The Morning Heresy 4/26/12: Wake Me Up in 2038

April 26, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Council chief Tom Flynn reacts to the Mojave cross decision:

In case you were wondering, nonreligious Americans are still second class citizens. It's time to put aside that Reason Rally euphoria and face the harsh, sad truth: men and women who live without religion are still systematically discriminated against at the highest level.  

Michael De Dora breaks down exactly what we mean when we talk about a "war on women" as he prepares to address a Unite Women rally in New York on April 28 

CSI's Joe Nickell is all over the media: 

  • Following his appearance on Anderson Cooper's show on folks who think they've seen UFOs, LA Times says, "Nickell did a fine job offering a coherent, yet sympathetic, response to as many of the claims as time allowed."   
  • Joe was also quoted in a Fox News piece about a dad who makes gadgets to talk to the dead

Way too much Bigfoot today. What is it about this that is so tenacious?   

  • Sharon Hill at the CSI website on "Squatchy facts" about Bigfoot  
  • In the latest Skeptical Inquirer, Americans United's Rob Boston has a review of a new compendium of Bigfoot films (print version only right now), and you can check out Rob's experiences at a 2003 Bigfoot conference
  • Ohio man dubbed by local paper "new leader" of Bigfoot movement (congratulations?) 
  • Vermont outlet clarifies, yes, that helicopter was looking for Bigfoot 

CFI still needs you to come to the aid of Alexander Aan, atheist man jailed in Indonesia for blasphemy. Atheist Alliance is collecting funds for his legal costs

Nigel Barber in Psychology Today estimates when the world will be majority-atheist: 2038 or thereabouts  

Rick Perlstein in Rolling Stone does a great job making sense of the senseless notion of the "liberals want to establish a religion of secularism" trope 

Hemant voices a concern that I had about Neil deGrasse Tyson's "I'm not an atheist" Big Think video:

. . . hearing him elaborate on those ideas, he just fell into misguided definitions and false accusations we so often hear from Christian apologists. He should know better than that. 

Meanwhile, Tyson writes in Gizmodo about how you can prove you were abducted by aliens:

Maybe you did see visitors from another part of the galaxy. I need more than your eyewitness testimony, though. And in modern times, I need more than a photograph. Today Photoshop software probably has a UFO button.  

Scholars & Rogues does a long dismantling of the former NASA employees' letter dissing climate science

Indiana Catholic school teacher suing school for firing her over in vitro fertilization 

More on the Legion of Doom vs. Nuns 

Mary E. Hunt says "We are all nuns now":

The truth is, most Catholics no longer look to Rome for guidance on our personal lives, or anyone else’s. 

Msgr. William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, on trial for child endangerment, failing to act when priests repeatedly abused children 

Greg Laden and Sarah Moglia on whether it makes sense to even call oneself a "skeptic" 

NYT: Military schools under review for teaching that US is at war with Islam 

Southern Baptist Convention opposed to Violence Against Women Act because it might allow for equal treatment of LGBT Americans, "encourages the demise of family" (CFI, meanwhile, supports VAWA and wants you to tell your Senator that you do, too)

For the 2012 Olympics, attitudes toward women appear to remain squarely in the Bronze Age 

The unholy alliance of HuffPo and Marlo Thomas: Psychic mom saves her kid's life with psychic powers, now she gets people to pay her to be psychic and whatnot 

Classy: Anonymous Christians pray for Military Religious Freedom Foundation's women to get breast cancer  

Letter to the editor in USA Today about allowing voters to take a candidate's religion into account:

Mitt Romney's religion holds tenets that hardly disqualify him. But that doesn't mean religion is irrelevant. Would Medved consider it irrelevant if the person running for office were Satanic, or if a candidate prayed to a tomato can? 

Quote of the Day   

"Joe the Plumber," ostensible candidate for Congress, on why Christianity is so gee-wiz neato (yeah, I had to quote the whole thing, it's really something):

Imagine being the child of a mixed-race marriage -- especially in the turbulent 60's and free-wheeling 70's. And when you throw in that dad was a Muslim and mom an atheist -- you know it could not have been easy -- and they were Communists for crying out loud! At age 6, young Barry was shipped off to Indonesia and exposed to Islam for several years. His parents divorced, he returned to the U.S., and Barack was placed with his grandparents. By the time he got to college, he was experimenting with cocaine, marijuana, and even thought about using heroin. Hardly sounds like one who would become President of the United States, the most powerful man in the greatest, most powerful country in the history of the world, does it? It seems against all odds… … almost miraculous? After Barack Hussein Obama suddenly cast off his Muslim roots, rejected his mother's disbelief in God, turned tail on the Islam of his early life and converted to Christianity -- BLAM -- he's elected President. Anyone who believes the two things are not connected is being disingenuous at best. I don't know how or when it happened, whether when he was partying at college or five minutes before he first decided to run for office, but it doesn't matter -- he came to Christ, and he is my brother. 

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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