'God's White House' says bike lane violates a constitutional religious right
In a letter to the Washington District Department of Transportation director, a lawyer representing the United House of Prayer said multiple options for a new protected bike lane would "impermissibly infringe" upon the church's and its parishioners' "constitutionally protected rights of religious freedom and equal protection of the laws," in addition to "rights guaranteed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
Given my day job, I know something about psychology and associated sciences, but if you press me on the details of climate change, or the evidence about vaccines and autism, I’m at a loss. I believe that global warming is a serious problem and that vaccines do not cause autism, but this is not because I have studied these issues myself.
It is because I trust the scientists.
Most of those who insist that the Earth is 6000 years old and that global warming is a liberal fraud and that vaccines destroy children’s brains would also be at a loss to defend these views. Like me, they defer, just to different authorities.
This equivalence might lead to a relativist conclusion—you have your faith; I have mine. You believe weird things on faith (virgin birth, winged horse); I believe weird things on faith (invisible particles, Big Bang), and neither of us fully understands what we’re really talking about. But there is a critical difference.Some sorts of deference are better than others.
It’s better to get a cancer diagnosis from a radiologist than from a Ouija Board. It’s better to learn about the age of the universe from an astrophysicist than from a Rabbi. The New England Journal of Medicine is a more reliable source about vaccines than the actress Jenny McCarthy. These preferences are not ideological. We’re not talking about Fox News versus The Nation. They are rational, because the methods of science are demonstrably superior at getting at truths about the natural world.
Last thanksgiving my dad asked me if I believed that relativity or quantum physics was real or just some crazy theory.
I laughed my ass off. He had no idea that every modern electrical device works directly on practical applications predicted by quantum theory and that GPS systems would not work if they did not compensate for general relativity.
Kevin Swanson – a Christian pastor who repeatedly has advocated for killing gays – made the comments last Thursday on his radio show at Generations Ministries.
He referred to reports that the California blues-rock band Eagles of Death Metal had started playing a song called “Kiss the Devil” right before the massacre began at the Bataclan theatre.
"They went from singing about the devil to meeting him face-to-face," he said, according to The Telegraph.
"The devil itself entered into the concert hall and showed concert-goers the works of the devil. At that point, we need to ask concert-goers, or at least the ones who survived, did you love the devil and did you love the devil's works as your friends were being shot up in that massacre.
"I'm deadly serious in asking this question. The microphone is in the face right now of those who attended the concert....did you appreciate the works of the devil when your friends were being shot up."
Swanson added he’s not taking sides in the clash between what he called “ISIS devil-worshipers” and “humanist devil-worshipers.” Eighty-nine people died in the ISIS attack on the Bataclan, and 130 people total were killed in the terrorist strike in Paris on November 13.
In early November, Swanson welcomed Republican presidential candidates Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal to his National Religious Liberties Conference. Jindal has since dropped out of the race.
A week ago an op-ed in the New York Times addressed the topic of “Ted Cruz and the Anti-Gay Pastor.” Cruz was at the conference with his father, another controversial pastor (he called same-sex marriage a government plot to destroy the family in 2013) who was speaking at the event. But also the Texas senator has made it clear that winning the endorsements of the evangelical right is key to his presidential campaign.
Swanson has also criticized the lesbian agenda of animated Disney film “Frozen” and the witchcraft in Harry Potter. He’sstated God gave AIDS to homosexuals as “an act of kindness” and that the U.S. needs a “kill the gays” bill similar to what Uganda has proposed.