Less and Less for God to Do

February 20, 2013

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

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper launches a "religious freedom" office, and CFI-Canada notices that secularist groups have not been invited. 

Self-described curmudgeon Jacques Berlinerblau, whose Secularism on the Edge conference gets underway today, expresses a rare hint of optimism for the movement:

I want to note, buzzkillingly, that 2012 was more a victory for secularism than a victory by secularism. But a victory nonetheless! Moreover, secularists can’t help but wonder if the pope’s recent resignation signals, at the very least, a set back for the global anti-secular platform. 

CFI board member Barry Kosmin and Ariela Keysar note America's adoption of much of the secular Jewish culture:

As Jewish secular institutions and productions are open to everybody and ever more accessible in the new media environment of the 21st century, the proliferation of a flourishing and diverse (secular) Jewish culture in the U.S seems assured. 

Catholics United demand that accused sex abuse cover-upper Cardinal Roger Mahoney not be allowed in the coming Papal Conclave.

Hey, I know times are hard, and lots of folks are struggling, but don't worry. Megachurches are doing great

Ben Radford responds to criticisms of his recent posts on his reservations about the way some use statistics to further laudable causes. 

The project to bolster the skepto-atheist movement's Wikipedia entries continues, with new work being done on CFI-relevant names like Paul Kurtz and Point of Inquiry

Russia is now a police state.” Katrina Lantos Swett and Catherine Cosman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom examine the crackdown on freedom of speech and belief in Russia, and how American diplomacy can affect it. 

Speaking of which, Russian artist Artyom Loskutov is fined for "causing religious offense" by selling T-shirts supporting Pussy Riot, and he appeals.  

Two pieces from the Harvard Crimson:

One argues for atheists to make themselves known in order to be politically relevant:

As long as atheists abdicate from defining ourselves, we will be defined by those who see absence from the religious community as absence from our political and social communities.  

The other covers an event with Steven Pinker and Greg Epstein on "Why Atheism Matters." 

Sequoyah County, OK sheriff chalks a man's death up to spontaneous combustion.

Anderson County courthouse in Tennessee to display "In God We Trust".  

Mehtapalooza! Hemant goes on a speaking tour, and releases the audiobook version of his latest tome. 

Seth Kurtenbach at the CFI On Campus blog on how NASA shakes up our intuitions about the nature of reality. 

Bill Nye tweets a counter-intuitive truth:

Bad news: We will never run out of fossil fuel. There's enough tar-shale-sand-coal-goo for centuries. We have to start doing something else. 

Freethought Blogs recruits Eric MacDonald, a former Anglican Priest, whose blog A Choice in Dying is focused on end-of-life issues and the religious blockades to related rights. (Disclosure: I also blog at the Freethought Blogs network.)

Jake Hart, my former Shakespearean castmate, kicks it papal-style with his latest Cult Comedy video: "It's Hard Our Here for a Pope." 

"Psychic center" is robbed and...oh, you know. 

Jelllllyyyy frooooommm spaaaaaaaace!!!! 

Quote of the Day

Michael Nugent posts his speech (with video) on the incompatibility of science and religion delivered to the University College of York:

What happens in reality is that every generation we find out more and more, by using the scientific method, about how the universe operates naturally. Every generation, the bits that we don’t yet understand, religious people ascribe to God, and every generation there is less and less and less for this God to do. So it moves from being an all-powerful God that created the universe out of nothing, to a God that today his main task seems to be appearing on pieces of toast. 

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