Old Anti-Catholic Hoax Continues

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 14, 2012

Recently, I bought an intriguing book in an antique shop: Maria Monk: Secrets of the Black Nunnery Revealed. It was undated but was obviously a reprint of an older volume. Purportedly, in the 1830s, the author escaped from a Montreal convent where priests entered through a secret tunnel to have sexual relations with the defenseless nuns. If a child resulted, the infant was baptized, strangled, and thrown into a basement lime pit (Monk n.d., 130–31). Pregnant herself, Monk escaped to have her baby and pen the tell-all tale. Or so she claimed.

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The Morning Heresy 11/14/12: What a Smooth Shave!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 14, 2012

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

CFI's John Shook shakes his head (no pun intended) at the evasion of the "atheist" label by some, including perhaps some that might be about to become Members of the U.S. House, and terms them "evatheists" -- a label which can't be refused, for in doing so it confirms the label! Ha ha! 

Kimberly Winston reports on the atheist-friendly OKCupid dating service, which may just be, according to them, representative of America's "secular future." 

Today, the Climate Reality Project begins its "24 Hours of Reality" campaign with live streaming content and presentations online about the climate crisis. 

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Atheists, Nontheists, Agnostics, Faitheists, Apatheists, and now “Evatheists”

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
November 13, 2012

Just when you thought that the zoo for the nonreligious couldn't get weirder.... 

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The Morning Heresy 11/13/12: Babies, Trees, and Golf Balls

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 13, 2012

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

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard orders a national inquiry into child abuse by the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Dolan admonishes the Legion of Doom to take a long look in the mirror after the conservative drubbing in the election, including a majority of Catholics voting for Obama.

In New Zealand, an anti-vax group is stripped of its tax-exempt status, as "its main purpose was clearly political, not charitable." 

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The Morning Heresy 11/12/12: Stand There Like a Dummy, Waiting to Be Enlightened

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 12, 2012

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

Laurie Goodstein at NYT reports that religious conservatives are "reeling" from their election night loss and the "rejection of their agenda." Goodstein also quotes Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute who says:

Barack Obama’s coalition was less than 4 in 10 white Christian. He made up for that with not only overwhelming support from the African-American and Latino community, but also with the support of the religiously unaffiliated.

NYT also has a piece on politicians rejecting traditional religious labels, which includes one such rejection that, you know, has some of us in the atheosphere a little taken aback. 

Stephen Prothero lists seven ways religious diversity affected the election

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The Morning Heresy 11/9/12: Darwin for Congress

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 09, 2012

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

It's the most wonderful time of the year, when we celebrate the life of he who was a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan. CFI-Indiana wil mark the occasion with a whole lot of apple pie. Dozens of other groups are celebrating, too. Find an event near you on the Sagan Day Event Calendar.

More election stuff! 

In Athens, GA, Charles Darwin pulls in 4000 write-in votes against Rep. Paul "Lies from the Pit of Hell" Broun.  

Becky Garrison at WaPo wonders if even more progress can be made in unshackling government from Christian entanglements:

What prevents us all from demanding an end to the annual National Prayer Breakfast and other state sanctioned religious events that continue to advance a Christ centered brand of American exceptionalism? 

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Remembering Paul Kurtz

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
November 08, 2012

Here is my elegiac tribute to Paul Kurtz (1925–2012), the founder of the worldwide skeptics movement.

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The Morning Heresy 11/8/12: Behold the New Jerusalem

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
November 08, 2012

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

We have a lot more election news, now that folks have had a day to digest, think, sleep, and, you know, write their stories. 

Greta Christina: "In this election, secular values won big-time." Even the less-than-sunny Jacques Berlinerblau says, "Today, secularism should feel just swell."

Kimberly Winston on the atheist congressional switcheroo: Pete Stark defeated, Kyrsten Sinema is in. 

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Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Man (and a Film) for the Ages

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
November 07, 2012

It's easy to forget, when in a high school history class or reading a textbook, that the founders of our country were real people. We know them for their achievements, the highlights of history and thumbnail sketches. Benjamin Franklin flying a kite in a storm while planning to open the first post office and work on French diplomacy. George Washington crossing the Delaware river and defying the British. According to noted historian Sarah Palin, Paul Revere famously rode his horse by night to warn the British that they would not be taking away American's right to bear arms.

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Florida’s Amendment 8 Soundly Defeated

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
November 07, 2012

Florida's Amendment 8 ballot initiative, which would have eliminated the state constitution's provision prohibiting state funding of religious or sectarian organizations, was soundly defeated at the polls. Only 44 percent of voters approved the initiative, which required a 60 percent vote for passage -- this despite enthusiastic and open-handed support by the Roman Catholic Church. Opponents of the measure included the Florida Education Association, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and a spectrum of both secular and pro-education organizations. If Amendment 8 passed, it would likely have rendered moot Council for Secular Humanism v. McNeil, our lawsuit (ongoing since 2007) challenging state contracts with explicitly sectarian religious charities.

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