The Morning Heresy 7/20/12: Meatheads

July 20, 2012

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

Kimberly Winston covers CFI's efforts on behalf of Alexander Aan, here in the Washington Post. We're hoping that this kind of mainstream media coverage helps inspire more people outside of our own movement to take part. We're over 3500 signatures now. Please keep this ball in the air, keep sharing the link with folks even outside the skepto-atheosphere.

Selections from the latest issue of Free Inquiry are online, featuring a special section on "Humanism with a Pulse" -- a look at activism and compassion among seculars. James Croft, Hemant Mehta, Alix Jules, and many more thinkers and activists are featured. (Here's the press release.)

Juliette Kayyem at the Boston Globe rails against the jaw-dropping bigotry expressed by the likes of Michele Bachmann, accusing Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin of being somehow in league with the Muslim Brotherhood:

According to the new wave of anti-Muslim accusations, America’s enemy takes the form of a woman in national security who marries a man outside her faith as a decoy to her real intentions, acquires political positions and access to policy makers through her assimilation, and subverts the nation’s interests while still propagating.

Who said women can’t have it all? 

The accusations are so nutty and abominable, even John McCain took to the floor of the Senate to raise hell about it:

This is about who we are as a nation, and who we still aspire to be. . . . When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it. 

Speaking of nutty, Family Research Council's new hitman Jerry Boykin is unclear as to whether President Obama is himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The Pew Forum has fascinating new numbers about religion among Asian-Americans, 26% of whom are unaffiliated, and 30% of whom say that religion is not important to them. 

19% of the general population, meanwhile, are claiming no affiliation, up from 15 in 2008. 

The Human Bible <thundercrash!> returns with 144,000 male virgins. I'm sorry, what? 

Sikivu Hutchinson laments the "the marathon orgy of Catholicism" that surrounded the death of an atheist friend. 

Thom S. Rainer in the Christian Post has 10 reasons why Christians are having trouble reaching the "unchurched." Not included in his list is "the fact that it's not true." 

ACLU reacts to Enfield, CT school board's decision to not hold graduation in a church. 

Now you can track UFOs with an iOS app. Great. 

Convicted child-rape-enabler Msgr. William J. Lynn of Philadelphia asks not to be sent to prison, because that'd be "cruel and unusual." 

Hemant to William Lane Craig about SSA vs. Campus Crusade for Christ: Our growth is bigger than your growth. 

This makes me incredibly angry. "New paradigm" physician hypes homeopathy as a treatment for PTSD at HuffPo. It's full of claptrap such as:

Homeopathic treatment is designed to restore balance by prescribing an energy of similar quality and intensity to match the energetic imprint of the illness of the suffering individual. 

SCA starts a new Colorado branch

Sharon Hill praises a debate put on by the Francis Collins-founded BioLogos for its graciousness.   

Taner Akcam opines in NYT that in order for Turkey to be taken seriously as a champion of human rights, it must acknowledge its own violations. 

Do you hear more people coughing in a whooping manner? Not a coincidence

New study in the New England Journal of Medicine on a way to fight food allergies sounds a LOT like homeopathy - "immunotherapy." 

Here's video of Kylie Sturgess's talk at the World Skeptics Congress on pseudoscience in education. 

Oh right! One more thing. 

The Council for Secular Humanism put out a statement yesterday decrying Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's comment that he would "pray for rain" in the midst of the current drought conditions. It got some media attention, and let's just say that people had very strong feelings about the Council statement on both sides of the argument, either that Council was being too nit-picky, or that it was just the right thing to call out. One piece of hate mail we got called us "meatheads." 

And with that, from all of us meatheads, have a lovely weekend. 

Quote of the Day      

Our own Michael De Doraas quoted in the Washington Post piece on Alexander Aan:

It should matter to all human beings any time another human being is being denied basic human rights.
 
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 

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

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

Comments:

#1 Nancy (Guest) on Friday July 20, 2012 at 11:09am

Immunotherapy isn’t quite the same as homeopathy. My mother, a lupus sufferer, developed an infection that could only be adequately fought with penicillin. Problem was, she had been allergic to penicillin since childhood. What they did was put her in ICU so she could be closely observed and gave her gradually increasing doses of the drug over the course of a few days until her body could tolerate the therapeutic dose. I’m not sure how this works but interestingly if she wanted to maintain tolerance of the drug she would have had to take it forever. Eventually she went off it when the infection was well over and if she took penicillin again the same process would have to occur otherwise she’d have the usual allergic reaction.

I think allergy shots work on the same principle - but as someone who had them for years, they don’t necessarily work. So it might not be fantastic medical science, it seems there can be value to immunotherapy - unlike homeopathy.

#2 Paul the Morning Heretic on Friday July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm

That’s good to know, thanks for the input.

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