I Saw Noah So You Don’t Have To

I feel the need to start this by saying that I really didn’t enjoy Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah independently of the fact that it was based on a Bible story.

I sort of walked out of the theater somewhat baffled, and now that I’ve made it to my laptop, I feel deeply apathetic about it. Which is a bummer, because when I found out that Creationist Ken Ham hated it, I thought “Well, I am going to love this!”

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New York Circumciser Illegally Shrugs Off Parental Consent for Mouth-to-Penis Suction: ‘I Did What I Had To Do’

I’ve written about metzitzah b’peh circumcisions more than once. The procedure involves the Orthodox-Jewish mohel putting his mouth on the infant’s freshly-circumcised penis and sucking away the blood. Metzitzah b’pehs have resulted in babies ending up with communicable diseases like hepatitis. We know of two cases in which the infant died and others where irreversible brain damage occurred.

In New York, with its Orthodox communities in which these dangerously unhygienic circumcisions are still rife, the city’s heath authorities have done nothing to rein in the practice, other than to require the parents to sign a consent form acknowledging that they’re aware of the risks.

But even that inadequate measure is going too far for some mohels. One of them is Rabbi Avrohom Cohn, 85, the chairman of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision. Cohn is one of the top baby-penis-cutters in the region, and he says he doesn’t need no steenking permission, the Jewish publication The Forward writes:

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Juror in Murder Trial Rejects Insanity Defense Because the Defendant Conversed With God, Not With the Devil

Being judged by a jury of one’s peers is meant to be reassuring for defendants — a counterbalance to a professional judiciary whose possible ivory-tower tendencies may put it out of touch with common Americans.

In practice, because any Tom, Dick, and Harriet can serve on a jury, with almost no regard to their intelligence or their ability to juggle information critically (in fact, such qualities often disqualify citizens from the jury pool), I can think of few things more nerve-wracking than the possible damage that a jury of mediocre thinkers can inflict.

Take the verdict in the David Tarloff case. A Manhattan jury just convicted Tarloff, a man with schizophrenia, of the chillingly brutal murder, in 2008, of Kathryn Faughey, a psychologist. Tarloff’s lawyers had pleaded insanity on behalf of their client. Tarloff, they said,

had a long history of delusions about communicating directly with God. He told doctors who examined him that his plan … had been sanctioned by the lord.

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What Are You Doing for the National Week of Action? (Hint: Not Praying)

In response to May’s National Day of Prayer, those of us at Foundation Beyond Belief are promoting something called a National Week of Action. (You know, to actually make a difference.)

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No, These Are Not 7 Things That Prove God is Real

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, responds to a Charisma article called “7 Things That Prove God is Real”:

The original article is here and you can read my written rebuttal here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

And if you like what you’re seeing, please consider supporting this site on Patreon.

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