In case you were wondering what Ken Ham thinks of marriage equality…

He doesn’t like it, not one bit, no sir.

This ruling by the Supreme Court in regard to gay “marriage” is actually going to fundamentally change the culture in America and apart from a miracle of God—a special movement of God—this is going to be basically an irreversible situation. And I really believe that to understand what is happening to America now, read Romans chapter 1. That is really a picture of what is going on. We’re going to see increased persecution against Christians; we’re going to see increased antagonism toward Christianity. We’re going to see the restriction of the free exercise of religion, freedom of religion, and free speech in this nation, particularly in regard to Christianity. I believe we’re going to see the government move against Christian churches, colleges, institutions, and organizations that take a stand on biblical marriage as God commands us to in the Bible going back to the book of Genesis.

As Jesus stated in Matthew, “Have ye not read, that He that made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh’? Therefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4–7).

You know, the only thing that’s going to get restricted is intolerance and oppression. If you want to equate those with Christianity, fine with me!

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Marriage equality for everyone

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito dissented. Scalia is getting ready to explode: he called the decision a “judicial putsch”. Roberts thinks “the Court removes it from the realm of democratic decision”, because apparently we’re supposed to vote on who gets civil rights.

Now get ready for the fireworks. I’m not turning on Fox News, that’s for sure.

We fish need to hang together

Somebody calling themselves “True Free Thinker” is irate that anyone would teach kids about evolution. As you might guess from the moniker, this person is actually anti-atheist and anti-science; what you might not immediately realize is that he’s a terrible thinker, terrible writer, and even worse video editor. He’s assembled a very strange video which is like a slow, bad ad for the book, Grandmother Fish.

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Rally for Raif

Skip lunch, Los Angelinos, you have something more important to do today.

Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, was arrested in 2012 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes; the lashes to be administered each Friday, 50 at a time.

Raif’s crime? Founding a website, Free Saudi Liberals, that “insulted Islam through electronic channels.”

Free Saudi Liberals championed free speech and human rights.

Raif received 50 lashes on January 9, 2015. The lashings were suspended for a time, but the Saudi Supreme Court upheld Raif’s sentence on June 7, 2015, and the lashings could resume any time. Raif is reportedly in poor health.

On Friday, June 26, The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles, in conjunction with Amnesty International, Muslims for Progressive Values, PEN Center USA, and the Los Angeles Press Club, will be protesting Raif’s sentence in front of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.

We ask the Saudi Government to FREE RAIF BADAWI and allow him to join his wife, Ensaf Haidar, and their three young children in Canada.

Please join us.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Los Angeles
2045 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Stacy Kennedy
(323) 385-1812
CFI|Los Angeles
(323) 666-9797

Bristol Palin, pregnant again

She has just announced another pregnancy out of wedlock, but she sounds so regretful and embarrassed…apparently this was an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, which is a very unfortunate way to start a new life.

“I wanted you guys to be the first to know that I am pregnant.

Honestly, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one.

At the end of the day there’s nothing I can’t do with God by my side, and I know I am fully capable of handling anything that is put in front of me with dignity and grace.

Just a suggestion, but God didn’t and won’t help you with this. What would help is sex education, availability of contraception, and willingness to use it. There is no shame in sexual desire, and getting pregnant can be a happy occasion — but when you treat it with guilt, as an obstacle in your life, and refuse to acknowledge that there are fairly easy things one can do to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, that is a problem.

It’s also a problem when you hypocritically shame other women for their sex lives.

Racism is dead? I know journalism seems to be dying.

Hmm. An article claims that Dylann Roof got $4 million in donations, from a group calling itself “Citizens for White Rights.”

Only thing is, the news story doesn’t bother to link to any of its sources, adds an incorrect apostrophe to “citizens”, and only shows an image they say they were sent by this mysterious and ungoogleable organization that purports to show online transactions, so who knows, maybe it’s all a fake. I hope. In fact, the only source for this story anywhere on the web is this “newswatch33″ site, which looks a little dicey.

I’d like to see a little more verification before I believe any of this story.

A transitional turtle, Pappochelys


Turtles are nifty animals, with a remarkable adaptation: they’ve taken their ribs and shifted them outside their appendicular skeleton, flattened and expanded them, and turned them into a shell. It’s a clever twist, and it doesn’t require any magic — just a shift in timing during development, with a little extra signaling. The molecular biology and development explain mechanistically how it happened, and we also have fossils of some of the in-between states.

Odontochelys, a 220 million year old fossil, for instance, is a good example of a turtle ancestor that’s got some of the bits but not all. It has a well developed plastron, the belly armor of a turtle, but it doesn’t have a shell — it has broadened ribs that form a kind of flexible bony plate under the skin.

And now we have even older ancestor, from 240 million years ago, called Pappochelys. It lacks the plastron, too, instead having an array of ventral ‘ribs’, called gastralia. What caught the attention of the researchers was the true ribs. They also are flattened and broadened — they look like curvy cricket bats.

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Is the Pope Catholic?


This is my regular reminder: don’t fall for the traps and snares of the wily Pope. He’s been getting a lot of praise lately for his rejection of climate change denialism (and even I have felt faint twinges of affection for a Pope who can get Bill Donohue to puff out his lower lip and pout), but it’s not good enough. I didn’t find his Papal Encyclical to be that good — it’s great that it acknowledges the scientific evidence in the first chapter, but it’s theme is fundamentally anti-science, and he’s more than willing to abandon evidence if it contradicts his dogma.

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development”.

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