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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In Defense of Academic Philosophy

by David R. Koepsell
July 15, 2014

Professional philosophy is a discipline whose nature is often poorly understood, and whose usefulness is too often disparaged. Doing philosophy well takes training and practice, and while everyone should learn and engage with its formal methods, great (or even just good) philosophers are made and not born. The forge in which they are tempered is still largely the academy, and basic science as well as social progress in numerous fields depends upon universities and professional academic study. There is a role for public philosophy, and philosophers must engage productively with the public, but we ought to acknowledge that philosophers tend to grow best when subject to the tried and tested institutions of professional academia. Those who support reason and humanism ought to rally behind the academy and those engaged in basic research, recognizing their roles as inherent parts of the ongoing Enlightenment.

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Dancing Pepper Mill

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 15, 2014

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

Holy moly guys, things are crazy. Dig it: Yesterday morning, I finish that day's Morning Heresy, and I head to the gym. Now, how often do I go to the gym? Not very often I don't mind telling you thank you very much. But there I was, milling on the tread, when I get a call from an Indiana area code. It's Reba Boyd Wooden, the head of CFI-Indiana. You know what she tells me? That CFI has won its case to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages in Indiana! ...

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Found to Contain Toxins

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 14, 2014

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

Tomorrow, atheist Dan Courtney delivers his invocation before a meeting of the Town Board of Greece, NY, and CFI will be there to represent our movement. AL.com previews the event

Michael De Dora explains why CFI is suspending its support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

We cannot and must not accept broad religious exemptions from prohibitions of discrimination in federal law simply to receive a sliver of equality. Indeed, such broad religious exemptions are a direct threat to true equality and a secular, constitutional government....As the debate on ENDA continues, the Center for Inquiry will settle for nothing less than a strong federal law that protects from employment discrimination all LGBT individuals. 

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Why CFI Is Suspending Its Support for ENDA

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
July 11, 2014

After the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Center for Inquiry has decided to suspend its support for ENDA until the bill's religious exemption is either greatly narrowed or scrapped altogether.

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Inherit the What?

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 11, 2014

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

Don't forget: This Tuesday, CFI is in Greece, NY for the atheist invocation at the center of the Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court case. There's a press conference right after the invocation by Dan Courtney, and our own Ron Lindsay is speaking there. 

Ron finally angers the folks at right-wing outlet Breitbartwho call out his recent Huffington Post piece on the power of the Catholic justices in the Hobby Lobby decision "chilling." (And they apparently think Ron works at HuffPo, but what can you do, they're not known for their research prowess.)

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An Exorcism for Joe Biden

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 10, 2014

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

It's a full morning, so let's get started with an action alert: Tell your U.S. senators to fix part of what Hobby Lobby broke to guarantee access to birth control. (Then come right back here, okay?)

I was finally able to get ahold of Josephine Macintosh, the CFI representative who confronted Saudi Arabia at the UN Human Rights Council last month and drove them into a tizzy, and I have an interview with her up at Friendly Atheist. Josephine says:

I am deeply convinced that societies should allow for a plurality of voices and opinions to be voiced, whether people or a government agrees or disagrees with these. Badawi and al-Khair represent the minority that undertake the courageous step of speaking up and defending their fundamental rights despite dangerous consequences. We cannot have any kind of development without people like them doing what oppressive systems fear most: on-the-ground dissent. In a sense it is an expression of their dignity. It is important to keep their voices and actions heard within the hallowed halls of the UN. 

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Has American Secularism Succeeded or Failed?

by David R. Koepsell
July 09, 2014

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby case, should we rethink the brilliance and effectiveness of the First Amendment's guarantee regarding the establishment of religion? Has it helped or hindered the valuable goal of seperating church and state, or are there other models and forces at work around the world that can achieve it?

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