said, but "I was fascinated" by his studies. It opened his eyes to new views
An atheist started teaching classes in a church program? So...it's not okay to stand in a church and say a few words to make your future wife happy, but it is okay to stand in front of a congregation of students and pretend to believe in what you're teaching them? Seriously - show me any church in North America that allows someone to teach without said person claiming to believe, at the bare minimum, in God.
The article is really long, but you get the general picture. You can go read it using the link. I'm going to skip down to the bottom.
"We were convinced that this was the right thing to do. I wanted to be able to
ask the sort of questions you don't ask in a chemistry lab, and to do the sorts
of things, interacting with students, that you don't do in a chemistry
classroom. And that's proved to be very rewarding," Mr. Davies said.
No sheet, Sherlock. Why would you ever have cause to bring up religion in a chemistry class?
Dr. Smith said that while she never anticipated her husband's spiritual journey
and his career path - or that she would be a pastor's wife - in retrospect
everything has lined up perfectly.
Why do I picture his wife as Mr. Burns? Exxxxxxx-celent.