Hoax und Überhoax

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 24, 2013

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

NPR's On the Media tells the outrage-inducing tale of producer Sarah Abdurrahman's detention, along with her family, at the U.S.-Canadian border. Her husband recounts the following exchange with a border agent, hours into their detention:

He asks me if I’m Muslim, but he kind of does it in this weird way, like – he like, can I ask you, are you – what, um, eh, um, are you Mus – are – what, what religion are you, like that, you know. Like he kind of like dances around it. And I was like, “Yes, I’m Muslim.” 

Robert Blaskiewicz shakes his head at a reviving 9/11 Trutherism, one which seems to be focusing on the allegedly "controlled" collapse of Building 7.

The Human Bible episode 28 is up, where we learn that loving your enemy as yourself may just be a way to ""make your enemy feel like a jerk."

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Your Brain is Not Sending Out Waves to the Universe

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 23, 2013

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

James Croft and Greg Epstein talk up "godless congregations" in a piece for the latest issue of Free Inquiry:

[T]hese emerging humanist communities represent an entrepreneurial social project, born of creative individuals willing to take risks and rethink old ideas. 

Tom Flynn, in the same issue, sticks up for a stricter secular humanism without all the togetherness:

[T]here is something tragic in the rising popularity of congregational humanism among the young. . . . [W]e are seeing the human cost of Christian literalism’s late-twentieth-century ghost dance.  

According to a survey by LifeWay Research, about one third of Americans think prayer and Bible study are sufficient to "cure" mental illness.  

GOP Rep. Raul Labrador puts forth legislation to keep the government from discriminating againt businesses who want to discriminate against gay people. Guess who likes this idea.

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Chupacabra, or Déjà Chu?

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 20, 2013

Another (yawn) chupacabra has been reported, this time by a good ol’ boy in rural Leake County, Mississippi.

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Bringing a Halberd to a Game of Laser Tag

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

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

Pope Francis makes everyone lose their minds with a long interview granted to Jesuit publications, the English version being published in the magazine America (by the way, is that something we can do? Have an atheist magazine and just call it, like, United States?) In it, His Cuddliness says that the Church has been too "obsessed" with the hot-button issues of abortion, birth control, and homosexuality. 

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Edwina Rogers on Secularism’s Big Year in Washington and the Tough Road Ahead

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
September 19, 2013

Edwina Rogers is a veteran DC lobbyist who surprised nearly everyone when she became the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America in 2012. (The Council for Secular Humanism, an affiliate organization of CFI, is a member organization of SCA.) Not only was it not common knowledge that Rogers was nontheistic, or even sympathetic to secularist causes, but she’s also a Republican. This, of course, raised all manner of questions (some politely asked, some not) about what role she might play in a movement made up mostly of people who consider themselves progressives.

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White House Interfaith Panel—No Place for Humanists

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
September 19, 2013

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) has accepted an invitation from the White House to take part in a Department of Education interfaith panel to help plan campus service projects, and most of the movement is happily abuzz about that. I’d like to offer an alternative view. Speaking personally, I think that to accept that invitation was most unfortunate – and I think that is true on several levels.

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You Smell Papal

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

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

CFI's UN representatives raise the alarm on the human rights crisis of servile marriage. Said CFI's Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey to the UN Human Rights Council:

Culture and religion . . . must never legitimise anachronistic practices that violate the core principles of equality, autonomy and dignity upon which human rights are based. 

Carrie Poppy gets very drunk, and ingests a hangover remedy called "Blowfish," all for science.

Clerics in Pakistan recommend amending the country's harsh blasphemy laws to prevent their abuse. Their solution? The death penalty for false blasphemy accusations. Um, guys? 

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Embrace the Eight, Not the Hate

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 18, 2013

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

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals puts the kibosh on for-profit corporations trying to exempt themselves from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate on religious grounds. 

CFI Summit keynote speaker Bill Nye wiggles his hips on Dancing with the Stars (I think the judges were way too harsh, for which I suspect anti-nerd bias), and then does a turn on Bill Maher's show. (I wouldn't expect that video to be up for long.) 

CFI Chair Eddie Tabash has two more Florida cities to conquer on his speaking tour: Daytona Beach tonight, Tallahassee tomorrow. 

David Niose explores the problem of atheists gettng into elected office, saying, "it’s not as if atheists are an embarrassing segment of society." I dunno, David. Have you been in the blogosphere lately?  

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Oklahoma Man Didn’t Die of SHC

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 17, 2013

You heard it here early on: The elderly Oklahoman who supposedly died of “Spontaneous Human Combustion” (SHC) on February 18, 2013, did not perish from that nonexistent phenomenon. Now the medical examiner in the case fully agrees, contradicting the earlier speculations of the local sheriff.

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Science, Reason, and Secular Bargains!!!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 17, 2013

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

Let there be an expanding brane! Existence as we know it may be the result of a 4-dimensional black hole. Okay!

Why do people keep looking for Atlantis? Our own Joe Nickell lends a hand to Slate's Emily Tamkin to answer the question. 

Eugenie Scott once again graciously demeans herself by generously granting pathetic little me another pre-conference interview for the CFI Summit, and I once again manage not to swoon. In this one, Dr. Scott looks at the state of pro-science struggles, and differentiates between the skeptic and humanist movements. (Here's her interview from last year before CSICon 2)

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