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We’re Creating a Micro-Trauma

October 25, 2019

The FDA is getting increasingly twitchy about homeopathy. Yesterday it released a statement on new steps its taking to, in their words, “protect Americans from potentially harmful products that are labeled as homeopathic”:

The draft guidance details a risk-based enforcement policy prioritizing certain categories of homeopathic products that could pose a higher risk to public health, including products with particular ingredients and routes of administration, products for vulnerable populations, and products with significant quality issues. …

Justin Scott gets Julián Castro to talk about atheism and church-state separation:

I don’t consider atheism a scary word. You know, I respect people’s right to choose to believe or not to believe, and maybe more importantly, I believe that our Constitution sets out that right, and that it’s important that we recognize that. …

… the commitment that I make is respecting everybody’s rights in the country, and being inclusive and thinking about people who choose not to believe, and that they are citizens in our democracy, participants in our democracy, like anybody else.

I also will say that that I would not hold that against somebody when considering them for appointments, involving them in the administration or, you know, crafting policy or anything like that. …

… You know, I choose to believe, you know, my faith guides me and the decisions I make. But I also respect others who don’t.

Ryan Burge crunches some numbers for a general idea of what the American religious landscape will look like in a couple of decades and boy oh boy are the “nones” movin’ on up:

Religious demography is a zero sum game, as long as we include the religiously unaffiliated. As one tradition grows larger another must decrease in size. That’s essentially what we see here. The religiously unaffiliated will grow four percentage points, while mainline Protestants will decline 5.4 points. As one gains, the other must lose, which has been the case for the last four decades. It is worth noting, though, that this model predicts quite a bit of stability in the next decade of American religious demography. The size of most of the religious groups in America are predicted to be almost exactly the same as they are now. However, two groups will change – mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in social science to conclude that one is growing at the expense of the other.

Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani has been fined €4000 for blasphemy for saying that aliens visiting a Catholic church would conclude it’s a masochist organization. The judge, who is clearly not much of a secularist, said:

Defining Christ on the cross as “someone hanged” is a manifestation of the profound disrespect for the values of Christianity, disrespect comparable only to the worst propagandist language of a Muslim fundamentalist preacher.

Toscani is going to appeal.

Colorado’s attorney general says at least 166 kids have been sexually abused by at least 43 Catholic priests in the state since 1950.

Brother LaKendrick Coburn El, a member of the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, says that “Homosexuality is an abomination to the Human Race” and that transgender people are mentally ill. Wait, why is this guy on that commission? That’s as crazy as, I dunno, Saudi Arabia being on the UN Human Riiiiiiiiinever mind.

Acupuncturists are taking cynical advantage of both the opioid crisis and veterans with PTSD to sell their spiny snake oil. See to how legit this sounds to you, in this puff piece at WJHL:

“We put a needle in somebody, we’re creating a micro-trauma, which is then signaling to the brain, ‘Hey, get down here.’ You know, summon those natural pain killers, get that blood moving,” said licensed acupuncturist Amanda Leuthardt.

I’d laugh if it weren’t such a blatant con.

Running for the GOP nomination for the Senate from Massachusetts is one Shiva Ayyadurai, an antivaxxer who, as Braden MacBeth at Science-Based Medicine says, can fill yoga studios for his speeches which are “uniquely boring.”

Jack Jenkins reports on the rise of a demographic that might impact the 2020 election, and it’s one you don’t hear much about: Hispanic evangelicals, which now make up a quarter of the Hispanic population:

Asked if he believed that the population in the state could swing an election, [Rev. Gabriel Salguero’s] response was unequivocal: “Yes.”

Salguero said he has been contacted by presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle, although he declined to specify which and said it is “not enough.”

“One of the mistakes, historically, of both parties is they wait until the last minute to reach out to Hispanic evangelicals,” he said. “On the right there is the assumption that they are evangelical, they are going to vote Republican. On the left there is the assumption that they are Hispanic, and are going to vote Democrat. I think they fail to see how much of a quintessential swing vote we are.”

Evangelical pastor Greg Locke posts a video of himself burning the book The Founding Myth by FFRF’s Andrew Seidel because I guess we’re all just going to be childish now.

Anne-Laure Le Cunff at Ness Labs shows how the Myers-Briggs personality evaluations are, as she puts it, “bullshit”:

… companies selling the MBTI say there is research to back it up. What about this research?

Well, most of the positive research on MBTI has been done through the Journal of Psychological Type, which is owned by The Center for Applications of Psychological Type.

What’s the issue? The Center for Applications of Psychological Type was founded by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. How convenient is it that all the research they publish in their own journal shows that the MBTI is scientifically supported?

Kenyan atheist Harrison Mumia is trying to get the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers) to take his name off their rolls and give him “an official certificate of renunciation signed by a senior member of the Quakers Church in Kenya to be issued to me as a confirmation that my request has been accepted.”

Apparently the U.S. Army has struck a deal with the UFO organization founded by the Blink-182 guy in order to (according to them) “leverage developments in material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage, have the potential to enhance survivability and effectiveness of multiple Army systems.” What?

“Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities,” said Joseph Cannon of U.S. Army Futures Command in the statement. “At the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming.”

But…what?

This could be fun. Behold the mockumentary, The VICE Giude to Bigfoot.

Speaking of Vice (sorry, VICE), they checked with religious scholars to talk about Kanye’s new album Jesus is King. For some reason.


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.

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