Blog Archives for July 2016

Oh, Now, We Took it Back Too Far

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 22, 2016

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

Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president last night, you may have heard. And you may have literally heard because he yelled the whole thing. Yoni Applebaum at The Atlanticnotes the glaring difference between Trump's speech and all other modern GOP nominees': Trump never made himself out to be a man of God, but implied that the All Powerful was he, alone:

I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.

Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Done That

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 21, 2016

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

Last night, Mike "Christian, Conservative, Republican in that order" Pence gave his acceptance speech at the RNC. But whatever, that wasn't interesting. What WAS interesting was that Ted Cruz gave what I assume was his speech announcing his run for president in 2020, getting boos from the audience for not endorsing Trump, and even apart from that he said:

Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. Whether you are gay, or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

So it's a crazy year is what I'm saying. 

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House of Pain

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 20, 2016

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

At Deseret News, Billy Hallowell looks at the history and modern implications of the Johnson Amendment, which keeps churches and nonprofits (like us!) from endorsing political candidates. CFI's Michael De Dora provides a lot of background and perspective for this article.

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Triumph of the Retrograde

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 19, 2016

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

So! So. Um, did you see the GOP convention last night? I, uh, I saw a lot of it. Yep. Rudy Giuliani, you know, he yelled a lot. Melania Trump, she plagiarized a lot. Hillary Clinton was accused of murder a lot. And on MSNBC, Rep. Steve King told Chris Hayes that non-whites haven't done much for civilization. There was a lot more, of course. Yep. 

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There’s Just a Bad Feeling

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 18, 2016

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

Oh, for a week of nothing but the uplifting and trivial. A brief respite from calamities and turmoil. Not likely...

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Merciless Moderation, Ruthless Education, Overpowering Carefulness

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 15, 2016

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

You already know about the nightmarish attack in Nice, France yesterday, where at least 84 people are killed by a man, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, plowing a huge commercial truck into crowds of people in the middle of Bastille Day celebrations. The attack is being referred to as terrorism likely from or inspired by ISIS, but no firm connection has yet been made between the attacker (who was shot dead by police) and any known terror organization. Nonetheless, President François Hollande told the country, "The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism." How grim things have gotten.

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Victorian Moralizing

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 14, 2016

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

The fourth Women in Secularism conference is coming in September, and we put out a reminder about it, focusing on the courage of many of the great speakers who will be there. 

The New York Times' Jeremy Peters looks at the GOP 2016 platform, and calls it "almost Victorian in its moralizing"... 

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Apocalyptic Reactions

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 13, 2016

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

We need you to tell your Congressmonster to vote "no" on this crap bill called the "Conscience Protection Act." But Paul, you say, what's so bad about protecting people's consciences? Don't you like consciences? And they're so cute! They look like Jiminy Cricket! To which I say, NO, you have been fooled. This bill is actually meant as yet another way to let religious privilege trump the law so health care providers can refuse to provide abortion and contraceptive services. Oh, see, now you get it. Good. Now get clicking.

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Toxic Death Cream

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 12, 2016

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

On Point of Inquiry this week, Josh Zepps talks to computer scientist David Levy about how technology makes it difficult for us to find peace of mind amid a torrent of digital information. I have no idea what that's like. 

Skeptics can be indecisive. We need your help to pick the T-shirt design for CSICon 2016 Las Vegas. Skeptics also like to have opinions on the Internet, so this should be no problem for any of you. 

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Human Overconfidence

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 11, 2016

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

I was on vacation all last week (I hiked! Me! Twice! What the hell is that about?), not off the grid, but with the grid at arm's length.

OMG Stef McGraw did such a great job filling in for me last week, not just with the Heresy, but with all the other vast (and often byzantine and baffling) communication and PR-hack duties. Thank you, Stef!


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Ultimately our lives are meaningless

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 07, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw (with the help of Outreach colleague Cody Hashman).

We just discovered this piece which argues that Bangladesh's recent acts of terrorism are home-grown rather than connected to ISIS, and it's written by none other than the Prime Minister's son. So, take that with the appropriate dose of skepticism.

This is also few days old, but it's an interesting read nonetheless: The Washington Post reports on a former Ivy League student who joined ISIS, became disillusioned, and then called on the FBI to help him escape.

3 Comments

Tortuous millennia of climate change

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 06, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw (with the help of Outreach colleague Cody Hashman).

We joined with the ACLU and others in telling the Supreme Court to not permit the funding of church facilities with taxpayer dollars. This is in regard to the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, where the state of Missouri did something right and rejected a church's application for public funds to be used for a church-run children's play area. You can read the amicus brief here .

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Deal with it, #Jupiter

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 05, 2016

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

Paul is still on vacation, so you're still stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw. 

To our American readers, hopefully you had a good Fourth of July weekend where you grilled some food, watched some fireworks, and didn't get arrested for burning a flag like this guy.

Freedom, right?

That actual hole in the ozone

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
July 01, 2016

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

Paul is on vacation for the next week, so now you're stuck with his Morning Heresy understudy, Stef McGraw. Thanks to CFI Outreach intern Sam Farooqui for finding some of these stories, though no "thanks" should be given to her for finding the creepy fish with human-like teeth (see below).

We have an action alert out, and it's to urge your U.S. representative to oppose the hilariously misleadingly titled First Amendment Defense Act. From our alert:

[The bill] would bar the federal government from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, certification, accreditation, or employment to a business, non-profit, or individual “based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

Get angry and take action, because the hearing for the bill is taking place exactly a month (July 12) after the Orlando shooting of 49 LGBTQ people and allies.

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