Greased Slippery Slope

June 29, 2018

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With Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, Hemant Mehta warns that if Trump appoints someone who will help overturn Roe v. Wade, “white evangelicals should be aware that this will come back to bite them in the ass.”

The Supreme Court declines to hear a case about the Rowan County Board of Commissioners in North Carolina and their practice of prayers before meetings, which means the previous court’s ruling against the prayers remains in effect.

Sam Allard at Cleveland Scene rails against Ohio’s “pastor protection” bill:

The bill is redundant, given that pastors already enjoy the right to marry, and deny marriages, to whomever they wish, in accordance with their beliefs. That right is enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. [. . .] So the pastors are already good. They’re fine. They need no additional protection of this sort.

Northern Ireland’s High Court says the law does in fact allow for humanist celebrants to solemnize marriages, and it’s pretty straightforward. Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan:

If the Registrar General is satisfied that a couple want a humanist celebrant to officiate at their marriage or civil partnership in order to express their humanist beliefs he should accommodate that request if content that the proposed celebrant will carry out the solemnisation of the marriage according to law.

The Quebec Superior Court suspends the province’s ban on face coverings for being discriminatory against Muslim women.

Derek Beres at Big Think worries over parents treating their kids with alternative medicine at pretty high rates:

There are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry. That does not give us license to believe anything packaged as “alternative” to that industry is healthy.

The North Carolina GOP decides it would rather not support a state legislature candidate who says things like, “What is wrong with being a white supremacist? God is a racist and a white supremacist.”

Kevin Knuth at The Conversation thinks skeptics are…too hard on UFO believers? What?

I think UFO skepticism has become something of a religion with an agenda, discounting the possibility of extraterrestrials without scientific evidence, while often providing silly hypotheses describing only one or two aspects of a UFO encounter reinforcing the popular belief that there is a conspiracy.

Whatever. This UFO over Sioux Falls is now an IFO: A balloon.

If you can make it to 105 years old, it’s all smooth sailing. I may be oversimplifying.

Quote of the Day

Kimberly Glassman at the Des Moines Register:

I would argue that the slipperiest slope of all is the one greased with the concept of religion. [. . .] You can gather a few like-minded individuals, declare a “sincerely held belief” and then step right up for all your First Amendment-protected privileges and awesome tax breaks. Don’t want to get your children vaccinated? Declare a sincerely held belief. Don’t want to bake a wedding cake for two women? Trot out your abiding faith in a just and loving — of some people — God. Don’t want to uphold your Hippocratic oath if the patient doesn’t conform to your view of right and normal? Get Congress to pass a law protecting your appalling lack of ethics or simple humanity as a “religious freedom.”

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