Maybe They Haven’t Had Coffee Yet

January 25, 2013

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

Remember 2012? Man, that year was crazy. So crazy, we decided to take a comprehensive look at the work of CFI throughout the year, with an eye to 2013, and -- ta-da! -- we have our very first CFI Annual Report, just out today.   

The Rhode Island House of Representatives votes big in favor of gay marriage equality.  

Really cool mini-documentary video: The US government didn't fake the Moon landing because they couldn't have, they didn't have the technology to do so. As in, they would have been unable to. Adds filmmaker S.G. Collins, "The US government lies all the time about all kinds of things, and if they haven't lied to you today, maybe they haven't had coffee yet."

CFI's public policy ubermachine wants you to back a US House resolution in support of Darwin Day. 

NBCNews.com reports on the removal of a steeple and crucifix at an Army base in Afghanistan:

"Chaplains know the regulations very well," said Justin Griffith, an Army sergeant at Fort Bragg, N.C., and military director for American Atheists in his personal time. "Whoever authorized (the steeple and crosses) knew exactly what they were doing. It's intentionally disrespectful to the non-Christians in the U.S. military ... Put it in Afghanistan, the danger is very real, to personnel, even to Christians." 

This is a real thing: Bill in New Mexico would make aborting a fetus conceived from rape because it would be "tampering with evidence.

Meanwhile, bill in Missouri specifically calls for the teaching of "intelligent design," which I thought was a term they were going to stop using.

The Dalai Lama in India:

India’s constitution is based on secularism; secularism does not mean to disrespect religion. Respect all religions but at the same time respect nonbelievers. 

Kim Suozzi, who was 23, died of brain cancer and has been placed in vitrification, aka cryopreservation.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's chief medical officer, calls homeopathy "rubbish." 

Online comment service Disqus says that pseudonymous commenters generate the highest quality comments.  

Ken Layne at The Awl takes heart in the recent study showing the uptick in "nones" and the decline in church attendance, adding this questionable tag:

And this study only goes as far as 2008, when the presidency was handed to a wine-drinking yuppie Hawaiian atheist who unconvincingly mentions God now and then, when he gets re-elected or has to deal with another gun massacre. 

Iran fights the real enemy: Coffee shops

Harvard Humanist Community gives Eddie Izzard its Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. 

Jason Rosenhouse says in his headline, "Agnosticism is for Wimps." Elaborates: "The title of this post is meant tongue in cheek, but only slightly."   

Natalie Reed opts out of the skepto-atheist blogosphere.

Daylight Atheism moves to Patheos.

WSJ: Hurricane Sandy relief funding goes into a gray area in terms of church-state separation as houses of worship damaged by the storm, yet used as shelters and bases of operations during the storm, are unclear if they will get help. 

USA Today on the glut of "I went to heaven" books. 

The Economist on science's prospective comeback within Islam. 

Michael Chorost at PsyToday wants nonbelievers to be able to find "inevitable" meaning from a godless universe. 

Christian Post reports on an alliance between the National Atheist Party and Black Nonbelievers. 

Evangelical Christian Mark Osler of the University of St. Thomas:

It might be that our first job in responding to the rise of the "Nones" is that we should stop creating so many of them through our own arrogance and our attempts to judge others. 

Michael Nugent alerts us to a "masterstroke of patronizing sexism" as a Catholic newspaper in Ireland slams a female senator for "not behaving like a gentleman."

Times of India: China is becoming friendlier to religion. Quotes a high-ranking party apparatchik:

Among our people, it remains secondary whether they choose to believe or not to believe in religion, or which religion they choose to believe in. The common goal of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is primary. 

David Attenborough on humans: “We are a plague on the Earth.” 

Diderot is turning 300

Quote of the Day

Charlie Jane Anders at io9 reconsiders:

. . . that piece about atheism and science fiction a while back — that was a case where I hadn't fully thought through what I was trying to say, and I wrote something kind of half-assed, that hurt people who already felt marginalized and under assault from mainstream culture. (And in retrospect, a lot of what I had been reading as "smugness" from a few of my fellow non-believers was probably more like anger at that marginalization.) I'm sorry about that.  

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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