The speaker for tonight’s Skeptical Inquirer Presents live online event is Sasha Sagan, helping us godless folks find some meaning in a meaningless universe. Or, that’s how I’m thinking about it. Register now! 7pm ET! It’s free!
Here’s a Point of Inquiry guest I bet you didn’t expect! Jim Underdown interviews Chris Matheson, screenwriter of Bill and Ted Face the Music, and author of two religious comedy books, The Story of God and The Buddha’s Story.
There was a vice presidential debate last night. There was a fly on Pence’s head. He talked a lot about whether Biden wanted to ban fracking. That fly was there for a weirdly long time. That’s what I got from it.
Oh wait, there was the part where Pence said, “President Trump has made it clear that we’re going to listen to science,” and “We’ll follow the science.” I laughed out loud, and then I wept.
Cosmopolitan deputy editor Rosa Heyman yearns for an atheist president: “Our insistence on religion as a unifying American principle feels just as outdated and illusory as the notion of civility in the White House.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates declares that the next debate will be done remotely as a virtual town hall. Biden accepts, and Trump refuses, saying he will do a rally instead. Everyone knows a presidential debate is really all about infecting as many people as possible.
To be clear, it’s quite possible he’s still contagious.
Trump says of having COVID-19, “I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise.” God responds, “Yeah, well, I’m not finished blessing you, buddy.”
The New England Journal of Medicine doesn’t endorse Biden per se, but very much un-dorses the president. “Our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”
A bunch of COVID-defying, maskless church-types in Idaho sang at each other in close proximity, causing their leader to get arrested, which the president glommed onto, tweeting, “DEMS WANT TO SHUT YOUR CHURCHES DOWN, PERMANENTLY.”
NO ONE TOLD ME THAT WAS WHAT THE DEMS WERE UP TO. THAT WOULD BE A BAD IDEA, DEMS, I HOPE YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY TRYING TO DO THAT. MAYBE WE SHOULD TALK.
Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn have been burning face masks and holding rallies in protest of pandemic restrictions. The Post: “They have also physically attacked journalists and others documenting the scenes.”
Important: Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, finally got to meet with his lawyer after being detained since May. Defense coordinator James Ibor says, “Mubarak expressed his fears to him and stated how inmates have threatened to kill him if he does not make peace with God. He is now constantly in fear for his own life and that of his wife and child.”
The AP tells some of the story of Ali Hassan, the man who attacked two bystanders with a meat cleaver outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo, “seeking vengeance” for the magazine’s “blasphemy.”
Sawan Masih, a man arrested for alleged blasphemy in Pakistan and sentenced to death, is acquitted.
Nones have gone up three percentage points in the U.S. population…in one year. (31.3 to 34.3.) Djupe and Burge: “Each generation from the Boomers on down has gained 2-5 percent nones, with the largest gain among Gen Z – they top out now at 46.7 percent.”
The South Carolina Supreme Court rules that the governor’s allocation of federal pandemic relief funding to private religious schools is unconstitutional.
Jann Bellamy on “integrative” (alternative) medicine entrenching itself at VA hospitals: “Veterans are being subjected to unethical, time-consuming, and worthless treatments that pose risks without the possibility of benefit.”
The Satanic Temple is trying to get their abortion-rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court (arguing that the state is “forcing Plaintiff to act and forgo acting in a manner that violates her belief in The Satanic Tenets as a condition for getting an abortion in Missouri”). As Hemant notes, this may not be the best time, given who’s on the bench.
Michele Bachmann complains, “Many people have come to the Minnesota area that are not believers of the Book. They’re not Jewish or not Christian.”
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.