Phantasmagoric Biotheology

January 9, 2013

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

Don't miss this big CFI event in DC: CFI presents a symposium on the topic "Why Tolerate Religion?" with such heavy-hitters as Jacques Berlinerblau, Caroline Mala Corbin, Wendy Kaminer, Brian Leiter, Barry Lynn, and our own Ron Lindsay and John Shook. April 27 at the Wooly Mammoth theatre (where my wife has totally performed). 

Hoosiers take note: CFI wants you to contact your state legislature to stop the expansion of a religion-subsidizing school voucher program.

Elizabeth Drescher at Religion Dispatches warns against lumping all "Nones" with nonbelievers and secularists.  

In June, I attempted a presentation on not writing terrible press releases for the CFI Student Leadership Conference. The video is now up, but I will never watch it because I'm like that. 

Rachel Maddow coined a term last night that I fell instantly in love with. Referring to the views of 2012 GOP Senate candidates concerning God's intentions toward rape victims and their ensuing pregnancies, Maddow called their position an example of "phantasmagoric biotheology." Win. 

Rep. Paul "Lies from the Pit of Hell" Broun, with Paul Ryan and others, introduce legislation declaring that life begins at conception. 

Robert Sheaffer notes the passing of CSI Fellow, magician and skeptic Robert A. Steiner

Same-sex weddings come to the National Cathedral

Council on American-Islamic Relations starts a bus ad campaign to help change the public definition of "jihad." For example, mine might say, "My jihad is to get my three-year-old to daycare every morning without physical or psychological damage to either of us."

One could also have a jihad, say, to control The Spice, which, as we all know, must flow. 

Stephanie Zvan comes out swinging in defense of the professional gravitas of CFI-DC boss Melody Hensley, in the face of a torrent of online abuse. 

Skeptics' Guide to the Universe wins a Podcast Award for best science podcast, and Ardent Atheist wins the best religion podcast award. 

NPR's Weekend Edition interviews Susan Jacoby about her new book on Robert Ingersoll. 

Religious parents get to "incorporate their beliefs" into their kids' days with virtual public schooling:

These schools generally cater to students who have had problems succeeding in traditional school environments, but also attract students who need extra flexibility to devote several hours a day to athletics, music, art or other pursuits. That flexibility also attracts families of faith who want their children to be able to attend daytime prayer services or be involved with other religious activities. 

"The Martians would be us": Sign up now to live on Mars in 2023. 

Psychics' business burns down in Houston. Yes yes I know.

Nones know Mormons

Quote of the Day

Chris Stedman is not satisfied with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's means of avoiding being called an atheist:

It is perfectly fine, of course, if Sinema isn’t a nontheist, and it is understandable that she would want to clarify misinformation about her personal beliefs. But to say that these terms are “not befitting of her life’s work or personal character” is offensive because it implies there is something unbefitting about the lives and characters of atheists or nonbelievers. 

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 Stephanie Zvan (Guest) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 at 11:42am

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who will never watch those videos. Luckily, I have a couple of people who will and give good, constructive feedback.

#2 Paul the Morning Heretic on Wednesday January 09, 2013 at 2:38pm

Wait, so you will also never watch a video of me?

#3 Bruce Press (Guest) on Thursday January 10, 2013 at 8:23am

Props for the Dune reference.  My heart cockles are elevated in relative thermic value.

#4 WaningGibbous (Guest) on Thursday January 10, 2013 at 9:07am

Susan Jacoby can also be heard on the latest episode of the American Freethought podcast.  As a bonus, David reads an Ingersoll essay.

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