Unidentified Flying Spellcheck

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

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

Excellent news: DC's Mayor Vince Gray signs into law a bill that allows for "civil celebrants," aka Secular Celebrants, to officiate and solemnize marriages in the nation's capital. CFI's Michael De Dora and Melody Hensley were on hand for the signing, and Melody got a pen

Martin S. Pribble launches the Not Alone Project for nonbelievers, explaining:

My hope is to create a place where the non-believers stories can be published, in a completely safe environment, which doesn’t judge its participants in any way. This is an internet “safehouse” for those who fear coming out, an a place to share stories, freedoms and inspirations that atheism allows you. Those who publish their work here have the choice of remaining anonymous, or publishing their names in their articles. 

I love this picture: CFI board member Leonard Tramiel talks astronomy with the kids at Camp Inquiry. 

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Florida on High Xindi Alert

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 06, 2013

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

Hey, you hear the big news about The Washington Post? It came out against Virginia's religious exemption for homeschooling! Oh, and I guess there was this other thing where it was bought by Jeff Bezos. Pretty sure those two things aren't related.

Point of Inquiry classic episodes are streaming in as we lay the groundwork for its phoenix-like rebirth. This week, we have a 2006 interview with Susan Jacoby by DJ Grothe on America's freethought heritage. 

The town of Greece, NY gets support for its city council prayers from 31 U.S. Senators (30 GOPs plus Mary Landrieu of course), who filed an amicus brief to their Supreme Court case. 

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Croppies Lie Down

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 05, 2013

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

So former Rep. Barney Frank is an atheist. Now you tell us, Barney. 

Avery Thompson writes of the "10 best things" from the CFI Student Leadership conference, and somehow omits one particular bespectacled neurotic who will nonetheless find a way to forgive (and who otherwise pretty much agrees with his list). One of the folks on the list, James Croft, is coming to CFI-DC this weekend.

Ian Pollock asks a hum-dinger of a question in a fascinating post: Do the compromises that make up "secularism" mean that the whole enterprise is, though necessary, without principle? (h/t to Robert Long

Four Republican former heads of the EPA take to NYT to call for action on climate change.  

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Why Parents Don’t Vaccinate Their Children—And What We Can Do

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
August 02, 2013

There are several reasons why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, though most of them come down to misinformation from anti-vaccine advocates. With the recent addition of Jenny McCarthy to the popular ABC television show The View, many people are wondering what effect, if any, this will have on vaccination rates. However there are some strategies than can fight the misinformation.

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If the Borg and the Clone Wars Had a Baby

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 02, 2013

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

CFI has been challenging the folks at Google to examine their consciences, and stop giving financial support to climate science deniers. Apparently scientists within Google feel the same way

Daniel Fincke brings together a panel of secular activists to discuss the internal controversy over the FFRF suit to remove the Star of David from the Ohio Statehouse's Holocaust Memorial. CFI's Michael De Dora was among them.

And look how busy Michael is: Here's the Advocacy Update for the Office of Public Policy for July. 

Gary Gutting at the Times makes what appears to be a serious case for the existence of Zeus. Hemant is aghast, and I wonder if he's just trolling us

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Firewalker Willey Cartooned!

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
August 01, 2013

Skepticism’s great friend, David Willey—who became famous as the “Mad Scientist” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno—has been featured in the nationally syndicated comic strip, Jump Start, drawn by Robb Armstrong.

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I Hope You’re Not Squeezing Their Liver or Pancreas

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
August 01, 2013

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

CFI's Debbie Goddard joined Sikivu Hutchinson, Jamila Bey (both Women in Secularism alums) and Ronnelle Adams on HuffPost Live to talk about atheism in the African American community.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reminds Saudi Arabia of its obligations under international human rights treaties, as it condemns the persecution (and coming physical abuse) of dissenting activist Raif Badawi, convicted of blasphemy.  

Aasia Bibi, accused of blasphemy in Pakistan and held in a women's prison, is in terrible danger, as security is weak and she is targeted for violence from both within and without the prison. 

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Tactful Phrasing, Polite Omissions, and White Lies

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 31, 2013

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

The AP covers the Raif Badawi story, the Saudi liberal activist convicted for "insulting Islam" and sentenced to a prison term and 600 lashes, noting that the judge spared Badawi the charge of apostasy, which would have meant the death penalty. Muslims for Progressive Values slams Saudi Arabia over this case, and its violation of its duties under international treaties.

David Mizner looks more broadly at the human rights crisis in Saudi Arabia

Given Bawadi's conviction, and yesterday's verdict in the Bradley Manning trial, this effort seems all the sillier: A Kenyan lawyer, Dola Indidis, wants to overturn Pontius Pilate's conviction of Jesus of Nazareth. Little late, dude.

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‘Atheophobia’ Hysteria?

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
July 30, 2013

Has the slandering of atheism, long heard from religion, been detected as lurking treachery within our own secular ranks?

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Monks and Their Molotov Cocktails

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 30, 2013

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

Saudi liberal Raif Badawi is sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes -- 600! -- for blasphemous blogging. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin has his plea for permanent bail rejected, and is sent back to jail on blasphemy charges.

Ron Lindsay went on HuffPost Live yesterday for a very interesting discussion on religious homeschooling, and the meaning of religious persecution. 

Soraya Chemaly has five suggestions as to why there are not more women in the movement. 

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