What Are Ya, Some Kind of Secular Humanist??

January 30, 2013

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

CFI's boss Ron Lindsay suspects that while the Boy Scouts of America may open up to LGBT Americans, the prospects for it doing the same for atheists are grim:

Allowing atheists to become scouts would constitute a tacit admission that we don’t need God for morality. And if we don’t need him for that, what do we need him for? 

RealClearReligion's Jeffrey Weiss, however, sees hope for would-be atheist scouts.

Herb Silverman is less than impressed.

The modified policy would, in effect, kick the can down the road to local sponsors, who could continue the abominable policy of deeming gay teenagers too “immoral” to participate in Boy Scout activities. 

Filipino performance artist Carlos Celdran is convicted of "offending religious feelings" for a 2010 protest at a cathedral over health policy.

Research firm PRRI has weird numbers on God and sportsball, both of which I understand are popular:

While only about 3-in-10 (27%) Americans, believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event, a majority (53%) believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, compared to 42% who disagree.  

Hey, don't just presume you're a humanist. Take the humanist quiz and find out how humanist you are. I got 93%. 

Iraq vet who lost all four limbs from a roadside bomb just got two new arms because science

Did I tell you Paul Krugman was on Point of Inquiry? I did? Well I'm telling you again. 

Steven Novella posts a treatise on the "identity crisis" in skepticism:

I have never endeavored to tell other people what to do with their own activism. If Penn and Teller want to have a skeptical/libertarian show, that’s their right. They can do what they want. The Skepchicks combine feminism and skepticism, and PZ combines (by his own account) skepticism, atheism, and liberal politics. My view – let a thousand lights shine. At the end of the day, we are all skeptics. Let’s celebrate that, and we can still argue about our differences but let’s not pretend that any skepticism-plus is the one-true-skepticism just because it’s our own. 

Kylie weighs in:

I do think that there should be people who can provide practical, sensible and evidence-based advice on what constitutes good and effective activism, and they should be encouraged to speak out and be supported when it comes to analysing the effectiveness of campaigns. 

John Boehner tells pro-life activists that ending abortion is one of the House's "fundamental goals" for 2013.

Derek and Swoopy hit the big 200.  

A fetus is a person, life begins at conception, and that unborn creature has all the rights of a fully grown human being. Unless, of course, you're a Catholic hospital in a wrongful death suit. Then, come on, those things aren't people.  

Staks Rosch in HuffPo says atheism is in better shape than many say:

Religious leaders are thrilled that the rise of the "nones" is slowing down. But the media reported it wrong. The "nones" are still rising! Looking at the context of how the other religious identities have risen or fallen, it becomes clear that this is a win for atheism.  

Zack Kopplin, who is apparently the most sought-after atheist writer on Earth now, takes to HuffPo to ask the president to re-inspire America's love for science with a "Second Giant Leap." 

Radical Islamists said to have been rooted out of Mali. 

Pope Ratzi says you can get your marriage annulled if there is a "lack of faith" from the spouses. 

Charleston to celebrate Darwin Week with a whole bunch of events February 7-13. 

Clearly, the Darwin Day resolution now in the House must be stopped

Bickering breaks out over Burlington, PA prayers at city township meetings (and my old hometown of Galloway, NJ gets a shout-out for being likewise backward). 

Financial Times profiles Father Tikhon Shevkunov of the Russian Orthodox church, who weilds enormous influence due to his personal connection to Putin. Known as a hardliner, he was notably opposed to the harshness of the punishment given to the members of Pussy Riot:

Even Father Tikhon signed a petition calling for reducing the sentences. He is harshly critical of Pussy Riot’s behaviour, saying: “The state must react to this, or else it is not a state”, and “If they did this in Westminster Abbey, they would have got a prison sentence for sure.” Yet he adds, “but two years is too much”.

Michael Nugent's copy-and-paste muscles must be sore, because he's just embedded the videos for 75 songs for atheists.

Documentary about them craaaaazy Texans and their creationism in schools, The Revisionaries, is now available for viewing online

McGill science students go after their student newspaper for credulous reporting:

We recognize that criticism of science – including criticism of accepted methods and empirical truth – is necessary and desirable. But writers should understand exactly what they are challenging when they do so, and not conflate other kinds of speculation, or critical thinking, with science.  

FFRF is going after a florist who refused to send flowers bought for Jessica Ahlquist. 

Quote of the Day

Ah, Toothpaste for Dinner:

What are ya, some kind of secular humanist, tryina' improve the human condition or some shit???    

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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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Saturday February 02, 2013 at 8:18pm

“The Revisionaries, is now available for viewing online.”

Not quite.  Although I was able to watch the original broadcast on my TV, the video is blocked due to “right restrictions” (remember when we used to call it the “world”-wide web?).  Furthermore, if it’s the same as the TV broadcast, then it isn’t actually the full film, but a cut-down version.  IMDb says the film is supposed to be over 90 minutes, but PBS only gave us 60.  That’s why I avoid TV documentaries like the plague, unless they’re the original work of the network.  I feel I wasted 60 minutes that I’m going to have to do again when I see the full version.

#2 Griff on Friday February 08, 2013 at 1:17am

This theist got a 90% on the quiz, which, as far as I can see, simply means I’m not a moron.  What a high bar the writers set—for instance, knowing that the universe wasn’t “created.”  And that the Earth is very, very old.  I are in the company of geniuses.

Which raises the question of why you spice your columns with all the science blurbs.  After all, this is not a science website—indeed, last time I checked, I saw no scientists on this site’s roster.  But I’ll check again.

#3 Griff on Friday February 08, 2013 at 1:24am

Checked again.  Journalism, social science, political science.  Fascinating.  So my question stands.

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