No! Not okay! Bad! BAD MINISTRY! BAD PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT!!! An evangelical ministry in Georgia is being let into public school assemblies to proselytize, and the worst part is that they are doing so DRESSED AS MARVEL CHARACTERS. Aaaaauuuuuugh! NO! STOP IT! Paul smash! If we can’t protect secularism you can be damned well sure we’ll avenge it! There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that! You are trespassing in this city and on this planet! (I could go on.)
(And do these folks even know that most of these characters were created by Jews?)
Some people are freaking out because Donald and Melania Trump didn’t recite the Apostles’ Creed at the funeral for George Bush when all the other former presidents and first ladies did so. Yes, this is the thing that gets Christians upset at Trump. Like, literally nothing else. Well anyway the difference between Trump and those former POTUSes and FLOTUSes is that they actually are Christians, as opposed to Trump, who just panders to them.
There is a growing threat of baseless reports of growing threats. Wait. What I mean is, Benjamin Radford shows how casually threats and crises are reported as common or on the rise, despite a total lack of data:
Of course writing “This problem is going on” is likely to draw less eyeballs and clicks than “This problem is going on—and it’s getting worse, you should be concerned!” but it may be more accurate.
While wise enough to seek the skeptical perspective on so-called psychics from Karen Stollznow, CBC still manages to blow it by ending its report with the assertion that psychics, whether you believe in them or not, will provide you with “information on the afterlife.” Which, of course, they cannot possibly do.
This crap is still going on: The Republican Party in Tarrant County, Texas is trying to oust its vice-chairman for being a Muslim who they say is trying to spread Sharia law and something-something-terrorist. Just unreal. George P. Bush, current Texas land commissioner and likely future President of the United States, said in a statement:
I urge the Tarrant County GOP to stop this attempt to remove a hardworking county party official based on religious beliefs. We must move towards a more inclusive Republican Party and stop tearing down our own if we are to keep Texas red.
Good luck with that, George.
The Tanzanian government is encouraging citizens to report suspected gay and transgender people so they can be arrested and imprisoned for up to 30 years if convicted of homosexuality. I’m sure whatever problems Tanzania has, rounding up the gays is sure to solve it. Oh, hey, who’s behind all this? RNS reports:
Activists have said religion plays a role in increasing the stigma within the gay community. Evangelicals, the Pentecostal church and other religious groups have an anti-homosexual agenda, they said. … [Governor Paul] Makonda, the senior government official who ordered the anti-gay crackdown, is a staunch believer in the Word of God. … Makonda is a Christian. Recently, he attended prayers at a Pentecostal church in Dar es Salaam and wept in prayer asking God to help him in the fight against homosexuality.
Thomas Reese (a Jesuit priest) likes it when religious employers don’t have to provide contraceptive coverage due to religious objections, but also knows that the numbers aren’t on his side, and urges a compromise:
Two-thirds of Americans … say that employers who have a religious objection to birth control should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees as other employers are required to do. The bishops do not have the voters behind them in their opposition to the contraceptive mandate.
Meanwhile, men are taking part in trials for a new contraceptive that comes in the form of a gel that men rub on their shoulders to reduce sperm count. It’s like Vic’s Vapo-Rub for sexy times.
Remember the Einstein “God letter” I mentioned yesterday that sold for almost $3 million at auction? The New York Post recalls that at one point, our own Richard Dawkins had sought the artifact a decade ago to be given to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science (which is now part of CFI of course). That would have been super cool. I don’t see any reporting on who bought the thing this time around, but, just to let them know, we’re still here. Cough cough.
Friendly Atheist rounds up some of the responses to a Reddit thread on why people choose not to be atheists. For example, “Because I was born a christian and am too lazy to change that now.” For me, the real fun is in reading the usernames. Favorites include “Gulpy,” “ConfettiAndWhatnot,” and “Weaoponized Flubber.”
Tumblr, via its owner Verizon, is trying to ban all pronography from the site. It’s not working.
Phillippines president and guy who likes to kill a lot of people Rodrigo Duterte says he is not an atheist (fine by us!), saying, “The presidency is a God-given gift. I am sure God would not have given me the position if I was a bullshit.” He also says he’d like to kill Catholic bishops for being “useless fools.” Truly a man of God.
Quote of the Day
At an international meeting on climate change in Poland, scientists produce findings showing that, well, we are so screwed. Any words of hope, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres?
We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change. … It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation. Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.
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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.