The Morning Heresy 4/23/12: Legion of Doom

April 23, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

On Mondays, there's always a lot of material to catch up on from over the weekend here at the Heresy. It becomes hard to organize it all so that it's not too overwhelming, but all the bases get covered. Bear with me, though. One theme that's emerged with a vengeance over the past few weeks is the rise of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as this kind of society of supervillains, like the Legion of Doom or something. Every day I'm posting at least one new link about how they're doing something so jaw-droppingly regressive or inflammatory that it defies basic notions of propriety and, well, modernity itself. So this week I'll see about grouping their stories into one sub-heading to keep it all a little more organized. Onward!

Two must-reads this morning!

Must-read 1: Probably the best op-ed ever written in the history of ever: An obituary for facts

Must-read 2: Kylie Sturgess gets kidnapped by Dawkins and Hirsi Ali - totally hilarious (Her blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites)

Phil Plait: Tell American Airlines not to promote dangerous anti-vax propaganda - Phil says:

"I will not fly AA ever again if they run this interview, and I will make very sure the thousands of people who read my blog know about my decision." 

The CDC says that 2011 was the worst year for measles in 15 years 

Joe Nickell's moving post on the destruction of his hometown by tornado 

(Joe also goes to Anderson Cooper's daytime show to talk UFOs) 

Vanity Fair held a memorial for Hitchens, and there's a lot of media to go through, including this video tribute

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum recounts his experience of the service 

Hemant: Believe it or not, sometimes we nonbelievers overreact 

Legion of Doom: 

Seattle Times' Jerry Large gets a Morning Heresy award for an Elizabeth Cady Stanton shout-out, defends the Catholic nuns who are being leashed by the bishops

Melinda Henneberger in WaPo on the crackdown on nuns and their "radical feminism" (if only!) 

Secular Coalition: Bishops would like it if their beliefs about abortion and sex were codified into US-funded aid to stop sex trafficking 

Catholic News Service: Secularism's rise is spooking Catholic muckity-mucks (I'm paraphrasing). Chad C. Pecknold, assistant professor of theology at The Catholic University:

"The larger concern with secularism is that it damages people, and that it actually keeps people from being reasonable with one another. . . .It creates a great level of intolerance for people of faith." 

Notre Dame faculty asks for resignation from board of fellows of bishop who compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin, AU says he was engaged in illegal electioneering 

Moving on: 

Rock Beyond Belief on PBS's "Religion and Ethics"

NYT: How to hunt for Bigfoot (and some other wacky things) 

AFP: Turkish pianist, Fazil Say, an atheist, chooses exile in Japan over increasingly-religious home country  

Gary Laderman, chair of Emory University's religious studies department in AJC op-ed:

"The lead-up to the 2012 presidential election is as much about which form of Christianity will rule as it is about the economy, war, the size of government and other highly charged issues of the day."

Speaking of Hitler! (And when are we not?) Here's a 1932 article from The Atlantic on "Hitlerism," with this bit that stood out to me:

"For him there is only one thing in human life to aim at. Race and nation are one, and he has fused them into an idol which he calls Volkstum, the racial community, which becomes an object of fanatical devotion. In short, his political philosophy is a kind of religion, based on pseudo science and tribal psychology." 

McGill science professor on his support of CFI-backed lawsuit against homeopathy peddlers in Canada 

Watergate felon, Nixon henchman, right wing religious conservative powerbroker Chuck Colson is dead at 80 

Reuters: Tunisian court to rule on charge of blasphemy against TV station for airing the film "Persepolis" 

Lots of buzz about alleged Loch Ness Monster sonar evidence -- Sharon Hill: "This is not news"

Understatement of the Day: Joanna Brooks of RNS in an article on LGBT Mormons' conference: "It’s not easy to be a gay Mormon." 

Least Surprising News of the Day: Louisiana Senate kills attempt to reintroduce science stanards in public education 

Ed Kilgore in TNR: Christian Right is okay with Romney as long as he toes their line 

The Grio: Might Romney be Borked

UFOs in Gloucester (unless they're Chinese lanterns) 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Michael Mann and the battle against climate "skeptics" 

Washington Times column that purports to be about how science points to God's existence (commence eyeroll):

". . . there is a way to know God more intimately. It is by personal revelation. If we sincerely turn to God, he will reveal himself in our hearts."

Paul Waldman in American Prospect:

". . . the thought of your own mortality . . . becomes harder and harder to ignore with each passing year. And immortality is, after all, religion's killer app." 

Hey! Camp Inquiry signups end April 30! 

And happy birthday (probably) William Shakespeare

Quote of the Day   

Now Lebanon on the upcoming March for secularism:

"I’m aware that some Lebanese think it a rather good thing that, in their country, wives may be legally raped and beaten; marital and inheritance disputes are settled by theologians; films and plays are routinely censored; and a child born to the wrong faith can’t become president. For those who feel otherwise, however, the march starts at 16:00 at Sanayeh Gardens, May 6th." 

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 

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