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Study finds that atheists would pay money to avoid your ‘thoughts and prayers’

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While some people may think the sentiment “I’m praying for you” might be a nice gesture, researchers have found that when it comes to ‘thoughts and prayers,’ some atheists would pay money to avoid them.

The study was conducted by Linda Thunström of the University of Wyoming and Laramie and Shiri Noy of Denison University, and was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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The study surveyed people in the wake of Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina last year. The survey respondents, which included religious participants who identified as Christian and believed in God, and nonreligious participants who identified as either atheist or agnostic, were given $5 to be used for the project. In sum, participants could use the cash to receive “thoughts” from a random Christian or a random atheist, or “prayers” from a random Christian or a priest. Unsurprisingly, Christians put more value in prayers offered by a priest than another random Christian, but atheists were willing to pay to avoid the thoughts and prayers of Christians — $1.66 to avoid prayer from a priest, and $3.54 to avoid prayer from a random Christian.

Speaking to The Guardian, Thunström said that the results may be a reflection of the “political climate we are in.”

“Some of these people might feel they hear the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers’ all the time, and perhaps it provokes something in them,” she said.

According to the Friendly Atheist‘s Hemant Mehta, the study is a good indicator of how to offer your condolences to people affected by tragedy.

“…don’t just offer victims thoughts or prayers as if those words will be taken as a heartfelt gesture by everyone,” Mehta writes. “Think about who you’re talking to. Find out what they actually need. Stop reflexively saying that phrase.”

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George Floyd’s brother tears up discussing condolence phone call from Trump: ‘It hurt me’

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The brother of George Floyd described the condolence phone call he received from President Donald Trump during a Saturday interview on MSNBC.

Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on "Politics Nation."

While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder, the other three officers involved in the killing remain free.

"They all need to be convicted of first degree murder and given the death penalty," Floyd said.

"What was the conversation with President Trump like?" Sharpton asked.

"It was so fast," Floyd replied.

"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard, I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept like pushing me off, like 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight."

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Bill Barr slammed by ex-FBI official for ignoring the right-wing ‘Boogaloo Bois’ infiltrating protests

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Attorney General Bill Barr was slammed by the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for misleading Americans about the source of violence at the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

"There's evidence developing, Brian, that the organization we're seeing of the most violent protesters is coming from a couple of disturbing places," both, by the way, there's disparate in terms in being from the right or the left. here's what those who monitor these groups and sites are seeing.

"We're seeing a far-right group, one group for example known as the Boogaloo Bois, who on their private Facebook page and social media outlets are calling for violence, calling for people to show up," Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC's Brian Williams.

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Trump is the ‘greatest troll in the history of the internet’ and Twitter needs to ‘pull the plug’: NYT columnist

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President Donald Trump would face an existential crisis if Twitter were to enforce it's own rules and hold him accountable -- and one New York Times columnist wants to see it happen.

"C’mon, @Jack. You can do it," Maureen Dowd wrote, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with his username on the platform.

She urged Dorsey to "just pull the plug on him."

"You could answer the existential question of whether @realDonaldTrump even exists if he doesn’t exist on Twitter. I tweet, therefore I am. Dorsey meets Descartes," she explained. "All it would take is one sweet click to force the greatest troll in the history of the internet to meet his maker."

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