A Complicated Intellectual Maneuver

April 4, 2013

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

Sarah Posner rebuts the notion that the culture wars are winding down, citing the insanity happening at the state level. 

For example: Tennessee legislators say, sure tax dollars can help fund religious schools. But Muslim schools? No no no no.   

Michael De Dora and the Office of Public Policy offer up their first Advocacy Update to keep you informed as to their crucial work in DC and elsewhere.

Jim Newman at Skeptic Money scoffs at the idea that the New Atheists are "Islamophobic":

Liberal guilt over colonialism and imperialism is not assuaged by ostrich behavior; we screwed them now let’s go home and let them wallow without help. 

Rhode Island parents moved to tears when Pope Francis hugs their 8-year-old boy, who has cerebral palsy.

Francis also makes some noises about being more open to women in the Church, but not in any substantive way. 

Thanks to a collector mounted on the International Space Station, the European Organization for Nuclear Research thinks it may have detected dark matter.

Kylie Sturgess interviews Daniel Loxton about Pterosaur Trouble, his latest children's book that my kid will go nuts for. 

At Discovery News, Ben Radford looks into the "Alien Black Cat" phenomenon.  

Humanist activist Leo Igwe writes at the website of the Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies (the "singularity" folks):

. . . promoting atheism and freethought is a laudable project with great promise and possibilities in terms of social change, intellectual awakening, reformation and transformation in the black communities. 

Giant public school portrait of Jesus (not of Jesus when he was in public school, but a picture of Jesus, by himself, which is hanging in a public school) is finally coming down

Measels cases in the UK jump 25% as fewer parents are getting their kids vaccinated. 

Craig Brown at the Daily Mail: "A weaselly self-righteousness is now the hallmark of the celebrity unbeliever." Yes, Stalin is there, too.

Don Imus cites the Gospel of Judas, wonders if Jesus was gay

Jann Bellamy on homeopathy regulation:

. . . it is perfectly legal to prescribe homeopathic products and to sell them directly to consumers . . . This makes as much sense as allowing the sale of batteries that don’t produce electricity. 

Another I-went-to-heaven book hits the market, with this account:

I saw an immense brightness, a brightness I could feel, taste, touch, hear, smell, that infused me. Not like I had five senses, but maybe like I had 500 senses. 

Sounds exhausting. 

Herb Silverman on the LGBT movement: "I’m not gay. But I am jealous." (Also see Ron Lindsay's take on this subject.)

Miri at Brute Reason drops a big ol' stack of science to deflate some myths about feminism.\

Sharon Hill warns of "celebrity medical malpractice" from Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook

The website for Science-Based Medicine was recently hacked, and you should read this if you have an account there

Zack Kopplin, wunderkind of anti-creationism, will be on Bill Maher's show tomorrow

Look out, Pepto, this saint-in-the-making may have been able to cure diarrhea. 

The Templeton Prize goes to Bishop Desmond Tutu

Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason ticks off the locals with mail messages saying, "God is dead. Have a Good Friday." 

Skepto-atheists: Pat Robertson says it's your fault that there are no miracles happening in the US. Thanks, skepto-atheists. 

Shawna Scott of CFI On Campus affiliate Windsor/Essex County Atheist Society recounts a debate on the afterlife between Dan Barker and Rev. Joe Boot.

GW Secular Society's Julie Mankowski sums up her experience at the American Atheists convention.

Quote of the Day 

David Frum, also on the New-Atheists-as-Islamophobic-racists meme:

Here's a complicated intellectual maneuver . . . it's OK to be an atheist, so long as you omit Islam from your list of the religions to which you object. The theory seems to be that it's bigotry to notice when more bad things are done in the name of one religion than in the name of others.

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