WEEK IN REVIEW: A Duggar Lost an Election and Couldn't Even Get All the Votes in His Family
Josh Duggar wasn't the only thing that sunk Jim Bob's campaign
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Just a reminder that I’m currently on a brief hiatus from posting regularly and I’ll be back writing at a website called OnlySky in early January. You can read more about my decision here!
OnlySky is an explicitly secular media outlet that goes far beyond blogs. You’ll find topical posts and longer reflections, sure, but you’ll also get podcasts, videos, news analysis, and more from a variety of progressive voices.
While the site isn’t live just yet, you can be updated ASAP when it goes live.
A member of the Duggar family was charged with child endangerment.
No, not that one.
Apparently, according to TMZ, Jana Duggar (above) was charged with the crime back in September but word about it is only leaking out now, after her brother Josh Duggar was found guilty of downloading and possessing illicit sexual images of children.
While the details are sealed from the public, there are rumors circulating that Jana (who’s single and often tasked with looking after her siblings’ kids) was napping when one of the kids she was babysitting for ran outside, alone. I don’t know if that’s true, but if a version of that story turns out to be accurate, it would suggest the fault here lies less with her and more with her family for burdening her with a job she arguably shouldn’t have at all.
While we’re talking about the Duggars, Jim Bob Duggar got crushed in a GOP special election primary for Arkansas State Senate -- in part because people close to him — including his own son-in-law! — spoke out and said things like, "If he lied to his BEST FRIEND and he lied UNDER OATH, will he lie to YOU?"
It wasn’t even a close race. Duggar came in third out of four people with only 456 votes. I have to assume 452 of them shared his last name.
Here’s a fun little sidenote: Duggar spent $37,631 to get those 456 votes. That’s about $82.52 per wasted vote!
Moral of the story: Jim Bob Duggar understands money as well as he understands birth control.
These are just incredible numbers coming out of a Pew Research Center analysis. The banner headline: The percentage of Americans who claim no religious affiliation is now at 29%, higher than it’s ever been.
Maybe you see all that and assume the decline in organized religion has something to do with how toxic those labels have become. But there’s other information suggesting that belief in God itself is on the decline, not just the various groups that exist to worship Him. Pew found that the percentage of adults who pray every day is also at an all-time low — under 50%!
So it’s not that people shifted from being religious to thinking of Christianity as something they do on a Sunday morning. They shifted to finding a better use of their time entirely.
You can check out more details about the analysis here… Or just check out this video I made!
Those numbers I just mentioned don’t matter, however, unless we can convert them to political power (as I mentioned in the video). Atheists are already a very politically active group; we need to keep pushing harder.
The tornado that hit several states Friday night also did damage to the circus tent Global Vision Bible Church run by Christian hate-preacher Greg Locke. It damaged the screens, the stage, the equipment, and more — to the tune, he says, of about $100,000.*Pastor* grifter Greg Locke - who says Trump is still president and calls the pandemic a hoax, peddling disinformation even as members of his congregation have died of COVID, had his church tent in Mount Juliet hit by the tornado. He says over $100,000 in equipment damage.
I would be much more inclined to give it to him if he didn’t constantly use his platform to hurt other people and put his own church members in harm’s way. There’s an argument to be made that the tornado saved lives by preventing Locke from preaching more COVID lies… though he was back in the pulpit the Sunday morning spreading the same hate as usual.
Want to know why the pandemic is still going on? Blame pastors like Shane Vaughn who spread wild lies about the virus to their gullible congregations:
Meanwhile, don’t worry. The bibles and hymnals are doing okay.
I’m pretty sure this Christian Nationalist just admitted Jesus isn't the reason for the season.
The good news is that the Supreme Court allowed the state of New York to maintain a COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers that didn’t include religious exemptions. Faith-based anti-vaxxers had challenged the regulation in two separate cases, but they were thankfully rebuffed.
The bad news? Three justices said they would’ve at least heard the case, if not sided with the objectors. Neil Gorsuch claimed the mandate was “specifically directed at the applicants’ unorthodox religious beliefs and practices,” justifying that claim by referencing a speech made by Governor Kathy Hochul to a progressive congregation, praising them for getting vaccinated.
