Deliberately Breaking All Codes of Politeness or Manners

March 8, 2013

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

Wow there's a lot of news for a Friday. Let's start with something nice. Go ahead and enjoy these: Smithsonian Magazine's finalists for their 2012 photo contest.  

CFI's Michael De Dora is about to whip some would-be secular activists into shape with a training workshop with CFI-NYC on March 17.  

Human rights org Article 19 releases a report on the efforts around the world to ban so-called "homosexual propaganda":

These bans must be seen in the worrying context of attempts to manipulate international human rights law to take account of ‘traditional values.’ 

Washington state florist refuses to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding because of his "relationship with Jesus Christ." And you know the name of one of the men getting married? Robert Ingersoll. NOT EVEN KIDDING. 

Coalition of Hispanic evangelicals and Catholics are lobbying against any inclusion of LGBT equality measures in proposed immigration reforms.  

Who couldn't do with a double-dose of deGrasse? Here's Neil deGrasse Tyson talking to the Columbia Journalism Review about the next generation of the series Cosmos (swoon), with some interesting contrasts between his and Sagan's approaches. Then Radiolab's Robert Krulwich considers Tyson's lionization of NASA. 

David Gibson looks at the papal conclave and its tendency toward "groupthink" (as opposed to, say, divine inspiration). 

In Indonesia, practicing "black magic" will land you in jail. Atheism already does. 

Tomorrow in Madison, Wisc., there's going to be an Atheist Pride Parade as part of Freethought Festival.

Court rules that Missouri library can't block access to non-Christian/pagan websites on its computers. 

Louisiana tax dollars are going, in part, to help voucher students understand the good aspects of the KKK, how dinosaurs lived alongside humans, and learn the following about the 1960s counter-culture:

Many young people turned to drugs and immoral lifestyles; these youth became known as hippies. They went without bathing, wore dirty, ragged, unconventional clothing, and deliberately broke all codes of politeness or manners. Rock music played an important part in the hippie movement and had great influence over the hippies. Many of the rock musicians they followed belonged to Eastern religious cults or practiced Satan worship. 

Speaking of the hooded folks, Ben Radford at Discovery News writes about how heightened tensions at Oberlin College may have led folks to imagine KKK members lurking around campus.  

Ben also dishes on exorcisms for LiveScience. Where does he get the time and energy to write so much? It's like he's possessed or something. 

Dean of Simon Fraser University, under fire for allowing an anti-vaccine conference on its campus, responds (PDF):

We are deeply concerned that the public may interpret this as an indication that SFU supports the perspective of the [Vaccine Resistance Movement]. Nothing could be further from the truth. Renting downtown campus space does not convey in any way that these events are supported or promoted by SFU. 

You know those essentially-inedible candies "Dots"? (I'm not convinced they're food, but a kind of lightly-sweetened plastic.) Yeah, well, one of them is the Virgin Mary. Enjoy! 

Cambridge professor Tim Crane gives a talk on atheists and notions of tolerance and morality (video).  

Leo Igwe on the importance of honoring humanists even in death by not giving them religious funerals, which is a challenge in Nigeria:

Very often family and community members do not respect the wishes of their humanist members and friends to be buried in a secular way. In most cases when atheists die, family and community members impose religious funerals on them. And this should not happen. 

Mano Singham promotes the work of Indian anti-homeopathy activist Deepak Gupta.

We have a new Affiliate of the Week for CFI On Campus, and they're named after a fish: The Bruin Alliance of Skeptics and Secularists (BASS).

What do you do when the teacher and the superintendent of a public school are proselytizing creationists who say that evolution is evil? 

Saudi astronomer apparently vouches for authenticity of a UFO seen in Yemen. 

The Economist on the uncomfortable balance between the US's religious freedom ideals around the world, and other foreign-policy goals that often weigh more heavily. 

It's snowing in New England (yeah, I know, and fire is hot), and not even Jesus can stop it. (Thanks, Jay, for the tip)

Louisiana psychic "cleanses" her client of $10,000 of "evil" money. What a pal. 

Guys, New Atheism is dead. The Catholic Herald said so. Go home, everybody.  

Quote of the Day 

Jonathan Zimmerman at Tablet finds his humanist synagogue:

I needed my experience with Humanistic Judaism to relearn what I intuitively understood from a young age: There is inherent value in saying words I do not mean, praying to a God I do not believe in, and kissing a Torah I do not believe was written by him. There is a poetic richness as a non-believer participating in this tradition, in being an “Israelite” named for a mythological story about wrestling with a fictional deity that birthed a very real people. 

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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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