Mitt Romney wants voters to see him as the man to save the economy and right the country, the redeeming American hero riding in on the proverbial white horse. That’s the one in the old Mormon prophecy attributed to Joseph Smith, which predicts that after the banks fail and when the Constitution is nearing collapse, Mormons flush with wealth — the White Horse, in the prophecy’s metaphor — will rise and lead America back to greatness. Now that Romney’s secured the Republican nomination, the media attention to his religious beliefs has already kicked off a sort of national Mormonism 101. Deep into his second run for president, Romney’s Mormonism remains one of his great mysteries — and obstacles — in many voters’ minds. The Senate has more Mormons than Episcopalians or Lutherans, but polls consistently show that Romney’s religion has remained a factor...
Author Archive | bluemana
Writes Jess Zimmerman on Grist:
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North Carolina is no stranger to the “if you dislike it then you should have made a law against it” model of legislation, but this is extreme: The state General Assembly’s Replacement House Bill 819 would rule that scientists are not allowed to accurately predict sea-level rise. By all legal calculations, the sea level will now rise eight inches by the end of the century. Sure, so far models have predicted an increase of more than three feet, but if they keep that shit up, they’re going to JAIL.
OK, there’s not really a prison sentence attached to this proposed rule, but that doesn’t stop it from being crazeballs. See, actual sea-level rise is nonlinear, because there’s feedback — the warmer it gets, the more the water volume expands, and the more stuff melts, and the more it expands, etc. That’s how most scientific models arrive at their predictions, because that is how physics works.
Reports Arlette Saenz on ABC News:
A “serpent-handling” West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before.
Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event.
“I am looking for a great time this Sunday,” Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. “It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good ‘ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers.”
Robin Vanover, Wolford’s sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him…
At Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where the victim of Saturday’s causeway attack is being treated, staff also report that they are coming face to face with cases of drug-related psychosis on an increasing scale—be they from bath salts, other designer drugs such as GHB and LSD, or cocktails thereof. “They don’t all have these outcomes, but all have one thing in common, which is excited delirium and super strength,” said Dr. Paul Adams, an emergency room physician at the hospital, who said that in one instance a 150-pound patient took on the strength of a 250-pound hulk. “You combine bath salts, GHB, LSD or whatever and these people become uncontrollable, you can’t reason with them,” he said. “To place someone safely in restraints, it’s taken seven security guards and one doctor.”...
From Jim Henson's 1966 Academy Award nominated short film. Henson, as the writer/producer/director/star, created the experimental short about the effect of time keeping on us all:
Using dialogue from Inherit the Wind, the movie about the Scopes Monkey Trial, Fibbs1701 made this powerful video answering the question “What is Holy?” (from an atheist’s perspective). The scene features lawyer Henry Drummond (played by Spencer Tracy) questioning Bible expert Matthew Harrison Brady (played by Fredric March):
A Catholic priest has claimed a missing schoolgirl was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties and has implicated diplomatic staff and members of the Holy See. Italian priest Gabriel Amorth, 85, said girls were recruited for parties at the Vatican and said the death of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, last seen alive in 1983, “was a crime with a sexual motive”. The priest spoke out last week as investigators broke into the grave of a known gang boss in Rome following an anonymous tip that the key to Emanuala’s disappearance would be “found there”. But so far bones which do not belong to mobster Enrico De Pedis, have not be positively identified as the girl’s...
Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do. But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.
Perhaps in a future post-apocalyptic America, this will be a holy relic. Remember ask yourself, “WWRD”? As Greogory Katz reports in the Associated Press:
A Channel Islands auction house says it’s selling a vial that allegedly contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan — a move denounced Tuesday by the late U.S. president’s family and his foundation.
The vial being auctioned online was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan’s blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, the PFCAuctions house said.
Reagan’s son Michael condemned the auction but said he was confident it was not his father’s blood.
“Whatever’s in the vial — could be mouse blood — it’s certainly not Reagan blood,” Reagan said in a telephone call from Los Angeles. “And what an outrageous thing to do to (Reagan’s widow) Nancy and the family. I hope the world calls on this organization to cease and desist because it’s so bogus.”…
Read More: Associated Press
Richard Dawkins writes in the Guardian:
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A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian. In the week after the 2011 census, my UK Foundation commissioned Ipsos MORI to poll those who had ticked the Christian box. Among other things, we asked them to identify the first book of the New Testament from a choice of Matthew, Genesis, Acts of the Apostles, Psalms, “Don’t know” and “Prefer not to say”. Only 35% chose Matthew and 39% chose “Don’t know” (and 1%, mysteriously, chose “Prefer not to say”). These figures, to repeat, don’t refer to British people at large but only to those who self-identified, in the census, as Christians.
European history, too, is incomprehensible without an understanding of the warring factions of Christianity and the book over whose subtleties of interpretation they were so ready to slaughter and torture each other.