The ugly face of Billy Graham

The famous evangelist died last week at the age of 99 and we are now going through an orgy of official mourning that would have delighted the adulation-seeking Graham. I have been sickened by the fawning praise that has been rolling in from all quarters for the so-called ‘America’s pastor’, ignoring the many bad things he said and did. So it was a relief to read this article by Bob Moser that paints a very different picture of the man.
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The Lawrence Krauss affair

The BuzzFeedNews article that appeared yesterday about Lawrence Krauss has brought out into the open things that had been just whispered about over the years. As we have seen with so many cases in these past few weeks, the pattern is distressingly familiar. A star-struck young person (usually but not always a woman) is flattered by the attention paid to them by a celebrity or powerful person (usually but not always a man) who proceeds to try and take sexual advantage of their admiration. The behavior described is at best gross and demeaning to the young person and at worst criminal.
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But can’t you see? Your prayers have not worked!

Thanks to a blog post by a skeptic in a nearby city who goes by the pseudonym Rev. El Mundo, I heard about a school district fairly close by where they used to have prayers, this time before school athletic events. Of course, they had to have known that such prayers are unconstitutional but school administrators tend to pander to the needs of the local community and hope no one notices that they are violating the constitution. They only stopped when they received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation to stop the prayers or face a legal challenge.
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Didn’t you see the sign, Michele?

Wacky former Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann had announced that she was thinking of running for the Minnesota senate seat vacated by Al Franken and that she was going to ask her god what he thought about the idea. There was a time when I would have welcomed the entry of a loony right-winger into an election because they would not win but would provide plenty of entertainment. But after Donald Trump won, that has ceased to be a risk-free option..
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Prayer in school

From Chris, a friend and colleague and reader of this blog, I received this link about yet another case of prayer in schools. Despite repeated court rulings that formal and institutionalized prayer in schools is unconstitutional, many schools operate under the radar and continue to indulge in it. As is often the case, the practice is challenged only when a student gets fed up with having to listen to other people publicly express their faith.
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Score another win for Satan

The Satanic Temple, in the front lines against the intrusion of Christian dogmatic beliefs into public life, has won a skirmish in the fight to defend women’s rights when they challenged the state of Missouri after they passed a law that forced women seeking abortions to listen to an ultrasound. The Temple was suing the state on behalf of a member of the Temple.
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Giving names to gods

Christianity creates unnecessary confusion because of the doctrine of the Trinity, three gods in one, so when Christians speak of god, it is not clear which member of the Trinity they are referring to. Isaac Newton felt that this doctrine was a heresy introduced into Christianity by Catholics early in church history and spent considerable time researching this question and arguing against it.
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Hindu extremists get mad over a film

Hindu extremists in India are threatening violence if a new Bollywood film Padmavaat is released that they allege depicts a romance between queen Padmaavati and a 14th century Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji. They have not seen the film and the filmmakers say the film does not show this and have offered an advance screening to allay their fears. But hell hath no fury like an enraged religious extremist and now that they have got worked up, they are not going to calm down easily.
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