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Closed and Dead

August 6, 2020

If anyone ever asks, “Hey what’s your problem with the Supreme Court’s decisions on religion?” (and I assume you get asked that all the time), just point them to this piece by Marci A. Hamilton at Verdict: “Essentially, the conservative members of the Court have built a functional and operational establishment.”

Shelly Inglis of the University of Dayton Human Rights Center on Pompeo’s Unalienable Rights Commission: “Critics say that if the U.S. declares some rights are more important than others, the move will devalue all human rights – including religious freedom.” Yes, we do say that.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, high on the list of potential Biden running-mates, calls herself a deist. If she gets picked and they get elected, she’d be the first deist VP since Jefferson.

AP: 35 percent of Americans think their religious liberty is threatened, and most of that is white evangelicals.

Their delicate sensibilities utterly shattered, two members of the Lake Wales City Commission in Florida walked out when atheist Sarah Ray delivered a unifying invocation.

The Satanic Temple is getting set to challenge abortion restrictions as violations of their religious liberty. It’s clever and will likely drive some folks absolutely nuts.

President Trump told Fox News that kids are “almost immune” to COVID-19, a dangerous lie that caused the video to be taken down from Facebook and the temporary suspension of Trump’s campaign account from Twitter.

Bill Gates: If you think COVID-19 is bad, just wait til climate change really kicks in.

Dr. Fauci says his family requires constant protection from a security team because of ongoing death threats against him and his daughters.

The New York Times has a sort of symptom-checker page for COVID-19 complete with creepy graphics of plasticy human innards.

Professors at Yale put out a joint statement warning about the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 and disavowing its promotion by their colleague, Dr. Harvey Risch.

Behold the Spiricom! It’s like an intercom! For spirits! No, not like liquor spirits, like ghosts! Kenny Biddle at Skeptical Inquirer first tells of the weird history of this absurd contraption, and then unloads on the Ghost Hunters show for their rather transparently doctored use of it to reveal “evidence” of paranormal activity.

Trump claimed that NASA was “closed and dead” before he took office as he boasted in a tweet about SpaceX’s launch, which had nothing to do with NASA. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.

Apparently vitamin D doesn’t do anything for depression, which is a whole new bummer in itself.

Canadian scientists find a dinosaur that had cancer, the first such confirmation, and they even suspect that others of its species (Centrosaurus) may have been taking care of it. Too bad we don’t do that anymore.

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 centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus.

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.