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September 28, 2020

Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court is indeed Amy Coney Barrett.

Emma Green at The Atlantic: “Barrett’s nomination is the culmination of a decades-long strategy to advance judges steeped in a conservative judicial philosophy … No matter what happens in November, the conservative legal movement won.”

The Post runs down some of her more problematic associations, including with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the far-right, theocratic Bizzaro-ACLU, and telling law school graduates that their careers are the means to building the “kingdom of God.”

For what it’s worth, The Handmaid’s Tale was inspired by People of Hope, not the sect that Barrett belongs to, People of Praise.

Politico looks into the group: “Former members have called it ‘secretive’ and a ‘cult’—and, above all, it has remained something of an opaque chapter attached to the life of an increasingly public figure.”

Chrissy Stroop says not to let the religious right define the terms of the debate over Barrett and her Catholicism: “Public discussion that questions the relationship between Barrett’s far-right politics and her religious views is absolutely valid, and we should not let the double standards that characterize our politics and media because of Christian supremacism prevent us from doing so.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn says, “In Chuck Schumer’s America — only atheists can be Supreme Court Justices.” You’d think he would have checked with us. (Though, Associate Justice Edward Tabash has a nice ring to it.)

Reminder! Tomorrow at 7pm ET, before you endure the presidential debate, enjoy a new CFI Insider live online event with Bertha Vazquez, director of TIES! Don’t forget to register!

Jamie Hale at the CFI blog riffs of myths: “Rational thinking is essential as a myth evaluation device, and epistemic rationality requires basing beliefs on the weight of evidence. … We need the right mindware when determining whether memes are good or bad for us.”

CFI West director and Point of Inquiry cohost Jim Underdown was the guest on the Mavens Do it Better podcast: “Skepticism is not the same as cynicism, which is not the same as denialism.”

McGill’s Jonathan Jarry looks at the many lies of COVID-denier and YouTube psychiatrist Andrew Kaufman, who “tells his viewers that viruses are not a cause of human diseases.” Oh.

The Independent reports on the “Covid-19 Truth Tour”: “People here are anti-lockdown, anti-mask and anti-vaccine but, most of all, anti- (deep breath) the big pharma-finance-media-science-tech-industrial complex.”

This is weird. Under COVID restrictions in England, religious and civil weddings can have 15 attendees, but humanist weddings can only have 6? What? Are humanists more contagious or something?

Looks like the YouTube super-algorithm is taking down videos that debunk conspiracy theories because it thinks they’re spreading conspiracy theories.

David Gorski looks at the overlap of antivaxxers, COVID-deniers, and other conspiracy theory beliefs, all united in their opposition to alleged “cabals.”

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Leo Igwe denounces Nigeria’s “entrenched unequal relationship between believers and non-believers in the region.”

Piotr Cywinski, head of the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland, is offering to share the jail time of 13-year-old Omar Farouq, who was convicted of blasphemy in Nigeria, and to provide for his education. “I cannot remain indifferent to this disgraceful sentence for humanity.”

UN human rights rapporteurs call for the reversal of the blasphemy conviction and death sentence of Nigeria’s Yahaya Aminu Sharif. “Application of the death penalty for artistic expression or for sharing a song on the internet is a flagrant violation of international human rights law, as well as of Nigeria’s constitution.”

Eric Lewis at The Independent on Bill Barr: “His vision of religion in the public square is binary: either moral, Christian, and orderly; or depraved, godless, and anarchic.” Sounds like a party.

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.