Pagans, Bitcoins, and Microbes

April 17, 2013

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

Dave Weigel lines up the reasons why Boston conspiracy theorists may have "a tough road ahead" toward credibility. 

Muslim groups are scrambling to show their solidarity with victims and their revulsion at the attack. 

The president will speak at an interfaith service for Boston tomorrow, and Hemant wants atheists included.  

The bostonmarathonconspiracy.com domain has been snagged by someone who is doing something useful with it.  

Tom Flynn expresses reservations about charities that are explicitly for secular folks:

[T]ruly secular people should be channeling their charity dollars through channels that are 100% lifestance-blind. Yes, that means giving up some cool opportunities to wave the freethought flag and crow "Look, we're generous too!" But it doesn't help to build the more secular society of the future for our community to launch new charities that model the same sectarianism we rightly object to among the religious. 

(Oh, and here's a link to Atheists Giving Aid, in case you disagree with Tom.) 

Point of Inquiry has Neil Gross, author of the new book Why Are Professors Liberal? And Why Do Conservatives Care?  

Oh wow: Sen. Tom Harkin (not seeking reelection this time around) will speak at the Secular Coalition's lobby day.

Kimberly Winston profiles Houston Oasis, an atheist Sunday service providing community for area nonbelievers. (And yes, atheist assemblies can have music, too.)

Pagans and Jains help the Parliament of World Religions stay solvent

If you're interested in a one-way trip to Mars, you will need an audition video.  

Romania considers reforms to its public funding of churches with a more voluntary tax system. 

Right wing Members of Congress (including Duncan Hunter, about whom I have recently complained) will try to claim George Washington as their own in a prayer event, and Rob Boston cries foul

Camp Inquiry is coming up, and early bird discounts end on April 30! 

One of our folks needs to sign up for this: The Discovery Institute (the intelligent design folks) is paying for college students to attend a summer seminar for nine days of intensive brainwashing. I mean studying. No, I mean brainwashing. 

CSI's Ben Radford explains what Bitcoins and tulips have in common

Ugly situation in Kansas City, where students discover a new teacher may (may!!!) have been involved in a cult killing of his own wife

Adorable: Oregon looks to be about to inaugurate its first official state microbe: brewer's yeast.

Pat Buchanan predicts "a new era of civil disobedience" if marriage equality becomes the norm in the U.S. 

New Zealand is not so worried, as its parliament passes a gay marriage bill

Seth Kurtenbach on why engineering is so dreamy

California woman can do Reiki and energy alignment, but please don't ask her to psychically predict the future. She totally could, of course. 

Quote of the Day  

Sally Quinn on the struggle of conscience that religious leaders must deal with over gay marriage:

I have had a few religious leaders confide in me that they were not personally against gay marriage but could not take that position publicly for fear of losing their congregations. Think of the conflict and, yes, shame they must be feeling now and how it will only worsen with time. One day, they will have to come around or they really will lose their congregations. They have one thing going for them. Most religions believe in redemption. They’ll need to pray for it big-time. 

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