Colossal Moral Damage

July 26, 2020

Eye-opening numbers from Pew: A bare majority of Earthlings (51 percent) say that belief in God is not required to be a moral person. 54 percent of Americans say the same. The report has lots of interesting breakdowns by things like age, income, and education.

Religion Dispatches looks at the wisdom of Biden seeking support from white evangelicals, RNS looks at Biden’s efforts to court Muslims.

Mainline Protestant and non-denominational seminaries are doing way better than churches or the federal government in being transgender-inclusive.

24 states are suing the Trump administration over its rollback of transgender protections. Teachers unions are suing Florida’s governor over the order forcing schools to reopen.

This will drive Christian nationalists nuts: Muslims bringing a challenge to terrorism watch lists based on RFRA.

Churches and faith-based organizations got between $80 million and $194 million from PPP loans…in Southwestern Pennsylvania alone. South Carolina is going to give $32 million from its $48 million COVID-19 relief funds to families for private school “grants.” Yes, that means religious schools.

Lana Hart at New Zealand’s Stuff suggests the country just nix sectarian religious instruction in public schools in favor of broader religious studies. “Secularism and humanism should also be studied as alternatives to religions.”

Andrew Koppelman in USA Today praises the Supreme Court for doing the LGBTQ community a good service by establishing “broad anti-discrimination protection, which however does not apply to religious groups within their own enclaves.” What he fails to point out is how what constitutes a religious “enclave” keeps creeping outward into, well, everything.

Stephen Barrett at Quackwatch: “Mask exemption” cards from the government are not a thing. (I made this in order to hammer the point home.)

In the COVID-19 era, there are too many new choices to make about risk, and Maggie Koerth says it puts us in a quagmire. “The scale of the swamp is so vast and because, just yesterday, it was a garden.”

Trump wears a mask now, and still manages to be racist about it. (And what’s with the “Invisible” China Virus? Like, are there viruses he thinks we can normally see? Maybe he thinks a rhinovirus is literally the size of a rhinoceros.)

Ty Morton in the Star-Press of Indiana on anti-maskers: “People who said the metric system was too complicated to adopt are all suddenly experts in molecular biology now. … wearing a little piece of fabric on your face to help keep your spit to yourself for a few weeks is simply too much to ask.”

Madonna (hey kids, she was the most famous person in the world for like 20 years, yes, even before Kanye) says she was fined $1 million by the Russian government for a pro-LGBTQ speech in 2012, and never paid it. A pro-Kremlin group says they sued her for $10 million for blasphemy and because as a result of the speech, St. Petersburg “suffered a colossal moral damage.” I think that damage was already done long before.

Marco Rubio on UFOs: “Frankly, if it’s something outside this planet that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some sort of technological leap from the Chinese or Russians or some other adversary that allows them to conduct this sort of activity.” You sure about that?

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.

July 21, 2020


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