Believing Grasshoppers Can Speak

March 20, 2013

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

Malala is going back to school

James Parco, author of the important new CFI report on fundamentalism running rampant in the U.S. military, is the guest on State of Belief, the radio show of the Interfaith Alliance. 

Also, the new issue of Free Inquiry, available now, has a special section on atheists' battle for equality in the military, guest edited by MAAF's Jason Torpy.    

Maryam Namazie on the Muslim Brotherhood's assertion that a declaration decrying violence against women conflicts with Islam: "I could have told you that." 

CFI-Indiana took part in a protest against a voucher bill in the "Rally 4 Public Education" at the Indiana statehouse. (Which, as you can see by the use of a "4" instead of "for," is necessary. Kidding!)  

Delicious: Ian McKellan (my favorite actor in the world) will officiate the wedding of Patrick Stewart (second-favorite) to his fiancée, jazz singer Sunny Ozell. 

Phil Plait on global warming denial: Misleading graphs are misleading. Meanwhile, the UK may ditch climate change in science classes.

LDS church will have its worldwide meeting in April, and a woman will offer an invocation there for the first time. 

At SciAm, Michael Shermer writes on stopping false beliefs by attacking "pluralistic ignorance." 

Stuff happening in London! CFI-UK has a ton of events happening in the next few weeks, and also London Black Atheists will host Leo Igwe who will talk about atheism in black communities on March 25 (or, as they say over there, "25 March"). 

Florida fake-psychics who defrauded clients of $25 million cop to their scam, but their "ringleader" is going to trial.

The Economist points out that Melissa Rogers, new head of the administration's faith-based office, may be more of a wall-of-separation hardliner than Obama (which wouldn't be hard, frankly). 

Jesus on a drop cloth

Here we go: Questions about dealings with a sex abuse scandal in the Argentine church now confront Pope Francis. 

Err, and is the new pope cool with civil unions? Mmmmaybeeeeee. 

It may be that conservative churches fare better than liberal ones "through the sheer power of birth rates." 

National Geographic on the quest to revive extinct species

This woman's been holding on to Bigfoot hairs for 45 years.  

Dr. Oz's crap burned this guy's feet

Seth Kurtenbach writes at the On Campus blog on how logic is a programming language for the human brain. And there's, like, multiple choice things in it. 

Methodist church in North Carolina refuses to perform any marriages until the right is extended to same-sex couples. 

While you had forgotten who she was, musician Michelle Shocked went all right-wing crazy, and has gone on an anti-gay tirade, which got a lot of her shows cancelled. 

Ed Brayton might be converted from atheism by Free Republic! Just kidding.

I think Drew of Toothpaste for Dinner might be reading things like Skeptical Inquirer and Doubtful News and whatnot. 

Quote of the Day 

Katherine Stewart, on the Boy Scouts' exclusion of gays and atheists, deals with the idea that religion is a "moral choice":

Most non-believers I know don't have the option of believing in a deity or deities any more than they have the option of believing that grasshoppers can speak. 

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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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