Accommodationist or faitheist? Templeton will pay you big time!

June 25, 2010 • 5:56 am

Are you one of those indigent freelance writers, scrabbling hard to earn a pittance? Sick of magazines and newspapers that pay you jack?

Well, your troubles are over—at least if you’re willing to churn out accommodationist pap.  The John Templeton Foundation, through its credential-bending director of publications Rod Dreher, has announced that, if you’re willing to toe the party line, Templeton has big simoleons for writers:

The future is not good.  Word of warning to you aspiring freelance writers: don’t quit your day job. I’m very serious.

Happily for writers, the Web publication the John Templeton Foundation will soon launch, Big Questions Online, will be paying good money for essays. We’re interested in smart, insightful pieces on science, religion, markets, morals, and any combination of the four. If you have a good idea, send me (the BQO editor) a pitch at rdreher (at) templeton.org. Don’t call me, please! I’ll reply if we’re interested.

All you have to do is write about those Big Questions.  You know the ones—those questions that are plastered in expensive Templeton ads all over the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker.  Those are the questions for which science and religion can reciprocally inform each other.

Accommodationist writers, get to work! Others: suggest some topics!! Templeton’s just handed you a big, expensive megaphone.
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53 thoughts on “Accommodationist or faitheist? Templeton will pay you big time!

  1. Hey, it doesn’t say it’s only for faitheists — we could send him a pitch!

    You don’t think he’d turn us down because he disagreed with our position, do you?

    1. How will anyone ever even know the difference between a real accommodationist article and a “Sokal”? Writer intent?

  2. Great. We’d better prepare ourselves for the inevitable tidal wave of piss-poor analogies, flowery rationalisations and the kind of nebulous waffle that would make even Karen Armstrong puke.

      1. The “puke” is a subtle metaphor for the transcendence of vomiting, which cannot be understood with logos alone. Puke is not the answer but the question. You need to look beyond your narrow positivist concept of nausea, and consider puke in terms of mythos, rather than blinkered scientism.

      2. In defense of Karen Armstrong, in addition to spewing her vacuous apophatic theology, she also does a lot of good work in trying to get fundamentalists to stop being such dicks and adopt her more “advanced” theology. In other words, she puts her money where her mouth is, at least.

        Not so of folks like Terry Eagleton, who is quite happy to go on letting his “cumulus-shaped theology” be used to justify all sorts of medieval beliefs.

        Karen Armstrong’s philosophizing is still hilariously bad, and her attacks on the New Atheists are both silly and uncalled for. But I just don’t get worked up about her anymore, because at least she’s not really a hypocrite. She knows that her apophatic theology is not how the majority of people view their religion, and she’s trying to change that. (Which makes her attacks on the New Atheists all the more incomprehensible, but still…)

  3. Heh. Believe it or not, I *am* a freelance writer – with not much lance right now.

    I’m going to be ALL OVER this.

    Of course, here’s my conundrum. Do I…
    a) Make a pitch that I KNOW will result in a sale, and compromise my integrity as a writer and as a human?
    b) Make a pitch that I KNOW will result in ‘no sale’ and keep my integrity.
    c) Make a pitch that I KNOW will result in a sale, write it up, cash the check, and THEN reveal myself as a member of the baby-roasting New Atheist(TM) cabal? Thereby outing BioLogos for what it is — an echo chamber for the faitheists?

    Two out of three gets me a check…hmmm…

    I know their arguments as well (better even) than they do. Heck, it really all boils down to a single one (GOTG). I could do this in my sleep. And the mortgage company does kinda like a check every month.

    Oh, the agony!

  4. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:

    We need some kind of nickname for the individuals to suck up to the Templeton Foundation in the hope of being paid.

    Something like Templewhore, or Templetoady. Any other ideas?

    1. Well, IIRC we have had “to suck up to the Templeton Foundation in the hope of being paid” become a verb/adjective: to templeton yourself.

      “Templetoady” works for me. “Simpleton” is a given.

      … or Templetuchus. As in “that Templetuchus lecker”. (Ref.)

      1. [Francis Collins]
        Shake your Mooney maker
        Like somebody’s bout to pay ya
        I see you on my radar
        Don’t you act like you’re no faker

        God…

        [John M. Templeton, Jr.]
        You know I got it
        If you wanna come get it
        Stand next to this money
        Like – pay pay

        [Francis]
        Shake your Mooney maker
        Like somebody’s bout to pay ya
        Don’t worry about them haters
        Keep your nose up in the air

        You know I got it
        If you wanna come get it
        Stand next to this moral
        Like – pay pay

        [Verse 1]
        Shake, shake, shake your Mooney maker
        Like you were shaking it for some paper
        It took your pope 9 years to make ya
        Might as well shake what your pope gave ya
        You, you lookin’ good talking nuts
        I bet you’d look even better with God in between
        I keep my mind on my moral – moral on my mind
        But you’s a heaven of a distraction when you stake your belief

        I got *** on my right side pourin’ some cups
        My whole hood is to my left and they ain’t givin’ a fuck
        So feel free to get loose and get carried away
        So by tomorrow you forgot what you where saying today
        But don’t forget about this feeling that I am making you get
        And all the morals you burn from me making you cheat
        The facile high points you earn when we takin’ my jet and
        How everywhere you turn I’ll be making you bleat

        [Chorus]
        Shake your Mooney maker
        Like somebody’s bout to pay ya
        I see you on my radar
        Don’t you act like you’re no faker

        God…

        1. [And of course “hood” is but another term for “church”. Somehow I forgot to put that in.]

  5. But would I have to lie, obfuscate, spin and make stuff up like the rest of the Templeton drivel? That sounds like too much work unless one has no ethical values at all – oh wait, these are Templeton writers – they aren’t concerned with ethics.

