The Pope shakes his fist at the sexual abusers of children his church has worked so hard to make comfortable:
To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice. … Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case. … [The Church] treated many cases without the seriousness and promptness that was due. That must never happen again. This is the choice and the decision of the whole Church.
Abortion has been legalized in Ireland for the first time.
Ben Radford investigates the claim that there was no screaming during the November mass shooting in the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, a claim that has fueled “false flag” conspiracy mongering:
It’s like watching video taken by a driver after a car accident and finding it curious or suspicious that the footage doesn’t show the entire event before the cars collided. Why would it? Just because we don’t see some specific aspect of an event in a short video clip of that event doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
A survey of academics shows that about 45 percent of scientists in the UK do not believe in God, and scientists in “elite” departments are twice as likely to be nonbelievers.
Justice Hugh McLellan lays down the law for naturopaths in New Brunswick, Canada: “Naturopaths are not medical practitioners and naturopaths are not allowed to use words to suggest that they are.”
You might remember Jerome Corsi as the guy behind the loathsome Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a correspondent for Infowars, and propagator of several other conspiracy theories, and indeed he is currently embroiled in the Mueller investigation of Trump’s campaign. Corsi is also a big proponent of the alleged authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, because of course he would be. Joe Nickell walks us through the Corsi minefield of slander and scandals.
Tara Isabella Burton at RNS observes several “overlapping, largely secular humanities communities” get all quasi-Druidic over the winter solstice:
We sang Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” and songs about the bounty of scientific progress. These were interspersed with songs devoted to the lack of intelligent design in the universe and the inevitability of death. Some were bleak and optimistic at once. A song about different burial methods – the singer reflected on all the ways his body will be destroyed after death – concluded with a verse about how death itself might be defeated by anti-aging science or cryogenics.
Gallup shows that Americans think of nurses, doctors, and pharmacists as the most ethical professionals, while languishing at the low end are telemarketers, car salesmen, and at the very bottom, Members of Congress. Clergy used to be at the top, about 20 years ago. Today on 37 percent find clergy ethical, a new low. I wonder why.
At The New Republic, Emily Atkin reveals the ugly origins of the healing crystals hawked by quackeries like Goop. How’d you like this on your conscience when shelling out for a colorful rock to “infuse your water with positive energy”:
At least … U.S. copper mines are subject to environmental and labor regulations. Industrial mines in many other countries are not. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, children as young as seven work the mines, and cobalt and copper mines in the country’s Katanga region are rich in minerals like tourmaline, amethyst, citrine, blue and smoky quartz—all coveted by healing crystal sellers. The website Minfind.com has dozens of listings of malachite (for “transformation”), cuprite (for “vitality”), and clear quartz (the “master healer”) from the DRC. [One] listing for a $150 malachite stone from the DRC promotes it as “one of the most important healing stones of the new millennium.” Another DRC-sourced stone is said to promote “wholeness and peace.”
One Law for All posts several videos from its International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism.
An Arkansas town’s police department posts on Facebook, in all caps, that crimes are committed because “WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN.” Hey, coppers, you embrace whomever you want to embrace, that is none of my business.
The USDA is going to make food companies label their GMO crops by 2022. That’s so stupid. The Environmental Working Group says:
At a time when consumers are asking more and more questions about the use of genetic engineering, today’s rule will further undermine the technology by sowing greater confusion among Americans.
Diana Gittig at Ars Technica says you really have no excuse for not being aware of the impact your steak has on the climate.
Prehistoric cave paintings weren’t just artistic representations of animals from the hunt. They were star charts. Researchers have found that paintings from as far back as 40,000 years ago marked the positions of stars and constellations, and may have aided in the tracking of time’s passage.
Quote of the Day
It is no longer a crime in Canada to pretend to be a witch because fraud is already a crime. I get that, but I also get this, as reported by The Independent:
Peter Van Loan, a Conservative member of the House of Commons, however, opposed removing the provision, saying it protected people from those wanting to use “fraudulent witchcraft powers.”
“These things really happen in our society, even in this day and age. Does that provision, as it exists right now, cause any harm? No. Does it give the police an avenue or resource in the case of those particular unusual offences? Yes, it does,” he said.
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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.