I Am Not Shake-and-Bake

October 17, 2013

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

The shutdown is over, but not before the House stenographer began shouting from the dais about how the Freemasons wrote the Constitution, who were "against God," and how "You cannot serve two masters."

The State Department's religious freedom ambassador, Suzan Johnson Cook, resigns.

The great Eye of Google maps the Galapagos.

Fake psychic in Salem, Massachusetts is in trouble for charging enormous sums to lift or cast "shields" against curses. 

Wichita ghost hunters get to give a presentation at a public library, and give us some real talk:

[Ghost hunter Sherrie] Curry said about 80 to 85 percent of the time, there’s nothing supernatural. She said many reports turn out to have natural explanations, and some are intentional frauds.

“Some people want there to be ghosts,” Curry said. “They like the attention that comes with it.” 

You don't say, Sherrie. 

T.D. Jakes vociferously distances himself from "bling-bling" ministers on the TV show Preachers of L.A.:

I want you to know I’m not bling-blinging. I am not shake and bake. I had money when I came to Dallas and I plan to have some when I leave. You did not buy what I got. I had it when I came here. You know I had it when I came here. The devil is a lie! I have sold enough books and produced enough movies. I don’t need your offering to pay for this little slimy suit. So I rebuke that spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Dr. Lloyd Oppel of the British Columbia Medical Association's Council on Health Promotion raises a red flag on Nosodes and other "homeopathic vaccines":

The harm is not so much in taking the water or sugar pill. The harm is that people might believe that it protects them in a way that it doesn't. Then on a consequence, they don't go and protect themselves properly or their children. . . . A medicine that's made in a way that can't possibly work, I think is something that should not be on the shelf.

Seth Andrews, who produced our Living without Religion videointerviews Richard Dawkins.

According to the Texas Freedom Network, "publishers are resisting pressure to undermine instruction on evolution in their proposed new high school biology textbooks for public schools." 

Not only are you living happily without religion, but you can win prizes for it too (if you're in NYC)!  

Brie Loskota: Churches cannot replace the social safety net

Joe Nickell's Skeptiseum Snake Oil Collection is now part of New York Heritage collection.  

What people thought was the Yeti might just be a rare species of bear.

And who needs fictional sea monsters when the waters are already full of really big, scary things that are, like, real? 

Oreos are not as addictive as cocaine. FYI. I didn't even know this was a thing.

This Saturday you can Light the Night to fight cancer with CFI-DC

Something called "The Art of Living" founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says "Atheism is not a reality, it is just a matter of convenience" because God is "formless" and yadda yadda. (h/t Renee)  

Quote of the Day

Andrew Sullivan calls the Tea Party a religion:

They want their presidents white and their budget balanced now. That balancing it now would tip the whole world into a second depression sounds like elite cant to them; that America is, as a matter of fact, a coffee-colored country – and stronger for it – does not remove their desire for it not to be so; indeed it intensifies their futile effort to stop immigration reform. And given the apocalyptic nature of their view of what is going on, it is only natural that they would seek a totalist, radical, revolutionary halt to all of it, even if it creates economic chaos, even if it destroys millions of jobs, even though it keeps millions in immigration limbo, even if it means an unprecedented default on the debt.

This is a religion – but a particularly modern, extreme and unthinking fundamentalist religion.      

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