The Morning Heresy 10/11/12: Ladybugs’ Picnic Day

October 11, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

I declare today Ladybugs' Picnic Day. Why? Sing it with me!

One-two-three, four-five-six, seven-eight-nine...(and today's date!) 10-11-12!!! Get it???

Sunshine State News chronicles the tit for tat over Florida's Amendment 8, which would allow state money to fund religious institutions, and is a reaction to the Council for Secular Humanism's lawsuit against the funding of proselytizing prison programs in the state. So obviously, we're against it

In the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida state representative Steve Precourt makes the Council his bogeyman of choice, and cites us as a reason for forming the eyeroll-inducing "religious freedom caucus" in the state legislature.  

Arizona Republic endorses nontheist congressional candidate Krysten Sinema, 

Today in blasphemy:

Madness alert: The Pakistani Taliban tries to justify its attempted assassination of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai:

If anyone thinks that Malala is targeted because of education, that's absolutely wrong and is propaganda by media. Malala is targeted because of her pioneer role in preaching secularism and so-called enlightened moderation. And whom so ever will commit so in the future too will be targeted again by the [Taliban]. 

An angry mob in Pakistan led by clerics ransacks the home of a boy for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages. Luckily, the boy and his mother had already fled the area.  

Ida Lichter in HuffPo on blasphemy laws:

Freedom of speech is the foundation of all freedoms and intellectual debate, and the cornerstone for development in the Muslim world. If denied, the door to women's reform will close and the Muslim world will regress even further, an outcome that is bound to be detrimental to the West. 

The news outlet of my alma mater, George Washington University, recounts the successful CFI-DC event with Salman Rushdie and Robert Siegel. 

Natalia Antonova at The Guardian has the background on how one member of Pussy Riot got to go free

But apparently, it's really Kirk Cameron who is the victim of liberals' blasphemy laws. 

Another atheist letter to the editor rips Dana Milbank for his condescension to nonbelievers. 

You see, when Rep. Paul Broun said that evolution and the Big Bang were lies from Hell, he was “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.” Err, so I guess we're all good then? Sigh. 

Chris Stedman and Vlad Chituc at HuffPo look at the complicated task of interfaith outreach to "nones." 

BBC's magazine takes a deep look at why the hell so many people are so damn interested in the Loch Ness Monster. 

How do you prove we're all living in a computer-simulated universe? Build another computer-simulated universe within the computer-simulated universe. Whew. 

Josephine Jones: The makers of the probably-fake medicine ColonHelp (yes, "ColonHelp") are suing Wordpress for not censoring a blog that pointed out that their medicine was, well, probably fake. 

Meanwhile, another quack company sues a skeptic site for pointing out that the quack company's quack magazine is quacky. 

Tim Farley points us to a grant awarded by the Gates Foundation to Prof. Seth Kalichman to help monitor anti-vaxxer activity on the web.

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is none too pleased with Mitt Romney for claiming a special relationship with ex-Navy SEAL and MRFF supporter Glen Doherty, killed in the Benghazi embassy attacks.

CSI introduces us to Uiwon Hwang, a skeptic activist in South Korea who tells us:

Rather than the religions, we have been facing more problems with left-wing ideology, especially anti-Americanism and anti-Occidentalism. These issues are severe and their proponents have formed an authority. The funny thing about this is that it is always connected with an anti-science agenda. 

Turn your head, cough, and ignore that cracking sound

Joint football team of a public and Catholic school must remove the cross from their helmets. 

Quote of the Day        

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum:

Whenever you hear people say that "Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States," remember that's only true if you exclude "no religion" as a religious category. Otherwise, "no religion" is far and away the fastest growing - and the one with the most potential to reshape American society in the 21st century.  

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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