The Morning Heresy 5/24/12: Poke Your Dog with Needles

May 24, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

CFI chief Ron Lindsay looks at the real implications of victory for the Catholic Church's legal action against the Department of Health and Human Services, using a possible news headline of the future about a hypothetical Supreme Court case to make a troubling point (and Roberts and Thomas don't come out looking so great). 

ArtVoice does a rich, in-depth cover story at the work of CSI's Joe Nickell:

At the heart of Nickell’s work lie questions central to the human experience: Are heaven and ghosthood real? What happens after we die? If flying saucers hail from alien worlds, we’re not alone in the universe. If clairvoyance is genuine, there are people among us who can divine the future. Few matters carry more weight. So far, however, Nickell has encountered nothing science can’t explain. 

There's even more expansion on this piece with additional audio and images at Buffalo Story Project 

Religion & Politics' Alfredo Garcia, using the Reason Rally as a jumping-off point, delves into the efforts of our community to unite and assert ourselves into the mainstream. Includes a few quotes from me. Garcia writes:

To the people I spoke to in the crowd that day, this really was an event in history: a unique time when their unbelief was not questioned or suspected; a day in which they could be who they were and not feel the social stigma that they felt otherwise.  

Dren Asselmeier posts a letter from a former CFI on Campus leader on his experiences at the Student Leadership Conference:

The insight that I gained at the conference was invaluable in the following year. I may have passed the group on to new hands since, but I learned how to raise a leader for the group, I learned how to give the members goals and motivation, and I learned that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. 

Kate Donovan at FA starts a series of interviews with secular students and leaders in the military 

Local CBS affiliate "reports" that acupuncture can "heal" pets. Poking a dog with a bunch of needles? You first.

Okay okay, so drinking more coffee might not reduce death, but it might not increase risk of death. Sigh. 

Family of fraud psychics turns to Twitter to find celebrities to donate to their cause 

Indiana Student News covers CFI/ACLU lawsuit on solemnizing marriages 

No, seriously, the Catholic Church has actual rules about what constitutes a "real" Virgin Mary sighting. Soon to be published: My rules about what constitutes a genuine Waldo sighting. 

San Antonio Express-News looks, really briefly, at the life of a small-town atheist, concludes that it's "a lot like life for anyone who doesn't toe the company line."

Hemant: God won't save your skull from a bicycle crash 

Rob Boston: Congress wasting your time and marginalizing non-Christians at the same time

West Point cadet writes at Justin Griffith's blog on the troubling Crusader imagery of the institution's "Shield of the Third Regiment" 

World Magazine thinks Dawkins might turn more folks into believers:

No person, place, or thing can thwart God’s purpose, not even unbelievers like Dawkins. Perhaps a student or teacher will leaf through his school’s copy of the fancy new book, motivated by Dawkins’s ridicule, and become awed by its overarching themes of rebellion, wrath, faith, and redemption. 

Sya Sharif at PolicyMic looks at why Indonesia is so twitchy over atheists 

Barry Lynn clarifies the rules about tax exemptions for churches on CNN:

There is no guarantee under the First Amendment that you can say anything you want and keep your tax exemption. A lot of people think, well doesn’t the Constitution guarantee tax exemptions for churches? It does not. No Supreme Court case has ever said that either.

Juneau Empire reporter dislikes Bigfoot musical, but can't keep away:

Here is the funny thing: I am going to see the show again. Like people who see Bigfoot, I am wondering: What was that? I need to make sure I saw something, real or not. 

The new computer game Diablo III won't let you use (certain) religious names for your character, including "atheist"

Mermaid controversy solved! They weren't fish-people, that's silly. They were sea apes

And while I was feeling grumpy about the internets yesterday, this happened

Quote of the Day     

Rachel Ozanne at Religion Dispatches wonders whether "heretic" is the more appropriate name for certain nonreligious:

If we heretics want to occupy our fair share of the discussions about the role of religion in the public sphere, ethics, and even about the meaning of religion, maybe it’s time to invoke the spirit of Robert Ingersoll and take back the atheist label.  

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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