The Very Fabric of Our Country

March 7, 2013

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

Rob Boston of Americans United on the new CFI report on fundamentalism in the military:

[Jim] Parco’s report is important. It deserves to be read – and acted upon – in the highest echelons of the U.S. military. 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation will lead a rally tomorrow in Colorado Springs protesting the USAFA for promoting a homophobic and misogynistic religious website.

CFI-Canada leads the calls for Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to not allow an anti-vaccination conference to take place on its campus. Here is the full letter sent to the university.

Massimo Polidoro in Skeptical Inquirer on the hunt for Hitler in the Arctic

Malawi's Association of Secular Humanism partners with others to help those suspected or accused of witchcraft

A new study may puncture the saintly bubble around Mother Teresa (all nods to Hitchens), as she "actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer." 

A last minute effort is waged in Kentucky to stop a bill that would allow folks to defy laws and regulations that do not jibe with their religious beliefs. 

Tomorrow at 7pm African Americans for Humanism joins the SSA, the DePaul Alliance for Free Thought, and the Women’s Center at DePaul to host a panel on atheist activism at DePaul University. 

Arkansas legislature overrides the governor's veto to enact the harshest abortion restriction in the country. 

In Longview, WA, the mayor nixes Christ-invocations at city council prayers.  

Nathan Phelps will be speaking to the GWU Secular Society (I wish I'd known about you guys when I was there) on April 8, and Julie Mankowski is rightfully very proud of how her group has grown

House Republicans move to allow pretty much anyone to opt out of the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, trying to squeeze it into a continuing resolution to fund the government. 

Karl Giberson at HuffPo shows how the anti-evolution movement has changed and adapted based on its environment over time. 

The CDC warns of "nightmare bacteria," superbugs that we can't seem to treat. But don't worry, evolution isn't real. 

82-year-old UK man doesn't take kindly to seeing a bid ol' cross on public land, dumps it in the river. (Hat tip to reader Thomas) 

With a hat tip to Kylie, take "a 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history" as we enter the Anthropocene. For more on the Anthropocene and what it bodes, check out the latest Free Inquiry magazine

As Adrian Monk might say, this picture made me "LOL out loud."  

Jason Torpy of MAAF on the Army's use of video games to train chaplains for "Spiritual Triage":

The implication . . . is that if a person does not profess traditional religious beliefs, then they should be left alone, essentially tossed aside. . . In addition, the name — Spiritual Triage — still gives the impression that a supernatural or divine approach is the only right approach. 

Cardinals scramble to "plug leaks" of their papal discussions to the press, while U.S. cardinals are being "slapped down" for their alleged inclination to more transparency. 

U.S. bishops, meanwhile (aka the Legion of Doom) oppose the Violence Against Women Act for being nice to LGBT folks. 

Russell Crowe catches a UFO. In his teeth. Kidding.  

South Texas Coalition of Reason puts up godless billboards

James Croft on why he is in no way to be considered "religious." 

Look out! The Lego Ness Monster

Duane Gish, professional creationism advocate, is dead at 91

Atheists! Polyamorists! Oprah! Why not

Runner-Up Quote of the Day

Rick Santorum thanks American Atheists for putting him on their billboard ad, and then gives the whole movement a backhanded compliment:

This is also a reminder that there are strong forces against the fundamental beliefs that you and I hold so dear. They are organizing with determination to transform the very fabric of our country. The stakes are simply too high for us to sit back and ignore the progress they are making. 

No, thank YOU, Rick.  

Quote of the Day 

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Heiner Bielefeldt in a new report:

States should repeal any criminal law provisions that penalize apostasy, blasphemy and proselytism, as they may prevent persons belonging to religious or belief minorities from fully enjoying their freedom of religion or belief.

* * *  

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 Tim P. Farley on Thursday March 07, 2013 at 8:47am

The Dean of the Faculty of Health Science at Simon Fraser has already issued a letter disavowing institutional support for that vaccine event, and explained that they merely leased the space to the outside group.

Here it is (Adobe PDF):
http://www.fhs.sfu.ca/research/docs/VRM-Deans Statement 2013Mar5.pdf

#2 Tim P. Farley on Thursday March 07, 2013 at 8:49am

Ooops, the posting interface mangled that link.  Try this one, which goes to the same PDF: http://bit.ly/16bpVI1

#3 Paul the Morning Heretic on Thursday March 07, 2013 at 8:53am

I’ll update tomorrow with this. Thanks.

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