Weekend Coffee: July 5

Weekend Coffee: July 5 July 5, 2015


Iceland repeals its blasphemy law, which they apparently had until now?

Three cheers for California! The state legislature ends all non-medical exemptions for mandatory vaccination, despite vociferous protests from die-hard anti-vaxers.

• In the wake of the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage, some Christians are writing optimistically about the last-ditch option of retreating into their own closed enclaves. One homeschooling parent explains that “relative isolation” makes it much easier to indoctrinate their children.

• In 2007, I wrote about incorruptibility – an alleged miracle in which the bodies of Catholic saints refuse to decompose – and suggested that one explanation was natural mummification combined with “some judicious use of wax”. It turns out I was being too generous.

According to this article on Atlas Obscura featuring actual photos of the incorruptibles, most of them are nothing but ghoulish wax effigies built over decaying flesh and moldering bones. (Content note: possibly disturbing photos at the link.)

• Like him or loathe him, Barack Obama is going to go down in history as one of our most consequential presidents. The Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell ruling cements Obamacare as the law of the land and completes a goal that progressives have been pursuing for more than a hundred years.

• Astounding if true: We’ve long known that vast economic inequality increases religiosity among the poor, but this study claims it increases religiosity even more among the rich. If this holds up, it’s powerful evidence that religion plays a critical role in justifying inequality, by giving the super-wealthy a convenient reason to believe that their success was divinely ordained and not just due to chance.

Fiddling while the waters rise: Population is booming and mega-luxury developments continue to sprout along the Florida coast, even though the shoreline remains catastrophically vulnerable to storms and floods caused by warmer temperatures and rising seas. Needless to say, denial is almost as powerful a force as climate change.

• I usually ignore Ann Coulter, so as not to reward her obvious strategy of trolling the media with deliberately inflammatory claims to get attention, but this stands out enough to merit a mention: her latest book, without hesitation or shame, favorably cites the work of professed white supremacists.

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