Flynn December Talks Target the South

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
December 03, 2012

Look out, Dixie, Council for Secular Humanism executive director Tom Flynn (i. e., yours truly) will do a lecture tour across the South just in time for some people's favorite holiday, December 7 - 10. I'll be speaking on church-state separation in Chattanooga and Tuscaloosa, and delivering my barn-burning illustrated talk "The Trouble with Christmas" in Knoxville and Atlanta.

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You Can ‘Opt Out’ of My Covenant

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 03, 2012

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

This is why the Heresy is late today. It's bad news: An Indiana court has dismissed CFI's lawsuit challenging its prohibition against the solemnization of marriages by secular celebrants. CFI boss Ron Lindsay:

According to the court, what is a required accommodation for the religious, is just a matter of convenience for the nonreligious. It would be difficult to imagine a clearer way to classify nonbelievers as second-class citizens. . . . A wedding is one of the most important ceremonies in a person’s life, and it is just as meaningful to atheists as it is to theists. It’s disappointing that a 21st-century court refused to recognize this reality.

CFI plans to appeal. Early reaction to the decision from Hemant

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Glassy-eyed Regressive Conservabot Zealot

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 30, 2012

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

Remember all the hubbub about how NASA was about to drop a mystery bombshell about something the Curiosity Mars rover discovered? Not so much. Via Slashgear:

NASA‘s teased data “for the history books” from the Curiosity Mars rover has all been a huge misunderstanding, the space agency now says, with the reference apparently encompassing the mission as a whole – not a specific finding. 

Pat Robertson said this:

I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this. . . . You go back in time, you've got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you've got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas. They're out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don't try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That's not the Bible. 

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Dead Relatives Boost Workplace Productivity

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 29, 2012

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

The Netherlands will scrap its blasphemy law. But it's still not okay to diss the queen. Baby steps.

Wendy Kaminer has a thought-provoking piece, sure to rile folks up, on the problem with criminalizing speech and opinions we don't like:

I'm not suggesting that we should resign ourselves to bigotry. I'm arguing that we should tolerate expressions of it.  

Dave Silverman, apparently a fascist, does battle in the War on Christmas with white knight Bill O'Reilly, who says that Christianity is not a religion, which will be news to billions of people. 

 

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Two Cheers for Rhode Island!

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
November 28, 2012

Two cheers for Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chaffee, who has stood tall against religious-Right posturing to insist that the 17-1/2 foot conifer in the state capitol will again be called the Holiday Tree, not the Christmas Tree. He stated that the more inclusive language was appropriate because the state house "is a public building...paid for by people with different religions." So far, so good ... but is even Governor Chaffee being inclusive enough?

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Tax My Church and I’ll Blight Your Crops

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 28, 2012

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

Obviously, the biggest news today in the skepto-atheosphere is that amazing piece of artwork you see at the top of this post. That's right, The Morning Heresy now has its own freaking banner and logo. Isn't it awesome? That guy's tablet is on fire with damnable links. Spilled his coffee, even. My thanks to Chris Fix for designing the logo, and for Lauren Becker's creativity for coming up with the concept. Since I know you like it so much, you should buy a coffee mug with the logo emblazoned on it.

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The Morning Heresy 11/27/12: The Dying Man’s Best Friend

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 27, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, defies the NBA over its endorsement of the snake-oily Power Balance bracelets, calling them "a scam," and banning them from the Mavericks' locker room.

Our own Sarah Kaiser interviews Hemant Mehta about his new book, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive, for the CFI On Campus blog.

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Life of Pi: A Skeptical Review

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
November 26, 2012

The Life of Pi is a fable about a young Indian man who finds himself aboard a freighter headed for Canada. A storm sinks the ship and soon Pi finds himself the sole human survivor, trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger...

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“Lincoln” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 26, 2012

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a masterful recreation of the Civil War president and the efforts that led to the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ratified December 6, 1865), abolishing slavery.

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The Morning Heresy 11/26/12: We’re Waterboarding the Easter Bunny Next

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 26, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

CFI boss Ron Lindsay says enough with the blacklisting in the skepto-atheosphere:

We need to cut each other some slack. Nor should criticism of one or the institution with which one is associated necessarily result in placement of the offender on the “To Be Shunned” list. We need to develop thicker skins. Critical thinking and a commitment to free inquiry do not mix well with hypersensitivity. 

Some folks have some feelings about Ron's post, which I'm sure you can find with some light googling.

Hey look! Hemant's new book is available. Go get The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide so you can, you know, survive!

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