I Don’t Want it to Be a Joke

April 30, 2013

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

As we get set to join allies in worldwide protests against Bangladesh's persecution of atheists and dissidents on May 2 (Thursday), Islamists threaten their own demonstration demanding death for blasphemy three days later. 

August usually sucks as a month, generally, let's admit it. Luckily, you've got us. If you're a grownup, you wanna head to the Skeptic's Toolbox (Aug 8-11) in Eugene, OR. If you're a kid, you're gonna wanna get your gear and head to Camp Inquiry (Aug 4-10) in Holland, NY. And as a side note, we're trying to get Karen Strachan of Camp Inquiry to start blogging here at the CFI site, so stay tuned. 

Hey, it's like it's 2006 all over again and we're talking about these crazy "New Atheists"! NYT had on its homepage last night a story on Daniel Dennett, who has a new book coming next week (and you can have lunch with next month). Richard Dawkins goes on Toronto TV to talk about his documentary with Lawrence Krauss. And Sam Harris did an "ask me anything" thing over Twitter last night, and you can see the back and forth here. Now we just need Hitchens to insult someone. Sigh.

Jason Collins becomes the first openly-gay male major pro sports athlete. No, of course I'd never heard of him before, because sportsball confuses and frightens me. Anyway, Collins said:

I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

This is kind of hilarious. The Discovery Institute's blog, tragically titled "Evolution News," goes after that nasty S.O.B. Bill Nye for alleged nihilism. 

It's hard to get philosophers to say what they believe. I'm kidding! But it is hard to get them to say what they believe in short sentences. So they did a study. Best bit?

Zombies: conceivable but not metaphysically possible 35.6%; metaphysically possible 23.3%; inconceivable 16.0%; other 25.1% 

There's a new message board that many of you will find of use, Women Without Religion Forums

John Blake at CNN has four signs your religion might be evil. Um, guys... 

For Music Monday, CFI's Cody Hashman says "Dessa is a badass." 

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to do some good for skepticism on the web by following instructions on Twitter

Chris Stedman is interviewed by RNS's Jonathan Merritt. 

Al Jazeera covers the fake congressional hearing on UFOs (and I didn't realize the former congressfolks who attended were paid). Former congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick says, "I don't want it to be a joke." Cough.

Wow: There's an imam performing same-sex marriages in a mosque.  

Police bust into a fake-doctor's office, and find "a goat head oozing blood in a bowl, eight wooden penises, and boxes of illegal penis-enlargement pamphlets." It's the pamphlets that were illegal, guys. 

Oh man, the Legion of Doom will NOT like this: Kentucky woman is ordained as a Catholic priest.  

SciAm on what's up with people buying into nutty conspiracy theories

Restaurant chain that features a lot of becleavaged waitresses loses a bid to build near a church as it might be "detrimental to the spiritual activities of the church."

Quote of the Day  

Sam Harris, from the above-linked Q&A, answers the question, "How do you define the secular spirituality?"

Self-transcendence without divisive bullshit.

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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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