Penn Jillette Discusses Religious Freedom Bills on CNN Panel, Much to the Chagrin of a Christian Guest
On Wednesday, CNN Host Don Lemon hosted a panel to discuss the Indiana and Arkansas “religious freedom” laws that have sparked so much national outrage. His guests were the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kristen Waggoner, the ACLU’s Rita Sklar and magician (slash-atheist) Penn Jillette.
The entire discussion was interesting, but some of the most insightful commentary came from Jillette.
Spending as much time online as I do, I hear a lot of stories about people — usually women — talking about death threats or rape threats they’ve received online. And every time, there’s this mindset among some people that the senders are always trolls, always anonymous, always joking. That the threats are not to be taken seriously. Serious or not, it still makes me wonder what the hell people are thinking when they send a message like that.
Recently, blogger Claire Van Fossen received an email like that. It’s not just the despicable content that makes it stand out so much (unfortunately). It’s that there’s a real name attached to it. Apparently, “Dave Wendt” reacted so negatively to one of her articles that he called her names, accused her of being on drugs, and then suggested he “come over and rape” her.
If that was supposed to be a joke, I just don’t get it.
Texas High School Baseball Coach Allegedly Makes Players Attend Bible Study or Run an Extra 20 Minutes
We’re so used to hearing about high school football coaches illegally leading their teams in prayer, completely overstepping their bounds and putting students in the awkward position of joining in to avoid any consequences. But this story coming out of Texas is unique in just how far the district is going to push faith on the students.
Pittsburg High School baseball coach Tommy Stewart not only conducts a Bible study with his players after practice once a week, he punishes those who don’t attend with 20 minutes of running. There’s literally a consequence for not being Christian on his team.
According to a letter to the school district from the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
We further understand that Coach Stewart shows religious videos to his players, including the movie God’s Not Dead and videos from the Kingdom Man ministry series. Additionally, we understand that the team’s official practice uniforms have the bible quote “With GOD all things are possible” printed on them, from Matthew 19:26…
According to the person who informed FFRF of the problem, this is an issue for Christians, too: