Celebrating Milbourne Christopher

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 06, 2012

My good friend William V. Rauscher—magician, Episcopal priest, psychical researcher, and author—has produced yet another excellent book—a long-overdue tribute to American magician Milbourne Christopher. I especially welcome it, because Christopher was one of the greatest influences on my early career as a magician turned paranormal investigator.

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Weather Elements are Controlled Maybe by Different Things

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 06, 2012

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

And lo, the CFI board of directors did in this blessed time elect Edward Tabash to be its chairman, and yea, it was then joined by new board member Judith Walker, and there was much rejoicing and feasting.

Reba Boyd Wooden, chief of CFI-Indiana, talks about the motives behind our lawsuit for equality in solemnizing marriages:

True, atheists/Secular Humanists, etc. generally see less need for ritual than religious people. However, we feel that we should be able to offer it to those who do. 

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Why is CFI Challenging the Indiana Statute Which Specifies Who Can Solemnize Marriages?

Freethought from the Heartland with Reba Boyd Wooden
December 05, 2012

Why is CFI challenging the Indiana statute which specifies who can solemnize marriages? The most important reason for bringing this case is that it has wider implications. It, in the big picture, is standing up for equal rights for nonbelievers. It is not just about who can solemnize a marriage.

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Richard Dawkins explains the Irrationality behind Miracles

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
December 05, 2012

An amusing talk by Dawkins that illustrates how seemingly amazing coincidences are just meaningless events.

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69% of Americans Would Hate This Blog

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 05, 2012

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

Ron Lindsay joined a great panel discussion at HuffPost Live on the question of how God can be "perfect" and allow for so much suffering. Definitely check it out

New Gallup uber-survey says 69% of Americans are moderately or very religious, happens to coincide with publication of new book by Gallup's Frank Newport, God is Alive and Well, which seems more than a little hung up on contradicting the New Atheists. David Sessions at Daily Beast says this data means that secularization is being exaggerated.

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In Science, Whose Department is the Ethics Department?: Part 2

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 04, 2012

What is the role of ethics in science? Part 2 of 2.

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Don’t Fetch Coffee for the Devil

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 04, 2012

As we told you yesterday, CFI has had its Indiana case, which challenged the religious privilege in the solemnizing of marriages, dismissed. Well, folks noticed.

Indianapolis Star talks to CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden about the case. Indiana Lawyer talks to me.

Also, AP and Indiana Public Radio

Reba posted a comment to yesterday's Heresy that I think bears re-airing . . . 

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Three Significant Developments for the Right to Freedom of Expression

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
December 03, 2012

The month of November included three significant and positive developments regarding the right to freedom of expression, which recently has come under such harsh attack that the Center for Inquiry has launched a Campaign for Free Expression


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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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