  6. Thanks for letting us know! I’m working on a christianity-islam-evolution harmonizing piece titled “Jesus didn’t die, he evolved into Mohammed’s hairy armpits” which hopefully will get me some beautiful revenues.

  7. I have a religion-disparaging piece written that I’m hoping to pitch to someone. It’s tempting to try. I’m certain that they’d gladly accept both sides of the issue.

  8. When you have big money, you can either be a Bill Gates spend it for the good of humanity, or be a John Templeton and put it in such a ridiculous PR stunt that it tops the “beyond petroleum” poppeycock.

  9. “Big Questions Online”, huh? Can’t wait. I wonder what their comments will be like? Or if they will even allow any?

  10. By reading his stuff, editor Dreher gives those of us who want to Make Big Money Now a pretty good idea of what he’s looking for.

    Basically, the format should be a country western song, heavy on maudlin, emotion-jerking goo of all sorts as the glue necessary to hold together the other essential wads, The Correct God, Science, and the sort of pseudo-intellectual insinuation having been one of Rupert Murdoch’s prawns qualifies you to create.

    “My sister got the cancer,
    Twang sobby sobby twang
    Is it God or Science?
    Either way, writing about her,
    I’ll make the hay,
    Twang sobby sobby twang,
    Twang sobby sobby twang.
    I burned my best cooking pot,
    twang sobby sobby twang
    Now I have to eat
    Like the small people
    At least I still have champagne
    Twang, sobby sobby twang,
    Twang, sobby sobby twang
    Teenage sluts and queers
    Make me hard and mad,
    Twang sobby sobby twang
    But I don’t know which does which
    Is it God or Science?
    Either way my life is such a bitch
    Twang, sobby sobby, twang,
    Twang, sobby sobby twang”

  11. “The Meta-ethical Constructs of Evolutionary Economic Systems in Scripture, and Their Implications for a Market-based Quantum Stem Cell Rubric.”

    this shit practically writes itself…

    1. You forgot to add “epistemology” in your title.

      As in “The Meta-ethical Constructs of Evolutionary Economic Systems in Scripture, and Their Epistemologic Implications for a Market-based Quantum Stem Cell Rubric.”

      So sorry, no soup for you!

        1. Maybe, but you don’t win a war of ideas without money.

          As one of those indigent freelance writers/editors, I for one could do with some support for my work. It’s difficult when your work isn’t supported but the other side’s is. I actually end up running at a (significant) loss and am slowly winding down my savings because our side can’t even pay for my travel expenses inside Australia, let alone for overseas travel, let alone any actual fees. Even books don’t make more than a few thousand dollars (if that) unless they become best sellers.

          To be honest, I can keep going for a long time because I’m not really indigent. I have some (very modest) wealth built up from a previous career. But not many people are in that position, and even I am hamstrung in what I can do by lack of funding. I don’t have the sort of loot that I can spend freely, but the sort I have to allocate very carefully.

          Besides, we can’t expect all our people to pursue successful careers of the kind that require a 24/7 commitment, live frugally for decades, build up wealth, and only start writing full-time when they get to 45 or 50. The other side doesn’t require that.

          Whether or not Ophelia are the best people to spend money on, our side has to do much better to support its people’s work, or we’re sunk.

          1. The reason one doesnt have money is, obvioulsy, one-you-hasnt convinced anyone…with money..to give you money

            1. No shit, Sherlock. But the point is that we need to build up organisations such as CFI and RDFRS to the point where they actually can give support to people. This will take time, so I probably won’t benefit personally – I’ll be out to pasture by then. I’m more likely to be a net contributor to such organiations than a net benficiary.

              But the next generation can benefit.

      1. “Insightful Ape says:
        June 25, 2010 at 9:46 am
        When you have big money, you can either be a Bill Gates spend it for the good of humanity, or be a John Templeton and put it in such a ridiculous PR stunt that it tops the “beyond petroleum” poppeycock.”
        Kevin, you really should give me credit…

  12. Somehow this BQO brings back the memory of when I was in college and I had a couple of friends that were English majors that wrote porn on the side to make extra money. They claimed it was incredibly easy to write and it helped pay for books (but not for pizza and beer, since writing porn for p&b would be immoral). I sense an equivalence.

    1. Hardly, porn is much less harmful that the sort of bullshit Templeton is after, especially the written sort I would think. It’s not even got any actors to be exploited and not many people make living by the precepts of porn their life’s work!

    2. Maybe this guy promising to hand out the cash has an alternate personality he keeps hidden, but from what I can gather from reading the blog he makes this offer in, working for him would seem to virtually guarantee some sort of fruitcake nightmare, like being trapped in the Bates Motel with Barney the Dinosaur as Norman. This guy thinks WAY too much publicly about sex, not the sex he’s probably not having, but whatever sex YOU might be having, with whom. Creepy, creepy, creepy, all the way around.

  13. It might be worthwhile to explore some of the implications of minor violations of NOMA, like the possibility of very weak interactions between the supernatural and natural domains.

    Ken Miller, for example, has suggested that God might have surreptitiously improved the human genome by manipulating quantum interactions, one molecule, one alpha particle at a time. Such a god might not be capable of diverting an asteroid or a storm or even a thought, but it might be able to groom a favored species over time.

    One would presume that such a one had patiently been preparing the dinosaurs for millions of years before the K-T event, then starting over with our forebears afterwards.

    The same hypothesis could suggest that Jesus, though the son of Joseph, was indeed the beneficiary of an extra-special divine mutation, which His Father intended to share with us in the usual way. His execution might have been a consequence or an accident.

    There’s not a lot of fun to be had in this vein, not nearly as much inspiration for science fiction as pagan tradition, but there is a little.

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