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VCBC's Rover Award for Exceptional Contribution to Religious Thought

VCBC gives its little-known Rover Award to people who, in our inconsequential opinion, have made exceptional contributions to religious thought, or who have enabled such contributions by advancing freedom and truth. We encourage them to display the rover image above (should they care to admit they won) with a link back to VCBC at either of these two URLs:

Entry Page :

This Page:

Researcher Anne Foerst brings advanced credentials in Christian Theology and Artificial Intelligence to the building and study of COG, an infant humanoid robot. She wins the a Rover for her unique effort to understand what it means to be an embodied intelligence (soul). Anne has also won a Templeton Prize!

Physicist Alan Sokal published a hoax entitled " Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," in Social Text in order to answer the question, "Would a leading North American journal of cultural studies ... publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions [that there is no objective physical reality — that reality is merely a social construct]?" VCBC believes that physical reality is the Divinely ordained School of Hard Knocks, in which we must take instruction when we are too stupid or vain to learn in any other. Therefore VCBC thinks that by defending the truth about physical reality, Sokal has done a great service to societal sanity as well as to religious thought, and gives him a Rover. Here is a link to all aspects of the ensuing debate.

Astronomer Andrew Lyne was believed to be the first person to discover a potentially earthlike planet orbiting another star. The night before he was to depart for an international conference convened especially to hear the details of his discovery, he checked his data one last time, and discovered, to his horror, that the Doppler effect due to the motion of the earth around the sun had not been removed from his data. Once he had done that, the evidence for his planet disappeared. Lyne not only had the integrity to check and recheck his data, he had the guts to stand up at the conference and bluntly announce his error. For his dedication to the truth concerning physical reality, we give him a Rover.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, founded by Morris Dees, helps keep all Americans free by collecting publicly available information on hate groups and suing them (usually successfully) for the damage they do. They helped break the Klu Klux Klan. Since these folks do this work at risk to their lives, we give them all Rovers. We also caution them against zealotry.

The James Randi Educational Foundation, founded by the atheist and former magician, "The Amazing Randi," works to keep our minds free from superstition. Because superstition is an impediment to thought and knowledge, religious and otherwise, VCBC gives Randi a Rover.

Johadi Lhoucine is a history teacher in Casablanca, who is translating the Qur'an from Arabic into Tamazight, the language of the Berbers who form the majority of people living in Morocco. Since this reminds us of Martin Luther (who risked life and limb for translating the Bible from Latin into German) we celebrate Lhoucine with a Rover.

The Rev. Charles Henderson is the executive director of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life (ARIL) which sponsors an annual Research Colloquium and the magazine Cross Currents. Henderson and ARIL get a Rover for sustaining a high-quality effort that unifies intellect and soul, and as a place for interfaith intellectual encounter, promotes peace on earth. Rev. Henderson is Presbyterian minister, as well as's Guide for Christianity, and founder of the First Church of Cyberspace. Busy man!

Adrian L. Melott, Fellow of the American Physical Society and professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, is a founding member and spokesperson of FLAT (Families for Learning Accurate Theories) a parody of power-grabbing Fundamentalist Creationists who were trying to lobotomize public school science curricula in Kansas. You can read his own account of this effort in "How We Threw the Bums Out." Continuing this effort, he wrote Intelligent Design is Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo. Melott is also a Unitarian Universalist minister. He earns his Rover for defending Truth, which is the ultimate quest of both Science and Religion.

Robert Peter George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he teaches constitutional interpretation, civil liberties and the philosophy of law. He is also a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, and a former member of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. His books include In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, and The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis. He is a leading proponent of Natural Law Theory. While we disagree in part with some of his opinions, we award him a Rover for the care and civility with which he states and defends his positions. We believe he sets a shining example of what it means to be a person of faith engaged as a citizen in a pluralistic and democratic society. If everyone would behave with the same degree of civility (and exhibit the same tolerance for diversity of opinion), American and world politics would be vastly improved!

Feel free to nominate someone else to be honored here!

If I win Best in Show, can I have a Lakse Kronch? Can I have one now?

We've received awards, too, like these:

Golden Web Award 2003

ARIL Hot Site!

User Friendly Cool

Zeal of Approval

7 Wonders of the Web

5 Star Humor Site

Warped Award for Originality

Geckoplex Award for Excellence on the Web

Geckoplex Award for Excellence on the Web

We also bestow a negative award.