Atheist Airplanes vs. the Angels

July 15, 2013

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

Zimmerman thinks it was "God's plan" for him to kill Trayvon. God needs to rethink some of his plans.

CFI CEO Ron Lindsay joined the panel on HuffPost Live to talk about the unceasing (and rather muddled) search for proof of God's existence.  

Congratulations to James Randi who just married Devyi Pena, his partner of 27 years. 

Gary Wills on the complicated politics and symbolism of turning popes into saints. 

CFI-Kenya's George Ongere guest-posts at our On Campus blog to talk about reaching out to students to bring the mesage of free inquiry and skepticism where it is badly needed.  

Rick Heller offers ideas of how nonbelievers can enjoy the “Help,” “Thanks,” and “Wow" parts of prayer without supernatural belief

Sens. Gillibrand and Blunt want to give taxpayer funds to houses of worship  for disaster relief. 

According to Pew, Americans think little of the good clergy do for society, though at least they fare better than artists and journalists. 

Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frasier's report on CSICon2 just posted online.

This is news to me: A general interest magazine for atheists - The Celestial Teapot

Ben Radford looks at the supposedly successful use of psychic power to find a murdered 11-year-old boy, and prefers Occam's Razor over credulous enthusiasm. 

Sharon Hill nods in approval as a ghost hunter group seeks input from a skeptics' group. 

Achieve True Internet Enlightenment with xkcd.

Semi-revealing (and maddening) op-ed by an Alabama climate change denier, who ascribes his denial, in part, to a convenient overlapping of climate change mitigation measures and a liberal policy checklist:

It's all too politically familiar: Income redistribution from businesses to the government and from rich nations to poor via carbon cap-and-trade schemes, increased government control of production and consumption, and decreased property rights, to name a few. Read any leftist group's literature and you'll see issues cleverly tied to global warming. Some even link reproductive healthcare (i.e. abortion) to causes related to population control and lessening mankind's carbon footprint. This shields their ideological goals behind scientific consensus, which we're told can't be questioned. 

Brain Pickings highlights a letter from Einstein to a questioner who wondered about scientists and prayer:

[S]cience leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.  

CFI-Canada is busy: Saturday they picketed an event by fake psychic Sylvia Browne, and they are petitioning the Canadian government (which I think they spell "gouvournment") to think twice about establishing a Pope John Paul II Day.   

Our own Tom Flynn is coming to Philly on August 11 to talk about the Freethought Trail. 

David Gibson on the evolving and troublesome meaning of the word "pagan." 

Baron Davis, who I understand once played a professional sport with the New York Knickerbockers, was totally abducted by aliens

Meanwhile, you can upload your own encounters of the third kind to the Roswell Daily Record

SCA state offices get new websites with zippy new logos. 

A formerly brainwashed Moonie, Diane Benscoter, whose I brain I presume is now appropriately soiled with reality again, tells her tale in a new book and TED talk. 

Frank Bruni at NYT muses over Joyce Carol Oates' temerity for suggesting on Twitter that perhaps here is misogyny problem within Islam. Says Oates:

It’s a little surprising to me that social media have turned out to be kind of prissy and prim and politically correct. 

Dave Pruett writing at HuffPo:

[Intelligent Design] troubles me because it subverts the scientific process. From an assumed conclusion (there is a designer), facts are cherry-picked and bent to support the conclusion. Darwin, on the other hand, followed the facts wherever they led, even when they undermined his own equanimity. 

David M. Perry at The Atlantic makes the case for denying Jenny McCarthy a platform on The View:

[T]he notion that it is worth the risk of serious or even fatal illness to avoid autism hurts people who are living with the condition. McCarthy portrays autism as a terrifying disease you can nevertheless fix with fad diets. Claims of cures like McCarthy's have led parents to feed their children bleach, buy expensive (though harmless) specialized diets, and spend tens of thousands of dollars on experimental treatments. 

Wow, here's a new one. Evil atheist conspiracy looks to "murder . . . Jesus's very Heavenly Angels of Love" by means of airplane chemtrails. Maybe "Atheist Angel Hunters" can be a new TLC show.  

Quote of the Day 

Yes, I'm an evangelical atheist, but I also like calls for everyone to be nice to each other no matter what. So here's Rev. Steven Greenebaum of the Living Interfaith Church:

Many of our most intractable ills may be laid on the altar of our divisions into ‘them’ and ‘us.’ Such a mindset allows us to judge others and find them lesser beings. Now, I’m not here to try to convince anyone that there is no such thing as ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ But I am here to say that there is no ‘them.’ And there is no ‘us’ who are somehow superior to them.
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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. 

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