The Morning Heresy 10/26/12: Folklore-for-Profit

October 26, 2012

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

The conference is now officially in full swing, and tonight is the big CSICon Halloween party. I'm actually missing the first event so I can deliver all this crucial information to you, the Morning Heresy readers. You are so welcome. Also of note: Because I forgot my own razor, I had to use the hotel's cheapie razor to shave, and now my face looks and feels like I just nuzzled up to a cheese grater. I know I'm a big, famous seculebrity, but please, no photos.

Just in time for our skeptical conference, profiles Joe Nickell and his quest for truth about the paranormal, calling him, "the world's longest-running full-time professional paranormal investigator." 

Tom Flynn's latest salvo against Florida's religion-funding Amendment 8 addresses the Blaine Amendment's 19th century anti-Catholic baggage.  

Billy Hallowell at Glenn Beck's The Blaze does a pretty detailed treatment on CFI's lawsuit in Indiana to allow secular celebrants to solemnize marriages. 

KBOO in Portland, OR interviews CFI-Portland's Sylvia Benner on the Humanist Film Festival (at about the 13:30 mark). 

Bob Smietana of the Tennessean (who I expect I'll see today) reports: Parents of a new baby with a rare, fatal condition take solace in the idea that it is "God's will." Writes Smietana:

It's one thing to talk about God's will when life is good. It's another when a doctor is saying your baby won't live. 

The "trappings of science" may really make proponents of the paranormal more credible to lay audiences.

Irish Times on how social justice may be atheism's "new face."  

Adele M. Stan at Salon: Democrats may regret ignoring the nonreligious.  

Victoria Bekiempis in the Daily News on atheists' bad rep

Truth is, we share some of the blame for the way we’re perceived. If, as our numbers rise, we’re going to be taken seriously, we need to not be so grating in voicing our (non) beliefs. story on how women vote according to their cycles (!) is pulled and retracted.  

Spike TV would like to throw $10m at whoever finds Bigfoot. 

New app tests your psychic powers

Steve Siebold at HuffPo wants you to use critical thinking when deciding how to vote. Good luck. 

NYT: Which candidate is addressing the seriousness of climate change? Neither

Pete Stark, the only atheist in Congress, is being attacked by his opponent (also a Democrat) with insinuations about atheism.

Joanna Piacenza on the cognitive dissonance experienced in the West over our ideas of Buddhism and the reality of Buddhist violence in places like Myanmar.

Guy who shot up the Family Research Council's DC headquarters charged with terrorism

Peter Boghossian gives a lecture on critical thinking.  

Apparently Jenny McCarthy will not get to write about vaccinations at the Chicago Sun-Times

Quote of the Day         

Mayan descendants have had it with the end-of-the-world crap. Felipe Gomez of Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop:

We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles. 

(Hat tip Sharon Hill

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 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta


#1 Thomas B (Guest) on Friday October 26, 2012 at 10:05am

I don’t know what world Victoria Bekiempis is living in.  She says that, “Fighting against this beam, which bears symbolic, patriotic meaning (it was recovered from Ground Zero wreckage) is not the best battle for atheists to pick when we should first focus on overt threats to our freedom, such as prayer in schools and representation of the Ten Commandments in the public sphere.”  Well gosh, when we focus on civil rights issues like that, Christians HATE us anyway!  What are we supposed to do, just shut up and let them do anything they want?

#2 Vlad Chituc (Guest) on Friday October 26, 2012 at 10:53am


How is a cross in a museum that isn’t even publicly owned a civil rights violation? It is historically relevant as a response to 9/11. It doesn’t violate the establishment clause at all. The fact that we’re making such a fuss over something trivial that isn’t even illegal actually does react rather negatively on us as a movement.

#3 Thomas B (Guest) on Monday October 29, 2012 at 7:03am

I’m not talking about the beam.  Go up and follow the link to “DFI’s lawsuit in Indiana”, which really is a civil rights issue.  Then scroll down and read the comments left by the Christians.  They’re going to hate us no matter what we do.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.