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Imagine having hundreds of millions of dollars… and then giving away $1.8 million in an essay contest where grown adults try to convince you there’s proof of the afterlife. That’s the idiotic way Robert Thomas Bigelow is spending a fraction of his fortune.
The founder and owner of the hotel chain Budget Suites of America decided he’d give away the money to contest winners before even reading their submissions — suggesting he knew the outcome before he ever considered their “evidence.” In any case, science is not determined through essays, and intelligence is clearly not determined by wealth.
There was a lot of internet attention this week on Grifter U. or whatever they’re calling the new safe space for classical liberals who buy into right-wing talking points about everything. One of the “professors” at this school (that doesn’t confer any degrees) is Peter Boghossian, the author of a book called A Manual for Creating Atheists, which introduced the idea of “street epistemology.”
I didn’t have much of a problem with that book. I have plenty of problems with everything Boghossian’s done since then.
This essay by Caitlin Green at Liberal Currents may be the best encapsulation of how illogical, unscientific, and non-sensical Boghossian’s become over the past few years. In short, he was never “cancelled.” He was just called out for his shoddy academic practices and couldn’t handle it.
These conservative Christians just learned about Furries… but not accurately… which leads to this:
Most interesting line here? "For every Democratic atheist, there are 2.5 white evangelical Republicans."
Rev. Robert McWilliams was sentenced to life in prison this week after using information he heard during confession… to blackmail underage kids into sending him illicit photos. Just awful stuff. And that’s only the beginning of his crimes. He also used his religious title — as a priest for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Strongsville, Ohio — to get close to families before taking advantage of their children.
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is offering the usual thoughts and prayers… but at least they cooperated with law enforcement. And now McWilliams will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Convicted felon and former national security adviser Michael Flynn wants pastors to preach politics from the pulpit.Michael Flynn says it’s time for pastors to openly challenge the Johnson Amendment: “Johnson took away our religious, faith-based leaders’ ability to talk about politics .. yet, it’s never really been challenged. Those pastors who have spoken up, their congregations have grown.”
About that… pastors have always been allowed to tell their congregations how to vote. They just shouldn't be allowed to keep their tax exemptions if they do that.
I would also note that pastors are still allowed to talk about issues without any consequences. (That was never in doubt.) And I suspect he’d change his rhetoric pretty quickly if the pastors who told people how to vote were primarily Black Democrats instead of white Republicans.
Kent Hovind can’t seem to catch a break. Ah well. Thoughts and prayers and maybe YouTube will adhere to its own rules about how suspended channels can’t just hop on a different one or else that channel will also be suspended.
British Columbia’s Mak Parhar is a man the CBC News once described as “a vocal member of both the Flat Earth conspiracy community and the anti-mask movement.”
Wait, did I say “is”? I meant “was.” Parhar has now died of something that sounds remarkably like COVID… though an official pronouncement has not yet been made.
I know it’s not unusual for a Christian preacher to spread anti-LGBTQ bigotry… but Brother Matt Adair of Stedfast Baptist Church in Oklahoma City — an offshoot of hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley‘s New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church of the same name in Texas — recently talked about how kids who grew up in his church would always be straight.
“If they’re growing up in a church like this, they’ll be saved, they’ll be straight, okay?”
That’s… not how human sexuality works. (Just ask all those gay Christians who grew up in deeply homophobic churches.) And also, this sort of rhetoric is extremely harmful for those kids who are led to believe there’s something wrong with them — or that God hates them — because of who they are.
Just gonna leave this here:
Ricky Gervais is no better than Dawkins when it comes to faux-controversies:
What do you do when an anti-masker leaves your restaurant a one-star review online by claiming your place is “full of satanic activity”? If you’re the owner of Luna Rotisserie in Carrboro, North Carolina, you turn it into a t-shirt and start selling it.
This won’t make a lot of headlines but it’s a big f’ing deal. The Biden administration has taken the necessary steps to prevent religious discrimination in federally funded workplaces.
And if you’re thinking that’s already illegal, well… you weren’t paying attention when the Trump administration undid those rules to appease conservative Christians. Under their rules, a Christian-owned for-profit company given taxpayer money to provide a social service could have a “No Jews Allowed” hiring policy and it would’ve been okay. Under the proposed Biden rule, such exemptions will only be permitted for faith-based non-profits.
The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (AERC) in Alaska exists to provide “free and confidential services to the public in cases involving discrimination and harassment.” That’s incredible. But it raises the question of why the mayor nominated an anti-LGBTQ pastor, Cheston R. McCrea (below), to serve on the nine-member commission. His bigotry is well-documented.
It took a post from the website The Blue Alaskan, exposing McCrea’s hate, to capture enough attention that the pastor finally withdrew his name from consideration before a vote could take place. The mayor still owes the public an explanation as to why he was nominated, though.
