Easter Sunday 2021 — Free Fire Zone

Today is a holiday, and news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism is virtually non-existent. But you may find this interesting. It’s at the website of the Gallup Organization: U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Americans’ membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999. [Graph showing downward trend since 1940.] U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

Some may be surprised that the trend hasn’t been sharply reversed due to the efforts of creation scientists like the Discoveroids and ol’ Hambo, but we’ve previously suggested that widespread revulsion for those people may actually be accelerating the trend. Anyway, the figures are what they are, and we’ll leave it to others to explain the cause.

That’s all we can find so far, so because of the holiday shortage in news we’re declaring another Intellectual Free Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, or even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it. And enjoy your Easter weekend!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

16 responses to “Easter Sunday 2021 — Free Fire Zone

  1. This one at Dutch YEC blog Logos.nl is remarkable. Background info: The Netherlands have their Bible Belt too – check Wikipedia, lemma Bible Belt (Netherlands). It’s where Logos.nl finds its fanbase. Dutch Bible Belt is mainly orthodox-protestant.

    https://logos.nl/een-consequente-methodologisch-naturalist-is-een-metafysisch-naturalist/

    Title: a consistent methodlogical naturalist is a metafysical naturalist.

    “In 2019 verscheen in het tijdschrift een artikel getiteld Should Methodological Naturalists Commit to Metaphysical Naturalism? De auteurs Zahra Zargar, Ebrahim Azadegan en Lotfollah Nabavi zijn verbonden aan de faculteit Filosofie van de universiteit van Teheran. De titel van het artikel stelt de vraag of methodologisch naturalisten (MN) zich moeten committeren aan metafysisch naturalisme. De conclusie van de auteurs is onverbloemd ja.”

    “In 2019 the Journal for General Philosophy of Science contained an essay called Should …..? The authors ….. work at the Philosophy faculty of the university of Teheran. Their answer to the question formulated in the title is an outright yes.”

    Back in the 16the Century the slogan of Dutch orthodox-protestants was Rather Turkish than Papal. These days it’s Rather a Shiite Theocrat than an Evilutionist.

  2. Methodological naturalism comes under attack by both fronts: hardcore atheists claim that it leaves the backdoor open to supernaturalism. Creationists claim that MN is a slippery slope which inevitably leads to the real thing, namely ontological naturalism.

  3. Georgia Gov Kemp is determined to hold onto the voter suppression law he and his right wing legislature just signed. He might more explicitly demonstrate his position as well as his support for “Individual #1” on whose behalf he’s really fighting for, or is afraid of, by adding some things to all of his rallies and addresses.
    1. All attendees wear white face masks.
    2. Have a group of singers add a few rounds of mood setting Dixie.
    3. Hand out little stars & bars flags so attendees can wave on cue.

  4. @DavidK
    Sorry to be pedantic, but the “Stars and Bars” is not the nickname of the popular flag of the Confederacy. The one which is well known is the “Southern Cross”. See the details in Wickipedia.

  5. Dave Luckett

    White face masks? Not a conical white hood as well? And a white coverall robe, ankle-length? Got to stop germs from getting on your clothes, y’all know that, right?

  6. Eddie Janssen

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/terrascope-the-whole-earth-telescope
    This could make Ham nervous.
    (ps I hope this is not Plait’s April Fool joke this year…)

  7. A light and playful article: The Empty Brain

    …here is what we are not born with: information, data, rules, software, knowledge, lexicons, representations, algorithms, programs, models, memories, images, processors, subroutines, encoders, decoders, symbols, or buffers – design elements that allow digital computers to behave somewhat intelligently. Not only are we not born with such things, we also don’t develop them – ever.

  8. Dave Luckett

    Look, I’m glad that Trump has gone, OK? It was not my place to denounce him, but I believed, and still believe, that he was never a fit person to hold the office of President, and even less to wield the awesome power of Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military on the planet. As a foreigner, I can only record my relief that he did the latter with circumspection.

    Nor have I any ideological quarrel with his successor. Perhaps I would be somewhat more liberal on some issues than he, but it hardly signifies. What concerns me is this, and only this: I believe that there is good evidence that Biden is suffering from dementia, and that it is progressive.

    Of course only his political opponents will say as much. His supporters will indignantly deny it – exactly as you’d expect. Of course no ethical medical practitioner would ever issue a diagnosis without a full examination, and even in that case would never discuss it in public, or anywhere s/he might be quoted.

