This week we’re joined by Erin Riley and Jason Ward and we talk about Christian privilege, dead kids, Russia, and other news. Trust me, it’s not all depressing and I will try lightening it up next time.
Dustin’ off the Degree – Catching up on some vaccine news
37 dead as measles cases spike in Europe
In the first half of this year there were more than 41,000 measles cases in Europe, with 37 of those cases being fatal. In all of 2017 there were fewer than 24,000 and 2016 only saw 5273.
More than half of this years cases have been in Ukraine where there is an ongoing Russian backed civil war, but France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Serbia have each had more than 1000 cases.
It’s worth noting that after the eradication of smallpox, the WHO started the working on eradicating polio, which was almost successful before the Islamic antivax movement started and measles was supposed to be next. Polio was supposed to be gone in 1990 and measles in 2000.
Doctors are furious at Italy’s populist government for approving a dangerous anti-vax law
Last year Italy passed legislation that would make vaccination against measles and nine other pathogens after a particularly bad outbreak last year that resulted in more than 5000 cases of measles with four dead children. In June a new populist government took power that believes that the 10 vaccine requirement is unnecessary and dangerous and the Italian senate passed a bill to delay implementation by a year to give them time to craft a full repeal with the goal being to craft repeal that would find a quote “balance between the right to education and the right to health”.
Turkey mulls bill on jailing parents up to 2 years for refusing to vaccinate children
Turkey has its own anti-vax movement and the deputy chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party has introduced what would be the strongest vaccination law to date. If it passes parents who refuse to vaccinate their children would face a minimum prison sentence of six months and a maximum of two years.
Russian trolls are using social media to turn people against vaccines
Researchers at George Washington University conducted a study to find ways to improve communication about vaccines on social media. What they found was that Russian bots and trolls, largely driven by the Glavsat organization have been systematically working to polarize the debate, especially on the anti-vax side. They found that parents talked about parental rights, but the Russians politicized it with terms like freedom and constitutional rights.
Online Jokes Are No Laughing Matter in Russia
Daniil Markin is a 19 year old film student in Russia who has now been charged extremist crimes over saving memes that mock Christianity on a Russian social media platform. One of them portrays Game of Thrones actor Jon Snow as Jesus with “Jon Snow is risen! Truly he is risen!”. Another one had a sick figure with a halo and a line crossed through it that read “There Is No God”.
Bishop Morlino’s abuse response showcases the church’s true problem
Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison in Wisconsin wrote to his church members:
“Until recently, the problems of the church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia, this despite clear evidence to the contrary. There is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.”
Irish PM: time to move Catholic church from center of society
The Irish Prime Minister is calling for a change between the relationship between Ireland and the Catholic church. He’s not calling for a full separation of church and state, but he is wanting religion to no longer be at the center of society.
He suggested this while the pope was visiting.
National poll: 61 percent of Mormons approve of President Donald Trump
Members of the church formerly known as Mormons, not to be confused with former Mormons, support Trump more than any other religious group in America. They give him a full 61% job approval rating which even beats out white, non-Hispanic Protestants which back him at 60%.
U.S. appeals court finds Alabama abortion ban unconstitutional
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the permanent injunction against Alabama’s law that would ban all dilation and evacuation abortions.
32-year-long Australian study reveals steep decline in student belief that God created humans
There has been a study going for 32 years in Australia about university student beliefs about God’s involvement in human evolution. They have found that belief that God was the creator or drove the evolution of humans has dropped from 60% to 29% and the belief that there was no god behind human evolution has risen from 25% to 62%
DISCUSSION – Christian Privilege
* Religious liberty
* Christians used to be 95% of the population
* Used to be unlimited freedom of belief, limited freedom of action
* Gay rights
Bart Everson via email
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