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Stone-Cold, Motherless Last

November 6, 2019

11,258 scientists sign on to a study titled “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency”:

“Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” the study states.

The paper bases its conclusions on a set of easy-to-understand indicators that show the human influence on climate, such as 40 years of greenhouse gas emissions, economic trends, population growth rates, per capita meat production, and global tree cover loss, as well as consequences, such as global temperature trends and ocean heat content. …

… The study also departs from other major climate assessments in that it directly addresses the politically sensitive subject of population growth.

Daria Litvinova of the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports on the oppressive conditions for LGBTQ art in Russia, where a 2013 law makes it illegal for minors to be exposed to “gay propaganda” (whatever that means), and artists and performers find themselves under constant threat of protests and even violence:

“LGBT people don’t irritate us as long as they don’t promote their inclinations,” [an anti-gay] activist said.

“If they just quietly make their same-sex love, God bless them, because one can’t go against their nature – even though it is against traditional Russian values.

“But when they’re trying to impose their views through their so-called art on others, we protest.”

While there is no evidence that anti-gay groups have ties to the authorities, LGBT+ activists believe they are encouraged by the Kremlin’s stance.

Sounds familiar! Because on a 100-percent-related note, here’s Tim Teeman at the Daily Beast describing the Trump administration’s proposed to rule to allow adoption services to discriminate against LGBTQ folks:

It is, simply, bigotry enshrined in law; cruelty written into statute. Church and State are currently the very opposite of separated; they are dancing a delirious tango, with LGBTQ rights trampled underfoot.

“Religious liberty” and “religious freedom” are now the twinned rallying call for anyone wishing to decline service to LGBTQ people, or diminish their rights and access to equality—and the Trump administration squarely supports it …

… This is the new way of expressing anti-LGBTQ prejudice. Without explicitly stating that you hate LGBTQ people, or wish to deny them equality, you can say that you’re upholding your religious liberty or freedom instead.

It’s a neat trick: you’re the bully, out to attack or diminish an LGBTQ person, but you’re playing the victim, unfairly put upon by having to treat the LGBTQ person equally and fairly.

Caroline Mala Corbin writes in the Alabama Law Review about the Supreme Court’s lurch toward the theocratic (via Friendly Atheist):

If nothing else, government-sponsored Christianity creates a caste system based on religion. For the government to align itself with one and only one religion is to send a message that (a) there is one true religion and (b) adherence to that religion is the approved way be a true citizen of the polity. All those who do not bow their heads with the government do not belong in the same way (or at all). …

… This encouragement of Christian nationalism is completely avoidable. There is no need for government-sponsored Christianity.

White supremacist/conspiracy theorist YouTube bloviator Stefan Molyneux can no longer get funds through PayPal as the company severs its ties to him “after conducting an extensive review.”

Cartoonishly theocratic Kentucky governor Matt Bevin loses reelection by a narrow margin to Democrat Andy Beshear.

Our Translations Project now has The God Delusion available in Farsi and The Blind Watchmaker in Urdu.

New Zealand outlet Newsroom does a secret-shopper investigation and finds pharmacies rejecting their code of ethics and telling customers that homeopathic products work “really, really well” and are “awesome.”

The town of Cornwall, Ontario is suffering from a shortage of real doctors, so the town is shelling out for a naturopathic clinic. This is like being short on journalists and deciding to spend money on a psychic hotline.

According to the Australia Talks National Survey, Australians don’t seem to think religion is all that important, all things considered. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports:

… a broad majority of Australians — 60 per cent — would prefer that people keep their religious views to themselves. This was a view held most strongly, as you might imagine, by non-religious respondents, of whom 73 per cent wished not to hear the religious views of others.

But even a slim majority of Catholics — 53 per cent — agreed that it was better to keep religion a private affair. …

… When given a list of eight attributes and asked which was most central to the respondent’s sense of self and identity, Australians placed religion stone-cold, motherless last. …

… Overall, Australians are not looking for more religion. Only 15 per cent of respondents thought the country would be better off if more people were religious. … Religious leaders were distrusted by a full 70 per cent of the population, with 35 per cent saying they did not trust them “at all”.


Not surprisingly, in states where there are no “personal belief” exemptions for vaccinations, but there are religious exemptions, the religious exemption claims shoot up.

New York’s Supreme Court denies an Amish family’s attempt to get that state’s vaccination law halted for “religious liberty” blah-dee-blah. The Democrat & Chronicle reports:

Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle ruled that the state has the authority to require vaccinations to protect public health, citing prior appeals court decisions. He also rejected the lawsuit claims that the new law should be halted because it violated religious rights’ protections in the state constitution.

“Put another way, the free exercise clause of the New York Constitution would yield to a valid exercise of the state’s police powers,” Doyle wrote in the order on Tuesday.

LDS Sunday School curriculum asks, hey, how would Jesus help a master forgive their runaway slave? Reality answers, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

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.