It's past time we cracked down on religious cults

Violent assault is not religious freedom:

Essentially what separates her [Jane Whaley’s] doctrine from other evangelicals is that she believes that Satan employs an army of invisible demons on Earth — supernatural beings sent from hell to manipulate humans into addiction, illness and wrongdoing. But her followers weren't helpless. They could use what she called a prayer — a high decibel, dramatic, technical blasting, shouting and screaming to drive out those demons. So literally scare them away.

And over the years, it just developed from, you know, screaming and shouting, to doing everything possible to get rid of those demons, and that included punching, choking, restraining people and causing physical harm to cast out those devils.

I listened to a large part of this podcast on the radio a few days ago, and it includes secret recordings of an actual "blasting" session. Ironically, the "minister" who started the yelling contest at a young man who was apparently too concerned about his MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores, was an actual Medical Doctor himself. This guy's hateful screaming was bad enough, but when everybody else joined in I wanted to throw up. Here are some of the traits of modern-day cults like Spindale's:

Monday News: Six thousand, two hundred twenty four

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NEARLY HALF A MILLION HAVE CONTRACTED VIRUS IN NC: At least 479,168 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 6,224 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,900 new COVID-19 cases, up from 6,164 reported the day before and the third-highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. At least 2,748 people in North Carolina were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday. About 10.6% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data are available. Triangle food pantries are struggling to meet demand as more families are turning to them during the coronavirus pandemic and as a key federal program has run out of money early.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article247994660.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY LEAVES LEGACY TO EMULATE: Beasley became the first African American woman to be chief justice in March 2019. She’d served on the state’s highest court since 2012. On March 13th of this year, 13 months after Gov. Roy Cooper named her chief justice, Beasley issued her first directives to deal with the pandemic. Clerks of court were to make sure notices were posted that people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 not enter the courthouse. Routine Superior and District court proceedings were suspended unless they could be conducted remotely, were to deal with an emergency or due process. She also gave the senior judges in judicial districts discretion to make decisions on proceedings – giving critical consideration to protecting the health and safety of all those involved. There’s little glamour in making sure a job gets done – no matter how challenging the circumstances. But it is the mark of competence that has nothing to do with partisanship or politics.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/editorial-n-c-chief-justice-beasley-leaves-legacy-to-emulate/19434839/

Saturday News: Sexist to the core

REPUBLICAN COA JUDGE CENSURED FOR ALLOWING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Judge Hunter Murphy's conduct wasn't bad enough to warrant suspension or removal from the bench, the state Supreme Court said in an opinion posted Friday, but it did merit censure. Law clerks in Murphy's office told investigators that Tuite made "comments of a sexual or inappropriate nature" and that they told Murphy about it. In one incident, Tuite was talking about a female job applicant and called her breasts "fun bags." The judge, the Judicial Standards Commission reported, was in the room at the time. The judge repeatedly condoned and enabled toxic behavior, the commission found. When some of the problems were reported to the Administrative Office of the Courts' human resources department, the judge "lacked candor and downplayed, minimized and mischaracterized Mr. Tuite’s actions," the commission found.
https://www.wral.com/nc-judge-censured-after-hiring-his-friend-turning-blind-eye-to-harassment/19435...

Wake County Schools have growing Coronavirus issues

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Extending the Xmas break until January 15 may not be enough:

The district has reported 432 cases since Oct. 26, when the first students began returning for in-person instruction. Since Oct. 29, Wake has reported 244 cases among staff and 183 among students.

Friday is the last day of classes before Wake County students go on winter break. Difficulty finding substitute teachers and the fear of a post-Christmas COVID-19 spike caused the Wake school board to vote Tuesday to suspend in-person instruction for all schools from Jan. 4-15.

Just to be clear, "finding substitute teachers" is not the problem you should be concerned with, it's the needing so many that should keep you up at night. And the hundreds (thousands?) of other staff members who are going to work either terrified or greatly concerned about their exposure. And this is starting to sound arrogant:

Friday News: No more Kakistocracy

BIDEN CHOOSES NC DEQ'S MICHAEL REGAN TO HEAD EPA: Regan’s record on environmental justice, including his creation of the state’s Environmental Justice and Equity Board, helped secure him the role. In announcing his selection, the Biden-Harris team pointed to his efforts in working on Cooper’s climate change executive order and his negotiations on cleanup of both coal ash and pollution in the Cape Fear River, as well as the equity board. “He’s been a collaborative, energizing force, putting into action his core belief that when you make decisions with input from a diverse group of stakeholders your outcomes are better and more durable because of it,” said Hawley Truax, a regional director with the Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement. Regan, 44, worked for the EPA for eight years in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations before working for the Environmental Defense Fund. He joined Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration at the beginning of 2017.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article247914960.html

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