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Rig it Like Jesus

January 18, 2019

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Substitute Attorney General and probable moonlighting bouncer Matthew Whitaker says secular Americans have “changed their minds” about supporting religious freedom. Nnnnoooooo… Our own Jason Lemieux put out a response, saying, in part:

Acting Attorney General Whitaker’s remarks are a classic case of projection – it’s the religious right who has warped the meaning of religious freedom to trample the rights of everyone that they don’t like

At The Guardian, David Taylor takes a broad look at the vast (and very real) religious-right-wing conspiracy that is Project Blitz. We’ve only had to deal with “Category One and Two” bills for the most part so far, but get ready:

Category three bills will have the greatest impact but will be “the most hotly contested” the playbook says – they include resolutions in favour of “biblical values concerning marriage and sexuality”, such as “establishing public policy favoring adoption by intact heterosexual, marriage-based families” and “establishing public policy favoring intimate sexual relations only between married, heterosexual couples”.

Steve Hill: Marine Corps vet, real estate appraiser, stand-up comic, U.S. Senate candidate in California…oh, and a black atheist Satanist. In a piece at the CFI blog, he surveys the many problems he sees going unaddressed, and says he could…

1) Wait on the black church, secular, humanist, and atheist movement to raise their level of consciousness toward these injustices, and to understand that fighting for black communities and other communities of color isn’t merely “identity politics” but rather a crucial step toward true equity and humanism, or 2) Run for political office and make an attempt to effect change myself. The first option is ambitious, and I hope this article makes some headway. But I’m going to be proactive and run for office…

You know how Trump likes to claim everything that doesn’t go his way is “rigged”? Turns out his former fixer Michael Cohen paid Liberty University IT guy John Gauger to rig CNBC and Drudge polls in Trump’s favor. Just like Jesus would have done. (Cohen tweeted, “…what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of @realDonaldTrump … I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”)

Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating with white evangelicals is going down, now at 66 percent, down from 73 just last month. He better kick some more gays and get his numbers back up. Where’s Pence?

A federal judge has ruled that the Fair Housing Act does not cover discrimination against LGBTQ folks, which seems, wow, like a freaking terrible ruling. What’s next? Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Develaaaaaaaaaaaaaa nevermind.

Scotland’s Press and Journal looks at the rise in demand for secular celebrants for weddings and funerals.

A woman in Idaho has sentencing postponed after her conviction for failing to report the sexual abuse of kids by her husband because, you see, she hoped she could pray the problem away. We’re just going to religiously-exempt everything, aren’t we?

The U.S. Senate pointlessly and unanimously resolves that membership with the Knights of Columbus cannot disqualify one from federal office, as though that were ever a question.

Hey, you wanna help CFI pwn to own in the name of secularism? Sure you do. Well, we’re accepting applications for our summer outreach internships right now.

WBUR in Boston does a segment on the South Carolina foster care service that really, really wants to discriminate against LGBTQ folks, and throws in a bunch of resources on the story.

Ugh, the next thing you know, they’ll be putting GAY DUDES on the COVER of, I dunno, PARENTS MAGAZINE, and…holy crap! One Million Moms (does not actually represent one million moms) says, “Parents is using its magazine as a platform to promote the pro-homosexual lifestyle.” Well, sure! Why not?

Karina Mazhukhina at KOMO in Seattle profiles Jessica Neilson, who ensured unspeakable abuse and neglect as the child of a Christian Scientist family:

She was sexually abused three times – the last time when she was 15. A 21-year-old family friend cut her so badly during the attack she needed a blood transfusion. … Neilson says her grandmother strongly opposed the transfusion, but doctors talked her into giving her permission. After that sexual assault, which Neilson says happened the day of her mother’s fourth wedding, she developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

… For the first 17 years of her life, Neilson had to endure the suffering that came with the chicken pox or the flu – incredible pain that could be relieved from simple medication. Neilson also didn’t receive most of her vaccinations until she joined the Army Reserves at 17.

Jennifer Sinclair, the elementary school principal who banned candy canes for being too religious and was really not helping, resigns.

Julia Belluz and Umair Irfan at Vox look at how the health care industry is one of the biggest culprits for global warming:

In the US alone, health care accounts for nearly a tenth of greenhouse gas emissions. Lifesaving equipment like CAT scanners, respirators, and dialysis machines have huge energy demands, currently met with fossil fuel energy. If US health care were a country, according to Solomon and her co-author Regina LaRocque, it would have a $3.3 trillion GDP and rank seventh in the world in total emissions. Hospitals also produce about a pound of hazardous medical waste per bed per day.

Fun!

The speed of light is SOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOOW AAAAAAAAAUUUUUGH.

Quote of the Day

Ron Judd at the Seattle Times doesn’t think Bigfoot belief is cute anymore:

Show me a dead one, and we’ll talk.

SERIOUSLY, FOLKS. This overripe argument about the hairy ape-beast out back has long ago passed its best-by date. And if that question is seen as a put-up-or-shut-up demand, well, it is.

In the present era of post-truth, what once qualified as playful mythology increasingly feels like overlooked symptoms of early onset societal nutjobbery, which at some critical-mass level becomes a dangerous thing. So please forgive me for attempting here to point at least one little LED headlamp beam of reason upon the logic-suffocating rot behind the Bigfoot industrial complex.

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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.