“Dark Skies”: A Nickell-odeon Review

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 04, 2013

Help! Alien beings are abducting us! At least that is the message of the movie Dark Skies (released in February 2013).

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Barack + Nessie 4eva

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

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

Margaret Talbot at the New Yorker on the internal views of the sex abuse crisis within in the Catholic Church:

What is distinctive is that Catholic officials can find a higher purpose—protecting the sanctity of the priesthood—in shielding abusers, and a spiritually rewarding humility in enduring criticism of their conduct. [Los Angeles cardinal] Mahony has been blogging about the public disparagement he has received, and he compares it to what Christ withstood, urging the faithful to join him in exploring what it is to “take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus—in rejection, in humiliation, and in personal attack.” But, unlike the criminal prosecution of perpetrators—or real Church reform—that doesn’t do much to help victims or to prevent abuse.

Disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland cops to "having engaged in unspecified sexual misbehavior" with priests. 

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You May Already Be a Winner

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

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

Fox 29 in Indiana talks to CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden in a piece about the end of Ratzinger's reign

Danish Muslims organize to defend the freedom of speech of anti-Islamic writer Lars Hedegaard, who narrowly escaped assassination last month. Know hope.

The State Department's Esther Brimmer delivers remarks on the US's role on the UN Human Rights Council...

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Goodbye to an Evil Pope

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
February 28, 2013

We won't miss the Pope who used moral relativism to justify moral depravity. 

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Melrose Pope (Or, Pope Opera)

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 28, 2013

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

A lot of local activism in the news today:

We have the public outing of South Jersey atheist activist Michael Cluff who was going to avow his nonbelief before a prayerful town council meeting, but was thwarted. 

Relatedly, a court in Kentucky defies the protests of a local atheist and reinstates prayers

And Lindsey Brackin is the lone person at a public meeting over the infamous Kountze High School religious banners to speak up for church-state separation. 

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The Neurons in the Corpus Credulous

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 26, 2013

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

Robert Evans at Reuters reports that the Human Rights Council at the UN gets a report from IHEU (collaborating with CFI) on the persecution of atheists around the world, and the criminalization of blasphemy.

University of Michigan student Monica Harmsen writes at the On Campus blog about how important the Women in Secularism conferences are to her:

I returned to my student group with a renewed passion for the Movement. I was keenly aware that there was so much left to do in order to make this country and this world a better place for nonbelievers, especially nonbelieving women and minorities. I wanted to become the kind of student leader who would make proud the secular women who came before me. I wanted to become the kind of activist who would help create a better world for the secular women to come. 

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That’s Unfair to Snake Oil Salesmen

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 25, 2013

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

Yowza. Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland resigned today in the midst of allegations of sexual advances on priests.

Good stuff: Harriet Hall and Amy Davis Roth begin the healing

Bad stuff: Egyptian author of The Arabic Theology, Youssef Zeidan, may be charged with blasphemy for his book.

Christian pastor in Pakistan, Asghar Nizam Ranjha, is accused of blasphemy for allegedly defiling a Bible...

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Indiana General Assembly Declares War on Public Education and Women

Freethought from the Heartland with Reba Boyd Wooden
February 23, 2013

Under the guise of protecting women's health and providing better education for children, the Indiana General Assembly is waging a war against public education and women.

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Bleeding Grapefruits

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
February 22, 2013

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

International human rights experts present "a plan of action to prevent incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence" in regard to "national, racial and religious hatred." Yes, CFI will be looking very closely at this.

We know you love smart, science-and-secularism podcasts. You should tell the world by donning the new Point of Inquiry T-shirt. It might help if you make this face, as modeled by CFI's own Sarah Kaiser.

CFI yesterday trumpeted our inclusion in the Respect for Marriage coalition, dedicated to the repeal of DOMA and in support of marriage equality. 

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Return of “Spontaneous Human Combustion”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
February 21, 2013

Here we go again! In 2011 it was an elderly Irishman who allegedly perished by “spontaneous human combustion” (SHC). Now it is an elderly Oklahoman—according to the Sequoyah County sheriff—who supposedly died by SHC.

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