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Americans are manipulated by fake news because religion has infected our politics: Peabody-winning journalist

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Writer and reporter Kurt Andersen, in conjunction with Big Think, walked through the ways in which the United States has entered a kind of post-truth era.

In a video, the linguistic expert on President Donald Trump’s speaking style explained that people seem to be losing IQ points year after year and it’s all due to a slow decline in truth. In 2012, he explained that the Republican candidates that agreed in the scientific theory of evolution dropped to one-third of the field. By 2016, just one candidate, Jeb Bush, believed in science. Even Bush said that the cornerstone of biology shouldn’t be taught in schools, however, and if it was it should be taught along with the religious belief of Creationism.

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Andersen explained that he doesn’t think the Republican Party is growing stupider each year, rather they’re fearful to challenge the chosen reality of their voters.

“I don’t think all of them disbelieve in evolution – some of them – but they were all obliged to say yes to falsehood and magical thinking of this religious kind, and that’s where it becomes problematic,” he said.

“America has always been a Christian nation,” Andersen quoted. “That had always meant a different thing one hundred years ago or even 50 years ago than it means today… Christian Protestant religion became extreme. It became more magical and supernatural in its beliefs in America than it has for hundreds of years or for any other place in the world.”

As the Protestant Christians became more extreme, the Republican Party was similarly becoming more extreme.

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“So, one thing that has happened, and one thing that has led the Republican Party to fantasy and wishful untruth more and more into its approach to policy…are now in the Republican mainstream,” Andersen argued.

Things like a belief in a secret Muslim plot to overthrow the United States for Sharia Law, climate change being a Chinese hoax and even President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and Donald Trump came to save America with the birther campaign, are all issues that are easy to believe if “fantasy and wishful untruths” are the norm. It makes it easier to accept conspiracy theories or fake news.

Anderson explained that he doesn’t care if people believe what they want to believe in private. However, when religious belief “bleeds over into how we manage and construct our economy and our society,” there’s a problem. It will cause lasting trouble for the country.

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House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.

This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.

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‘This person has to be very senior’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down two possible whistleblower motivations

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America's former ambassador to Russia on Thursday broke down what we know about the whistleblower alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."

"In my understanding, have -- having worked closely with the intelligence community, when I was in the government -- nobody that I know would go to these steps unless there was something really serious. This is not about the inappropriate use of classified material," McFaul noted. "It’s something much bigger."

"We’re talking about someone who is at a senior enough level to have this level of access, who knows the rules and knows they can lose their job or worse," Melber noted.

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Georgia substitute teacher fired for allegedly putting students on racist list of ‘angels’ and ‘devils’

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On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that a substitute teacher at Awtrey Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia has been fired after children complained that he was branding "black children as devils and white children as angels."

Students took pictures of the note and sent it to their parents, causing outrage.

"A substitute teacher was fired after school administration was made aware that the substitute composed two lists, one titled 'angels' and the other titled 'devils,'" said one school administrator. "The names of black and white students appeared in both columns."

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