COBRA’s Religious Exemption

July 18, 2014

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

CFI sent out an email yesterday on how our Indiana win for Secular Celebrants is a great example of the progress we're making, and now much more there is to do.  

Hemant opines on the Secular Celebrant bill CFI-Northeast Ohio is championing:

This is a no-brainer. There’s just no good reason to oppose the bill. Which means someone will inevitably do so, claiming that allowing atheists to officiate a wedding would somehow ruin the experience for other people or deprive ministers of some holy power. 

I dunno how I missed this yesterday. Oh right, things are crazy. But this is big: U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney rules California's death penalty unconstitutional.The ruling currently only applies to a single case, but obviously it doesn't end here.  

Rachel Marie Stone makes a firm stand against religious exemptions for vaccinations:

If you truly believe that vaccine-free is best, get on a plane with your kids and go to one of the countries where measles, mumps, diphtheria, and polio are not even close to eradicated. Then realize anyone from there can come into your community, your school, your church, your grocery store and start an outbreak — if not in you, than in the vulnerable people you come in contact with you. 

The IRS says it will enforce its own rules prohibiting preachers politicking from pulpits. Alliteration FTW. 

Both atheists and Mormons are roughly 2% of the U.S. population according to Pew, but 59 and 44% of Americans respectively claim to know one personally

Bob Frey wants to be a Member of Congress, and he thinks dinosaurs "have always" lived alongside humans

Amanda Marcotte lauds a Senate Democratic effort to stop the legislative siege on abortion providers by lumping them in with every other kind of medical service provider. Amazing, I know. 

Eugenie Scott gets an asteroid. I assume just named after her, I don't think she's moving there. 

Andrew Wakefield, the "doctor" who started the whole vaccines-cause-autism disaster, is still out there

Gotta hand it to George Hrab on this one: James Randi is serenaded to the melodies of Pharrell. 

Vox says the Myers-Briggs personality test IRVU. (Isn't Really Very Useful)  

Sarah Jones of Americans United claims the badge of "faitheist":

It means that I refuse to dehumanize people simply because they disagree with me about the existence of God. And that means I’ve left tribalism behind for good.

Jennifer LaClaire at Charisma News on why she thinks Christians shouldn't be too worried about all these atheists giving invocations after Greece v. Galloway:

Maybe some of these 150 speakers that plan to invade meetings with secular invocations will meet with some on-fire Christians who can show them Jesus. 

You see, because when it's Christians it's cool, but when it's nonbelievers, it's an "invasion." Nice. 

From Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News: "Presidential candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has sought to reassure atheists in Turkey that forcing religious matters on people is against Islamic principles." 

A court in India rules that religion doesn't give anyone an excuse to harm cobras in violation of a wildlife protection act: "The capture and worship of live snakes for worship is not an essential part of the Hindu religion." Harming COBRA, I assume, is still legal, and indeed necessary for global defense. 

Bill Maher decides he wants everyone to hate him

New Hampshire Magazine on what might be the oldest known UFO photo (which is probably a picture of a ruler). 

Whoa that's a big hole, and it might be something called a "pingo," which is not a venture capital-funded Silicon Valley startup (or maybe it is).

If you see a fin, and hear some galloping, look out for the Shorse

Quote of the Day

Brian Pellot says religion doesn't prevent someone from committing evil:

Can we please just call a spade a spade. Buddhist monks are terrorists if they engage in acts of terrorism. The same can be said for any person of any faith, belief or ideology who uses unauthorized violence to achieve political aims. ... Some religious people are good. Some are not. Some nonreligious people are good. Some are not. Religion does not preclude, negate, justify or explain inhumanity. 

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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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

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