Aww, look at this: Hate-preacher Greg Locke told his circus tent church it was inappropriate to chant “Let’s Go Brandon” during church events… which sounds like a respectable move on his part until you realize he was calling Joe Biden different vulgar slurs in the exact same rant.It is apparently perfectly okay for radical right-wing pastor Greg Locke to call Biden a "demonic-possessed pedophile" during his sermon, but people chanting "Let's Go, Brandon" during a political rally in his church is "an embarrassment to the body [of Christ]."
Just days later, Locke practically begged the FBI to subpoena him over the insurrection so he can insult Nancy Pelosi to her face…Pastor Greg Locke is *very* desperate to be subpoenaed over the Jan. 6 insurrection so he can "rebuke that Jezebel demon baby-killing pedophile [Nancy Pelosi] in the name of Jesus Christ." (He won't be subpoenaed. Pelosi isn't even on the committee. This is all for show.)
Here’s the problem: The FBI isn’t involved with these subpoenas, Locke wasn’t in the Capitol and didn’t plan the riot, so he wouldn’t have any need to testify, and Pelosi isn’t on the Subcommittee. He knows all this. He just wants his congregation to think he’s tough. And they’re likely ignorant enough to fall for it.
Remember how a recent bombshell investigation into France’s Catholic Church found that, since 1950, there were 333,000 sexual abuse victims and roughly 3,200 abusers?
Remember how the same Church refused to require priests to report any confessions involving child abuse to law enforcement because that was a secret that had to remain within the confessional booth?
Well, that didn’t win them a lot of public support. Now the Church says it will pay victims of abuse “by selling property assets or taking out a loan if needed.” That’s no small thing, though the Church has made similar promises in other situations before. I’ll believe it when they actually start writing those checks.
Even then, these payouts are chump change for the Catholic Church. It’s like slapping a small fine on Aaron Rodgers for violating COVID protocols. He won’t even notice the money is missing.
Briarcrest Christian School in Tennessee was built as a “segregation academy” — a place for white parents to send their kids so they didn’t have to attend newly integrated public schools several decades ago. So you would think they’re particularly sensitive to accusations of bigotry, hate, and intolerance.
Turns out they haven’t learned a thing.
This week, the school held an anti-LGBTQ seminar for parents. The flyer for the event included this in the description: “When Superman is rewritten to be a homosexual, when parents allow children to choose their genders, and some schools are embracing students for being courageous by ‘coming out’ and considering transitioning…how do you respond biblically?”
None of those premises are accurate. But the school held the event, anyway, because that’s how horrible people operate.
If you’re a Christian “prophet” who keeps telling people Trump will return to the presidency, you could always apologize for being wrong. Not Robin Bullock. That professional liar is now calling on God to make that claim come true SOON because too many people are “trying to discredit the prophetic community.”
Speaking of bad prophets, Robin Bullock says his critics — a.k.a. people with “big educations” — are infuriating God by not believing prophetic nonsense:
This is a neat video from the Ex-Muslims of North America. It’s all about Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, a “heretic” of sorts who lived over a thousand years ago. He was a physician, philosopher, astronomer, and someone who was known to reject religious doctrine. But by embracing his genius, the world benefitted greatly:
If you vote to censor all works of literature that contains “sexually explicit” content because you’re unhappy about a young adult novel that features gay characters, you’re never allowed to whine about “cancel culture.”
And if you go on to say we should literally burn those books — oblivious to how that’s a plot point of a classic American novel — you have no business pretending you’re on the side of students. Yet that’s what happened in Virginia with the Spotsylvania County School Board.
Whose side are you on here? A group for gay Republicans met at Mar-a-Lago to hear prominent Republicans pander to members. After Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the formation of an RNC Pride Coalition, a different right-wing zealot demanded her resignation for caving into the LGBTQ lobby… which I assure you wants nothing to do with any of these people.
Is there a way they can all lose?
A fake doctor told Jim Bakker that God heals us by sending angels with the appropriate kinds of sulfates. None of that is accurate, but everyone on Bakker’s show 100% accepted it as fact. This, I assume, is why the pandemic is still raging.Christian "doctor" Candice Smithyman says God heals us through angels who bring us the "sulfates that we need in order to purify our bodies."
I hope you stuck around for the final two seconds.
Jerry Falwell, Jr. apparently wants to change his name to Barbra Streisand. He just sued Liberty University for defamation (again) so he can retrieve his gun, three horses, a website URL, and more. (Nothing screams “I’m a conservative Christian” like filing a lawsuit against the fundamentalist college you once led in order to get your gun back.)
By doing this, though, the rest of us get to rehash all the reasons he’s been in the news for the past year… so here’s your quick summary:
Falwell’s downfall began after he posted a bizarre picture of himself with his fly unzipped and belly out, “liked” photos of younger women in not-so-Christian poses, posted a racist tweet in response to the governor of Virginia mandating face masks in public spaces, called a parent “dummy” for asking why Liberty was reopening during the COVID crisis, censored the school’s own journalists, and apparently fell down the stairs because he got hammered.
Our latest podcast is out, and it’s also on YouTube if you prefer hearing it that way!
Finally, enjoy this segment from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in which correspondent Mike Rubens explores the decline of organized religion:
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