Disrupt the DNA

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

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

I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that the document dump by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles regarding child abuse cover-ups was woefully incomplete, even violating direct judge's orders. Oh, and the punishment meted out to Cardinal Mahony for enabling these crimes may be no punishment at all.

A new HBO documentaryMea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, looks to track this horrific crisis to its roots. Sara Smith at the Kansas City Star says, "No one can now pretend that the men running the world's largest Christian church don't know that they are protecting evil in their midst."

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Is Faith in God Reasonable?

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
February 04, 2013

An odd question, but is it really debatable?

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Social Media Intern Wanted!

by Point of Inquiry
February 04, 2013

Point of Inquiry is looking for a social media intern!

Do you want to be a part of one of the most popular science podcasts on iTunes? Do you want to help book and promote guests like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Susan Jacoby, Paul Krugman, Lisa Randall, and Oliver Sacks?

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You Get 28%

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 04, 2013

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

On Friday, the HHS announced a new policy allowing religious organizations to opt out of the contraceptive coverage rule of the Affordable Care Act. Our own Michael DeDora responded with deep skepticism, and also lamented a seeming lack of backbone on the part of the administration:

It is also troubling that HHS has given so much influence to the religious lobby on a major health and public policy decision. This drawn out debate over something as basic as birth control is a perfect example of the harmful influence of religious belief on public policy.

Sarah Posner cites Michael's analysis in her own breakdown of what's important about this new rule:

It's one thing for the Court to decide when a law violates the religious freedom of a citizen, and another for political pressure to be applied by a particular religious group (or a collection of religious groups sharing a particular religious view) to gain an exemption from a generally applicable law. 

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Photographing Sasquatch

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
February 04, 2013

Here is an unaltered photograph I made of a Sasquatch my wife and I encountered on December 22, 2012, in rural Pennsylvania. Take a good look: They don’t get much more real than this.

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Cats Versus Birds: The Limits of Ethics

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
February 03, 2013

Morality does not always provide us with a definitive answer about what’s right and what’s wrong, even when pain and suffering are involved.  This is especially true when we try to extend moral reasoning beyond its usual territory—as when we try to weigh benefits to cats against harm to birds.

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Center for Inquiry Concerned With New Accommodations on Birth Control Rule

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
February 01, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the birth control rule that alters what HHS considers as a "religious employer," and clarifies how coverage should be set up for employees of organizations that are exempt from the rule.

 

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Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
February 01, 2013

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, said in 1835 that he had spoken to God recently, and during their conversation he learned that Jesus would return within the next 56 years, after which the End Times would begin promptly. Many Mormons have taken exception to this claim; who's right? 

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The Internet Will Find You

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

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

Wendy Kaminer at The Atlantic on the prospects of atheist would-be Boy Scouts:

Atheists who want to join associations that disdain them have to change the culture, not the law. Like gays and lesbians, they have to challenge popular notions of sin and immorality. And they have to sever the connection between godliness and patriotism, especially if they want to join the Scouts. 

Our own Tom Flynn relishes in his predictive triumph: It's been good for atheists to out themselves over the past decade or so, so says science

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Sweet Vindication

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
January 31, 2013

For a decade I've been writing that secular humanists and other atheists need to compel greater social acceptance by making themselves "irresistibly visible." Now social science has backed me up.

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