Some white evangelicals immune to good sense about vaccination


Bob Enyart, anti-vax Christian, lied about COVID, died of COVID

White evangelical Christians have resisted getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at higher rates than other religious groups in the United States. A new study by Yale researchers provides evidence that persuading these vaccine holdouts to get their shots has only gotten more difficult.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, combines two survey experiments testing the effectiveness of various persuasive messages in shifting white evangelicals’ attitudes about vaccination. The first survey was conducted in October 2020, while Donald Trump was president and before the COVID-19 vaccines were approved for use in the United States, and the second occurred in May 2021, several months after people started getting jabs.

The initial survey, fielded on a nationally representative sample of 855 white evangelicals, gauged how various messages affected white evangelicals’ intentions to get vaccinated, their willingness to advise a friend to get the shots, and their judgments of people who refuse the vaccine…However, the same message(s) proved ineffective in the second survey, which was performed on a nationally representative sample of 2,419 unvaccinated white evangelicals.

Neither survey showed that values-based messaging was successful at persuading white evangelicals to get vaccinated, contrasting with prior research that has found that values-consistent messaging increased positive attitudes towards masking among members of the same group.

RTFA. Sad, but, true! An in-depth article is published this coming weekend in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hundreds of thousands of children abused inside the French Catholic Church

An estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church over the past 70 years, according to a report released Tuesday that represents the country’s first major accounting of the worldwide phenomenon.

The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests and other people involved in the church — wrongdoing that Catholic authorities covered up over decades in a “systemic manner,” according to the president of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Sauvé…

The independent commission urged the church to take strong action, denouncing “faults” and “silence.” It also called on the Catholic Church to help compensate the victims, notably in cases that are too old to prosecute via the courts.

“The consequences are very serious,” Sauvé said. “About 60% of men and women who were sexually abused encounter major problems in their emotional or sexual life…”We consider the church has a debt towards victims,” he added.

The 2,500-page document was issued as the Catholic Church in France, like in other countries, seeks to face up to shameful secrets that were long covered up…

Francois Devaux, head of the victims’ group La Parole Libérée (The Liberated Word), said it was “a turning point in our history.”

He denounced the coverups that permitted “mass crimes for decades.”

“But even worse, there was a betrayal: betrayal of trust, betrayal of morality, betrayal of children, betrayal of innocence,” he said, calling on the church for compensation.

If there ever was a money-making operation that could afford to repay victims of crimes committed by the leaders, the authorities of that body, it is the Catholic Church. They rake it in every Sunday, regular as clockwork.

My only question is when will more brave victims come forward – in other nations?

The “growth” in white evangelicals is the Church of Trump

From the very beginning of the white Evangelical embrace of Donald Trump, there have been a series of raging debates about how that embrace would affect the church. Will the about-face on, say, the importance of character in politicians alienate people from the church? Will the policy gains from a Republican president be “worth” the partisan anger?

But here’s a question that wasn’t asked quite enough. Will Evangelical devotion to Trump change the nature of Evangelicalism itself? Studying American religion is a complex exercise, one that requires sorting through vast amounts of data. It can sometimes be difficult to draw hard-and-fast conclusions, but here’s one that seems a bit surprising:

Between 2016 and 2020, white Evangelicalism grew, and it likely grew because of Donald Trump…

…What seems to be happening at scale isn’t so much the growth of white Evangelicalism as a religious movement, but rather the near-culmination of the decades-long transformation of white Evangelicalism from a mainly religious movement into a Republican political cause.

Why do I say the transformation is political and not religious? A key metric here is church attendance. An increasing number of self-described Evangelicals go to church rarely or not at all. The numbers are remarkable…

I suppose the questions raised will be resolved in a classic American manner. Follow the money! It ain’t rolling into the coffers of long-established evangelical churches. No brick-and-mortar surrounding a safe filled with a Sunday morning take. I imagine most of this newly-minted godly geedus reaches the leaders of various Trumpublican flocks via a PO Box or any one of a kajillion-electron-money-factories online.

Thanks, nicknielsensc

How many “religious” exemptions to vaccination are phony?

In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25.

With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.

No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”

And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many seem willing to cater to people who reject vaccination for another reason.

If you “feel it’s real”…then go for it. But, if you’re just another copout looking to cover your buns, shame on you!

Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to put Cold War on hold to join forces against an Alien Invasion


“What’s that up in the sky?”

…During a 2009 interview with Charlie Rose and Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz, Gorbachev revealed that Reagan asked him point-blank if they could set aside their differences in case the world was invaded by aliens…

As far as we know, aliens never tried to take over the planet during the 1980s, so Reagan and Gorbachev’s informal agreement wasn’t put to the test. But perhaps unsurprisingly for a president whose nuclear deterrent plan was nicknamed “Star Wars,” Reagan was a big science-fiction fan. He had grown up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs’ epic science-fiction novels, whose characters included John Carter of Mars and Tarzan

Please, please, no one ask El Trumpo if he’s ready to defend the world against Alien Invaders? The former head of Israel’s Space Security agency says Trump almost revealed the “truth” when he was in office but the Galactic Federation stopped him.