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Embarrassing Uncle

April 23, 2019

How about a virtual fist-bump for CFI’s Jason Lemieux, having just fulfilled the promise of meeting with every newly elected Member of the 116th Congress within its first 100 days.

The U.S. Court of Appeals says Philadelphia didn’t violate anyone’s religious freedom when the city cut ties with a Catholic foster care service provider because of their discriminatory practices. Catholic Social Services refused to place children with LGBTQ parents, which violates the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Chances are, though, this is going to the Supreme Court.

Definitely coming to the Supreme Court is a case on whether whether federal anti-discrimination laws apply to the firing of LGBTQ employees. You’d think that one would be easy, but this is the era of Justicebro Kavanaugh.

You’ll be disappointed to know that while most parents and teachers want climate change to be part of kids’ educations, only 42 percent of teachers and 45 percent of parents ever teach or discuss the topic, ever. What the kids don’t know will definitely hurt them.

Jason Wilson at The Guardian reveals that Washington State Rep. Matt Shea (who was already infamous for being all excited about a “biblical basis for war” to fight the gays) had discussed online with far-right figures carrying out attacks on “leftists.” One Anthony Bosworth said in the chats:

When we locate antifa members we can confront their parents their workplaces their landlords. We can hit them in there [sic] safe spaces … If we can catch a few of them alone and work him over a little bit

Christian radio show host Jack Robertson wrote:

Fist full of hair, and face slam, to a Jersey barrier. Treat em like communist revolutionaries. Then shave her bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife. … Would make good attachment points for hoisting communists up flag poles. Especially the ones with nipple rings

Robertson reacted to the reports on his show with Shea:

In a rambling broadcast, Robertson confirmed the existence of the chats, called the Guardian a “propagandist”, read biblical accounts of war and followed with: “If it comes time for war and it’s forced upon you, do you not want a leader who is going to surround himself with warriors? I do.

Oh, Ross Douthat. Douthat, Douthat, Douthat. The New York Times‘ chief moral admonisher says liberals have a contradictory stance when it comes to Christianity:

With one hand elite liberalism seeks to keep Christianity at arm’s length, to reject any specifically Christian identity for the society it aims to rule …

Whoa, you okay there, Ross? No one is trying to “rule” you, dude. Anyway, he continues:

… but with the other it treats Christianity as something that really exists only in relationship to its own secularized humanitarianism, either as a tamed and therefore useful chaplaincy or as an embarrassing, in-need-of-correction uncle.


At the CFI blog, Benjamin Radford looks at two examples of misinformation about the Columbine massacre 20 years ago that continue to be spread despite having being debunked: the alleged “martyr” who was mythologized as having been killed for her professed religious belief, and the role of the “Trenchcoat Mafia,” a gamer group the killers weren’t even members of.

Harriet Hall looks into reports of chiropractors treating athletes with concussions and claiming to be able to get them back into games more quickly. How? Why with something called BrainTap, which is at least not the same as a spinal tap, but “turns your brainwaves into a symphony.”

In one week, Japan’s Emperor Akihito will abdicate the throne, the first time this has happened in more than two centuries. As with many monarchical rituals, this is steeped in religion, Shinto to be precise. The Guardian‘s Justin McCurry reports:

Early in the evening of 30 April, Emperor Akihito will enter the building’s state room and, in the presence of the grand chamberlain, the prime minister and other senior politicians, become the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years. … Late the following morning, his eldest son, Naruhito, will enter the same room and inherit a sword, a jewel and a mirror – three “sacred treasures” said to have been bequeathed to the imperial line by the mythical sun goddess Amaterasu, and which serve as proof of his accession to the throne. In keeping with their mythological status, the regalia will remain hidden in boxes even when they are handed to the new emperor.

Women’s Health seems not to be interested in women’s health, running another puff piece on alt-med pseudoscience. In this case, it’s Reiki:

Reiki, unlike more conventional therapies, is more of a folk-based practice with many different styles, which means that there isn’t necessarily one common, gold-degree standard.


Okay, this is another one of those “of course this is in Florida” things. The head of the taxpayer-funded Florida Virtual School, says she was knighted by the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Justice in the UK, which isn’t recognized as anything by the Queen. Nonetheless, she insists on being addressed as “Lady Dhyana Ziegler.” Further reporting by the Orlando Sentinel shows that Lady Dhyana has claimed all sorts of credentials that are extraordinarily dubious.

Shannon Carrier at The Daily Beast does an obit for Lorraine Warren, the self-proclaimed psychic associated with the Amityville haunting who died last week at 92. Carrier focuses on Warren’s exploitation of the “Satanic panic” of the 70s and 80s to boost her profile as a “paranormal investigator.” She writes, “At best, Lorraine Warren, was a pop culture fixture of the horror genre. At worst, a con.”

Marc Dion, in a column lamenting the “betrayal” of the Catholic Church by everybody, tries his hand at making a joke about atheists:

“An atheist walks into a bar,” the joke runs. “How does the bartender know the guy’s an atheist?”

“Because the atheist tells the bartender that he’s an atheist. Then, he tells the bartender again. Then, he tells the bartender one more time.”

Three things: One, come on, like believers never make a big stink about their religion? Two, this is not even funny. Three, clearly the joke should replace “atheist” with “vegan.” I mean, really.

Quote of the Day

The Air Force Academy hosted and promoted a “special Easter presentation” by one Rolf Enger on the alleged authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. The talk was sponsored by the Christian Faculty Fellowship. Here’s what astronautics professor, Retired Brig. Gen. Marty France, had to say about it in a letter:

My colleagues were shocked that this sort of briefing, not even hiding its relationship to a specific religious belief (but proclaiming it) would be held during the duty day. … Sure, it’s voluntary, but when many of the attendees are in uniform, wearing rank, and in supervisory roles, we know that judgments are made. … Dr. Enger is free to present his ‘research’ based on some legend that the Academy has endorsed since the Frank J Seiler Research Lab misused taxpayer money back in the 70s and 80s in an attempt to prove the authenticity of this found piece of cloth (spoiler alert—it didn’t really come from the presumed era or region of Jesus). I’m old enough to have been subjected to some of these briefings as a cadet and junior officer. It was wrong for the government to do it then, and it’s wrong to provide a platform during the duty day to present it now.

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