As an atheist, I don’t have much time for religion. There are, of course, many believers who are important people in my life. I even have a god-daughter – despite my atheism her parents consider me to be a person who can be a good example to her. That doesn’t stop me posting multiple tweets attacking religion. It’s the institutions and its leaders I have a problem with. However, I see all people as individuals and a belief in a higher power is not something that’s going to turn me against anyone.

In addition, I think people’s should be able to choose what they believe. While it worries me that so many children are indoctrinated into a belief system at an early age, adults should be able to pursue the path that suits them best. Most of us in Western countries are free to let our minds go where they will, and that’s a strength. One of the religions some people choose is Jehovah’s Witness. Personally, I think that’s one of the screwier religions out there, but adults at least should be able to pursue that path if they wish.

In Russia, that’s no longer the case. I wrote recently of the dominance of the Orthodox Church there. It’s pretty insidious in my opinion. Now, being a Jehovah’s Witness has been made illegal there. In April, the Supreme Court banned them, listing them as an extremist group alongside terrorist groups. That meant all 396 registered churches in the country had to disband. This week they appealed the ruling and they will hear within three months whether their appeal is successful. I don’t hold out much hope for them.

Religious freedom, including the freedom not to believe, is one of the marks of a civilized country. Yet again, Putin’s rule is taking his country backwards in his attempts to be a bastion of Western morality.


Cat Tweets

Jerry Coyne has pinched a few of my tweets for his site (which is fine of course), but today I’m going to pinch a couple of his from this post. I thought this one was apropos because of today’s homily.


Gorgeous snow leopards.
(Via Ann German.)


Another cat doing its best to fit into a box!
(Via Ann German.)


This is adorable!


It’s always weird to me that other countries call these “kiwis”. In New Zealand, we call them kiwifruit, and when I was a kid, they were Chinese gooseberries. The name change was a marketing ploy. It worked – New Zealand kiwifruit farmers became very wealthy, very quickly. Oh, and the kitten is cute too!


Dog Tweets

Service dogs all over the world do a wonderful job.
(Via Ann German.)


Personally, I’m not convinced it’s a real dog …

Other Animals Tweets

Okay, now I’ve seen everything!!!
(Via Ann German.)


This is the other tweet from WEIT. (Jerry wonders if the rest of us know what the US means by “nut sack.” Yes, Jerry, we do!)


Bird Tweets

Lovely photo!
(From Ann German.)

Political Tweets

I think Hillary Clinton is great. She’s one of the people I admire most in the world. I understand that a lot of people don’t feel that way, but it also annoys me the way many in her own party are turning on her now. She would have been a great president. Even if you don’t like her, you should at least be able to agree that she would be significantly better than the incompetent buffoon that currently occupies the Oval Office. I think that’s why so many Democrats have such a hard time dealing with the election result – it’s not so much losing, it’s who they lost to. It doesn’t help either that she got millions more votes than her unqualified opponent.


Ann German found a tweet of her latest book. I really want to read it. I don’t know if it’s available here, but if not there’s always Amazon of course.


This is hilarious!
(Via Ann German.)

On the Ted Cruz Porn Scandal

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the revolting Ted Cruz. Here’s a great tweet on the latest episode. (What’s the bet Cruz, learning from Trump, engineered the whole thing to get back in the news.)
(Via Ann German.)


Here’s another good one.
(Via Ann German.)


And I love this one. (Obviously, since I tweeted it myself!)


And this …


In case you don’t know what’s going on with the Ted Cruz thing, see this:

History Tweets

This is very cool! I did a couple of papers on the Vikings when I did my degree, and there are indeed sagas of warrior women. It’s great to have a find confirming they’re real.


Scenic Tweets

This is beautiful, but it would be a nightmare to keep clean!

Art Tweets

The thread this tweet is the beginning of shows a whole series of war rugs made in Afghanistan and some of the story behind them. It’s fascinating.
(Via Ann German.)


Human Rights Tweets

Another brave young woman.


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