Nobody Knows What Happens

June 27, 2017

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

As our legal director Nick Little put it, SCOTUS "detonated a massive breach in the wall of separation between church and state" with its decision in the Trinity Lutheran case, a decision that will have really bad consequences as religious institutions get the green light to go diving for public dollars. Tara Isabella Burton at Vox looks at the implications, including a reference to our lawsuit in Florida over prison ministries looking for taxpayer funding. Betsy DeVos is probably really excited.

MEANWHILE the Court has decided to take up the case of a Colorado cake shop owner who, darn it, just doesn't want to serve the gays because religion. We'll be submitting an amicus brief on this case, and in the mean time, we have a statement, essentially, that this is some backward-ass stuff. 

The Court also allowed some aspects of the Muslim ban I mean travel ban take effect, which we oppose as well. 

So. Busy day.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia heralds new census data showing that those claiming "no religion" make up 30.1% of the Australian population. This is the first time "no religion" was an option on the census, following a big campaign led by atheist groups.

Our web series Reasonable Talk has a new episode, the CSICon 2016 presentation by David Helfand on not being a "Google-fed zombie" and making it through the walking dead-ness of the "misinformation age."

This sucks: Even though the amount of carbon humans are belching into the atmosphere has stabilized, the amount of carbon in the air is still rising

EPA scientist Deborah Swackhamer was pressured by the chief of staff to alter her testimony to the House Science Committee and "play down the dismissal of expert advisers" at the agency, reports NYT. 

Well here's a novelty: Michael Gerson and Tom Flynn agree about something. They both don't like Yuval Harari. 

Adam Lee says the freethought movement needs to shape up and stop making enemies:

We in the atheist community are only harming ourselves and impeding our own goals when we let the noxious weeds of bigotry proliferate among us. We need all the allies and supporters we can get. Whether it’s women, ex-Muslims, or any other minority, we can’t afford to alienate people who’d be sympathetic to our cause. Doing anything else is guaranteeing that we’ll remain a permanent minority in a world dominated by religion. 

Britain's pharmaceutical regulators release new guidance for when a pharmacist's religious beliefs conflict with their job:

If a pharmacy professional is unwilling to provide a certain service, they should take steps to make sure the person asking for care is at the centre of their decision-making, so they can access the service they need in a timely manner and without hindrance.

A report in Australia by Prof. Stephen King (!!!!!) says that homeopathic products shouldn't be sold in pharmacies because of the "unacceptable risk" they pose to people's health.

A pet psychic (like, someone who magically communicates with pets, not a psychic that someone keeps as a pet) knows that Rambo the dog wants his owner to take his PTSD medicine.

Quote of the Day:

You may have heard that Sean Spicer has made a no-cameras rule for his White House briefings, which, to be clear, is absolute crap. Jack Moore at GQ beseeches the press corps:

Don't follow these rules. Right now, nobody knows what happens if the media refuses to comply and turns on a camera. We need to know what kind of leader we have. Will he arrest journalists? Will he back down and respect the freedom of the press? We will never know until we test him. So test him. This is a scary time. It's a crisis. The least you can do is turn your camera on. 

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

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