312 It’s Just a Rock

This week we talk about the magic of crystals, Chile taking on pedophile priests, atheists winning in Florida, town like resort opening up to non-Christians, and more!


  • Why episode 310 was late
  • What I learned about Patreon’s fraud prevention
  • Atheist Nomads Camp out – Island Park, ID – September 13-15


Chile removes statute of limitations on child sex abuse amid Church crisis

In response to the Catholic child sex abuse scandal Chile has just passed a law that removes the statute of limitations for rape, sexual abuse, production of pornography, and prostitution involving children and adolescents. This is not retroactive.

PATRON ONLY – Netflix declared ‘un-Islamic’ by a Pakistani private bank

U.S. appeals court rules Florida county cannot ban invocations by atheists

Brevard County Florida was sued in 2015 by the Central Florida Freethought Community, Humanist Community of the Space Coast, and Space Coast Freethought Association over being rejected by the county when their members had requested to be allowed to deliver the invocations for the county’s meetings. They won in 2017 at the district court level, and they have now won at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The County even admitted that they would reject atheists, deists, Wiccans, Rastafarians, and polytheists, and would probably reject Hindus, Sikhs, and followers of Native American religions. While the Greece ruling allowed for sectarian invocations, it made it very clear that it has to be open to everyone and per this ruling, anyone of any religion or no religion.

PATRON ONLY – Christian Student Group Claims Anti-Religious Discrimination at Wayne State University

Christian requirement at Northern Michigan resort illegal, federal government says

We have an update on a story from Episode 238, which was released in February of last year. The Bay View Association of the United Methodist Church settled the lawsuit against them. At issue was their policy that everyone who owns a cottage at the resort be a member of the association, and all members of the association needed to be an active church going Christian. Additionally they had a requirement that a majority of board members be members of the United Methodist Church.

In February the HUD secretary ruled that Bay View was “engaged in unlawful discriminatory housing practices and retaliation against the complainants.” Then the Attorney General filed a complaint against them. Odds are it was really Ben Carson or Jeff Sessions that made these decisions, but that’s beside the point.

Their lawyers advised them to settle since going to court could result in them being ruled a town, not a private club, which would have resulted in them having to stop all of the religious programing the association does and settle they did. Gone are the requirements that members be Christian, that a majority of the board be Methodists, they are severing legal ties with the United Methodist Church and will be filing for their own tax exemption, and they will be under a consent decree and DOJ monitoring for the next five years.

Lebanese town bans Muslims from buying, renting property

A Lebanese Muslim couple had a hard time finding an affordable apartment to rent in the Beirut metro area and when they found one, they were informed that the town only allows Christians to rent or buy housing. As it turns out, this only applies to Christian property, as Muslims who own property in the town are allowed to sell or rent to anyone.

For some background, at the time of Lebanon’s last official census, in 1932, Lebanon was a majority Christian country, but now is 2/3rds Muslim, about equally split between Sunnis and Shiites, due to Muslims in the country having higher birth rates than Christians. This has created a lot of tension that resulted in a 15 year long civil war that ended in 1990. At that time the town that today’s story is about was entirely Christian, now it’s 60% Muslim, which prompted the 2010 ordinance that had the goal of keeping more Muslims from moving from over crowded neighborhoods to the town. Of course this policy violates the 1990 constitution that was written to calm the tensions between Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians.

Countering protests shutdown French pools

During the recent heatwave across France protests and counter protests shutdown the pools in a city in southeastern France. The city requires that men must wear speedo style swimsuits and women must wear close fitting one piece swimsuits at the city’s pools.

The protests started in May with a group of Muslim women going to the pool in burkinis despite the rules. They were fined 35 euros each. It was their second protest in late June where they cited Rosa Parks as their inspiration and religious freedom as their goal that got the media’s attention. As they were planning a third protest, a counter protest started being organized in the name of secularism, this time with nude swimmers.

In response the pools shut down, despite temperatures over 40 C.

A Republican in Congress wants to end funding for PBS over a children’s cartoon

Representative Doug Lamborn, R-CO, who’s district includes Colorado Springs, has introduced legislation to defund PBS over the recent Arthur episode where the teacher married his male partner. He claims that this is evidence that PBS is “offensive to many conservatives and religious taxpayers”.

Discussion – Healing Crystals

Historical perspective

  • Biblical
  • Hindu
  • Zodiac


  • Energy fields
  • Placebo

Different rocks and their meanings


  • Beatriz via the website
  • Sylia via email


  • New patron – Jim LaRocca
  • Upgrading patron – Beatriz

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    • Andreas on July 17, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Commenting from Germany about your ideas where the name “German” comes from. It’s not from French, the French word for “German” is “allemand”, which is derived from a germanic tribe called the Alemanni. The term “german” goes back to the Romans, who used to refer to people speaking germanic languages who lived to the North of their empire. The Romans didn’t know the full extent, but at the those people settled northern Germany, a huge chunk of the coast of the baltic and Southern Scandinavia. “Germanii” was an umbrella term that lumped a whole bunch of distinct tribes, a lot of them with distinct customs and (probably) languages into one. Caesar probably did this, to make his victory over them appear more glorious than it was.
    The French language does know the term “Germains”; but that refers to the entirety of those ancient tribes, not modern day Germans.
    In case you’re interested, the german word “deutsch” stems back to an old germanic word, thiodisc, meaning “of the people”; with language as in “not that of the clergy” – which was Latin. When the English started to use the word “dutch” the people of the Netherlands, to which that is now applied, still referred themselves as “duits” (which is essentially just a different pronunciation of “deutsch”), because they considered themselves a part of the wider German culture and considered their language to be a dialect of German. That changed in the late 17th early 18th century and they started to refer to themselves and their language as “nederlands” – meaning “of lower lands”. English speakers just didn’t get the memo and keep refering to the dutch and their language by a name the dutch stopped using centuries ago and to Germans and their language by a name Germans never actually used. Modern day Germany is just a tiny fraction of the impact the ancient Germanic had on the modern world.

    Sorry for dropping that rant on you, but that kind of hit a nerve. The name “Germans” is about about as appropriate as the names “Eskimo” or “Sioux” are. And given how viscously I occasionally get language policed to call these people “Inuit” and “Dakota”, when my country and my country and its language are hardly ever referred to by their proper names in foreign languages, I am bit frustrated by this.

    • Beatriz on July 17, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    The Spanish word for Germans is “Alemans”, and the country is “Alemania” much like the French word. Many Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. are baffled by the word German, and quickly learn that Alemanni were a tribe. I wondered if anyone was going to catch the boo boo. It is peculiar how we in the U.S. refer to people from other countries and their languages strangely, such as the Dutch referring to themselves as Nederlanders, but we insist on calling them Dutch. There are many other examples, but I think it would be beating a dead horse. Thanks for giving us a small education Andreas!

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