William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

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On The Freedom Of Religion And Satanism

Egalitarian justice.

Egalitarian justice.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Satanists to give prayer at city council meeting:

Members of a satanic group are set to give the prayer at an upcoming meeting of the Phoenix City Council…

Satanic Temple members Michelle Shortt and Stu de Haan are expected to give the invocation at the council’s Feb. 17 meeting after the group submitted a request in December. Despite the objections of some council members, the city has decided to let the satanists speak as scheduled.

Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm released a statement Thursday evening, defending the city’s position. The city typically holds a short invocation at the start of formal council meetings and has included members from a variety of faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.

“Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer,” Holm wrote. “In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances.”…

Meanwhile, Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego said they support letting the satanists speak. Stanton released a statement, saying, “the Constitution demands equal treatment under the law” even though he disagrees with the group’s message.

Gallego also pointed to First Amendment protections, adding, “I just believe we’re a diverse society and if we have prayer, we welcome all points of view.”

The men who approved the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, while they knew, or rather acknowledged, more about the insanity of man than we do, their education being genuine and not as propaganda-laden, they did not anticipate the lunacy we moderns would slip into. Only an insane person would construe the policy of forbidding the central government from establishing an official religion as logically implying that local governments must entertain all religions.

Logically, of course, you can’t get there from here. No valid, sound argument exists connecting the two propositions. I invite the reader to try, but please don’t cite the “law”, which would be circular; it is the law which I am disputing. If you say the government allowing a particular religion a venue is tantamount to endorsing that religion, thus making it at least part of the State’s official religion, then because government must allow all religions a venue, all religions are thus part of the State’s official religion, which is absurd.

Anyway, since that path is blocked, some other explanation must exist why Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego and others support allowing degenerate Satanists to preside over official ceremonies.

Well, there is no drama, the answer is obvious and given by Gallego herself: “we welcome all points of view.” Half effeminacy, half egalitarianism.

Only a fool “welcomes” all points of view. The charitable interpretation is that Gallego was speaking loosely, where all doesn’t mean all, but only most or many. But, no. Because she said “all” with the understanding that Satanists were coming on over to city hall with a fresh spell to cast, or whatever.

Egalitarianism is, as I’ve often said, corrosive. At the very least it rots the minds of those who entertain it; at the worst, it destroys the society which embraces it. Gallego is no longer able to say, and perhaps even unable to think, that this religion is bad or this religion is worse than that religion. That kind of reasoning is so judgmental.

Not only is it judgmental, it implies there is an objective standard by which religions can be weighed. And if there is an objective standard, then reason demands it must be sought out, understood, and referred to. And if it is to be sought out, understood, and referred to, then it is possible to conclude a particular religion is so debased that it should be proscribed.

And if it is concluded that a particular religion should be proscribed, then it becomes the duty of the government to proscribe it (at government functions; publicly is another matter).

That logical conclusion frightens many because they worry this duty to proscribe will become a weapon. It is a rational fear. But the weapon can only be misused when the objective standard is misunderstood, willfully or accidentally. If accidentally, then there is hope for correction. If willfully, then it doesn’t matter if we allow proscription or instead seek egalitarianism, because we are then dealing with liars seeking power, and in both cases we meet a bad end.

Stream: Olympics Might Allow Men Pretending to be Women to Compete as Women

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Today’s post is at the Stream: Olympics Might Allow Men Pretending to be Women to Compete as Women.

If you are a true egalitarian, if you actually believe in the equality of sexes and are not lying, exaggerating, or signalling your cultural holiness, then you must advocate for the complete and utter removal of all distinctions between the sexes.

Take for instance the Olympics. It currently enforces inequality, dictating that men and women compete separately. Come, now, all you true equalitarians: agree and state that this inequality must cease forthwith. (Say so in the comments.)

