I’d Take the Lycanthropy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 30, 2014

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

People love disagreeing with Tom Flynn: Phil Zuckerman rebuts Tom's dismal assessment of 2014 for we seculars:

In terms of swelling numbers, broadening organizational opportunities, increasing affiliations, spiritual innovations and a deepening sense of the values and virtues that support and sustain secular culture, things are as bright and shiny as the stars on the uniforms of the members of our Air Force who -- as of last September -- no longer have to assert a belief in God in order to serve their country with pride. 

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Primate Change Deniers

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 29, 2014

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

Are the holidays over yet? No? One more to go? Ugh.

Special for Christmas day, Point of Inquiry producer Nora Hurley put together a short bonus episode of the show to talk to Tom Flynn about his 30th year of being a yule-free Anti-Claus. It's great! Tom also fires another anti-Christmas volley, responding to David Koepsell's claim that he's the one Kirk Cameron should fear most.

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Into the Woods: Chaos, Folklore, and Misogyny

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
December 26, 2014

The new Disney film Into the Woods is a misigynistic, spectacular misfire. 

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Which Should Kirk Cameron Fear More?

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
December 24, 2014

In a post from yesterday, my esteemed colleague David Koepsell, one of my predecessors as executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, suggests that he is doing more than I am to give Kirk Cameron nightmares. David good-naturedly suggests that by keeping a more-or-less traditional Christmas with zero religious or supernatural content, he and his thoroughly secular family are doing more to undermine Christianity’s role in the culture than I am when I urge atheists, humanists, and freethinkers to spurn the Christians’ birthday festival altogether. I respectfully disagree. Equally respectfully, I hope, I would warn David that his chosen path carries a very real risk of being co-opted, and of inadvertently helping Christianity to achieve the best future it can hope for in a world that’s secularizing out from under it.

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Christ Died for the Entire Cosmos

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 24, 2014

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

(Note: The Heresy is off Thursday and Friday, and will be back on Monday.)

Sony: Did we say we weren't releasing The Interview? We meant we are releasing it. We are. Really. Hehehe. Ahem.

For what it's worth, we at CFI, who offered our HQ to screen it, are glad to see Sony change its mind. Ron Lindsay told Buffalo Business First, "Whether it's shown at Center for Inquiry or other places, we'd be happy either way." Now we can all go back to focusing on how bad the movie probably is. 

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Why I’m Kirk Cameron’s Worst Nightmare

by David R. Koepsell
December 23, 2014

Like 3/4 of non-religious Americans' I'll be celebrating Christmas this year with presents, food, family, and fun, and not a hint of spirituality or superstition.

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Dear Madelyn

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
December 23, 2014

When the public, and especially schoolkids, contact me for help and information about skeptical topics, I try to respond. Here's why. 

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The Subtle Bunkum of Faith

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
December 23, 2014

In today’s New York TimesDavid Brooks offers his obligatory annual column of holiday woo. In “The Subtle Sensations of Faith” he plumps for faith as a near-universal human experience. He depicts it as the response to genuine “glimmering experiences … of wonder and mystery,” “magical moments of wonder and clearest consciousness, which suggested a dimension of existence beyond the everyday.” Clearly, Brooks accepts without question that these are experiences of something genuine – that is to say, that there factually is “a dimension of existence beyond the everyday.” Sorry, Mr. Brooks, I don’t buy it.

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You Might As Well Just Hibernate

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 23, 2014

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

I spoke to Buffalo Business First about our offer to Sony to screen The Interview, where I said, "We fight for free expression usually in the context of political or religious dissidents, but if we're going to fight it over there, we're going to fight for free expression over here too." That mostly made sense I think. 

North Korea's Internet goes down. I think it was running off a single 9-volt, so they just need to replace that thing. 

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Undeniable Likable Sass

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 22, 2014

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

Note: I'm tired of nativity scene stories, so if you want to read about them, use the google machine. 

On Friday, CFI wrote a letter to Sony Pictures volunteering our headquarters for a screening of The Interview, the release of which Sony canceled entirely due to shadowy threats:

Much of our work is centered on securing the right to hold and express unpopular opinions and beliefs in places where dissent is crushed through persecution, violence, imprisonment, and death. It is a sad turn of events that a powerful source of free expression such as Sony Pictures could choose to give in to a shadowy group’s intolerance of dissent. ... We believe strongly enough in the right to the free expression of even unpopular ideas that we are willing to shoulder the risk of doing so.

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