• Following the resignation of the previous team, CFI has announced the new hosts of their podcast Point of Inquiry, one of whom is my friend Lindsay Beyerstein. Congratulations!
• This week’s entry in the WTF Department: Richard Cohen, an awful columnist for the Washington Post, saw the movie 12 Years a Slave and was shocked to learn how bad slavery was. I wish I were kidding about that.
• Three cheers for science! A new antiviral therapy can cure hepatitis C without a vaccine, holding out the possibility of eradicating a disease that kills more people than AIDS.
• Via Steven Pinker, a counterintuitive but very hopeful conclusion: peaceful civil disobedience is more effective at toppling dictatorships than violent rebellion.
• In some rare good news for reproductive choice, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling striking down a law that banned medication abortions in Oklahoma. [Wording corrected.]
• With the recent release of Ender’s Game, here’s an outstanding essay by Rany Jazayerli, who once corresponded with Orson Scott Card, about prejudice and tolerance. Jazayerli writes about how Card’s writing once showed unusual sensitivity and decency toward outsiders, and speculates on how Card wound up as the hateful, narrow-minded conspiracy-monger he is now.
• Doug Phillips, one of the founding figures of the Christian Patriarchy movement, has resigned from his ministry after admitting to having an affair. It’s almost as if insistence on rigid obedience to antiquated gender roles doesn’t actually make people more moral or lead to happier domestic relationships.
Image credit: Or Hiltch