The Morning Heresy 7/12/12: You’d Better Manifest Grandma

July 12, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

What did a twenty-year-old Carl Sagan think were the important books he should digest? Thanks to those papers now kept at the Library of Congress, now we know. (My favorite bit: he scribbles the author of the Bible as "anonymous.") 

CFI chief Ron Lindsay looks to refocus our community's attention on how humanist principles apply to wealth and its influence.

The way I interpret humanism, it has no problem with wealth per se, or with significant disparities in income and wealth. Humanism does commit one to support democracy and equal rights for all, however.  

Speaking of humanism and the economy, Michael De Dora blogs on CFI's contribution to the UN's Economic and Social Council on equal rights for women as it relates to economic stability. From CFI's statement (PDF):

. . . he Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and with rights to life, and freedom of movement and association. Unfortunately, due to a range of cultural and religious values, many persons around the world are not allowed these liberties. This is especially true for women, who face some of the harshest social constraints. 

The UN website, meanwhile, has the CFI/IHEU joint statement to the Human Rights Council from June 28 on video. 

Ralph Reed looks to become once again a juggernaut of religious conservative mobilization, as he promises to connect with over 27 million voters "seven to twelve times" each.

So here we all are, on the twitters, with our hashtags and our Instagrams, and for weeks now, there's been this hidden account that's been tweeting all secular nerdy goodness. It's @CFILibraries. No really. It's run by new CFI-er Amanda Ward, and it's great. Follow now.  

At an English site called Nu Bride, which I totally check all the time, the author raves about attending a humanist wedding. 

It's not just atheists: Indonesia sentences Shia cleric to two years for teaching the wrong version of Islam. 

You got something putrid in my zombie blood! (h/t Sharon Hill) 

Sharon unloads on laser-wieding chiropractors who look to zap away your allergies. What?

Chiropractors (whose practice is based on unfounded scientific claims) makes unfounded scientific claims about laser treatment. Can’t say I’m too surprised. I am surprised that a chiropractor wouldn’t just say that chiropractic spinal treatment would fix whatever ails you. 

At Salon, atheist Tracy Clark-Flory discovers spirituality through yoga. 

President Obama backs his contraception coverage mandate for religious employers:

. . . Catholic hospitals or universities who employ a lot of non-Catholics and who receive a lot of federal money, that for them to be in a position to say to a woman who works there you can’t get that from your insurance company even though the institution isn’t paying for it, that that crosses the line where that woman, she suddenly is gonna have to bear the burden and the cost of that. And that’s not fair. 

"Psychic" showman Jonathan Edward feels the pressure during personal readings:

“You’d better manifest Grandma,” he said jokingly. “She’d better cook Sunday dinner.” 

And while you're at it, why not manifest her from 30,000 feet

Head of USA Christian Ministries Steven Andrew says Ron Paul is the only candidate real Christians can vote for, and spells it out:

. . . Obama says to leave living babies to die who survive botched abortions, covers Jesus’ name and cross at Georgetown, fights unjust wars that result in Muslims persecuting Christians, and mocks God and our Founding Fathers’ Christian laws . . . The right isn’t following God with Mitt Romney. Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Godhead but, as a Mormon, Romney thinks: Jesus is a created being, the spirit brother of Lucifer; that men become Gods and that Christians are inferior people. Christians know Mormonism is Satanic. 

More sacred tombs destroyed in Timbuktu by radical Islamists upset about idolatry.  

How often has this happened to you? You lay down your prayer mat, ready to submit your consciousness to Allah, and you're like, hey, I just realized I have NO IDEA which way Mecca is! Worry no more, as the light will guide you

Kylie Sturgess aids weary skeptic travellers with links-o-plenty, news that her book will soon electronified, and (blush) another plug for The Morning Heresy. Bless you, Ms. Sturgess. 

UK's ITN: The British "Man in Black" was really the Ministry of Defence's UFO Desk Officer. No kidding. 

Lawrence Krauss gets another huge outlet in which to trumpet the enormity of the Higgs discovery in NYT:

The apparent discovery of the Higgs may not result in a better toaster or a faster car. But it provides a remarkable celebration of the human mind’s capacity to uncover nature’s secrets, and of the technology we have built to control them. 

Camels with Hammers discovers the CFI podcast The Human Bible <thundercrash!!!> and rounds up the episodes aired thus far. 

Mitt Romney visits the NAACP, and Sikivu Hutchinson is, ahem, not impressed

Quote of the Day (Well, anti-quote, but it's a gem.)      

Via TPM: Cheryl Washington, who operates 13 Christianity-soaked, taxpayer-funded schools in Texas:

[Americans United] also noted that Washington, who insists on presenting herself with the title “Dr.”, does not appear to own higher degrees from any accredited institutions. WOAI, a radio station based in San Antonio, asked Washington why she insisted on attaching the doctorate prefix to her name.

Her response: “Why not? [I am] a doctor in the Christian community.” 

Well, then I'm going to pick my own title, too!!! How about "Reverend"? After all, I am a reverend of the Apple Evangelist Community, with a direct line to the will of The Steve (peace be upon him). 

Image above by me, Paul. 

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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