The ultimate ruling — to refuse to hear this case — shouldn’t have been in doubt. It’s only because this Court has routinely allowed religious insanity to override public health concerns that there was a very real chance it could’ve gone the other way.
Hey, fundies… you doing okay?
While we’re on the subject of The Transformed Wife…
Actress Sam Sorbo, a Christian Nationalist and wife of God’s Not Dead actor Kevin Sorbo, said this week that Christian parents needed to remove their kids from school because, among other things, they’re taught evolution. The problem with that? “If you’re teaching your child evolution, you’re teaching them slavery and inequality.”Sam Sorbo, radio host and wife of the "God's Not Dead" actor, says we need to stop teaching evolution in school because it promotes "slavery and inequality."
Give her some credit. Do you know how hard it is to make Kevin Sorbo look like the smart one in the marriage?
Mrs. Betty Bowers, a.k.a. America’s Best Christian™, wants you to know that life is precious… except in all those instances when it’s not.
A bunch of conservative parents have demanded that a local public school district in Virginia ban a couple of books — Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe — that feature LGBTQ characters and storylines involving sex. So the Dolley Madison Library in McLean put up a display about banned books that included those two… along with a copy of the Bible. Which is often banned for rape, incest, genocide, and more.(Virginia! Liberals are still pushing their ideology regardless of the recent election result) “Holiday reading display” at Dolley Madison Library, a branch of Fairfax County Public Libraries, featured two sexually explicit books next to the Bible in McLean, Va., on Dec. 6, 2021.
The conservatives didn’t like their favorite book being lumped in with those pro-LGBTQ ones, so they whined until the library took down the display. I don’t get it; the display actually supports people reading the Bible! The point isn’t that the Bible should be banned; it’s that no books should be banned.
Have you ever wondered what Heaven is like? Well now we know!
There are aborted fetuses EVERYWHERE… taking on the disguise of kids… up to age 11.Preacher Jim Woodford claims an angel gave him a glimpse of Heaven. There are children and pets everywhere. Stick around for the explanation... and the fuzzy math.
I have questions...
- Isn't this accidentally making a case for legal abortions?
- Why are the pets there?
- Why do kids grow three times as quickly?
- WHAT DO THEY DO to the kids when they turn 12?
If you’ve attended a large public college anytime in the past few decades, there’s a decent chance you’ve come across “Brother Jed” and “Sister Cindy.” If you haven’t seen them in person, maybe you’ve seen Cindy’s videos on TikTok, where she’s become an unexpected celebrity.
VICE recently spent time with Sister Cindy — a.k.a. the woman who shouts out things like “Be a ho no mo” and “Hell is hot. Don’t be a thot” — to see if there was more to her than the one-dimensional stereotype.
Nick explained in subsequent videos that the viral video was taken at the restaurant he worked at, which would explain both how he ran into Osteen in the first place and why he might have been sacked after mocking a customer while on the clock.
He later explained how he was bothered by how many people in the restaurant were asking Osteen for his autograph, because the pastor has done and believes some deeply disturbing things (which is all true). So during a break, Nick approached Osteen as he was leaving the restaurant.
After the video was posted “a couple weeks” later, and after it began spreading online, “Joel Osteen and his team harassed the restaurant and made sure that I was terminated.”
Never elect someone whose career involves a stint at Liberty University.
A Catholic bishop who believes consecrated communion wafers literally become the body of Christ ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids when he told them Santa wasn’t real. Now the Diocese of Noto in Sicily is doing damage control, insisting that he just wanted to protect the holiday from being commercialized… as if anyone cares.
Believers aren’t satisfied, as noted by the Associated Press:
While several welcomed the bishop’s attempt to focus on the Catholic meaning of Christmas, others faulted Stagliano for interfering with family traditions and celebrations, and crushing the spirits of children whose early years were disrupted by the pandemic.
“You are the demonstration that, when it comes to families, children and family education, you don’t understand a thing,” a commenter, identified as Mary Avola, wrote.
Priests without families of their own may want to hold off on telling parents Santa is the real problem. If letting kids enjoy Santa for a few years is bad news for the Church, then Catholicism is the problem, not a secular Christmas tradition.
Scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland, arguably the wealthiest televangelist in the country with an estimated net worth of $760 million, pays less in property taxes than you do. (At least by percentage.) He even lives in a tax-exempt mansion.
How are he and other religious leaders doing it? The Houston Chronicle’s Jay Root offered an answer in a recent investigation and the answer, as always, involves Texas bending over backwards to appease religious people.
Have you ever thought atheism was a more moral philosophy than any religious tradition but couldn’t quite put it into words? Then listen to sociologist Phil Zuckerman. He recently spoke at the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s annual conference and made a strong argument — with data — for why “secular morality will save the world.”
Here’s just a quick excerpt:
… Who among us, here in the United States, is doing the most to alleviate suffering? Who follows the stay-in-place mandates? Who wears masks? Who gets the vaccine?
We’ve got the data! Atheist Americans are the most likely to get vaccinated in this country, and that’s an altruistic act, because you’re trying to help everyone, not just yourself.
… So when it comes just to the basic pandemic, we see our morals are not only “just as good as the religious” but better.
He goes on to talk about the climate crisis, democracy, the legal system, reproductive rights, racism, animal rights, death with dignity, etc. In all those areas, non-religious people take the side of inclusion, justice, and kindness — moreso than any religious group, and based on the best data available to us.
Which one of you did this to the one mom at Christian hate group One Million Moms?
It’s weird that this plan didn't occur to them before the tornadoes…
The Catholic League (a.k.a. one angry dude in a basement somewhere) is way more furious over a Saturday Night Live skit than sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.The Catholic League's complaint about a Saturday Night Live sketch is amusing because 1) the skit was purposely over-the-top and 2) they clearly don't get the joke.
Maybe you’re curious about the sketch? Was it really that bad?! Honestly, it wasn’t all that funny, but if it angers Bill Donohue, then I’ll take it.
There are certain things that stress us out… and then there are things identified by this priest:
Nothing to see here.
Oh, you think that’s the only Jonathan Shelley sermon I watched? I will have you know that’s ALL I do now. And that’s why I heard this wildly anti-LGBTQ rant…Pastor Jonathan Shelley's sermon took a predictable homophobic/transphobic turn... but then he spun the hate-dial all the way up to 11.
… and this one against [*checks notes*] male gynecologists:
Nothing says LOVE like a pastor promising to give away two semi-automatic weapons during a church service. Just like Jesus would.
If you’re ever looking for a new job, you may want to hold off before applying to work for Dave Ramsey, the evangelical Christian "financial guru.” He’s just been sued for religious discrimination by a former employee who says the “cult-like” company fired him for taking the virus seriously.
Beyond that, though, the lawsuit itself is wild because it reveals details about how much the company took over its employees’ lives. Just look at this section explaining the new employee orientation that involved no actual training but more of an indoctrination into the Cult of Ramsey.
More people will suffer because conservative Christian leaders don’t have the guts to call out this kind of harmful untrue rhetoric.Shane Vaughn tells his congregation that they are not allowed to wear masks in church: "Do you know why Satan hates when you won’t put a mask on your face? Because you’re screaming loud, ‘I HAVE NO FEAR!'” bit.ly/3DSdSmYRight-wing pastor Shane Vaughn used his Sunday sermon to declare that COVID-19 is "the forerunner of the Antichrist" and claim that if Christians will stop wearing masks, God will miraculously heal the land. https://t.co/xXepkRLMBu https://t.co/ir8GzRV2viRight Wing Watch @RightWingWatch
Have you ever heard an anti-abortion activist say, “Well, what if YOU were aborted?” It’s not a good question, and Kate Cohen has an excellent response in the Washington Post that boils down to Who cares? I wouldn’t be around to have an opinion on it.
American Atheists has won yet another legal victory on behalf of a teenager who said she was perpetually harassed by one of her high school teachers for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
The story takes a lot of wild turns, but here’s the bottom line: Even Trump-appointed judges aren’t letting her teacher off the hook.
Finally, this is an old clip but it’s still distressing. The only thing good about the impending climate apocalypse is that John Hagee is going down with the rest of us.
That’s it for this week! Be sure to wear your protective armor during the War on Christmas. You can get extra protection by becoming a full subscriber or sharing this with someone who may enjoy it. It would mean a lot to me :)