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All the Properties of a Parasitic Virus

September 24, 2020

TONIGHT we got Nathan Lents, he of Human Errors fame, on the latest Skeptical Inquirer Presents! Register free right here.

And look! The latest Point of Inquiry podcast has Rev. Barry Lynn, former head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State! That’s what you call a good get.

Yesterday, CFI’s Nick Little was on FFRF’s Ask an Atheist show to talk about the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trump, essentially: Nice FDA vaccine guidelines you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to them.

Dr. Fauci has had it with “Senator Rand,” answering him on herd immunity: “No, you misconstrued that, senator, and you’ve done that repetitively in the past. … This happens with Senator Rand all the time. You were not listening to what the director of the CDC said, that in New York it’s about 22 percent. If you believe that 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”

Hey, UN staffers! You can get FREE EARLY ACCESS to Russia’s amazing and not-really-tested COVID-19 vaccine! Uuuuuhhhhh

Jann Bellamy warns about the legislative efforts of the so-called National Health Freedom Action, which is really about the freedom to make other people sick.

The FTC says Americans have now been bilked out of $145 million through COVID-related scams, an average loss of $300 per victim.

DC’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church is the first church in the District to mount a legal challenge to pandemic restrictions on gatherings.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Catholic theology professor Massimo Faggioli at Politico: Amy Coney Barrett’s religious beliefs are fair game: “She has made solemn promises that go far beyond the baptismal promises every Catholic makes.”

The Attorney General of the United States at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast: “Perhaps no concept is more misunderstood than the notion of ‘separation of church and state.’ Militant secularists have long seized on that slogan as a facile justification for attempting to drive religion from the public square…”

D.L. Mayfield: “I can no longer call myself an evangelical, because what defines a white evangelical in the United States has become a longing for an authoritarian state where Christianity is prioritized and privileged.”

Neuroscientist Bobby Azarian on religious fundamentalism: “An ideology with a tendency to harm its host in an effort to self-replicate gives it all the properties of a parasitic virus, and defending against such a belief system requires understanding it as one.”

The “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020”? That sounds great! OH WAIT. It’s just a bill to punish schools who let transgender girls play high school sports.

The North Texas conference of the United Methodist Church wants the church’s logo changed from the flame-and-cross symbol, because, you know, burning crosses.

More than 100 French media outlets sign on to a letter in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and in defense of free expression: “Some of us are believers and may naturally be shocked by blasphemy. Nevertheless, they unreservedly associate themselves with this initiative. Because, in defending the freedom to blaspheme, it is not blasphemy that we are defending, but freedom.”

Desi Hanara at The Diplomat: Indonesia should scrap its blasphemy law and concentrate on stopping “incitement to discrimination, hostility, and violence,” noting, “The international human rights law regime protects the rights of the individual, not the religion or belief.”

The governor of Kano State in Nigeria says musician Yahaya Shariff-Aminu may appeal the death sentence he was given over a blasphemy conviction. How magnanimous.

A guy in Siberia who says he’s Jesus, Sergei Torop (aka Vissarion), has been running a cult for more than 30 years, and he’s just now been arrested for “organizing an illegal religious organisation.”

Germany’s largest archdiocese is closing 90 percent of its churches over the next 10 years.

Conservative writer David French ponders QAnon, positing that the conspiracy-theorizing is not about “mistrust” but about hate. “I don’t trust my car dealer … So if you told me that the guy who sold me my 2018 Honda Accord was part of a global pedophile ring that cannibalizes slaughtered children … my first response would be total confusion.”

Here’s a new kind of thing to worry about: extinction denial. Personally, I’m in denial-denial.

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.