Desecrate This!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 23, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Gulf Center for Human Rights reports that Waleed Abu Al-Khair, the Saudi human rights activist and attorney convicted of criticizing the state, is being subjected to "poor conditions" and "ill treatment" without access to medical care in prison, and his wife has been forbidden from seeing him. Al-Khair's is one of the cases, along with Raif Badawi's, raised by CFI at the UN Human Rights Council, which sent Saudi Arabia into a shouting fury. Global Voices highlights more of Saudi Arabia's abuses.

We welcomed our new outreach staffer Stef McGraw in a previous edition of Cause & Effect, but we wanted to do it a little more formally, so here's a more complete introduction to our awesome new organizer.  

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Jesus Did Not Become the God-Klingon

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 22, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Yesterday the president signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT folks, and happily did not add a religious exemption, and we expressed our appreciation:

Too often religious beliefs are used as an excuse to avoid obeying laws that apply to everyone else, as the regrettable Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case illustrates. ... [This] is a welcome step in the right direction, toward a secular government in which religion can’t be used as a shield for prejudice and unequal treatment.

Our reaction's been noted by the Washington Times and the Christian Post.

RNS's David Gibson calls Obama's decision to allow religious contractors to use religious beliefs as a hiring criteria (which we're not happy about) a "split-the-baby" solution. And usually, atheists love those kinds of solutions.

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These People Always Find God in the Sunsets

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 21, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Today the president is expected to sign an executive order that forbids discrimination against LGBT folks without the religious exemption we dreaded. This is good news indeed, and Michael De Dora fills us in

Christian Post reports on CFI's efforts to get a Secular Celebrant bill passed in Ohio

CFI's Tom Flynn and Julia Lavarnway have put together a new book on Robert IngersollReligions Are For a DayTim Binga gives a preview, and you can order it here

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Obama Set to Bar Discrimination Against LGBT Workers, Without a Religious Exemption

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
July 18, 2014

On Monday, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order that will bar federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, according to news outlets. And, in a major win for advocates of secular government, the order will reportedly not include an exemption for religious organizations.

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“Religions Are For a Day: Robert Green Ingersoll Appreciated”

Access Points with Timothy Binga
July 18, 2014

The folks here at the Center for Inquiry have published a new book on Robert Ingersoll. Tom Flynn, director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and editor of Free Inquiry, and Julia Lavarnway, assistant editor of Free Inquiry, put together this work which includes a biography of Ingersoll, several short pieces by Ingersoll himself, and descriptions and stories of some of the more interesting pieces at the RGI Birthplace Museum. The Freethought Trail, another of Flynn’s related projects, has several chapters devoted to it in this work.

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For many U. S. Christians, It’s Still “Subdue the Earth”

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
July 18, 2014

Rank-and-file Christians seem to be less concerned about the environment than other Americans -- and also, less concerned than their pastors think they are.

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COBRA’s Religious Exemption

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 18, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.    

CFI sent out an email yesterday on how our Indiana win for Secular Celebrants is a great example of the progress we're making, and now much more there is to do.  

Hemant opines on the Secular Celebrant bill CFI-Northeast Ohio is championing:

This is a no-brainer. There’s just no good reason to oppose the bill. Which means someone will inevitably do so, claiming that allowing atheists to officiate a wedding would somehow ruin the experience for other people or deprive ministers of some holy power. 

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Some Observations on the Seventh Circuit’s Decision

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
July 17, 2014

As many of you know by now, the Center for Inquiry—actually, scratch that—all nonreligious Americans achieved a significant victory in federal appeals court on Monday. I want to discuss briefly some of the implications of that decision.

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Awful! Not Even Close!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 17, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

CFI chief Ron Lindsay reflects on the lessons of CFI's major victory this week in the 7th Court of Appeals for Secular Celebrants in Indiana:

We need to be open and candid about our beliefs. The more of us who openly and unashamedly declare ourselves nonreligious, the more quickly social acceptance will come. Indiana has learned it can’t shame or intimidate atheists into hypocrisy. The rest of the U.S. can learn the same lesson. 

And CFI's push for equal treatment for nonbelievers continues, as today we announced a new Ohio bill, the result of a partnership between CFI-Northeast Ohio and State Rep. Mike Foley, to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages in the state. 

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We Are Ends in Ourselves

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 16, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Last night, Dan Courtney gave his historic atheist invocation before a meeting of the Town Board of Greece, NY. He did a great job, and CFI staff and supporters were there at the rally afterward showing support for a secular government. We put up video of Dan's invocation, here's audio of Ron and Dan at the rally, and we'll have video of the rally as well later today. Here's the Associated Press's report filed right after the invocation, and Hemant has a great overview of the whole shebang. The Democrat and Chronicle has a good report, too...

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