News Highlights for the Week of January 14, 2024
Latest news, notable cultural moments, and media commentary for the atheist community: a weekly update from the editors at AFL.
Faith-Based Magic at Davos: WEF Invites Amazonian Chieftess to Perform Shamanic Rite
A post on X went viral this week showing a woman doing some kind of shamanic performance at Davos. As Michael Knowles described the situation, “The WEF invited an actual witch to cast spells on its panelists.” This description is somewhat technically inaccurate (read a more through explanation), but it is a bit strange to see faith-based magic of any kind taken seriously by supposedly serious people. And apparently shamans at Davos go back at least several years.
Get Ready for Churches Campaigning for Trump
Rolling Stone reports that Turning Point USA is partnering with far-right Christian Lance Wallnau in order to campaign for Trump in swing states—and using churches as the venue. Can someone please introduce these people to the fact that, in the words of the IRS, “the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches.” Or maybe—subplot!—Turning Point USA has a secret (based) agenda to make churches lose their tax exempt status?
Freezing Weather and Homelessness: Churches Step Up
A lot of churches are in the news this week for opening their doors to the homeless. For example, a church in Batavia, Ohio made news for housing 25 people during cold weather. In Cheyenne, the homeless shelter reached capacity as temperatures fell below zero, so a local church stepped up. It’s unfortunate the (secular!) government isn’t doing enough to keep people from freezing to death on the streets, but—credit where credit’s due—it’s nice to see stories about churches NOT pulling a Joel Osteen during times of extreme weather.
What’s Happening with Secular Churches?
Speaking of churches, CBS News recently published an article reviewing secular churches. According to CBS, “Atheist churches are still fairly new, but studies have shown that participation in them and other types of atheist organizations can bring social and emotional benefits.” Another highlight from the article: psychedelic churches!