On Pins and Needles

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

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

A citizen of Afghanistan is granted asylum in the UK because his atheism would mean his persecution or death back home, making this perhaps the first time this kind of religiously-based asylum has been granted for an atheist. Said Sheona York of the University of Kent Law School, "The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position." 

CFI's Sarah Kaiser gives a really encouraging update to the Freethought Books Project, where secular and skeptic books are donated to prisoners. Hemant encourages your participation.

The latest Free Inquiry issue is on newsstands now, and it features a collection of stories from readers as they made their journeys from faith to atheism. It's really great stuff, guys

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An Update From the Freethought Books Project

by Sarah Kaiser
January 13, 2014

Since we announced in December that CFI is relaunching the Freethought Books Project, the support we've received has been huge! I wanted to take a minute, between reading letters and sending packages, to share some of the work we've done so far. 

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Sources Close to Hell

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 13, 2014

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

The NPR media criticism show On the Media (my favorite!) does an episode chock full of skeptical goodness. It's got fake science being reported as fact, journalists being duped by political ringers, creationism's stealth campaign, and even telemarketing cyborgs.

If I were a kid again, and not averse to nature, sunlight, and other people, I'd be begging my parents to send me to Camp InquirySave the date: August 3-9!

CFI gets a very cool new addition to its Board of Directors: global development expert Hector F. Sierra. From our announcement...

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A Transgression Against the Nation Itself

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

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

New Jersey's state senate votes in favor of secular wedding celebrants, 32-5. The bill now goes back to the assembly, which voted in favor of an earlier version two years ago. 

Meanwhile in the Garden State, Mark Silk says Chris Christie's "bridgegate" is an offense against New Jersey's "civil religion":

[T]he George Washington Bridge is not just an important commutation artery for the residents of Fort Lee. It symbolizes the establishment of the nation, its noble span representing the spiritual journey from bitter defeat to joyous victory. Denying access to it for partisan political purposes is no less than a transgression against the nation itself. 

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Literally, or Perhaps Figuratively

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 09, 2014

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

A solar flare is coming right at us! CFI's Barry Karr worries, "In my mind this is how the Zombie Apocalypse starts." One thing that actually might happen: The Northern Lights may become visible over a wider area as a result. (And here's a nice song about solar flares.)

Utah's governor says the same-sex marriages that have been thus far performed in his state no longer count

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates discovers he is an atheist after realizing there is no moral arc of the universe that bends toward justice, or anything else for that matter. 

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St. Jacob’s Oil

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 08, 2014

St. Jacob’s Oil, a liniment, was one of the common proprietary remedies for rheumatism and other aches and pains in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its advertisements were not only painted on barns but on fences and even rocks, proclaiming, “St. Jacob’s Oil Conquers Pain.” Sometimes the remedy was touted in verse (Fike 2006, 195):

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The Inexorable Infinity of Death

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 08, 2014

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

Zora Neale Hurston, featured in our African Americans for Humanism campaign, got a Google Doodle yesterday

Sarah Pulliam Bailey looks at NYC's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, "perhaps the nation’s most visible 'none'." 

Extremely murky "strengths and weaknesses of science" education bill introduced in Virginia.

Kick back and read a paper from the Annals of Internal Medicine. Or just dig the line-in-the-sand title: "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"

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Corliss Lamont Sings

Access Points with Timothy Binga
January 07, 2014

While going through some of our audio/visual holdings, I discovered this piece of history that is held in only a few places: a vinyl LP titled Corliss Lamont Sings for His Family and Friends.

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Sit on the Lap of Satan

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 07, 2014

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

Since we all know abstinence-only sex ed doesn't work, let's stop funding it. Join this CFI action alert to support new legislation. 

Chris Emdin and Josh Zepps talk about shaking up education and making science accessible for students on the latest Point of Inquiry.

Hundreds of Bibles are seized in Malaysia for using the word "Allah" to refer to God. Or Yaweh. Or LORD. Or whatever. 

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Words Almost Fail

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 06, 2014

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

Tom Flynn thinks the Nye/Ham debate is a dubious prospect, but, "Nye will be going into a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent, and the proceedings are bound to be astounding to watch." 

Ben Radford weighs in on the same: "CNN would be widely ridiculed if they invited a member of the Flat Earth Society to debate astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about whether our planet is round."  

The Onion hits atheists pretty hard. Fair or not, it's funny! 

Jenny McCarthy says her son never had autism, except she'd said it four years ago, except no, she never said it. Are we done now?

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