For Yuppies Who Want to Feel Good

March 12, 2014

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

The Morning Heretic may just be suffering from a stomach flu, for which he blames the following: 1) An angry, vengeful God, 2) mischievous/evil spirits, 3) Benghazi, and 4) his children. Anyway. 

A bit of very bad legislation was passed overwhelmingly in the House yesterday. HR 1814, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, passed by voice vote with the support of a boatload of Democrats. CFI vehemently opposes this bill.

Might this be the best opening paragraph for a Skeptical Inquirer piece? Possibly. Here's Carrie Poppy:

Are you a human? Do you have access to the internet? Then you may already know about Dr. Masaru Emoto, the Japanese “scientist” who magically turns normal rice into gross rice, simply by yelling at it. 

The new issue of Free Inquiry is out, and it's got a head-slapper on what really went down on Easter with the whole resurrection thing. Here's our press release.

Ali A. Rizvi continues his conversation with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on being atheist and from a Muslim background. On the "atheist movement," Faisal says:

I think it's pretty diverse and it's getting bigger and bigger every day, which is wonderful. I know many, if not most of the presidents of secular organizations in the United States and worldwide, and I am glad to be a part of it. But it also needs to be mentioned that as the movement gets bigger, there are a lot of ideas out there, and a lot of visions; therefore there is a lot of internal conflict going on within the movement that I always try to make sure not to get involved in. I try to focus on the big picture and move the secular and humanist cause forward. 

Steven Pinker does a long interview on a wide variety of subjects at CNN.com. Of interest to us heathens, he talks about why he hasn't penned an atheist tract:

A Pinker book on the topic would surely have sold impressively, anointing him the fifth horseman of New Atheism -- but "there's just not enough intellectual content in there, at least on mind, for me to explore," [Pinker] says. "I think Dawkins has done a fine job; I don't think I have anything to add to that." 

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeldt:

Dissolving any exclusivist arrangements in the State’s relation to religions or beliefs and overcoming all forms of instrumentalization of religion for the purposes of national identity politics serves as a precondition for providing an open, inclusive framework in which religious or belief-related pluralism can unfold freely and without discrimination. 

I'm not sure I should even link to this, but anyway it's a story of a man who kills his 3-year-old son in the midst of an "exorcism." Horrible, horrible.  

A new bill in Washington state would give public school students and state employees two "wild card" days off meant for religious holiday observances.

Just south of them, Oregon apparently allows students up to two hours every day to get out of the regular school day for "religious instruction." Dude, I would have totally converted just to get away from that hellhole for a couple hours a day. 

The Miami Herald posts an editorial against vouchers for private and religious schools. So does Eric L. Mansfield, a former state senator in North Carolina, at the Fayetteville Observer. But oh no! Michelle Rhee, former DC schools chief, is now pro-voucher

I'm like the only guy in Maine who doesn't like lobster, so imagine how I quake at this

Tom Heneghan at Reuters reports that Pope Fluffy is having trouble meeting the big reformist expectations he's set. 

"Virtually all products claiming to cleanse and detoxify the body are worthless and unnecessary." So says Ben Radford at Discovery News on "oil pulling." 

Adam Brereton at The Guardian is no fan of Sunday Assemblies, saying that it "isn’t much deeper than consumption, dressed up as community, for yuppies who want to feel good." Ouch!

Friendly Atheist has a guest post from Kristine Kruszelnicki of Pro-Life Humanists. Yeah there are a lot of comments. 

Whoa: Mark Joseph Stern at Slate says Catholic Schools are within their rights to fire gay teachers.  

This Cosmos promotional image could easily be a CFI tag line. 

Quote of the Day 

Emily Bazelon on the depressing reality of the Hobby Lobby case:

Make no mistake: If Hobby Lobby wins, the fundamentalist views I’ve been detailing (and despairing) win, too. Here’s the cherished ideal that will have its moment of ascendance: Women should welcome pregnancy at any time. Because if that blessing comes, it was divinely intended, and any other goal, at any moment, must yield. 

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Image via Shutterstock

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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