You May Already Be a Winner

March 1, 2013

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

Fox 29 in Indiana talks to CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden in a piece about the end of Ratzinger's reign

Danish Muslims organize to defend the freedom of speech of anti-Islamic writer Lars Hedegaard, who narrowly escaped assassination last month. Know hope.

The State Department's Esther Brimmer delivers remarks on the US's role on the UN Human Rights Council:

We applaud the leadership that Turkey, Pakistan, and other countries have shown on this resolution, and appreciate as well the support of the OIC Secretary-General. The international consensus on this issue offers a practical and effective means to fight intolerance, while avoiding the false choice of restricting the complementary and mutually-dependent freedoms of religion and expression. In today’s networked world, hateful, insulting, and intolerant speech can be marginalized and defeated, not by less speech, but by more, only by encouraging positive and respectful expression. Countless examples have taught us that attempting to outlaw free expression is as dangerous as it is ineffective.  

A "who's-who of pro-reform figures in China" petition the Chinese government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

This place is like a bad suspense thriller: Vatican admits to bugging its own cardinals and bishops

This is good stuff: James Croft wrestles with singing songs with his choir that contain lyrics he disagrees with, like, say, religious ones. 

CFI's John Shook says good riddance to the "evil pope." 

Samira Shackle at The New Statesman on the "Kafkaesque" charges of blasphemy against Pakistan's US envoy for criticizing the blasphemy law. 

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown will be speaking at sci-fi convention CondorCon on the issue of science denial.

New website, School of Doubt, launches to promote skepticism and critical thinking in education. 

Speaking of conferences, maybe some of us should go to the "Vaccine Summit" of the Vaccine Resistance Movement. 

Emily Willingham at Forbes, who, let's be honest, should be getting lots of hugs and high-fives from skeptics, clears the air about "natural" and "alternative" medicine:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with choosing alternative meds, ‘natural’ meds, and supplements if you find that for you, there’s a benefit, and particularly if you can find evidence-based information about what they do. But it’s important to know that if they are having an effect, when it comes to your body, they’re no different from industrial pharmaceuticals. 

Ritual killers in Cameroon responsible for a huge number of deaths, with body parts for witch doctors supposedly a big trade for them. 

New York City Commission on Human Rights (which, I guess, is a thing) sues ultra-Orthodox Jewish business owners for imposing a dress code on customers.

Edzard Ernst on how acupuncture can kill you

Sharon Hill grosses me out. With posts about hairless dead things

Pat Robertson is pretty sure that you're going to be given a million bucks by God. Or somebody will, anyway. Who can say? 

Quote of the Day 

Asmat Ullah Mojadeddi, chairman of the Muslim Council of Denmark, on his group's defense of Hedegaard (see above post):

There are stupid people everywhere.   

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