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Crushed by the Oncoming Freight Train

March 27, 2019

It’s time Americans wake up and confront the real conspiracy that is tearing this country apart: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has clearly faked her birth time in order to get a more favorable astrological natal chart! People on Twitter said so!!! (Ocasio-Cortez herself has not responded to these serious charges, which tells you EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.)

Pennsylvania State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz goes full-blown, Bible-thumping, mega-Jesusing, Trump-deifying bonkers in a seemingly endless opening prayer on the day the legislature was swearing in its first Muslim woman member. When you can make a state legislature uncomfortable with God-logorrhea, you know you have a special kind of crazy.

Speaking of crazy legislators, look what Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee says will solve climate change: “The solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places, is to fall in love, get married and have some kids.” WHAT?

Problems of human imagination are not solved by more laws, they’re solved by more humans. More people mean bigger markets for more innovation. More babies mean forward-looking adults, the sort we need to tackle long-term, large-scale problems.

I can’t even. I’m just YOU ARE A UNITED STATES SENATOR YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY THINK THIS okay I’m fine, I’m fine. Breathe, Paul.

Look out, theism! CFI board chair Eddie Tabash will debate the existence of God at UC Davis on April 10.

North Carolina’s 1973 law that bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is deemed unconstitutional by a federal district court. Victories are rare these days, and the bar is so low.

New Jersey is set to legalize physician-assisted dying for the terminally ill. No jokes about people dying to get out of New Jersey, okay? YES I’M FROM NEW JERSEY WHAT ABOUT IT. Paul! Breathe! Breathe.

As a way to comply with a new Florida law requiring public schools to display “In God We Trust” all over the damn place, Palm Beach County schools will simply display the state flag which includes those very words already.

FFRF is suing a school board in Texas to get them to stop praying at meetings, and I gotta say, I’m not feeling confident about that suit.

Albert Kamberger in the Montreal Gazette argues that it’s past time for the crucifix hanging in the council chambers of Dorval and Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Quebec to go:

There was no major social upheaval or loss of divine guidance reported in Dorval and Pierrefonds when they were forced by the Supreme Court ruling to stop reciting a prayer before holding their public council meetings.

The Australian state of Victoria will now allow atheist and secular school chaplains, amending the job description to say that chaplains can be “of any faith or of no faith.” Gold star for you, Victoria.

Benjamin Radford begins what will be a three-part series on mass shootings and the media, beginning with a look at the numbers of mass shootings that actually occur, because, as he says at the end (spoiler?), “Putting threats in perspective is one role of journalists and skeptics. A first step in trying to address or solve a problem is determining its scope and nature.”

I don’t usually like to quote or link to these kinds of pieces, but just so you have an idea of the mindset of the other side in the church-state conflict, here’s one Alex Newman at the right-wing outlet The New American on the Equality Act:

Democrats in Congress are pushing “equality” legislation that critics say would criminalize Christianity, Islam, and Judaism by forcing virtually every institution in society — including religious institutions — to hire, serve, and promote homosexuals and individuals confused about their gender. … Americans who value liberty and Christian civilization must recognize that everything they cherish is on the line. It is time to speak out, or be crushed by the oncoming freight train.

A slim majority of Americans opposes religiously-based service refusals against LGBTQ folks, 57 percent, according to PRRI. Looking at the numbers state by state, Rhode Island is the most sane on this question, with 70 percent opposing discrimination, which is still too low. Alaska is on the other end with only 42 percent opposed.

Among religious groups, Protestants are split down the middle, Catholics match the country at large with 57 percent, the unaffiliated are a disappointing 66 percent, and hooray for the UU’s, as 83 percent of Unitarian Universalists oppose these refusals. Also, Muslims and Hindus are more progressive on this question than Christians in general.

Rockland County, New York is now in a State of Emergency over its measles outbreak as county officials ban unvaccinated minors from public spaces for one month.

Vaccination rates are dropping in Scotland. A health official tells STV, “Regrettably social media pseudoscience has clearly had some influence.”

Mike Pence directs NASA to get Americans back on the Moon by 2024, adding, “If our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will.” I guess Mike can just will it so.

SyFy Wire: “Book your ticket for the Flat-Earther’s frosty cruise to the icy edge of our planet!”

Me: “No.”

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the maniac whose default position on everything seems to be “murder them all,” proves he is no flip-flopper:

To the priests who raped children and fondled balls, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you. Why should I be afraid? If you all get killed tonight, that would be better. Then we will have a better world.

Stopped clocks, etc.

Quote of the Day

At the York Daily Record, Mike Argento contrasts State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz’s theological tantrum with atheist Deana Weaver’s previous invocation to the Pennsylvania legislature, which said things like this:

May you choose health, safety and the welfare of your constituents over the seduction of personal and political gain. May you find the courage to make wise decisions, having accepted this heavy responsibility, putting aside your personal and political differences, to serve all of your constituents equally. May a guiding authority of your choice provide to you the willingness to work together for the good of we, the people you serve in our still-less-than-perfect union.

Yeah, I think that’s better.

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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.