An Example of Something Absurd

June 26, 2013

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

Anything interesting happen yesterday? I wasn't paying attention. Slow news day I guess?

I'm kidding. In the wider world, President Obama outlined a new climate change initiative, and CFI responded with input from CSI Fellows Marc Boslough and Stuart Jordan. (Al Gore liked it way more. The White House has a zippy infographic.)

We were introduced to what Joan Walsh called a feminist superhero in Texas, state senator Wendy Davis, mounts a "badass" filibuster of crazy anti-abortion legislation. (Which did not pass.)

Massachusetts gets a new Democratic US Senator with an "A" rating from SCA. 

There was also a big SCOTUS decision on the Voting Rights Act, which caused, well, feelings.  

In our own world, we sadly lost the Point of Inquiry team en masse to Mother JonesCFI's response is here

Of course, the big news we're all waiting for today comes from the court! And by that I mean the San Diego Superior Court may decide today that yoga in public school violates church-state separation. 

I'm kidding again! Today the Supreme Court will (probably) rule on DOMA and Prop 8. We'll have our own reaction when the decision comes down.

Four men sue both the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts over sexual abuse accusations

Secular hospital pairs with a Catholic hospital, and lo and behold, no more abortions

New study: Crazy-difficult and wacky religious rituals may increase prosociality.

This Sunday, CFI-NYC will participate in the Pride March

Do not ask what good we do: Last month, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama introduced a shiny new constitutional amendment "giving Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Rick Santorum, heading a Christian movie studio promises to "shape the culture" and produce movies "that rival any good Hollywood film." Yeah. 

Jews to Pope Francis: Please reconsider canonizing the old pope who ignored the Holocaust. 

Buzzfeed has 17 companies you may not have known were religious. Hehe, In-N-Out Burger.

Joe Klein tries to cover his butt after dissing secular humanists. And is still wrong.

AU raises hell over a bill sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D) and John Hoeven (R) that would provide grants for energy upgrades to houses of worship.

NYT: Germany, France, and Belgium all make big arrests and raids to foil suspected Islamist terrorist plots.

City Paper profiles a "renegade Catholic community" where women are priests and muffins are plentiful. 

Jesus gets to stay on a Montana mountain to bless/distract skiers. 

Scott Atran rebuts Sam Harris's characterization of his views on Islam and jihad. 

Evolution education in Turkey is in a precarious place. 

Quote of the Day 

Daniel Shenton, president of the very real Flat Earth Society:

I accept that climate change is a process which has been ongoing since beginning of detectable history, but there seems to be a definite correlation between the recent increase in world-wide temperatures and man’s entry into the industrial age. If it’s a coincidence, it’s quite a remarkable one. We may have experienced a temperature increase even without our use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, but I doubt it would be as dramatic as what we’re seeing now. . . . I don’t take things like [Obama's dig at the Society] that personally, though. I know the Society’s views are quite unorthodox. Most people react quite strongly to them because the Round Earth model is so deeply ingrained in them since childhood — it’s one of those ‘facts’ that doesn’t need to be challenged. When an opposing viewpoint is presented, it’s summarily dismissed as ‘crazy’ or ‘backward’. It’s unfortunate that Flat Earth Theory is what some people (President Obama, for instance) choose to reference when they need an example of something absurd.   

* * *  

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul, Ed, Lauren, anyone who can fire them, or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta