Blog Archives for May 2017

This is Rather Troubling

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 31, 2017

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

Jonathan Swan at Axios reports that Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, which is not a surprise, but also terrible.

A bomb detonated near the presidential palace in Kabul kills at least 80 people and injures hundreds.

The Only Way Out is Way, Way Out

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 30, 2017

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

A three-day weekend means there's a lot of news to catch up on. Let's try and burn through these.

Richard Dawkins talks to Scott Simon on NPR about the Portland attack, how good deeds are not the exclusive purview of religion, and the shifting religious landscape.

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Drips

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 26, 2017

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

The swamp thickens. Journalist-assaulting Republican Greg Gianforte wins Montana's special election to the U.S. House. But he's real sorry, everybody. Read Josh Barro on why this is just the way of things now.

I Hear the Word Messy a Lot

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 25, 2017

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

Because things aren't ridiculous enough, the GOP candidate for Montana's House seat, Greg Gianforte, physically attacks Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for having the gall to ask him questions about health care. Like, seriously attacks the guy, and literally puts his hands around Jacobs' throat. Broke the dude's glasses, too, which is ALSO NOT COOL. Two Montana newspapers retract their endorsements of Gianforte, and Gianforte is charged with misdemeanor assault (announced by a sheriff who actually donated to Gianforte's campaign).

Exploit with Impunity

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 24, 2017

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

Trump meets Pope Fluffy, and I dunno, it seems like Francis is not at his usual fluffiness around this guy.

Alex Wagner at The Atlantic contrasts the Pope and Trump in terms of the moral foundations of their work. Trump doesn't come out looking so good.

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Information Vacuum

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 23, 2017

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

There's a lot of bad, ugly news this morning, as you are no doubt aware. A suicide bomber kills 22 people, many of them children, at a concert in Manchester, UK. ISIS claims direct responsibility.

Meanwhile, when what we all need is more sanity and reason, the White House grants press credentials to InfoWars

The insight of CFI's legal director Nick Little is sought for not one but TWO articles at VICE. The first is how prisons use religion and "cult tactics" to control inmates, and the piece is written by someone with some experience with incarceration: Amanda Knox...

At Least Two Minutes

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 22, 2017

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

Trump goes to Saudi Arabia, probably to pick up some tips on theocratic oppression. He gave a speech, and notably did not use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," which we are told will solve All World Problems when uttered by someone in power, so I dunno why he omitted it. Oh and we're going to sell them $110 billion in weapons, which I'm sure the Saudis will put to use in a way we can all be proud. 

He also said, "Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death," which I don't think are mutually exclusive, but what do I know? I'm not the president or anything. 

Oh You Rock Up to Church

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 19, 2017

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

Yesterday we announced that the winner of the 2016 Balles Prize in Critical Thinking is going to Maria Konnikova for her book The Confidence Game. She'll pick up her award at CSICon in October, and I think I'll actually be the one presenting it. I hope she's nice!

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Ding Dong

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 18, 2017

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

First up, check out the latest Cause & Effect newsletter, if for no other reason than it opens with a comforting picture of Stephen Fry having some tea.

Roger Ailes, who helped bring Nixon to power, who created the lie-factory of Fox News, who forced the women who worked for him to debase and humiliate themselves for his pleasure, is dead. Dead, dead, dead.

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In Pitiless Succession

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 17, 2017

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

Of course you know the big news already. HTC made a phone you can SQUEEZE.

Oh, also: Trump asked Comey to end his investigation of Michael "Good Guy" Flynn. Plus, he suggested to Comey that they jail journalists who publish leaked information. 

Douse the Computers!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 16, 2017

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

Richard Dawkins is profiled at The Times (UK), where he discusses a wide range of topics, including his belief that humanity's treatment of animals is our great moral blind spot.  

Humanist Voices interviews one of the secular activists I most admire, George Ongere of CFI Kenya...