If you do not agree that this manifest unequal status should cease, then you are not a true egalitarian or equalitarian; it means that you hold that there are fundamental, ineradicable differences between the sexes. Further, it means that others are right to ascribe a lack of equalitarian earnestness in you. That being so, it is then rational to not only notice sex differences, but to make decisions about and to treat people differently based on their sex…

Here is the twist. There are predictions the International Olympic Committee will allow, with one small proviso, what they consider a version of the equalitarian ideal in its upcoming contests. The proviso is that the contests will still be separated by sex, but that men pretending to be women will be allowed to compete as women, and vice versa…

Chris Mosier is a woman pretending to be a man, though discovering that takes work. For instance, this left-wing ESPN article buries the fact deep within. That article also mentions Mosier’s “transition to physically becoming a man.” This is, of course, scientifically and biologically impossible. Not unlikely, mind you. Impossible. That ESPN says otherwise is a clear indication that this once-prestigious network has lost its mind.

But never mind that. The curious thing is that the Frankenstein-like treatments that good lady Mosier had included “doping”, which is to say, being drugged with testosterone, among other chemicals. Now it used to be the Olympics cast a dim view on these kinds of artificial enhancements. But Outsports thinks they will now look past this in their strive toward Equality.

This would appear to be good news for athletes who want to cheat…

Go there to read the rest!

Updates See the comment from MattS and my reply first. MattS brings up the good point of males who are born with an extra X chromosome. Now these men are typically less physically capable than XY-men. XXY-men are thus disadvantaged. Should they, like women pretending to be men (WPM), be able to use chemically or surgical enhancement to bring themselves to the same levels as male Olympian athletes?

If so, why not alter everybody so that all are equal? A true level playing field.


50 Years of Sex Changes, Mental Disorders, and Too Many Suicides

Iowa Caucus Open Discussion. Update: Text Fixed, Those Coin Tosses Discussed

That tweet was my prediction early yesterday, which I made partly relying on polls but more on the size of the crowds those two men garnered. About those polls, these:

Nobody’s perfect (if anybody out there is making boasts, make sure to provide proof of your pre-caucus predictions, complete with proof they were pre-caucus). Here are the final(ish) totals as of 11:58 PM EST, with record turnouts:

R (votes): Cruz 50,528, Trump 44,327, Rubio 42,124;

D (delegates): Clinton 663, Sanders 660.

(I’ll update these with the final finals in the late morning. Update: Something was wrong with an anchor tag which somehow hid all the text below it. It is now fixed.)

Yet my prediction of the eventual nominee remains as it was a month ago: Trump wins. I’m also guessing he—and even if it isn’t he but another Republican—takes whoever is the eventual Democrat nominee. Will that be Hillary?

There’s an increasing frequency of official and semi-official rumors over her email scandal, with many saying she’ll be indicted. Doing that requires the approval of President Obama, and therein lies the mystery. Now if Hillary takes the nomination and wins the presidency, then Obama is out as de facto party leader, and Billary is in. Similarly, if Hillary takes the nomination but loses the presidency, then it’s a fight who is the leader, Billary or Obama.

But if Hillary loses the nomination, and Sanders takes it, then because it’s obvious to all that Sanders won’t have a chance in the general election, whoever the Republican nominee, then Mr Obama’s position as party leader is solid for at least four years, if not eight.

It all comes down to Mr Obama’s ego. If it triumphs, as it usually has, then the only question is timing. If he allows an early Clinton indictment, she may find a way to wriggle out of it before November. But if he waits until summer to pull the trigger, then she’s old fish.

Part of the calculation revolves around what Trump will do if he wins, or what Obama thinks Trump will do, or what he thinks whoever the nominee will do. Many pundits put Trump as cousin to the Antichrist, and they may well be right when they say the good ol’ USA will soon be engulfed in flames of glory. But I’m guessing Trump (or Cruz or Rubio) will learn to play Washington standard politics, and relatively soon at that. Besides, if, say, Trump (or another, which is less likely) does begin to enforce border laws, how does this hurt Mr Obama? Answer: it only helps him.

Your ideas, picks?

Update: Coin toss broke 6 Clinton-Sanders deadlocks in Iowa — and Hillary won each time.

