Hey look, we just put out our annual Progress Report! We worked really hard on it, and it’s really quite good if I do say so myself. I’m really stuck on wordplay with the year 2020 and 20-20 vision and whatnot, so that’s how I framed the announcement:
At the dawn of a new decade, clarity seems to be in short supply. As cliche as it might sound, the year 2020 suggests a time to focus, to see clearly the challenges we face, and our potential to meet those challenges.”
I’m so damned clever.
Anyway, go look at the report. Don’t worry, it’s got lots of pictures.
On his visit to India, President Trump praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “working very hard on religious freedom.” Suffice it to say, Modi is not someone who has earned that kind of praise. I’ll let the New York Times give you an idea as to why:
Across town, an explosion of anger over Mr. Modi’s sectarian policies set a neighborhood on edge, leaving a trail of dead bodies and a widening religious rift. … Just miles from the pomp of a presidential visit, a mob of hot-tempered Hindu men wielding iron bars hunted their Muslim neighbors on streets littered with scraps of bricks. …
… The president’s embrace of Mr. Modi came at a time when the government has revoked the statehood of Kashmir, the disputed majority Muslim territory; rounded up Muslim leaders there; and enacted a law giving preference to non-Muslim migrants naturalizing as citizens. Protests over the citizenship law culminated in street violence that cost at least 11 lives since Sunday.
John Oliver did his weekly monologue on Modi and what he has wrought in India, calling him a “symbol of hate.” The Disney-owned streaming service that usually carries Last Week Tonight in India blocked the episode.
Asia Bibi, last year acquitted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan after spending years on death row, is now seeking asylum in France. President Emmanuel Macron is cool with it.
PRRI releases numbers showing how Trump’s approval rating was pretty consistent throughout 2019, and you know where his most fervent support comes from:
White evangelical Protestants make up 15% of the total population. They are among Trump’s strongest supporters, with the highest favorability ratings of Trump of any major non-political demographic group. On average, nearly two-thirds (64%) of white evangelical Protestants have a favorable view of Trump across 2019, including one-third (34%) who say they are very favorable toward him.
Trump’s favorability ratings among white evangelical Protestants increased over the course of 2019. … Unlike many other groups, Trump’s favorability among white evangelical Protestants did not decline after the announcement of the impeachment inquiry and subsequent impeachment charges.
Arguing in favor of a bill to force “In God we trust” to be plastered all over state buildings in Oklahoma, State Rep. Jay Steagall says there’s no such thing as church-state separation:
Our government is based on the idea that our inalienable rights are granted to us by our creator. It is impossible to separate church from state. And our founders said we should not do that, actually.
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has literally no idea what is going on with the coronavirus.
What the actual hell is going on here: The U.S. Air Force is allowing a real criminal trial of an airman to be carried out at Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University by Liberty University students. If he’s found guilty do they put him on the wall or send him to the colonies?
Terry Shoemaker at Religion Dispatches looks at Americans’ mourning of Kobe Bryant as a way of bestowing a kind of “sainthood” on collectively loved figures:
In a nation with few places to find social cohesion, and even fewer to find political agreement, sport and Bryant’s death offer the opportunity to reflect on what we collectively hold dear, who we are as a nation, and how we can improve ourselves. And that, after all, is essentially the role that religion has historically performed for societies.
This has nothing to do with anything, but I just really like this tweet that says, “Sue, you’re shouting at tea.”
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.