Bringing a Halberd to a Game of Laser Tag

September 20, 2013

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

Pope Francis makes everyone lose their minds with a long interview granted to Jesuit publications, the English version being published in the magazine America (by the way, is that something we can do? Have an atheist magazine and just call it, like, United States?) In it, His Cuddliness says that the Church has been too "obsessed" with the hot-button issues of abortion, birth control, and homosexuality. Says His Avuncularness:

I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. . . . The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.

(Andrew Sullivan is, of course, giddy. Or, as he says, "reeling.") 

Tom Flynn thinks secular groups should reconsider invitations to "interfaith" meetings, even if they come from the administration:

[I]f someone – let’s say, the President – wishes to mount a new attack on some pressing social problem, bringing a bunch of life stance organizations together to talk about it is a ridiculous place to start. It’s a buggy whip solution. It’s bringing a halberd to a game of laser tag. It’s just silly. 

Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan is, I kid you not, convicted of racism by a Danish High Court for saying she is "very convinced that Muslim men around the world rape, abuse and kill their daughters." 

"Few things are as ridiculous as homeopathic medicines," says Susan Perry in a piece warning of the activities of Homeopaths Without Borders`.

I interview SCA's chief Edwina Rogers for the CFI Summit about all the progress of the past year, and all the challenges that await the secular movement in DC. 

CFI-Indiana is having a big Carl Sagan Day event on November 9, with James Croft, Katherine Rhode, Phil Plait, and Leonard Tramiel. Register here.

The big Secular Parenting Forum is tomorrow in Garden City, NY! 

Just as CFI denounces child marriages at the UN, a coalition of religious leaders from different faiths in Nepal take part in a video project to do the same. 

CFI-LA's big mirror-breaking Friday the 13th shindig gets coverage in the Beverly Press

Former chair of the Texas Board of Education, Don McLeroy, says that textbooks infused with creationism should be adopted so they can "strike the final blow to the teaching of evolution." At least he's honest about his aims.

The chances that there is life on Mars are now really, really, really bad. There's, like, no methane

The LDS church is treading carefully into Hawaii's marriage equality debate, but treading it is.

Awkward pickup lines: "My, your brain is awfully smooth." 

Our CFI On Campus affiliate of the week is the Wayne State Secular Student Alliance. 

Barbara King at NPR calls Dawkins' autobiography "funny and modest, absorbing and playful." 

An elementary school class is assigned to write about their idols...

Erin Sheen, 10, decided to write about God. But the teacher refused to allow her, so Erin wrote about Michael Jackson instead.  

Quack diet pitchman Kevin Trudeau talks his way out of custody after failing to pay an enormous fine and pretending to be poor.    

Spaaaaaace seahooooorse! 

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Merritt interviews theologian Greg Boyd, who asks believers to vigorously question their faith. Says Boyd:

In reality, it is simply impossible to be certain about most important matters of life. Every significant decision we make in life is shrouded in uncertainty. It’s part of what it means to be a finite and fallen human being, and its arrogant, foolish, and idolatrous to pretend otherwise.   

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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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