Can such a thing happen? Of course. See “What Is A Game Of Chance?” and “The Four Errors in Mann et al’s ‘The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth'”, which as an apropos discussion.

Gist: no way to tell just by looking at the numbers if this was a typical Clinton fix or the real deal. It looks, though, that if the tosses would have gone the other way, Sanders would have won, and I would have got at least half of my prediction right (if I counted right). As I said in those linked articles, there’s no way short of extreme physical measurement to be able to predict the result of coin tosses.

Unless you’re dealing with a magician…or a Clinton? Of course, it doesn’t appear that Hillary cheated, given the facts, I mean. But it sure sounds good that she might have. That is, it’s one more item in her long, long list. Which is to say, even if she didn’t cheat, which would have been difficult, many will think or suspect she did. These coin tosses helped her in the short term, but could do some decent harm long term.

On Virtue & Holiness Signalling

When dogma was oriented towards reality, cathedrals looked like this.

When dogma was oriented towards reality, cathedrals looked like this.

Since man’s deepest needs are spiritual, and man lives in society and is fallen, there is bound to be among men virtue or holiness signaling. We all have the desire, and often are required, to let others know where we stand with respect to cultural mores.

There will be signalling in the absence or presence of a recognized religion. In the West, which used to be Christian, there is now among the elites largely the religion of Man, i.e. Man worship. Christianity lingers at the edges. Christianity was, or rather is, an organized religion with a priesthood, more or less diffused among sects. The religion of Man, i.e. secularism, is at pains to say it isn’t a religion, which is absurd, but which has the practical result that there is no official priesthood.

One still exists, of course, (which some call ironically The Cathedral), but the trouble is that, while there are many self-appointed priests, nobody is quite sure who is a bishop. Secularism also doesn’t have written dogma, where by dogma I mean fundamental, unchangeable tenets that are strictly controlled by a Magisterium, such as exists in the Church.

The nearest thing to secularists dogma is “Man is the measure of all things” (an ancient belief always thought of as recent revelation), but which has no meaning until it is applied to questions. Which questions are thought most important are in some part decided by history, hence the obsession with racism, sexism, and X-aphobia (where X is a variable). Now the lack of official dogma in concert with the absence of officially recognized central authority explains, in part, the continual leftward drift of secularism and history helps explain the destination.

Because there is no clear path of advancement, innovation and exposure are seen as a good methods to gain status. The loudmouth who thrusts noisily into new frontiers of Political Correctness (a.k.a. Cultural Marxism), the simulacrum of dogma, is accorded the most credit. Not always, but mostly. Hence the left grows ever strident. What was routine and accepted by all five years ago is now irremediably racist, sexist, X-aphobic. For example, a racist was once someone who killed or harmed another because of the other’s race. A racist is now one who refuses to concur that whites are congenitally evil. This is why who was once a priest, if he has not kept fresh and on his game, is now demoted to the congregation, or even seen as apostate.

As said, signalling still happens where there is recognized religion. But since most won’t or can’t join the official priesthood, there is a kind of ceiling for the congregation, meaning rightward drift is constrained among civilians. Priests still vie for promotion, but much of their signalling is to other priests and bishops.

Abuse can still and does occur under official religions, but the presence of dogma, or rather the recognition that it exists and can be known, tempers the abuse and constrains the drift. This implies that greater adherence to dogma, i.e. the more it is seen as unchanging and complete, the less drift there can be. Now, marry that to the extent dogma matches Reality, and you have a system with less strife and more predictability.

Not all official religions have as strong a grasp of dogma as say Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Splinter groups in Christianity (and other religions) form because of disputes in dogma, which is dangerous because it challenges the idea that dogma is dogmatic. And indeed those that have split have generally abandoned dogma and shifted towards secularism.

Across Islam, which is splintered, dogma might be summarized as “Allah does whatever He wants.” This, like Protagoras, must be applied, and is being applied as is obvious, but the drift is rightwards because of the increasing recognition in the necessity of dogma. Islam also knows it suffers from a lack of a centralized priesthood, which is why it seeking to strengthen it.

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