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Do Not Interact with This Person

September 29, 2020

Tonight, tonight, toniiiiight! Oh-oooohhhhhh! The super-awesome Bertha Vazquez, director of our Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, is the guest on CFI Insider. 7pm ET! Zoom! Register now! It’s free! What you watch afterward, well, that’s up to you.

Nathan Lents posts the video of his Skeptical Inquirer Presents event on his blog…and adds footnotes and annotations!!! Respect.

Susan Gerbic infiltrates the Fake Psychic Universe via Zoom: “I’m always surprised that Thomas John can’t tell he is talking to one of the Guerrilla Skeptics; maybe he is just too busy to notice that the spirit must be yelling at him, ‘Do not interact with this person’.”

Secular Democrats of America have launched Humanists for Biden, chaired by Greg Epstein and co-chaired by Sarah Levin. It’s not an official part of the Biden campaign, but campaign national faith outreach directors will be at the first event this Thursday. (Meaning the Biden folks aren’t pretending it’s not happening, as would normally happen.)

You will recognize many of the folks in the introductory video.

I feel it is important now to remind everyone that CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse nor oppose any political candidate for any public office. Just so we’re clear.

McKay Coppins at The Atlantic reports on how the president actually thinks his Christian supporters are a bunch of suckers. But he was cool with those prosperity gospel types: “Trump seemed to feel a kinship with prosperity preachers—often evincing a game-recognizes-game appreciation for their hustle.”

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent about $400,000 on Trump’s DC hotel in 2017.

Rev. Aurelia Dávila Pratt advises decoupling Christianity from partisanship: “Otherwise, we risk entering into the dangerous territory of Christian nationalism, which seeks to merge Christian and American identities, demanding that Christianity be privileged by the state.”

Whitney Harper at Psychology Today cautions religious voters to be on the lookout for politicians’ use of religious language that prompts a gut-emotional response.

Almost to illustrate the point, Senate Republicans pass a resolution that celebrates the Pledge of Allegiance for all its godliness.

Wow. Trump says opposition to Amy Coney Barrett is not just anti-Catholic, but comes from a “woke clan” akin to the KKK. But I thought they were supposed to be very fine people.

Sen. Blackburn repeats her atheist-judges claim, but gets closer to the truth: “They think that you need to be an atheist or a secularist to serve on the federal bench.” Not an atheist, but a secularist? Someone who believes that government must be neutral toward religion? Then yes. Yes we do.

On Friday, a Pakistani man angry with Charlie Hebdo‘s “blasphemy” attacked two people outside their offices with a knife, neither of whom had anything to do with the magazine. The attacker’s father told WSJ: “We are proud of our son. Whatever he did is in his love for Prophet Muhammad. I say whatever he did is right. There is no compromise on dignity and respect of Prophet Muhammad.”

And tomorrow is International Blasphemy Rights Day.

NYT: The White House pressured the CDC to “play down the risk of sending children back to school” and “tried to circumvent the CDC in a search for alternate data showing that the pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children.” Disgraceful.

Everybody is just miserable about what’s happened to the CDC this year.

1 million people on Earth have died from COVID-19.

Narcissism: It’s killing us.

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

How’s this for an unlikely pairing: Carl Sagan and an auto manufacturer. Jeep, sponsoring the new Cosmos series, has a new ad with a recording of Sagan reading his famous Pale Blue Dot passage, and promises that with every full viewing of the ad online they’ll make a donation to a climate charity.

Apparently you can eat glass. Don’t, though.

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.