The Morning Heresy 6/20/12: The Kids and Their Jungle Music

June 20, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

I'm completely stressed out about the CFI Student Leadership Conference this weekend. I'm giving a presentation (tentatively titled "Super-Awesome PR Pro-Tips That Will Help You Become Famous and Lose Weight!" -- But that's only if Lauren Becker will let me keep it that way), I'm going to meet lots of important folks from the secular and skeptic movements who are sure to make me very nervous, and of course, I have to find some way to pass myself off as modern and relevant to all the young people who are into that loud jungle music with all those words that you can't even understand and why don't they get haircuts and jobs? It may be more than I can handle.

If you're going to be there, you may want to wear protective gear that will shield you from the Awkwardness Field I emit. 

But seriously, I'm very much looking forward to it. There's rumors that we're all going to start a CFI band, which is either an awesome idea, or a horrible, horrible mistake.

On a technical note, The Morning Heresy may come in either very early tomorrow or very late (I'd bet on the latter), and its fate on Friday is up in the air. Normal linkifications will resume Monday. 

On to the news! 

Kylie Sturgess is screaming in all caps about a news development in Australia as its high court strikes down the school chaplaincy program.  

Religions start scrambling for unclaimed land on the Internet, paying big for "dot-somethings."

JREF hires a new communications director, Carrie Poppy, and of course I feel an instant rivalry with this person and have decided she must be stopped no matter the cost. (If I can spare time from my ongoing battle with SSA's Jesse Galef, who must also be stopped.) 

CSI's Ben Radford at Discovery expands upon the feature story in the latest Skeptical Inquirer on the mass-twitchiness in Le Roy.

Vlad Chituc on Leah Libresco's conversion at NonProphet Status:

. . . I’ve generally found the reaction to be both predictable and disappointing, and I think it shows a serious lack of empathy and intellectual curiosity in many atheists.  

MSNBC.com has an article on same. Not surprisingly, Catholic Online is excited about Leah's move, as is the Christian Post. (If I had known one could get so much press this way, I'd have converted as soon as I got hired!)

You need to see this: Conservapedia's article on Internet atheism is HILARIOUS. Example: The first citation involves the scholarship of Chuck Norris!!! And there's this:

Unlike Christianity, which is supported by a large body of sound evidence (see: Christian apologetics), atheism has no proof and evidence supporting its ideology.

I can't stop laughing/crying. 

Catholic hospitals tell Obama where to shove his contraception compromise. 

Peter Singer on the worldwide abuse of the concept of religious freedom

Jakarta Post wonders about the economic effects of Indonesia's knee-jerk religiosity:

International investors rarely know what to do with displays of social or religious intolerance. Lady Gaga’s cancelation came two weeks before Alexander Aan was sentenced to over two years in jail for posting “God does not exist” on Facebook. Although this stands as a blight on Indonesia’s democratic credentials, it’s an ambiguous signal to an American, British or Singaporean investor.  

Religion & Politics: In the military, won't someone please think of the pagans

“Paganism is not a fad, a lifestyle choice or a role-playing game,” Stefani Barner says. “Those who voluntarily don the uniform of our Armed Forces and take up arms to defend the Constitutional rights of every American are entitled to, at a minimum, the right to exercise their own freely and without prejudice.” 

UFO lands in Virginia. Except it didn't. 

You know what I would like to have injected into me when I'm very sick or wounded? Bee venom. What's that you say? 

James McGrath warns skeptics to be wary of following the herd that doesn't want to follow the herd. 

Fire up your PayPal accounts and snag yourself some Bigfoot hair

At HuffPo, Stephen Friberg makes a laborious case for science's compatibility with the Bahá'í Faith (I had to copy and paste that word, since I don't know how to make all those funny characters with my keyboard):

Science is essential if we are to understand and work with reality. But by itself it is not enough, nor does it tell the whole story. The needed fuller understanding requires not only rational methods, facts, and scientific concepts but benevolence, intuition, moral values, spiritual perception, and goals. It is in this light that Bahá'ís believe that "faith in God and confidence in social progress are in every sense reconcilable; that science and religion are the two inseparable, reciprocal systems of knowledge impelling the advancement of civilization" (from a November 2003 letter written by the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Bahá'í Faith). 

Quote of the Day     

Greta Christina, reacting to the news that Ophelia Benson is not going to a conference because of threats to her safety:

I am sick and sad that bullying sometimes works.  

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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Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta 

Comments:

#1 Anne Sauer (Guest) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 at 9:19am

Bee sting therapy? Other objections aside (because, so maaany…), doesn’t this kill the bees? One would think the alt-med new age crowd would reject it for that reason.

#2 Ophelia Benson on Wednesday June 20, 2012 at 10:28am

It’s hilarious that anybody thinks it’s worth saying atheists’ responses to an atheist converting to Catholicism are “predictable.” Well yes - the words “atheist” and “converting” and “to” and “Catholicism” make that kind of unavoidable.

#3 Randy on Wednesday June 20, 2012 at 11:05pm

Regarding funny characters, if you have Windows, it should be a matter of configuring your Regional and Language Options (or whatever they renamed it to in Vista, 7, or 8) in Control Panel.  Dig around, and eventually you’ll come to something like “Default input language”, where you can choose a language and associated keyboard for it.  I use the United States-International keyboard.

Then when you type Bah’a’ ‘i, it interprets it as Bahá’í.  Of course, if you type ‘a word’ then you get á word’ which can be annoying.  But I think it’s a small price to pay to easily type several nice characters like ç, ñ, ü, and î.

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