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The Same Despised Category as Kings

January 24, 2020

Good morning. How would you like to feel even worse about the Espinoza v. Montana Supreme Court case that was argued on Tuesday? I got you covered. Here’s Monica Kristin Blair at the Post on how the push “school choice” is really about white flight:

In addition to breaking down the separation of church and state and taking much-needed funds away from the public education system, a victory by the mothers would exacerbate school segregation, thanks to the long history of racial segregation within parochial schools, something the justices largely ignored during oral arguments. …

… While public schools have a segregation problem, it is still true that private schools are more segregated than their public counterparts, and religious private schools are among the worst offenders. What’s more, while barring children from enrolling in a private school because of their race is now unconstitutional (albeit hard to prove, as parents of color are usually responsible for proving that their child was a victim of racial discrimination), it is still perfectly legal for private and parochial schools to discriminate based on criteria like disability and sexual orientation.

Hey it worked! I do feel worse.

Here’s how United Church of Christ minister Peter Laarman puts it at Religion Dispatches:

First we open the door to direct state aid, thus (in all likelihood) greatly expanding the reach of religious schools, most of them run by people who are distinctly hostile to any whiff of sexual deviation or even mild feminist orientation. Then we open the door to permitting these same schools to discriminate in the hiring and firing of teachers, guidance counselors, and others.

This isn’t just the undoing of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. It’s the undoing of the Secular Revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. Some won’t mourn the loss. Many won’t even notice. But those who put bishops in the same despised category as kings back in the day knew what they were doing.

Hey why stop there with the bad feelings? The folks at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have moved the Doomsday Clock “20 seconds” closer to midnight, giving us 100 seconds left. The latest factors include increased concern over nuclear weapons, climate change (obviously), and new this year, worries over information warfare and the misinformation that is “crippling humanity’s ability to respond to the dangers we face.”

The Church of England has apparently decided to go all-on on its snowballing irrelevance, proclaiming that sexual activity is the exclusive privilege of married straight couples, and that any other kind of arrangement has to be an abstinent one.

The WHO says the coronavirus from China is not yet a worldwide emergency. Wuhan, they got you all in check.

The federal government is bleeding scientists:

In the first two years of the Trump administration, more than 1,600 federal scientists left government, according to Office of Personnel Management employment data analyzed by The Washington Post. That represents a 1.5 percent drop, compared with the 8 percent increase during the same period in the Obama administration.

One-fifth of the high-level appointee positions in science are vacant — normally filled by experts who shape policy and ensure research integrity.

Of those who departed, the numbers were greatest among social scientists, soil conservationists, hydrologists and experts in the physical sciences — chemistry, geology, astronomy and physics.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 700 scientists have left in the past three years, according to The Post analysis.

Mike Huckabee “wrote” a rant about “militant atheists” and how we’re trying to establish atheism as the official religion, which of course makes no sense, and how Trump has “dealt the radical atheist lobby a major setback.” I mean, I wish there was a radical atheist lobby! But I can’t deny that “setback” is a massive understatement. I’m not even sure why I bothered looking at this piece or sharing it with you. I must be feeling like a glutton for punishment today.

This is nice: State-level atheist groups in Iowa have gotten a few cities to issue religious freedom proclamations, but, like, actual religious freedom, as in no privileging of religion and whatnot.

25-year-old Russian comedian Aleksandr Dolgopolov has fled his country after learning that police were “investigating” him for the content of his comedy, which some have complained is “insulting to the feelings of believers.” Well we can’t have that! BBC reports:

As part of a stand-up performance at a small bar in St Petersburg last February, Dolgopolov made a joke about Mr Putin and his supporters.

“Our population has split into two camps,” he said, adding: “On one hand there are those who support Putin; on the other, there are those who can read, write, and reach logical conclusions.”

In footage of that performance, which was uploaded to YouTube, he also joked about Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

Yeah, I’d get the hell out of there too.

The fact that Gwyneth Paltrow has a snake oil show on Netflix is bad, but according to Matt Reynolds at Wired, there is so much on Netflix that’s just as bad.

Also bad: The New York Times runs a big, splashy, puffy piece on “astrocartography,” which is NOT about maps of space, but astrologers who tell you where you should live based on things that have nothing to do with you and never will.

You might have heard that humans are cooling off, that our “normal” temperature is dropping from the good ol’ 98.6 degrees to 97.9. What’s up with that? Clay Jones at Science-Based Medicine says what isn’t up with that: evolution:

… even if the study findings are true, it absolutely does not represent an evolutionary change in average human body temperature in response to environmental pressure. We aren’t cooling down because of a genetic mutation that resulted in a survival advantage in…checks notes…a world with less disease and a more comfortable life. Americans are also taller, heavier, and longer lived than 150 years ago, again not because of evolutionary changes in our physiology in response to environmental survival pressure but because of better health and easier access to large quantities of calories.

Whatever. We’re all gonna be cool like Fonzie.


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