Someone Who Hates Everything I Hate

February 8, 2013

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

Holy moly there's a lot of news this morning. Ill-timed, too, because the snowstorm "Nemo" is descending upon my plucky state of Maine with a vengeance -- and even getting a jump on things! We're already buried in snow, when it wasn't supposed to get blizzard-y until later this afternoon. And they say the real snowmageddon hasn't even started yet. So, as you can imagine, the wife, the kids, and I are all eyeing each other to see which of us we're all going to eat first.  

To the news! 

Even science funded by the Templeton Foundation finds that prayer has no effect on the recovery of heart bypass surgery patients. (Update: Oops. Looks like that's old. I shouldn't start drinking before I do the Heresy.)

Religion Dispatches highlights atheist activism on college campuses, and looks to our own Sarah Kaiser and Cody Hashman for insight. 

Bill Cooke, CFI's director of international programs, visits CFI-Kenya and by all accounts it was an enlightening trip for all.

Bob Smietana: Tennessee maintenance worker quits his job after seeing 666 on a tax form. No really.   

DC city council member Tommy Wells introduces bill to allow DC couples to pick the officiant of their choice for weddings, and that includes seculars

The Legion of Doom comes down against the HHS contraceptive coverage compromise:

It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities. HHS offers what it calls an 'accommodation' rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.

NYT's Frank Bruni comes down harder on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. 

More than 1000 clergy from a multitude of faiths sign an open letter in support of contraceptive access. 

CNN's Carol Costello seems perplexed that, gasp, there are atheists among us! "But why???

KOCO TV meanwhile, does a positive report on the growth of atheism in Oklahoma. Also in OK, the state House passes a bill repealing a law that criminalizes blasphemy.

The president throws atheists a bone at the National Prayer Breakfast, and Hemant isn't impressed:

If Obama really wants to make an effort to reach out to secular Americans, he doesn’t have to offer us second-rate lip service at a religious event. I would much rather he avoid participating in events like these completely -- tradition be damned -- and keep his faith to himself.  

Daniel Cox of the Public Religion Research Institute talks up data showing how the Christian right is becoming an albatross for the GOP.

Jann Bellamy launches a website to combat government licensing of naturopaths.

More on the exit of faith-based initiative chief Josh DuBois. 

Douglas Murphy of The Spectator, an atheist, finds less common cause with Richard Dawkins following a debate:

We should concede that, when it comes to discussions of ideas, morality and meaning, religion does have a place. Rather than dismissing it as some mere relict of our past, we should acknowledge that religion has an important contribution to our present and future discussion. We may not agree with the foundational claims, but we might at least agree not always and only to deride, laugh at and dismiss as meaningless something which searches sincerely for meaning. 

CFI is building an army of interns for the purpose of reeducation and genetic enhancement. Wait, that's not right. But we are looking for interns. 

Just in case this snow storm gets really bad, this Doomsday Preppers website has the DVDs to keep you prepared for the end. Assuming there's power for those DVD players. Oh, and that the machines have not risen up against us. 

Susan Gerbic is working overtime to get Wikipedia up to date and fully suffused with the skepto-atheist movement. 

Android and iOS game allows you to play the role of "apprentice deity." 

Idaho legislator considers requiring kids to read Ayn Rand, neglects to remember that she said "Faith is a short-circuit destroying the mind.”

Hole in the dirt in Florida = Bigfoot tracks

Iowa bill would consider a zygote a person, and term any abortion as murder. 

Mississippi senate passes a bill allowing for prayer at school events

Emily Willingham at Forbes takes Fox News to task for credulous reporting on autism and citing a "chiropractic neurologist" as an authority. 

The Asian Human Rights Commission says that Islamic militants in Pakistan have been trying to start mob violence against five men accused of blasphemy. 

So there's, like, a mysterious hunk of metal on Mars. Like, what is that?

This keeps happening: More polio vaccine workers killed, this time in Nigeria. 

And this keeps happening: Woman accused of sorcery is burned alive in Papua New Guinea. 

Police in Los Angeles warn folks of a psychic fraud ring

The Taliban uses the 72-virgins-in-heaven lie to recruit horny young men. 

According to a HuffPo poll, 45% of Americans believe in ghosts.  

Opponent of genetically modified foods becomes a believer in its promise when he "looked at the science." Hmph. 

Lynn Stuart Parramore recounts rejection by the Girl Scouts in the 1970s for being an atheist. 

University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance is our CFI On Campus affiliate of the week

Oh good. A creationist science fair

This rat thing might be our great-great-great-great-(etc.)-grand ancestor. 

Quote of the Day

Be united by God's unquenchable wrath with WestboroMingle.com:

I finally found someone who hates everything I hate! Blacks, gays, Jews, Mexicans, Jamaicans. Anything West of America, music, dancing, vacations, dinosaurs, space travel, modern art, books.

(And I found this at The Blaze, no less.) 

* * * 

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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Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta

Comments:

#1 Rich (Guest) on Friday February 08, 2013 at 10:06am

Why is a 2006 article about prayer having no effect considered news?

#2 Paul the Morning Heretic on Friday February 08, 2013 at 10:29am

Because I mistook it for something more recent!

#3 Griff on Friday February 08, 2013 at 11:45am

“If Obama really wants to make an effort to reach out to secular Americans, he doesn’t have to offer us second-rate lip service at a religious event. I would much rather he avoid participating in events like these completely—tradition be damned—and keep his faith to himself.”

Problem, Paul, is that the President doesn’t serve secular Americans, per se.  It’s not all about you, or the society of “seculars.”  To take your gripe to its logical (?) limit, the President—instead of running the country—would be paying individual, specialized tribute to every group, creed, philosophy, interest, passion, etc., lest he risk outraging one of them by perceived omission.  Leaving him little time to do the real work of drone-striking our own citizens, caving to the other side, making Ronnie Reagan look in retrospect like a liberal, pausing awkwardly during statements, and so on.

Though I must admit I have no intention of voting for him again, because he didn’t play any of my favorite songs at his second inauguration.  Good thing for him a third term is not allowed.

I remain curious about why science blurbs are a standard part of the blogs here, given that this is not a science website nor are there scientific credentials to be found among the bloggers.  I do know that scientists resent being confused with social scientists and their work confused with social science.  Shouldn’t you be careful not to contribute to that confusion, which is rampant in U.S. media?

#4 Griff on Friday February 08, 2013 at 1:58pm

I see now that the quote is from Hemant Mehta.  You didn’t set it off like you do elsewhere, so I thought the text was yours.  No problem.  To err is humanist.

#5 Thomas B (Guest) on Monday February 11, 2013 at 7:47am

I see that Hattiesburg Mississippi introduced a bill to legalize prayer in schools… and that same Hattiesburg was hit by a tornado this weekend!  Coincidence?  You decide…

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