A Lingering Obstacle

July 5, 2018


Whoa, atheist activist Sherif Gaber, who you’ll remember was reported arrested as part of an Egyptian dragnet of dissidents back in May, unexpectedly posts a new video. He doesn’t say anything about what happened to him or where he is, but he does talk about why he keeps up his work.

Remember Halliburton? Remember when they were like the scariest thing going on in U.S. politics? Halcyon days. Anyhoo, Halliburton is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the harassment of two Muslim employees and for firing one when he reported the mistreatment.

Jim Underdown is back with Ask the Atheist, which tackles such questions as whether the U.S. is a Christian nation (Jim says “yes and no”), why God invented Cleveland, and “why God treats us like a June bug on a duck farm.” Yeah, I dunno.

Australia’s Archbishop Philip Wilson is convicted of covering up church sexual abuse, making him the highest-ranking member of the Catholic clergy to be convicted. HOWEVER, he’s only getting a six months of home detention and then six months of parole. THAT’S IT. And as if that weren’t lenient enough, he’s appealing the conviction.

A member of Australia’s Senate and a person who makes exciting choices in eyewear, Lee Rhiannon, urges the Senate to stop opening each session with the Lord’s Prayer.

A California appeals court rejects a challenge to the state law that nixes the “personal belief” exemption from vaccine requirements. There were a couple negatives in a row in that sentence, so to be clear, the point is that the law we like is still safe.

Rod Dreher is Rod-Drehering all over himself, having published and then un-published a column in which he blames the suicide of Anthony Bourdain on his girlfriend who Dreher is sure is an occultist, plus stuff about Satanism and “the rapid and forceful mainstreaming of transgenderism.”

Pope Francis wants to make a saint out of Cardinal August Hlond, the head of the Polish Catholic Church in the World War II era, but there are some hefty concerns about the guy’s anti-Semitism. So much concern that even Catholic publications in Poland are dubious.

Mike Pence drops more Biblespeak into the immigration issue, telling Guatemalans that the U.S. can both detain immigrants and do “as the good book says,” which is to “do justice and love kindness.” That should go over well.

Jann Bellamy laments the shuttering of HealthNewsReview.org.

Julia Belluz reports on a problem with polio, which has been 99.9 percent eradicated. Oooooh but there’s that troublesome 0.1 percent:

There’s a lingering obstacle to a polio-free world: A scant number of people who got one version of the vaccine before it was phased out in 2016 carry a variant of the polio virus that was in that vaccine and has since mutated. The mutated virus can now be passed around in areas where few people have been vaccinated, sickening some along the way.

RNS announces the launch of a new podcast meant to “illuminate and introduce to a largely Western audience the Islamic faith and its traditions from the Islamic perspective.” Called Re-Sight Islam, the show is hosted by Qasim Rashid. (I’d have come up with a better title, but what do I know? I called this blog “The Morning Heresy.” Barf.)

Quote of the Day

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman urges Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto a bill that would designate an official “state hymn” for honoring veterans. Why? Because it’s a hymn, and it’s all about God and Jesus and whatnot. Hoylman says:

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than supporting the separation of church and state, a founding principle of our nation? … We are a nation of laws and our Constitution makes a clear delineation between church and state and does not favor one religion over the other.

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