New York Times Essay Calls for More Respect for Astrology

By Bo Gardiner.  Excerpts from the full article at Patheos.

Are astrology and other New Age beliefs a kind of religion for those without religion?  Real or not, should that religious stature grant them greater respect and less scoffing?  The stars say yes in a New York Times op-ed this past week by writer Krista Burton.  Does she make a good case?

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“Wonder Girl” is one of countless popular YouTuber astrologers offering daily life advice.

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Astronaut Alan Bean to moon hoax nutter: “Get the f*ck out!”

By misrepresenting himself as a legitimate “documentary” filmmaker, Bart Sibrel (famously punched by Buzz Aldrin) invaded Alan’s home in 2004 and took advantage of the astronaut’s down-home gentility. At first the questions were innocuous; this clip picks up when the agenda became clear. Even as Sibrel’s nasty craziness became increasingly obnoxious, Alan generously humored him. But the easygoing gentleman had his limits, and he showed this creep the door with the most gracious of f-yous.

RIP Capt. Alan Bean, 1932-2018, an American hero. We thank you.

 

A philosophy test for New Agers

“The universe gives back what we send out.”  “Everything happens for a reason.”

These are among the most widely repeated dogmas of New Age thought.

I propose a simple test of the validity of a philosophy such as this.

If you would be ashamed to express your philosophy to someone who has lost a child in a tsunami, then it’s probably immoral… and false.

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In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

For mysterious reasons, U.S. politicians and major media outlets are today hyperventilating over one religious group’s unproven claims of ghostly miracle cures.  President Obama has sent a presidential delegation to pay tribute to the ghost faith healer. 

I’m speaking, of course, of today’s canonization of Mother Teresa by the Catholic Church, making her a saint. A saint is someone Catholics believe has special after-death powers to which they can appeal for miracles, as evidenced by at least two miracles so far.

The political and media honors would be slightly more understandable if this were one of the secular tributes for her that have also taken place for her non-miraculous work.  Work, that is,  which largely involved raising vast sums of money to convert Hindus to Catholicism and crusade against contraception and abortion, thereby increasing poverty and suffering.  Using the funds to bring modern medical cures and comforts went against her belief that poverty and physical pain made sufferers more holy to Jesus.

But no, in this case the honors are for her elevation in heaven to God’s miracle broker.

My question is, how exactly does  Pres. Obama determine which unproven miracle cures to honor?  Will we soon be seeing this?   Continue reading

Just In Case There’s Any Doubt Jill Stein Sows Distrust in the U.S. Vaccination Program…

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Let’s simply let her supporters answer.

Here are some comments from angry Jill Stein supporters on the Friendly Atheist Facebook page in response to my article criticizing her statements on the U.S. vaccination program.   It was gratifying to see these dwarfed by many thousands of likes and shares, as was a lovely mention as well by the national progressive humanist group Center for Inquiry’s Paul Fidalgo in his daily roundup of humanist news:

Speaking of Stein, Bo Gardiner does a good overview of Stein’s many pseudoscientific predilections.

But it’s a veritable online rule that people who disagree are the most likely to comment, and comment they did.  

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My Heartbreaking Conclusion: Jill Stein Is Anti-Science, Bad for the Environment, and Now Fully Earns Anti-Vax Label

[A version of this article appeared on July 27 at The Friendly Atheist.]

By Bo Gardiner

In a 2013 speech, Jill Stein calls for the imprisonment of GMO producers based on discredited claims, ignores the environmental damage that would produce, and says the difference between the major parties is mere “window dressing” [Source: YouTube].

 

I’m a strong progressive with socialist leanings, but more than anything else, I’m an environmentalist working for biodiversity – it’s my life’s passion.  I campaign hard for Greens running in local elections.  While a government environmental scientist, I successfully blew the whistle more than once on politicized agencies’ illegal actions to permit corporate pollution.  I pushed my agencies hard to put science over politics and stop dragging their feet on climate change.  While working for a nonprofit conservation group, I managed successful statewide biodiversity campaigns, criticizing politicians and government agencies who were obstacles.  In my personal life, I’m a naturalist and organic gardener, who lectures about gardening for wildlife.

For these reasons, I would not dream of voting for Jill Stein, and will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President.  Does this surprise you?  It shouldn’t if you’re looking deep enough.

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