There’s No Need to Whisper

April 24, 2013

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

Tomorrow is the day secularists and our allies gather to protest the Bangladeshi crackdown on atheism and free expression in demonstrations around the world. Tell everyone in your social networks, and take part! Columbia Faith and Values covers the events in Missouri.

Five schoolgirls in Indonesia are in trouble for blasphemy (or "tainting religion") for the crime of recording themselves dancing to Maroon 5 and performing some prayer movements. They were turned in by their own school.

Hacked AP Twitter account tweets false news of the president being injured in White House bomb blasts, which sends the Dow plummeting briefly. 

Parents who insist on faith healing over medicine have the death of a second child on their hands

Massachusetts branch of the Secular Coalition posts video of the Humanist Boston memorial.

Matthew Brown at Deseret News rounds up the displeasure from all sides on the birth control rules in Obamacare, including CFI's frustration with a "tortured understanding of religious liberty." 

Gay marriage and adoption are done deals in France

Dentist in Oregon who tried to force an employee into Scientology training loses a religious discrimination appeal. (h/t Sharon Hill)

Oh, Gohmert:

[HR 1586 would] direct the Architect of the Capitol to acquire and place a historical plaque to be permanently displayed in National Statuary Hall recognizing the seven decades of Christian church services being held in the Capitol from 1800 to 1868 

CFI-NYC and NARAL will hold a lobby day in Albany on May 21. 

Dave Silverman, in this video, talks about how wearing atheism (literally) on his sleeve has helped closeted nonbelievers feel a little more comfortable: "There's no need to whisper."

Relatedly, Hassan A. Khalifeh posts at the CFI On Campus blog about a radio interview he'd just done:

I noticed that the longer I’m involved in the secular movement, the more people seem interested in my story, and the more I learn about how many people feel like me, but are not at liberty to speak about it.  

NYT "Op-Doc": Chinese industry threatens the remains of an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan. 

R.J. Moeller at American Spectator: "It is an intractable, untenable position to take when someone says that to believe in God is incompatible with reason and science." 

Secular Woman launches an "Abort Theocracy" campaign. Hemant is rubbed the wrong way. Elyse at Skepchick is not.

It would be hard for this to be more timely: Point of Inquiry has terrorism expert Scott Atran

Sarah Posner blogs heads with Wajahat Ali about the question of Islam and the Tsarnaevs.  

AP: Two US officials speaking "on condition of anonymity" says yes, religion was their inspiration.

Cambridge mosque where the brothers attended says they gave warnings to the Tsarnaevs to stop disrupting or be asked to leave. 

Juan Cole adds up the deaths, and thinks Islam is not so scary as other religions. 

Willard Foxton at The Telegraph wonders why the UK can go after someone selling a fake bomb detector, but not homeopaths selling fake medicine. 

Alien baby looking thing is actually a human, according to DNA tests. 

Allan Brawley of Arizona State in HuffPo:

[W]e need a nonbelievers' rights movement that will encourage more people to come out of the closet and help free the country -- and the world -- from destructive sectarian conflict. 

Eurasianet's Dorian Jones on how countries like Turkey are clamping down on "blasphemy" as a means of "redress" for defamation of Islam.

In case you care what she says anymore, Ann Coulter says we should have police surveilance in every mosque

FFRF wants Hattiesburg, MS mayor to cancel a prayer breakfast.

Don't buy that bridge in Brooklyn. Instead, I have some Loch Ness Monster collision insurance to sell you. 

Samurai Mormon bishop

Quote of the Day  

Freedom House speaks out against the crackdown on nonbelievers in places like Indonesia, Egypt, and Bangladesh:

Despite the often difficult conditions encountered by nonbelievers around the world, many in government and the human rights community regard their plight as a minor issue. Moreover, religious activists seeking freedom of worship rarely view nonbelievers as natural allies. These are both fundamental mistakes.  

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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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