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Rich and Credulous

July 1, 2019

HHS’s so-called “conscience rule” (the one that lets medical professionals deny basic services because Jesus) is delayed until at least November 22 after San Francisco’s city attorney, Dennis Herrera said, files a lawsuit:

“Faced with the law, the Trump administration blinked,” Herrera said. “We have won this battle — and it was an important one — but the fight is not over. The Trump administration is trying to systematically limit access to critical medical care for women, the LGBTQ community, and other vulnerable patients. We’re not going to let that happen. We will continue to stand up for what’s right. Hospitals are no place to put personal beliefs above patient care. Refusing treatment to vulnerable patients should not leave anyone with a clear conscience.”

Now that the Supreme Court has broken church-state separation with the Bladensburg cross ruling, it wants a good, clean crack at another cross case. The Court has vacated lower court’s rulings on the Pensacola Bayview Park cross, and wants arguments to start all over again.

And heck, why stop there? The Supreme Court wants to hear the case in which Montana public scholarship money goes to religious schools, which the state supreme court already found to be unconstitutional.

Memorial Health Care in Michigan is settling a religious discrimination lawsuit over the rescinding of a job offer to a transcriptionist who refused to get the flu vaccine. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on her behalf, winning a $75,000 settlement.

The EEOC says Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church broke the law by firing an employee who complained about racial discrimination at the organization.

Speaking of discrimination, the Evangelical Covenant Church has, for the first time in its history, expelled a church from its roster: the First Covenant Church in Minneapolis. And you can already guess why, right? Yonat Shimron reports:

The actions come after First Covenant said it would treat LGBTQ members as equals, allow married gay clergy and would be open to hosting same-sex marriages. … The denomination also expelled from its roster the Rev. Dan Collison, the church’s pastor. … In addition to Collison, the denomination voted Friday to expel the Rev. Steve Armfield, a retired pastor who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, and later officiated at a lesbian wedding.

The Indiana Catholic School that fired a teacher for being gay? Archbishop Charles Thompson says you should all chill out. She wasn’t fired because she’s gay! HEAVENS, NO:

“It is about the living situation, it’s not the orientation,” Thompson said. “We would do the same thing if it was someone cohabitating.”

See? It’s okay if she IS gay, she just can’t BE gay. Get it? Good. Clearly Thompson has the real victims, the student body, on his side OH WAIT:

More than 100 Cathedral students and other opponents of Thompson’s actions held a prayer protest later Thursday outside the archdiocesan offices near downtown Indianapolis.

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities elects scientist Yehuda Shoenfeld to its membership ranks. David Gorski explains this is bad, because “in antivaccine circles [Shoenfeld] is enormously influential, having invented the fake diagnosis ASIA (Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants).” GREAT.

Arizona GOP State Rep. Debbie Lesko says Google is being all 1984 by demoting anti-vaccine misinformation in search results about vaccines. I mean, how else are people supposed to get duped?

Vice reports on Silicon Valley dudes who want to capture a UFO and reverse-engineer it so they can harvest the alien technology. MJ Banias writes:

Perhaps this little band of Ufonauts in Silicon Valley serve as a reminder that we ought not to take things for granted, that what we deem as ‘normal’ is often arbitrary. UFOs, and the people who are interested in them, make society uncomfortable because they symbolize one of our greatest fears: change.

They make me uncomfortable because they symbolize something even scarier: credulous people with way too much money.

Colombia bishop Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya will spray the city of Buenaventura with holy water from a helicopter in order to stop all the crime. If he really wanted to help, he’d use Terrigen Mist.

Quote of the Day

The Washington Post asked some experts what questions they would pose to presidential candidates in a hypothetical climate-focused debate (and it is only hypothetical, because, you know, god forbid). Here’s Bill Nye:

Question: How would you persuade climate deniers in Congress to help you address the problem? Or how would you work around the deniers?

The background: U.S. inaction with respect to climate change is due almost entirely to fossil-fuel-industry propaganda and lobbying efforts. If Americans hope to achieve electrified ground transportation, less-harmful agriculture, acceptable nuclear power, carbon-capturing technologies and a renewable-energy electrical grid, we’ll have to surmount our us-vs.-them political situation. My vote is going to the candidate who has a plan to work with or around the deniers in Congress. The Green New Deal is one possible way — a job-creating industrialist policy that also lessens our reliance on fossil fuels. The phrase “reaching across the aisle” is charming, but when it comes to climate change and renewable-energy policies, so far, scientifically literate lawmakers have been ineffective against willfully irresponsible ones. A canny president must find a way to bring these people along with his or her climate aims.

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