We Are Ends in Ourselves

July 16, 2014

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

Last night, Dan Courtney gave his historic atheist invocation before a meeting of the Town Board of Greece, NY. He did a great job, and CFI staff and supporters were there at the rally afterward showing support for a secular government. We put up video of Dan's invocation, here's audio of Ron and Dan at the rally, and we'll have video of the rally as well later today. Here's the Associated Press's report filed right after the invocation, and Hemant has a great overview of the whole shebang. The Democrat and Chronicle has a good report, too. 

Just before the event, our president and CEO Ron Lindsay joined Dan on Evan Dawson's radio show on WXXI, and it's a great conversation about why we were there, and the general place of atheists in American politics and culture. 

There's more coverage of our huge win in Indiana, as a federal court ruled that the state must allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages. The Christian Science Monitor calls it a "significant victory for nonbelievers" (it is), and Amanda Marcotte at Slate notes that we godless no longer have to pretend to be religious to get certified to perform weddings.

The Christian Post reports on CFI's decision to rescind its support of ENDA for its overbroad religious exemptions. 

Meanwhile, CFI has joined 69 other groups in asking the president not to include a religious exemption to an anti-discrimination executive order. 

This is really something: Quakers in Washington state have established a new underground railroad to save gay Ugandans fleeing persecution

Cracked takes a bat to conspiracy theories, and why they're so dangerous.  

Robert Sapolsky opines at WSJ about magical thinking, and how it infects so much of our culture.  

CFI's Education Director David Koepsell sticks up for philosophy against its detractors:

Basic science and fundamental investigation will not occur in the private domain. Polemics may be useful in public debate, but without the basic scientific research that only (so far) publicly-funded, university-based research encourages, the foundations for our public arguments would not be as trustworthy. 

Rick Cohen at Nonprofit Quarterly considers the teaching of religion in charter schools

Go right ahead, and browse Darwin's library from aboard the Beagle

These 10,000-year-old rock paintings are obviously proof that aliens were here. 

Marcelo Gleiser says that science can never answer every question, and that's a "liberating" thing. 

First the Church of England okays women bishops, and now Satan is out of baptisms

Chase Robinson says of ISIS's dreams of a new Islamic caliphate that the "dystopian vision may have some appeal to those brutalized by war and radicalized by sectarian strife, but it has no legs." 

Lots of folks like Jesus, but they don't think they share his politics

This is a good picture. Malala and Gabby.

Pat Robertson blames witchcraft for a boy's stomach p---oh, never mind. 

HAHAHAHAHAHA Deepak Chopra offers atheists $1,000,000 to prove how consciousness works, because that will show once and for all...um...Chopra...I mean...quantum...um...HAHAHAHAHAHA 

Quote of the Day

Gotta give it to Dan

This central pillar of a free society; this notion that is deeply heretical to authoritarian culture, proclaims that it is from the people that moral authority is derived. It is that within us, the citizens, that knowledge and wisdom must emerge. ... We, as citizens, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega of our destiny are not, as the great philosopher Immanuel Kant warned, mere means to the ends of another, but we are ends in ourselves.

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