Traffic Accidents Increase on Election Day

This is a good reason to vote early:

Could voting for president be hazardous to your health? An analysis of Election Day traffic deaths dating back to Jimmy Carter’s 1976 win suggests yes, but the authors say that’s no reason not to go to the polls.

The study found that on average, 24 more people died in car crashes during voting hours on presidential election days than on other October and November Tuesdays. That amounts to an 18 percent increased risk of death. And compared with non-election days, an additional 800 people suffered disabling injuries.

The results were pretty consistent on all eight presidential Election Days that were analyzed, up to George W. Bush’s victory over John Kerry in 2004.

“This is one of the most off-the-wall things I’ve ever read, but the science is good,” said Roy Lucke, senior scientist at Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. He was not involved in the study, which appears in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

But I don’t see a campaign against voting and driving getting cranked off…

Christianisation of the Masonic Lodge?

With all the recent complaining I’ve had to deal with from James Alexander, now this, from a Masonic site:

For instance in some states conservative Christian evangelicals have overtaken some Grand Lodges and written into their state Masonic code a Christianization of their state’s Freemasonry. Freemasonry had previously gradually evolved into being religiously neutral and it still is in many American jurisdictions. Prayers to Jesus, extra Bible readings in Lodge, no Holy Book permitted on the altar but the Bible, District Christian Church services, Bible presentations upon raising, no gambling permitted, no alcohol on Lodge property are just some examples of the way some Masons have codified their own personal moral and religious beliefs into the Constitutions and by-laws of their Grand Lodge. The Freemasonry in Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee looks a great deal different from the Freemasonry in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and California.

I get the impression that the author thinks this is something new, but it isn’t.

Both of my grandfathers were Masons.  I spend some time on my father’s father and his Masonry here, but my mother’s dad came from very different circumstances.  He lived most of his life in small town Arkansas, and in addition to his membership in the Lodge and the Shrine (he was his shrine’s chaplain) he was very active in his Missionary Baptist church.  When he died, before they threw the evergreen over his casket, about all his Lodge brothers could say is what a great Christian he was (and they were right about that.)

Personally, I think that anyone who believes that Jesus is the only way to God should not join a syncretistic organisation such as the Lodge.  My father’s father (and my dad too) more accurately reflected a “purer” Masonic view of God and religion.  But my maternal grandfather’s membership was his choice.  That kind of choice is decried by Christians, but it seems that it creates heartburn for Masons as well.

Mass Confusion: Praise and Thanks to Yahweh

This week’s installment of Mass Confusion is Praise and Thanks to Yahweh, from the Texas group the Kairosingers.  It’s not quite a responsorial psalm, but it’s good.

Since the Vatican has outlawed the use of the word “Yahweh” for the divine name, you might want to restrict this to Masses in very small settings, where you can close the blinds and post someone at the door to warn of the authorities coming.  Then again, you might not…

The rest of this album is here.

Laïcité (Secularisation) is Great. For Some People. And Then There are Others…

In my recent post replying to the fundamentalist-obsessed James Alexander, I said that “Since 9/11 they (European secularists) have become quite vocal, because they realise they face being overrun by same Muslims whom they don’t have the stomach to fight.  So they attack the Christians once again, because they know the Christians won’t resort to force of arms to resist them.”

He (and you) might find that statement strange, but truth frequently is stranger than fiction.  The flip side of that is that Europeans work to curry favour with their Muslim minorities, and a good example of this appears today.

French Minister of the Interior Michèle Alliot-Marie lays it on thick for her Muslim “subjects” (I know that’s really ancien régime, but I can’t help it) to celebrate their holiday:

Michele Alliot-Marie addressed a message of wishes to the Moslems of France, at the time of the festival of Eïd-ul-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan:

“At this time when the Moslems of France are celebrating Eïd-ul-Fitr, I make a point of addressing you, while asking you to be my faithful interpreter to all near you, my most sincere and cordial wishes. I join in thought at this time of meditation and joy to which all the French unite. Many of them will express to you their friendship and attachment in this circumstance.

I am pleased with the evolution of CFCM (the French Council of Muslim Worship), representative authority of all the Moslems of France, since your election and with your contribution to the implementation of programs which hold the attention of faithful of our country such as ritual slaughter and construction of places of worship.“