Inanimate Objects Possessing Their Own Will

January 17, 2013

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

The Supreme Court of Pakistan dismisses the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih. The law itself still remains, of course, but Rimsha has been deemed innocent of violating it. 

CSI-ers Ben Radford and Robert Blaskiewicz both weigh in on Sandy Hook conspiracy nonsense for Huffington Post.

Skepchick continues its profiles of speakers at Women in Secularism 2 with scientist Adriana Heguy, cofounder of the website Atheist Universe

Yesterday was Religious Freedom Day, apparently, and I totally missed it. You know, being a staunch opponent of religious freedom and all, and like, in favor of secular tyranny. Yadda yadda.  

Anyway, here's the president's proclamation for the day. And yes, we get a shout-out:

As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers. Our patchwork heritage is a strength we owe to our religious freedom. 

Meanwhile, the Obama administration, obviously combatting religious freedom, appeals a court order allowing a Christian publishing company from complying with the contraception mandate. Tyranny!

Bob Smietana reports: The Rev. Larry Tomczak, a strong proponent of corporal punishment, is charged with 25 years of physically abusing of a woman since her childhood.

NPR's David Greene continues an exploration of the nonreligious with a group interview, noting:

During their conversation, no one in the group speaks of having feelings of emptiness without religion, but some of them feel conflicted and all recognize that religion fills certain needs. 

Jann Bellamy: Naturopath licensing bill in Massachusetts is defeated by veto, but oh, they'll be back. 

David Niose: The secular movement is no passing fad

Gov. Rick Perry says laws are for secularists. To save us from gun violence, we need to pray more. 

New anti-evolution legislation turns up in Missouri. 

Florida atheist groups get to distribute their own material at public schools after allowance is given for "passive distribution" of Bibles. 

A mom posts about her decision to raise her children without God at CNN's iReport, the post gets flagged a bazillion times, and CNN has to ask people to please stop it. 

Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America sees gun control as a return to animism:

The left, which is largely made up of people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ’s blood as being necessary for our salvation, view inanimate objects as possessing their own will. That’s animism, that’s a return to the most pagan of paganism and look at what nutty political views it ends up supporting. 

Edzard Ernst looks at the flaws in the design and interpretation of homoeopathy clinical trials for Skeptical Inquirer

Don't forget: April 27 in DC, CFI is hosting a symposium titled "Why Tolerate Religion?"  

Russell Blackford has a piece in the latest Free Inquiry (print only), reviewing Chris Stedman's Faitheist, and makes this fine statement about the magazine:

Free Inquiry deserves your support – and not just because I have a regular column there. It publishes much worthwhile material and remains a flagship of the broad secular movement. 

Our thanks, sir. 

Sharon Hill catches a news outlet giving serious weight to the opinions of an anti-vax group. 

Valerie Tarico: Religion is getting its butt kicked by the Internet, partially because of "radically cool science videos and articles." 

Today, NPR's On Point will talk to Susan Jacoby about her new book on Robert Ingersoll. 

You don't say:

Scholars from the Tabriz Medical Research University have prepared an herbal substance which can completely cure multiple sclerosis, Iranian television reported today. 

Wunderkind Zack Kopplin writes at the Melissa Harris-Perry MSNBC blog about the use of school vouchers as cover for the funding of teaching creationism.

Here's video of Zack speaking to the 2011 CFI Student Leadership Conference. 

On Tuesday, scientific and religious leaders gathered in front of the White House to promote action on climate change

Ressurection attempt ends in an arrest for a stolen corpse. 

Relevant cartoon is relevant. 

Quote of the Day

CFI's John Shook has been knocking it out of the park at his blog lately. Dig this:

Only a foolish atheism would let itself be judged by the standard that religion long ago set for itself. The criterion of reasonableness is not pleasantness. The price you’d pay for consolation shouldn’t be set by your false terrors. Let the terrorizers of humanity sell their consolations somewhere else.  

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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