An Obscure Gem of a Nonprofit

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 21, 2013

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

Emily Willingham at Forbes: Be watchful for panicky stories about how there are more folks with autism than we thought:

. . . if you look at the numbers and the report itself, you’ll see that overall, the numbers of people born with autism aren’t necessarily increasing dramatically. It’s just that we’re getting better and better at counting them 

Chris Stedman offers tips for Christians in connecting with non-Christians without making everyone mad. (And cites our new report on fundamentalism in the military.) 

At Buffalo's ArtVoice, Ian Murphy of The Buffalo Beast calls out CFI as a "positive influence" in the region, but calls us "an obscure gem of a nonprofit," which is weird, but we'll take it.

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Horrors! Amityville Returns!

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 20, 2013

Although claims in The Amityville Horror book and movie seemed to have been laid to rest—after a civil trial yielded evidence that the “demonic” events were mostly fiction—the case has resurfaced once again. This time the oldest child of the troubled family, Daniel Lutz, who was nine at the time of the brouhaha, has come forward to claim the essential story was true and that he and his stepfather George had been “possessed.”

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Believing Grasshoppers Can Speak

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 20, 2013

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

Malala is going back to school

James Parco, author of the important new CFI report on fundamentalism running rampant in the U.S. military, is the guest on State of Belief, the radio show of the Interfaith Alliance. 

Also, the new issue of Free Inquiry, available now, has a special section on atheists' battle for equality in the military, guest edited by MAAF's Jason Torpy.    

Maryam Namazie on the Muslim Brotherhood's assertion that a declaration decrying violence against women conflicts with Islam: "I could have told you that." 

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Flinch-Worthy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 19, 2013

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

Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey, CFI's Geneva UN representative, takes the UN to task for not including the nonreligious in resolutions on freedom of religion:

The EU's refusal to include any direct reference to non-believers as a group meriting special protection from religious intolerance fails people like Kacem. It also fails the one in six people across the globe who do not self-identify as religious. That's a lot of people to fail. 

She of Pandagon and Slate (and a speaker at Women in Secularism 2), Amanda Marcotte, is the guest on the latest Point of Inquiry

Kimberly Winston covers atheists' exploration of religious practices, like Lent, and talks to our own Tom Flynn about why he thinks it's not so smart.

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The UN’s Silence on Discrimination and Violence Against Non-Believers

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
March 18, 2013

Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey, CFI's representative at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, reports that the European Union has rejected an attempt to include non-religious persons in a resolution on freedom of religion or belief.

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Mostly Warps and Rarely Fulfills

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 18, 2013

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay is back at work after being on a leave of absence (not that you'd know it):

Been gone for a few weeks. Living in a cave in north Pakistan. Little known fact: Al-Zawahiri snores. 

NYT focuses on Pope Francis during the Argentinian "Dirty War," as he offers a "complex description of his role during the dictatorship." 

Still, at the very least, this pope offered his popeliness to nonbelievers:

Given that many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I give this blessing from my heart, in silence, to each one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you, but knowing that each one of you is a child of God. May God bless you. 

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He Who Doesn’t Pray to God Prays to the Devil

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
March 16, 2013

Been gone for a few weeks. Living in a cave in north Pakistan. Little known fact: Al-Zawahiri snores.

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Former Hillary Clinton Advisor Authors Atheist News Roundup

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 15, 2013

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

Yesterday, CFI gave its official response to the election of Pope Francis, mainly in the context of social issues, Meanwhile, Argentina's "Dirty War" dogs the new pope.  

A bill in the US House by Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma calls for protecting religious minorities in the Arab world. Though it does not mention anything about the nonreligious, it does call for an end to blasphemy laws.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes, in this spirit of Arab Spring revolution, that religious minority freedoms and rights must be protected; and

(2) urges in the strongest terms that the United States Government lead the international effort to repeal existing blasphemy laws. 

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Non Habemus Google Lector

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 14, 2013

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

You of course are aware of the biggest news story that came down yesterday, affecting perhaps a billion people around the world, and impacting every aspect of our culture: Google Reader is shutting down.

Oh, also, there's a new pope. Frank-something.

There's going to be a lot to digest about this guy over the coming days and weeks. Key things for our folks to know is that, yes, shock of shocks, he's a doctrinaire conservative in terms of things like sex and abortion, though he is also said to have a social justice streak in terms of things like poverty... 

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The Scope of Skeptical Activism: A Personal Story Part 1 of 2

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
March 13, 2013

I'm best known for my skeptical investigations and research into paranormal subjects. It's not surprising that people tend to focus on that, since those are weird, sensational claims, but that's only a small part of my work. Here's a look at the broader scope of skeptical activism from my personal perspective.

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