Richard Dawkins Tweets Himself Into a Maelstrom
He threw a grenade, then walked away.
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After Richard Dawkins tweeted that trans people “choose” their identities, that they’re like Rachel Dolezal (who lied about her race), and that people should “discuss” that (even though he had no plans to participate in any public conversation), the American Humanist Association retroactively withdrew a Humanist of the Year they awarded him in 1996. It’s purely symbolic, but it unleashed the best and worst of reactions.
There were the I-love-the-word-”woke” crowd acting like this was cancel culture, atheists denouncing Dawkins as an embarrassment, a donor who decided the AHA was no longer worth supporting, questions about whether the AHA is hypocritical about its award-revocation policy, silence from Dawkins’ own organization, and renewed questions about who best represents a movement that (by definition) has no official leaders.
I guess we got a discussion after all. Just not the one Dawkins wanted.
You can hear all of my collected thoughts on this in our latest podcast.
North Dakota passed a law that allows public schools to display the Ten Commandments using a loophole that says it must be posted alongside other historical documents—so it wouldn’t appear to be a religious endorsement. Despite having that out, Republican lawmakers couldn’t hide their true intentions:
“We need to get back to what we were founded on,” said GOP Rep. Terry Jones, who leads a church congregation in New Town and carried the bill on the House floor. “If we will go back to that foundation, there will be a lot more happiness and civility in our nation.”
As the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out, the law is ripe for legal challenges:
The organization noted that not a single court has upheld the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, even if they are displayed with other material.
D.C. Pastor Rudolph Brooks, Jr. has been charged with wire fraud after using fake tax and payroll forms to collect $3.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans, which he spent on vehicles and distributed among his personal bank accounts.
If “Thou shalt not steal” couldn’t even keep a pastor from committing an elaborate multi-million dollar fraud scheme— what’s it supposed to do for North Dakota schoolchildren?
Considering the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Church of England has a rampant racism problem:
A Georgia woman received a threatening letter from the four nosey men who run the Woodstock Church of Christ warning her that she is no longer a “sister in Christ” because she dared to find happiness with another woman following her divorce. They tried to guilt-trip her into staying. Instead, she posted their letter publicly so people could mock it. So that plan backfired…
A Pentecostal couple is in a back and forth with the Michigan Court of Appeals to regain custody of their three children after they killed one baby and attempted to kill another baby by using the words “God makes no mistakes” in place of medical care.
I can’t believe no one gave Pat Robertson credit for this:
Either this woman is trying way too hard to brown-nose for Jesus, or she has a weird way of promoting her hymen appraisal side hustle.
The Connecticut State House passed a bill that would eliminate religious exemptions on vaccines for school children— making it harder for “religious freedom” (read: scientific ignorance) to threaten the physical health of vulnerable people. Assuming the Senate passes it, Governor Ned Lamont has indicated he’ll be signing the bill into law.
We saw there was a very strong vote in the legislature, which I consider (to be) in support of vaccinations and doing everything we can to encourage, in this case students, to get vaccinated, with obviously the necessary medical exemption,” Lamont said. “And I think it sends a strong signal, which I appreciate. Get vaccinated.
Another win for public school children! The Arkansas Senate Education Committee voted down a bill that would allow Creationism to be taught in science class.
For your reading pleasure:
A reminder that some politicians aren’t afraid to embrace church/state separation:MY FIRST TIME: "Each of us put our hand on the bible and swore to uphold the constitution. We did not place our hand on a constitution and swear to uphold the bible.”
That man, legislator Brian Sims, is currently running for Lt. Gov. of Pennsylvania.
Last year, after spending nearly a decade in prison for not paying taxes, Creationist Kent Hovind sued the U.S. government for more than half a billion dollars for ruining his life. To be clear, Hovind ruined his own life by not paying taxes and the bad publicity that followed was a result of that, not the government’s pursuit of justice. The case is laughable and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Frank must have agreed when he dismissed the case from being heard this week.
Evangelist and Starbucks-Cup-Whiner Joshua Feuerstein is trying to create a new church. The problem is his sermons. Consider this clip…
And if that’s not enough, I give you this. (I’m sorry.)
Pastor Greg Locke urged his people to take the nation by force. (I guess he forgot that this past January didn’t go so well for them.)
Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones were all set for their wedding at a $5.7 million mansion in Florida last week. Except for one thing: They never booked the mansion. They just showed up, then said God wanted them to be there.
It led the mansion’s actual owner Nathan Finkel to call 911.
I have people trespassing on my property, and they keep harassing me, calling me. They say they’re having a wedding here and it’s God’s message. I don’t know what’s going on. All I want is [for] it to stop. And they’re sitting at my property right at the front gate right now.
Pastor Robert Jeffress has come up with an explanation for why Jerry Falwell, Jr. watched his wife have sex with the pool boy again, and again, and again: It’s Satan. Which, technically, would make that a foursome.
By the way, there’s a new six-part podcast about the Falwell scandal. I’m waiting to binge-listen after all the episodes are out. It’s one of the few podcasts I really want to hear even though I know exactly how it ends.
Finally, we’re growing… (Watch out, Protestants.)