Some Witches Use Their Power in a Positive Way

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 26, 2013

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

Happy Let's-Argue-About-Gay-Marriage-At-The-Supreme-Court Day! Yesterday, CFI sent out a message telling folks about our efforts to support marriage equality in this week's cases involving Prop 8 and DOMA, along with allies like the American Humanist Association.

Our own Michael De Dora trumpets the defeat of voucher amendments to the Senate's budget last week. 

CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden posts her acclaimed testimony against vouchers to the state legislature. 

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Opposing School Vouchers in Indiana

Picture by Susan Lantzer.

Freethought from the Heartland with Reba Boyd Wooden
March 25, 2013

On Tuesday, March 19, members of CFI-Indiana joined Indiana Coalition for Public Education and other organizations for a rally against school vouchers at the Indiana State House.  The following day, I sat through nearly 4 hours of testimony supporting the bill to expand the already problematic voucher program in Indiana before the opposition got its turn to testify.  Each speaker (from both sides) was only allowed 5 minutes to state his/her case.  When I got my turn, I first felt the need to correct a person who had missused a word earlier making his statement the opposite of what he meant and then got to give less than half of my prepared speech.  However, my former student on the Senate Education committee was a model student and took my printed speech, left the room, copied and stapled copies for each member of the committee, and passed them out.  Here is my prepared speech: (I borrowed extensively from CFI's position paper on school vouchers. )  

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The Secular Agenda

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
March 25, 2013

Today’s great debates over religious liberty and secular government.

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Senate Rejects School Voucher Amendment

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
March 25, 2013

In gearing up for a final vote on the 2014 Budget Resolution, U.S. Senate this past weekend conducted a 13-hour voting session -- commonly referred to as "vote-a-rama" -- during which it rejected a school voucher amendment. 

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Their Audiences Pee in Their Pants with Delight

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 25, 2013

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

Good news: One of the voucher amendments CFI asked you to tell your Senators to vote against was defeated on Friday, 60-39. Even Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), not well-liked by many skeptics for his support of alt-med, spoke strongly against the voucher amendments. 

Robert Evans at Reuters reports on the efforts of CFI and the IHEU to get the UN to stand up for the rights of nonbelievers as it does for other persecuted religious minorities. Said Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey of CFI:

Many people who recognize no supernatural being are suffering and even dying for trying to exercise their right to hold and profess their views. 

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Prawnmageddon

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 22, 2013

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

This is happening now-ish: 2014 Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 8) is being debated today in the US Senate, and it's got vouchers in it. Our Office of Public Policy would like you to urge your senators to nix that part

So, I was just talking to the Universe, and I was like, hey, Universe, not that you asked, but you don't look a day over 13 billion. Then the Universe was all, thanks, Paul, but I'm actually 13.82 billion! And I was all NO WAY. 

io9 has a list of fictional omnipotent beings, like Q, who are also jerks. Weirdly not on the list: Yahweh.

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An Obscure Gem of a Nonprofit

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 21, 2013

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

Emily Willingham at Forbes: Be watchful for panicky stories about how there are more folks with autism than we thought:

. . . if you look at the numbers and the report itself, you’ll see that overall, the numbers of people born with autism aren’t necessarily increasing dramatically. It’s just that we’re getting better and better at counting them 

Chris Stedman offers tips for Christians in connecting with non-Christians without making everyone mad. (And cites our new report on fundamentalism in the military.) 

At Buffalo's ArtVoice, Ian Murphy of The Buffalo Beast calls out CFI as a "positive influence" in the region, but calls us "an obscure gem of a nonprofit," which is weird, but we'll take it.

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Horrors! Amityville Returns!

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 20, 2013

Although claims in The Amityville Horror book and movie seemed to have been laid to rest—after a civil trial yielded evidence that the “demonic” events were mostly fiction—the case has resurfaced once again. This time the oldest child of the troubled family, Daniel Lutz, who was nine at the time of the brouhaha, has come forward to claim the essential story was true and that he and his stepfather George had been “possessed.”

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Believing Grasshoppers Can Speak

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 20, 2013

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

Malala is going back to school

James Parco, author of the important new CFI report on fundamentalism running rampant in the U.S. military, is the guest on State of Belief, the radio show of the Interfaith Alliance. 

Also, the new issue of Free Inquiry, available now, has a special section on atheists' battle for equality in the military, guest edited by MAAF's Jason Torpy.    

Maryam Namazie on the Muslim Brotherhood's assertion that a declaration decrying violence against women conflicts with Islam: "I could have told you that." 

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Flinch-Worthy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 19, 2013

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

Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey, CFI's Geneva UN representative, takes the UN to task for not including the nonreligious in resolutions on freedom of religion:

The EU's refusal to include any direct reference to non-believers as a group meriting special protection from religious intolerance fails people like Kacem. It also fails the one in six people across the globe who do not self-identify as religious. That's a lot of people to fail. 

She of Pandagon and Slate (and a speaker at Women in Secularism 2), Amanda Marcotte, is the guest on the latest Point of Inquiry

Kimberly Winston covers atheists' exploration of religious practices, like Lent, and talks to our own Tom Flynn about why he thinks it's not so smart.

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