    But I have now listened to some of Biden’s public interviews and speeches. The confusion and rambling nature of his utterances, his difficulies even in reading from prepared notes or a teleprompt, and his lapses of memory, are enough to give me, as a foreigner, anxiety over his fitness for office. Especially for this office.

    We all fail with age. Even so great a President as Franklin Delano Roosevelt should not have stood, nor been elected, in 1944. He was dying. All those around him knew then that he was really not fit to withstand the rigours of the office. I know I’m not up to prolonged stress or work now. I get tired too easily, and I have more trouble thinking on my feet. But Biden is eight years older than me. More importantly, he seems even more subject to mental debilty.

    I hope, above all things, that the Constitution of the United States will again be proven resilient. But the problem of an ailing President is a difficult one. The succession is certain, in the case of one who is clearly unable to function in office, or who dies, or is Constitutionally removed. But what about one who is only partially present, as it were, one who can’t remember, one who gets confused?

    I hope I’m wrong. I hope Biden will be able to function. But I have the horrible feeling that if one of those crises that have a habit of turning up at awkward moments does appear, we shall find out the hard way.

  9. “I hope Biden will be able to function.”
    I’m not so sure if I hope this. The best aspect of Donald the Clown was that he did not function. He was too incompetent to invade Venezuela, for instance. A competent Joe B very well might start a war; the increasing tensions with China do not exactly comfort me.

  10. Techreseller

    Re Biden and dementia. You might want to watch some of his public utterances over the past 20 years. Biden has ALWAYS talked like this. In my uneducated opinion, I think his distractions etc come from having to suppress his stutter. That takes a fair amount of brain attention when speaking in public. Causes delays and mistakes.

  11. re Georgia boycotts Repubs are saying don’t mix business with politics.
    Also Repubs: let’s elect a serial bankrupter businessman POTUS

  12. Notice who is dealing with the Piney Point reservoir problem: government, not the owner. Repubs hate government butting in until they need a bailout.

  13. @Matt
    Let’s shut down all those corporate lobbies and political donations.

  14. Alas, the first one is behind a paywell–but take it from a subscriber, the piece lives up to the headline: Brexit ‘cannot possibly be positive’ for UK, JP Morgan chief says — and confirms this article from a different source: JPMorgan ‘considering’ move of all EU business out of London, bank boss says

    Dimon said “few winners are likely to emerge” from the UK’s decision to leave the EU which will make financial services fragment across cities including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin.

    In his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon wrote: “In the short run (ie, the next few years), this cannot possibly be a positive for the United Kingdom’s GDP – the effect after that will be completely based upon whether the United Kingdom has a comprehensive and well-executed strategic plan that is acceptable to Europe.”

    He added: “Brexit was accomplished, but many issues still need to be negotiated. And in those negotiations, Europe has had, and will continue to have, the upper hand.”

    But who cares about bankers? So here’s a small selection of other items freely availalble–and pretty much as anticipated:

    British expats flee Spain to avoid deportation as post-Brexit rules turn them into illegal immigrants

    Thousands of Brits, many of them retirees and hospitality workers, left Spain in recent weeks, according to Benidorm-based expat news site Global 24/7.

    Shaun Cromber was one of them, telling the platform that, despite voting for Brexit, he did not think the UK’s departure from the EU would have an impact on his legal status in Spain.

    “Yes I voted out, but I didn’t realise it would come to this, my application has been rejected and we are on our way home – the wife is in tears, she’s distraught and if I’m honest and I’m not too happy at the prospect of returning back to the UK,” Cromber reportedly said.

    And still closer to home:

    Post-Brexit violence rocks Belfast for another night, threatening region’s uneasy political balance

    The Reuters news service quotes Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney as warning that, “This needs to stop before somebody is killed or seriously injured.”

    “These are scenes we haven’t seen in Northern Ireland for a very long time, they are scenes that many people thought were consigned to history and I think there needs to be a collective effort to try to diffuse tension,” he told national broadcaster RTE.

    The recent violence, largely in pro-British loyalist areas, has flared amid rising tensions over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland and worsening relations between the parties in the Protestant-Catholic power-sharing Belfast government.

    ‘Dishonesty’ over Brexit fuelled loyalist anger, says Stormont minister

    Northern Ireland’s justice minister has said the government’s “dishonesty” over the consequences of hard Brexit has contributed to the anger felt by loyalists, as police counted the cost of 41 officers injured during violence on the streets over four nights.

    And no end in sight for the UK’s outbreak of insane folly…