The Morning Heresy 6/18/12: Let’s Get it Aan

June 18, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Over the weekend, CFI roundly condemned the blasphemy conviction of atheist Alexander Aan in Indonesia, and is organizing a protest for his freedom outside the Indonesian embassy in Washington at 2pm. Details are here. If you're in the area, show the Indonesian authorities -- and Alex -- that we demand his freedom, and that we are paying attention.  

(Twitter hashtag will be #FreeAan)

Jakarta Post op-ed:

Atheists in Indonesia will have to stay underground for now and probably for the foreseeable future.    

Voice of America on the Aan case:

Freedom of religion is technically guaranteed in the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, but Indonesians must adhere to one of the six official religions. Atheism is not a sanctioned option. 

Uh oh. Council chief Tom Flynn blogs on our imminent doom as we procreate and eat ourselves to death:

I've often written in Free Inquiry (too often, some would say) of the need to get serious about not just slowing population growth, but working toward some plan to significantly reduce human numbers over the next several generations. Reports like these make me hope it's not already too late.  

Russell Blackford reacts:

We'll probably see some stabilisation of the global population in a few decades, but meanwhile a lot of further damage could be done. There's a limit to what can be achieved here, and some of it will have to involve steps to bring down the environmental impact per person in an industrialised country. Unfortunately, there's little political will to achieve this - or so it appears from the pathetic outcomes of negotiations on how to address global warming. 

Also via Blackford: Supreme Court of British Columbia okays physician-assisted suicide 

CFI's gets excited about exegesis with the latest edition of our podcast The Human Bible! <thundercrash!!!> This episode, Robert Price, unexpectedly, brings the inquisition to the listeners!  

NYT's Bill Keller: Bill Donohue is right, Catholics who aren't down with the letter of the dogma should get the heck out

Kimberly Winston of RNS covers the big study on the revenue lost to religion in the US published in Free Inquiry (The piece hits USA Today and WaPo, and is commented on by HemantPhilanthropy Today and Tuscon Citizen) 

New Yorker has a long profile of professional bigot and hate-monger Bryan Fischer which must be read to be believed 

Dave Silverman and Linda LaScola (of The Clergy Project) talk with Dan Lemon on CNN about the big drop in God-belief among the young'uns 

And since you can't get enough atheism on CNN, here's SSA's Jesse Galef on same, kinda knocking it out of the park

Religion scholar Stephen Prothero counsels skepticism on the data:

Look carefully at the survey question. What this data is tracking is the percentage of young people for whom doubt has never creeped into their faith. I don’t know about you, but most of the religious people I know experience both doubt and faith over the course of their spiritual lives. So the fact that more than two-thirds of young people say they have never doubted God’s existence seems to me evidence of America's extraordinary religiosity, not its disbelief. 

AFP: Mob in Pakistan attacks a police station and riots in order to get at a man who may or may not have burned a Koran (1 dead, 19 wounded)

Oh, Alabama. Rob Boston blogs on the state's PBS station's (!!!) firing of employees who didn't want to air things that are not true 

Lawrence Krauss in Slate on the implications of decreasing funding for fundamental science 

Ed Brayton on Fox News and Glenn Beck vs. MRFF

Resistance grows to Louisiana's plan to subsidize religious schools through vouchers 

Indiana's alt-pub Nuvo looks at Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain 

What's worse: Aliens attacking DC or drones attacking DC? 

Obviously trying to get my specific attention, Leah Libresco mixes Shakespeare and D&D in one post 

And now for a little sorbet for the brain: The Deepak Chopra Wisdom Generator 

Quote of the Day     

Amnesty International on Alexander Aan:

The imprisonment of Alexander Aan for incitement is a serious setback for freedom of expression in Indonesia, and violates Indonesia’s obligations under international law. Amnesty considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

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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