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Gettin’ the Ripples

September 3, 2019

The pope got stuck in an elevator for 25 minutes, but he’s fine. The firefighters who got him out are now fast-tracked for sainthood. That last part was a lie.

Rep. John Shimkus, who says climate change is not a thing because 1) dinosaurs and 2) the Bible, will not be returning to Congress. Aw, man.

Ryan Burge looks at how the Democratic presidential candidates talk about religion, under the premise that they’ll need to do more of it and talk more about Christianity specifically if they want to reach beyond “nones”:

By mentioning people, policies and groups, candidates try to win over parts of the electorate that they need to secure the nomination.

Using that as a guide, it seems completely baffling that the most prominent Democrats would spend so much more time talking about Muslims — a group that makes up 1% of the population — than Christians, who are 60% of the country.

Maybe these leading Democrats believe that discussing protection of religious minorities may win over the votes of other religious (and non-religious) groups. However, this data indicates that Democrats are doing little to explicitly appeal to Americans who identify as Christians.

I dunno, I mean here’s one guy who claims to represent those Christians, one Tony Perkins. He says the most recent shooting is the result of un-godding the schools:

We’ve taught our kids they come about through chance through primordial slime, and then we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt!

Actually, I think it’s y’all who are treating other people like dirt.

It’s not just Democratic candidates, however, as Michael Roth of Wesleyan University writes in The Atlantic that no one on campuses seems to know how to talk about religion without things getting awkward. (Also awkward, for what it’s worth, this piece is part of a Koch-funded project.)

As a nonbeliever myself, I am not trying to convert any student to any religion. Yet how to discuss religious faith in class poses a major challenge for nonreligious colleges and universities. How can such an institution claim to educate students about ideas, culture, and ways of life if students, professors, or both are uncomfortable when talking about something that’s been central to humanity throughout recorded history? …

… classroom discussions of these very subjects often seem threatening to even students of faith, who tell me they don’t want to be “outed” on campus. These undergrads encounter mostly secular professors who sometimes treat religious believers as somehow intellectually deficient, or as morally compromised by their commitments to traditions that their teachers have left behind.

Point of Inquiry‘s Kavin Senapathy writes at Undark about the ridiculous and dangerous practice of letting babies be treated by chiropractors:

The problem is that most of the pediatric conditions chiropractors treat involve subjective symptoms, and a parent’s perception — often shaped through the lens of exhaustion and frustration — is sensitive to numerous placebo effects. Or as [Clay] Jones puts it, “patient satisfaction is a poor stand-in for quality of care,” because chiropractors can “provide reassurance that their interventions are safe and effective and then take credit when the natural course of the child’s symptoms results in a resolution.”

The Alabama Republican Party passes a resolution saying that Rep. Ilhan Omar should be expelled from Congress, to which she replies:


@ALGOPHQ, but this is a representative democracy.

I was elected with 78% of the vote by the people of Minnesota’s 5th District, not the Alabama Republican Party.

If you want to clean up politics, maybe don’t nominate an accused child molester as your Senate candidate?

So then Roy Moore, who somehow still exists, repeats the stupidly wrong claim that Omar can’t be in Congress because she didn’t swear on a Bible. Sure, Roy.

You didn’t know you wanted it. You didn’t know you needed it. And yet we bring it to you all the same: a chronology of the life events and major speeches of Robert Green Ingersoll. YOU ARE SO WELCOME.

Foundation Beyond Belief is raising money for Hurricane Dorian disaster relief.

Gizmodo‘s Hayley Williams presents a guide to cryptids, emphasizing that some animals we know to exist were once thought of as myths. Yeah, but still.

They’re doing acupuncture on elephants with arthritis. No, you put the needles in. I’ll be waaaay over here.

André Picard at The Globe and Mail bemoans the conspiracy theories about water fluoridation that won’t go away. Kudos to whoever wrote the headline, “Fluoride won’t make you dumber, but the ‘debate’ about its safety might.”

A dude in Idaho who wanted to contract with the state government was denied because he refused to provide his government Social Security number…to the government. And why is that? Because religious liberty, of course. And now he gets to argue this lunacy to the Supreme Court.

A Nashville Catholic school bans Harry Potter books because its pastor says they run the risk of “conjuring evil spirits.” Stupefy!

Tris Mamone says, yes, atheists can be spiritual, as long as you’re not talking about literal spirits:

My definition of spirituality is different; spirituality is anything that triggers the part of the brain that produces a sense of transcendental bliss. … An atheist can be spiritual because there’s no need for a god or even some pantheistic “ground of all being” to be spiritual. Knowing it’s all in the mind doesn’t diminish the sensation of transcendental bliss; to me it actually enhances it.

My heart broke as I saw that trending on Twitter was the apparently-sincere question, “What homeopathic hacks have you learned from your friends?” If your friends are into homeopathy, then they’re the hacks.

One billion(ish) years ago, a black hole ate a star “like Pac-Man,” and the gravitational waves, ripples in space-time, have just reached us. That gives me the ripples.

Quote of the Day

Randy Blaser at the Pioneer Press on the mysterious lack of alien photos on social media:

Despite nearly everyone in the world running around with a phone, taking daily pictures of what they ate for lunch or what cute thing their pet just did, I haven’t seen any UFOs.

I’ve seen a ton of bad videos of concerts people have attended. All you can see in those is a brightly lit stage surrounded by darkness and the famous pop star as a teeny-tiny speck on the stage.

But no lights flashing around the night sky.

People are taking millions and millions of pictures all the time and posting them on social media. But I haven’t seen a single one of some guy’s feet resting on a beach with a flying saucer splashing down into the Pacific in the background.

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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.