You-can’t-make-this-stuff-up department

Reality is no longer a datum that Republicans consult. But reality always has the last word.

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Quote for the day

I don’t think one can be really smart and religious at the same time.

[ …]

Look at it this way: if someone spent much of their lives worshiping Santa, elves, fairies, or even Zeus, and maintained in all seriousness that Santa delivers presents to Western children at nearly the speed of light each Christmas, you’d think they weren’t playing with a full deck. But somehow it’s okay if they do the same with Allah, Jesus, Muhammad, God, Vishnu, and the like. They can profess such stuff and still be considered “smart.” I can’t agree.

Jerry Coyne, Evolutionary Biologist

Coyne is tippy-toeing along a really fine line here though, generally, I feel about the same way.

About the Abrahamic god, it is possible to speak dispositively: He’s a fake, case closed, and belief in him has been an engine of appalling human misery. I share the view that nobody whose mind works properly can genuinely believe in the god of the Torah, the Bible, the Quran. But there is more in play than mere intelligence; there is character, too. I venture there are a very great many people — possibly even a majority — who don’t believe in the Abrahamic god in any of its several iterations — but lack the wherewithal, the character, to say so plainly. After all, though the “nones” are increasing rapidly, it remains the case that Christianity has succeeded in making it widely disreputable to reject their ridiculous god.

If you doubt that, come to North Carolina and listen to some idiot Baptist preacher denounce the wicked secular humanists. Nobody whose comfort level is the path of least resistance would even think of throwing a rotten egg at their nonsensical vaudeville act.

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Tweet for the day

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First things first

Bruce Gerencser has posted a long piece describing himself during the years when he was an active minister.

This would be the first and last vacation I would take until the late 1990s. While I “heard” what Bruce [another pastor] was trying to tell me, his voice was drowned out by what I perceived to be the Holy Spirit telling me to give my all to Jesus; telling me that if I was a true disciple of Christ I must be willing to forsake all attachments to this world; telling me that my wife and children were not as important as following Jesus and preaching the gospel; telling me that Jesus was coming soon that I must be about my father’s business, for the night is coming when no man can work.

Even as a child, I thought the Creation and Fall stories were highly implausible, but otherwise paid no attention to religion; to each his own, right?

Then I moved to a seminary-dominated town in the Bible Belt, where exactly the outlook that Gerencser describes is a commonplace, and learned my lesson: Religion is a sickness that exploits insecurities and soils whatever, whomever, it touches. Avoid preachers and the Godly the same way you’d avoid somebody with the measles.

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The Orange One …

… is off his meds again.

Somewhere, there is a psychology student earning a Ph.D. thinking about all this deranged behavior.

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