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Religions, well some anyway, amongst other things, preach tolerance don’t they? Not in Kansas, USA, apparently. A new after-school club is causing such a kerfuffle that a petition has been raised against it. The petition says: ‘Satanism has a strong history of persecution and violence towards the church and those who believe in God.’ And goes on ‘Whether you believe in God, are a Christian, Catholic, Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist or even atheist you should see that ending this club is not just because it opposes Christianity but because what they stand for and the actions they will make are wrong and immoral. This isn’t an argument over religion and Christianity but of right and wrong.’ (Newsweek 27 December). It’s a Satan Club. Are young folk setting out to wind up their parents and authority?

In Iowa, ‘the Satanic Temple of Iowa placed with state permission a small altar on the first floor of the Iowa State Capitol. It displays what are described online as the seven fundamental tenets” of Satanism, including the statement that “the freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend”’ (YahooNews 13 December). The incensed State Representative wants to bring in a law to display ‘the Ten Commandments in all state buildings, including the Capitol, and in Iowa public schools’, but admits ‘few people think there is much that can be legally done about it because of free speech and freedom of religion.’

Richard Dawkins in his 2009 book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, notes that in 2008, a Gallup poll, in response to three questions regarding the origin and development of humans on this planet, found that 36 percent of Americans thought that evolution had taken place over millions of years but that God had kick-started it; 14 percent thought yes, millions of years of evolution but definitely no god: and a staggering 44 per cent thought (rather believed because thought implies rationality) that God was responsible for the creation of humans within the last ten thousand years. The percentage of the latter who favoured October or some other month is not known.

A Gallup poll along similar lines in 2019 appears to show that the 44 percent is down to 40; the 36 is down to 33, and the 14 has seen a large jump to 22 percent. A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that 60 percent of Protestants consider themselves ‘born-again or evangelical Christian.’ Opiates are hard to kick.

Now the stepmother of US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson has called out his extremist Christian beliefs (LBTQNation 13 December, quoting a Guardian interview). She says that Johnson, who is a creationist, has an indifference to environmental issues because he believes that ‘God will take care of you.’ So stuff the environment. An ideal capitalist politician given the damage capitalism causes.

Besides refusing to fight climate change, Johnson’s religion has fuelled his virulent anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs.


Tiny Tips
A billionaire bungalow boss is bankrupt months after boasting about his bursting bank account. Entrepreneur Bob Bull, at No.88 in The Sunday Times Rich List, owes £725million (tinyurl.com/shc5uezf).Over 1 in 5 children live in poverty in 40 of world’s richest countries (tinyurl.com/35umy5t7).In a recent interview, Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA). own stepmother called out his extremist Christian beliefs and blasted the House speaker for using religion to justify his indifference to environmental issues. ‘It speaks to those religious beliefs’, Janis Gabriel told The Guardian. ‘Don’t take care of the environment because we have a finite amount of time here and God will take care of you. It’s crazy.’ (tinyurl.com/2sr2zt53).Scientists Warn That the Dubai Climate Conference Is Full of Crap (tinyurl.com/yc2vfxt9).

Communist China survivor blasts UN ‘eco-socialists’ for hypocrisy on eating meat: ‘From the Marxist playbook’ (tinyurl.com/59h8scs9).

122 killed by a fire in a wedding hall. 82 killed by a fire in a Covid-19 hospital. Three months later, another hospital fire claimed the lives of 92 more. Though they may seem to be freak accidents, these fires were preventable tragedies sharing one common theme: gross negligence. Government investigations into these fires found that local authorities were negligent in their failure to enforce safety regulations and conduct inspections. Contractors used cheap, highly flammable construction materials to cut cost (tinyurl.com/ykcmrw2d).

‘There is no democracy in Gaza when you want to speak against Hamas or its de facto government. We fear they will arrest us during the war, or after the war if we spoke against them. They can easily kill us even, and tell the world we are spies’, said Hasan Ahmed, 39, who was in the hospital with his injured brother (tinyurl.com/ycx6nnxd).

…I see a possible change coming through ‘the slow rise of solidarity between the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jews opposing the all-destructive war’. As a pragmatic realist, I am well aware that such a solidarity is difficult to imagine today. But it is here that we should resuscitate the famous motto of the May 1968 protests in Paris: Soyons réalistes, demandons l’impossible. Be realistic, demand the impossible. The truly dangerous utopia is the idea that the solution to the Middle East crisis can only be achieved through military force (tinyurl.com/mhrs6r98).

A progressive Thai MP has been sentenced to six years in prison for insulting the country’s powerful monarchy on social media (tinyurl.com/5n8wmv4n).

Sex can be bought for as little as £30 before 9am and £10 after midnight on the streets of Leeds due to the cost-of-living crisis (tinyurl.com/y3rfmdnd).

This food was made by the People and it should fill the bellies of the People…Don’t fall prey to the myth of scarcity! (tinyurl.com/2bthwu2r).

‘It’s time for humans to become aware of the new reality and to collectively move where we want to as a species. We have the capability to do that and are already seeing signs of such movements. We can break out of dead ends’, concludes Søgaard (tinyurl.com/3n6c64cb).

Next article: Material World – Technology, capitalism and war ⮞

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