It’s the day of the abominable National Prayer Breakfast, where the president is probably going to do the same obsequious pandering to the religious right that he usually does. Whatever. Yesterday, we joined with 130 other groups to urge Congress to protect the Johnson Amendment.
Former CFI president and CEO Ron Lindsay returns to the blog to refute opponents of physician-assisted dying who assume that not wanting to be a burden on one’s loved ones is somehow an invalid reason to wish to end one’s own life:
…it is precisely that anticipation of regaining the ability to enjoy life that is absent in the case of those who are terminally ill. Under these circumstances, the desire not to ask for extended caregiving from others is not a sign of some character weakness or psychological deficit; it is an expression of rationality.
Oh heck yes, it’s a new Point of Inquiry episode! Kavin Senapathy, right in the middle of CSICon 2018 in Vegas, talks to “Twitter’s resident gynecologist” Dr. Jen Gunter and “crusher of the gender binary” Abby Hafer.
CFI Kenya, as you know, rules. Well, the folks at Maseno University in Kisimu, Kenya noticed this too, and they’ve made space for them with an on-campus office. CFI Kenya’s George Ongere says:
So we are now operating in the rural with our Resource Center and Library and in the city with the space allocated at the University! We are gradually expanding!
Turns out that 2018 was only the fourth-warmest year for Earth, just behind 2016, 2017, and 2015. Come on, folks, we’re falling behind on ruining everything.
Maggie Koerth-Baker at FiveThirtyEight finds that in the age of Trump, more and more Americans seem to be ever-more concerned about climate change. The guy who’s overtly making things worse is causing people to care more, which is good. Mostly:
Shallow politics and deep-seated psychology seem to be combining to make Americans more concerned about climate change and more interested in solutions like the Green New Deal. But history suggests that the trend will flip again once the people who want to implement that kind of plan get elected.
“It is terribly ironic, isn’t it,” [sociology professor Erik] Johnson said.
Hemant Mehta will be his friendly self as he delivers his first invocation at a DuPage County, Illinois Board meeting on March 12.
So there’s this band, Eyehategod, and they used a picture of a far-right Arkansas state senator for their poster, and in that poster the senator, one Jason Rapert, is eating a baby. So Rapert is really, really mad, and he wants you all to not look at that poster. Don’t look. Stop it now, because he really, really doesn’t want you to. It makes him really, really upset.
Facebook takes down 22 pages attached to Alex Jones and InfoWars, enforcing a recidivism policy:
We use a broad set of signals to determine if a Page violates our recidivism policy and determined these Pages violated our policy for reasons including having similar titles to the Pages we unpublished and having the same admins.
Whoa this can’t be okay. In Arizona, buying a license plate with “In God We Trust” on it financially benefits the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is of course a wackadoo, Christian nationalist tantrum organization. There’s a bill now from an atheist legislator to put a stop to it.
At Skeptical Inquirer online, Harriet Hall writes about divination by asparagus, snake venom facials, injections of semen, and more pseudoscience silliness.
Ars Technica looks at the pseudoscience of dowsing and the big secret behind how it fools people. Hint: There’s a LOT of water underground.
Hey! Stop looking at that picture of that guy eating the baby! WHAT DID I SAY?!?
Now available online is the documentary The Sunday Sessions, where “a religious young man’s identity is called into question when he visits a conversion therapist.”
Quote of the Day
The Irish Times profiles Nergal, the lead singer of the metal band Behemoth, about how he won a blasphemy case in Poland, and, hey, by the way, are you really a Satanist?
Yes. I am trying to bring this enlightenment to people. I’m trying to elaborate on outcast beings and the rebellious characters in our methods including Christianity.
Satan, Lucifer, Prometheus are all icons and archetypes to lift you up. They are demons, but they are representatives of what humanity stands for. What does humanity stand for?
It stands for freedom of speech, the need of freedom, the need to elevate ourselves and remain vital and disobedient.
* * *
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.