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Some Kind of Dirt Hamster

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 15, 2017

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

Richard Dawkins talks to the Irish Times about blasphemy laws (and how the Irish government really must be embarrassed about its own). 

Stephen Fry, who Dawkins defended recently on the blasphemy issue, explains the dangers of "the illusion of knowledge" and how it serves as the foundation of Trumpism. 

Kind of YInMn

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 12, 2017

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

After the absurd spectacle of Ireland investigating Stephen Fry for blasphemy, which prompted Richard Dawkins to challenge Irish authorities to arrest him for his own blasphemy, New Zealand wises up and decides to scrap its blasphemy law. Not lookin' so great right now, Ireland. Or Denmark. 

Or Canada. I could go on.

We Love to Exclude You

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 11, 2017

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

My mind is clearer now. At last I can see all too well where we all soon will be. 

CFI and its programs have signed on with other orgs to support the Ex-Muslims of North America calling on Facebook to stop shutting down the pages of secularists and ex-Muslims at the behest of Islamists and other reactionaries. There is a Change.org petition you can sign to chime in yourself.

I Have Fallen Over

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 10, 2017

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

Investigate the president? Comey don't play dat. Now that he's been fired. By the president.

Richard Dawkins to Irish authorities suddenly concerned about violations of its blasphemy law: 'Come at me, bro!' (New Zealand's president, by the way, is just fine with his country's own blasphemy law.)

Cosmic Unicorn Ride to Valhalla

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 09, 2017

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

They actually went and did it. Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, aka "Ahok," an ethnic Chinese Christian, is convicted of blasphemy and jailed for two years.

The blasphemy investigation in Ireland against Stephen Fry is closed. Why? The police "were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people." Yep. 

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Talks with God and Knocks People Down

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 08, 2017

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

Not a joke: Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy in Ireland (IRELAND!!!) for his comments in 2015 calling the imagined Abrahamic God "a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god." 

A Hindu man in Pakistan is arrested for blasphemy, and a mob outside the police station where he is held gets violent as they demand to be allowed to beat up the guy themselves.

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We Had a Lot of Caves

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 05, 2017

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

Well that was not a great day. Trump signed his crap executive order meant to weaken the Johnson Amendment, sort of, and “provide regulatory relief” to believers who want to opt out of various rules and laws, but sort of. As we noted in our statement, the order is worse for what it symbolizes than what it actually accomplishes:

Despite the president’s claims today, religious leaders are already free to speak openly, and religious groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year lobbying, on all political issues...

Irredeemably Hostile

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 04, 2017

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

Okay we're really busy this morning because of the executive orders that are coming any minute.

We're part of a coalition of groups supporting the Johnson Amendment, and here's our letter to Congress. Here's a joint letter from hundreds and hundreds of groups, including us, also supporting the Johnson Amendment. See our logo up there?

Sadly Mistaken

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 03, 2017

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

Trump is set to sign an executive order on "religious liberty," which of course is really about discriminating against LGBTQ folks and controlling the bodies of women. Put it this way, when Politico (or as they call themselves, POLITICO) reports that "the signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence," you know it's a bad thing. Anyway, boy are you gonna hear from us on this. In fact, we've been pushing to stop this thing before it came into being.

Increasingly Unavoidable

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 02, 2017

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

At the Vision Summit, a major conference for virtual reality and augmented reality, Richard Dawkins discussed virtual reality as an ages-old concept, thanks to the VR software in our own brains. He starts at about the 41-minute mark.

Benjamin Radford uses an episode of the ghost-hunting show Kindred Spirits as a case study of paranormal investigations done badly:

This is one of the most common mistakes in ghost hunting: Trying to establish the identity of a ghost (through a psychic medium, historical research, etc.) before establishing that the ghost exists at all. 

Guided by Yetis

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
May 01, 2017

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

Happy "Loyalty Day," you faithless bunch of subversives. 

The CSICon 2017 website is up, and you can register now to join us in Vegas


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