The revolt of the (few) Kentucky county clerks

Christian hero Kim Davis, the Kentucky country clerk who, despite losing her case in court, continues to refuse to issue all marriage licenses so that she does not have to issue them to same-sex couples (because Jesus would not approve) is taking her fight to the streets. A rally was held in front of the state capitol that supposedly drew thousands of people to hear her speak for about a minute. It sounded more like a revival meeting than a political rally designed to kick off a mass revolution.
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Trump and the Bible

One of Donald Trump’s strengths in the eyes of his supporters is that they think that he is genuine and is willing to say what he believes even if it offends the elites. In fact, he has tapped into the fact that his willingness to be ‘politically incorrect’ is a large part of his attraction. But when it comes to religion, he seems to want to be ‘politically correct’ in paying lip-service to the Bible.
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Religious implications of finding life on other planets

There have been an increasing number of discoveries of planets orbiting other stars that are in the habitable or ‘Goldilocks’ zone, not too close or too far from the star and thus having the kinds of temperature and size that might be able to support life. The possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets is tantalizing no doubt and opinion is split as to whether it exists or not. I for one think that it does. From our own existence, we know that the probability of intelligent life emerging is non-zero. Given the huge number of stars and planets out there in the universe, it seems possible, if not likely, that it could have emerged elsewhere too. But at the same time this same vastness of space makes it highly unlikely that we will ever find out about other life so it will likely remain a theoretical speculation.
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Evangelicals and Donald Trump

Evangelical Christians are a major part of the Republican voting base and I was curious about how they felt about Donald Trump, since he does not seem to be particularly religious. At least, he does not talk about god at every opportunity. Sarah Posner writes that Trump has split the evangelicals along unusual lines, with so-called ‘born again’ Christians being less favorable to him, and those evangelicals who do like him being those who care more about projections of American machismo than they do about religion.
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Vyckie Garrison to speak in the Cleveland area

The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Center for Inquiry holds its biennial Humanism Banquet on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 7:00-10:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Cleveland suburb of Independence. The guest speaker will be Vyckie Garrison who was once part of the Quiverfull Movement, a Christian fundamentalist group that shuns contraception and believes that it is god who opens and shuts a woman’s womb, which must keep him/her/it pretty busy. The movement encourages families to have vast numbers of children in order to create an army for god and they believe that god would not let families have more children than they can handle.
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Deliberate religious obstructionism

Despite the ruling by a federal judge that she is required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County in Kentucky, continues to refuse to do so because she says her religious beliefs preclude committing any action that suggests approval of same–sex marriage. The judge has allowed her to continue doing so pending a ruling on an emergency appeal by her to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. I am not sure why the judge allowed this since it is almost certain that she will lose her appeal. Maybe he just wanted to avoid having her and her supporters scream that they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
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John Oliver starts his own church

In order to illustrate the absurd way in which frauds and charlatans (also known as televangelists) exploit the tax exemptions for religion that exist in the US tax code to enrich themselves by taking money from poor people by promising them rewards, Oliver has created his own church called Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption to see how far he too can push this racket before the IRS shuts him down.
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Federal judge rules that Kentucky clerk must issue same-sex marriage licenses

You may recall Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, whom I have been writing about because she refused to let her office issue all marriage licenses because she objected to doing so for same-sex couples since, of course, Jesus told her she would be a bad girl if she did so. Naturally she was taken to court and just today, US District Judge David Bunning, who is described as a “conservative judge who was appointed by President George W. Bush”, ruled that she had to comply. Despite that, a couple said that they had been turned away again this morning.
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Africa becomes polio free?

Maryn McKenna shares the excellent news that midnight August 11 marked one full year with no cases of polio reported in the whole of Africa. It takes three consecutive years of absence for a region to be designated as polio-free but this step is significant nonetheless, given the opposition by Muslim imams in a few countries that nullified the World Health Organization’s goals of making the entire globe polio-free by the year 2000,
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