I Say We Will Have No More Marriages (When We’re Dead)

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 13, 2013

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

This is very cool. The Library of Congress officially opens the Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive

Please make sure you're in a stable psychological place before you look at this: Christopher Ketcham at Vice reports on the horrifying "child-rape assembly line" within ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Sam Harris on Twitter suggests, "Perhaps we should send SEAL Team 6 into Brooklyn."

Pope: I say we will have no more marriages. In the afterlife. (I wonder if those who are married already shall keep as they are.)

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Atheist Church vs The Chicago Bears

Hollywood Reality Check with Jim Underdown
November 12, 2013

If non-believers want to gather and sing and feel good about themselves, more power to them. The secular among us should find as many ways to get together and be happy as they can. Just because it’s not my cup of tea doesn’t mean others shouldn’t participate.

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Water Nymph

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 12, 2013

 

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Secular Sacred Sites and Ghost Hunting

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
November 12, 2013

There is a natural and understandable human reverence for sacred and secular-sacred sites, but it can also lead away from critical thinking and skepticism. 

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Repeat Our Lives in the Sky

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 12, 2013

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

CFI, through its SHARE program, asks that you donate to help the millions affected by the Typhoon Haiyan.

Lindsay Beyerstein gets her first go-around as a new host of Point of Inquiryinterviewing Katherine Stewart at the CFI Summit on fundamentalists' attempts to infiltrate public schools.  

IHEU sounds the moral alarm over a campaign in Nigeria, "Witches on the Run." 

The son of Sen. James Inhofe, Dr. Perry Inhofe, dies in a plane crash

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Laundry Instead of Faith

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 11, 2013

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

If you see any CFI folks today who seem to be emitting a particularly intense glow of pride today, it might be because of this: Beyond Faith is a support group for young ex-Christians, run from CFI-NYC by volunteers Dena Roth and Geoffrey Golia, and it just got the attention it deserves from a big Newsweek story out this morning by Katie J.M. Baker. Read it, and have a better Monday as a result. Two good quotes I pulled (of many):

"The group just makes me feel less screwed up," [22-year-old Jacob] Link says. "It seems like when you're done with religion, you should be able to move on; but, in reality, when you've built your entire life around it during your developmental years, you can't just let it go." . . . 

"I can't even describe how refreshing the first meeting was, how invigorating," says [24-year-old Renato] Rengifo, who started attending meetings earlier this year. "I needed people to say, 'I understand how pathetic you feel right now trapped in a mindset that you know you want to get away from but you can't.'" Rengifo says Beyond Faith's support helped him work up the courage to move out, and that his relationship with his parents was slowly improving: "Now I can talk to my parents about laundry instead of faith."

The next meeting of Beyond Faith is December 2. 

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Thor: The Dark World

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
November 08, 2013

Thor: The Dark World is a beautiful mess, a visually stunning film badly in need of a rewrite.

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Our Visceral Distaste is Not to Be Taken Lightly

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 08, 2013

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

CFI chief Ron Lindsay looks at the transcript of the oral arguments in the SCOTUS prayer case Greece v. Galloway, and comes away feeling that atheists were "thrown under the bus" by plaintiffs' attorney Douglas Laycock:

Laycock, knowing that he could probably not get a Court majority to eliminate the prayer practice entirely, decided to take the angle that you only have to please the majority of people. Only the majority of people have to be treated equally. Oh, great, so the Establishment Clause was intended not to protect minority rights, but rather the sentiments of the majority. You know, all these years, I had that backward, Doug. Thanks for straightening me out. 

Sarah Posner reports that George W. Bush will keynote a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that wants to convert Jews in order to bring about the return of Jesus. She notes the reaction of Commentary magazine, which warns, "it must be understood that the visceral distaste that the overwhelming majority of Jews have for the Messianics is not to be taken lightly." But to all those who are surprised by this, I have to say, were you not paying attention to this guy the past 13 years?  

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“We’ve Already Excluded the Atheists, Right?”

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
November 07, 2013

This was the question Chief Justice Roberts posed yesterday to the attorney representing the plaintiffs in Town of Greece v. Galloway — plaintiffs meaning the people challenging the town’s prayer practice. Roberts was asking whether the concerns of atheists had to be considered in determining whether the prayer practice is constitutional. And, incredibly, the plaintiffs’ attorney responded, “We’ve excluded the atheists.” In other words, to all atheists: Your concerns don’t matter. You’re not part of the community. You’re a special case and your constitutional rights are limited. Or, if you prefer blunter language, eat shit.

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Non-Sinister Reptilian Overlords

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 07, 2013

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

Finally, finally, finally, it's here: The first episode of the newly-relaunched Point of Inquiry is up online, with Josh Zepps interviewing Leonard Mlodinow at the CFI Summit! Video too

Yesterday, SCOTUS heard arguments in Greece v. Galloway on prayers at government and legislative meetings. One tidbit, via the AP:

Justice Samuel Alito pointed to the country's religious diversity to voice his skepticism about the call for only nonsectarian prayer. "I just don't see how it is possible to compose anything that you could call a prayer that is acceptable to all of these groups," Alito said. As Douglas Laycock, the University of Virginia law professor representing the residents, tried to craft an answer, Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts jumped in. "You want to pick the groups we're going to exclude?" Scalia said. A few seconds later, Roberts chimed in, "We've already excluded the atheists, right?"   

Ron Lindsay noticed something about Election Day on Tuesday that raised an alarm: He was the youngest one there:

Nothing against old people — like me — but our interests and views should not be overrepresented.  

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