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Screeching to the Choir

April 8, 2019

F. Brinley Bruton at NBC News profiles atheists in Iraq, living in constant fear as the conflict between Sunni and Shiite extremists continues:

“Have you ever heard of a militia that is formed by atheists?” engineering student Darwin [a pseudonym], 21, says. “No, only those who have religion form militias and death squads. They are the reason behind the destruction of life, the destruction of humanity.”

Sulome Anderson at the Post explores the hellish feedback loop of hate and violence perpetuated by white supremacists and Islamic extremists.

This mutually reinforcing cycle suggests that more attacks from both sides will come, as each incident radicalizes a new cohort of believers. Political rhetoric around Islamist terrorism fuels the white-supremacist fixation on “white genocide.”

And to make matters worse:

Every single extremist killing in 2018 had a link to right-wing or white-supremacist ideology, according to a recent study by the Anti-Defamation League. But unlike the threat from violent Muslims, many officials and political leaders seem completely uninterested in trying to stop white radicalization.

Three black churches in Louisiana’s St. Landry Parish are burned down in the space of 10 days. No suspects have been identified.

Judge Rolf Thorsen of New York sides with the anti-vaxxers in Rockland County, and overturns a 30-day ban on unvaccinated kids from going to schools and other inclosed public spaces:

Thorsen agreed with the families who sued the county when they said their children would continue to miss school, and the parents would continue to incur monetary expenses as a result of the order. The families asserted that the children posed no threat to other children at a school where there had been no reported cases of the measles.

On the flip side, it’s a judge in Kentucky that rejects a suit to allow an unvaccinated student back into public school.

Samantha Bee goes after the anti-vaxxers on Full Frontal, and also says something that made me smile: “Don’t treat autistic people like their existence is worse than a pandemic.”

This is cool: The Western New York Library Resources Council profiled the Center for Inquiry’s collection of old-school pseudoscience and snake oil.

Reggie Ugwu at NYT explains what the hell’s going on with the anti-abortion polemic disguised as a Hollywood drama, Unplanned, and how any box office success it’s seeing is by screeching to the choir.

The Stanford Religious Liberty Clinic is joining onto a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim death row inmate in Alabama to challenge, yet again, the whole thing about Christian chaplains in the execution chamber.

Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta, has invited Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker to do a Drag Queen Story Hour at City Hall. This comes after a public library ended its support of the event. Who knew these things would be like the social barometer of our times?

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota proclaims a day of prayer as a response to flooding and other natural disasters. Much like Nebraska’s Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is doing the same thing, Noem is a climate science denier, and has suggested that “astrological” forces were having an effect.

It’s one of those “no matter who wins, we all lose” moments, where Christians in Richlands, Virginia are trying to keep Tarot-reading “Hermeticists” from setting up shop because they don’t like witchcraft.

Behold the adventures of Florida Satanist David Suhor, he who annoys the crap out of any government entity that engages in public Christian prayer, yea, e’en those of the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, and glory in the overturning of his most recent conviction.

Oh hey, this has nothing to do with anything here, but WSCH News Center Maine did a news piece on the play I’m directing for the University of New England (we’re doing Chicago, have mercy on me), and you can see me being old and dumpy on the tee-vee.

Climate change made the Neanderthals’ eat each other. I may be explaining this poorly.

Beware the Ghostly Blob of Charlotte. Or don’t even worry about it at all.

James Croft announces his intention to produce a series of posts engaging with the arguments of the folks within the “Intellectual Dark Web” (a designation that makes me giggle every time I read it):

I want to disentangle the Intellectual Dark Web, pulling apart the different strands of their criticisms to evaluate them. My project is not to “destroy” or “own” IDW figures or the people who support them: rather, I want to offer a fair critique, which is informed by an honest reading of their work.

Pardon me, now, while I finish posting this latest entry within my Ultra-Highbrow Black-Hat Silk Road of News Curation.

Quote of the Day

One of my favorite Twitter-ers, Charles Louis Richter:

come to think of it, why doesn’t catholic mean addicted to cats

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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.