The Morning Heresy 10/29/12: Nones for Nader

October 29, 2012

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

The Tennessean's Bob Smietana has a great report on CSICon (which just ended yesterday), talking to CFI's Debbie Goddard, board member Leonard Tramiel, and that other guy with the blog and the thing for tentacles. 

Twitterers could follow the hashtag #CSICon to keep up with the conference's goings-on, and Kyle Hill has even Storified his copious live-tweetings.  

Our own Michael De Dora gets a fancy profile in the Washington Examiner. 

Egypt Independent speaks to Egyptian atheists making their way through the culture in the wake of the arrest of Alber Saber

Public Religion Research Institute looks at how the religiously unaffiliated have allocated their votes over past presidential elections. Interesting to see how the "nones" tend to lend more support to third-party candidates than the public at large (see 1980 tallies for Anderson and 2000 for Nader). 

A professor from both Harvard and Princeton, along with the dean of a seminary, opine in the Tallahassee Democrat that the passage of Florida's Amendment 8 (which CFI is, you know, very much against) will "prevent an unnecessary statewide clash over religion instigated by anti-religious activists." 

LA Times does its own obit for Paul Kurtz, as does the Guardian.  

Jeff Sparrow in Counterpunch thinks the invective against feminism in some corners of atheism and our movement's hostility toward Islam are of a kind

Michael Nugent disputes the myth that the New Atheism is made up of "one-dimensional, rabidly anti-religious Dawkinsians." 

The AHA is getting a chance at the "Under God" part of the Pledge of Allegiance with the Massachusetts Supreme Court

President Obama gets behind ballot initiatives in Maine and Washington state to legalize same-sex marriage. 

Russell Blackford makes a case for an explicitly atheist movement, but considers other priorities:

I’d rather talk over a glass of beer or a cup of coffee with a liberal-minded deist than with a homophobe or authoritarian who happens to be an atheist. 

James Croft on the place of civility:

If you say I cannot vote, cannot make my own decisions, cannot do the same jobs, cannot marry the one I love, cannot wear what I please and think what I like, then we cannot be civil. Yet I will be civil, even when we cannot. 

Afrah Farah, a victim of female genital mutilation, on dealing with the practice's proponents:

There are millions of people who are affiliated with this procedure -- parents, grandparents, people in the community -- and to label them all as bad people or barbaric, that’s wrong. You will push them away. To solve a problem like this, you need to approach people with respect.

Justin Bieber does not have cancer

Katrina Lantos Swett of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom bemoans the lack of such freedom throughout the world.

Prague Post: Ukrainian political and religious leaders are calling for churches to stay out of politics, but "in a country where religion is so intertwined with politics, those calls are largely being ignored." That sounds familiar.  

The IRS isn't going after ministers here in the US who electioneer because they're not sure who's in charge of doing so. 

Pagans get a TV network.

When someone tells you they have found a way to "use gravitational waves to prevent electronic smog," arrest them

Because Sasquatch is not on a list of animals you're allowed to hunt in New York state, Bigfoot is therefore a protected species. Errmmm... 

The war with the aliens is already being fought in Antarctica.  

Boston Globe profiles a homeopath trying to "cure" the sick in Haiti

Couple who starved their two-year-old son with reliance on homeopathy plead not guilty. 

The word "skepticism" is utterly abused in this NPR blog piece about the deniers of reality

Jehovah's Witness who insisted on a "bloodless" liver transplant dies. 

The Oregonian covers the Portland Humanist Film Festival

When you get a knighthood from the Pope, you can't ever lose it, even in death, and even when you've been discovered to be a "child sex predator." 

Quote of the Day         

Eugenie Scott on legal strategies for dealing with the anti-science movement, at CSICon:

Never depend on legal advice from a physical anthropologist.  

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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