The Morning Heresy 8/14/12: Underwear and Toast

August 14, 2012

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

American Atheists puts out new presidential-election-themed billboards featuring underwear and toast. CFI chief Ron Lindsay takes issue with the message they may be sending, focusing on the religions of the major party presidential candidates. Says Ron:

The billboard message is essentially an attack on the absurdities and contradictions of Mormonism and Christianity. Fine. I don’t have a problem with that in principle, although I’d probably take a different approach, but why is this attack on religious beliefs being coupled with references to American politics and being placed on billboards in the city hosting the Democratic Convention? One could be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that AA is suggesting that religious individuals shouldn’t hold public office because their beliefs are not only unjustifiable but absurd. 

Kimberly Winston explores possible factors contributing to the uptick in atheists' numbers in the new WIN-Gallup survey. (Kimberly also informs us that the U.S. has the same percentage of atheists as Saudi Arabia, which confuses me entirely.)

Leave it to Soraya Chemaly to figure out how persecuted blaspheming Russian band Pussy Riot is part of the same phenomenon as the Nuns on the Bus.

WaPo columnist John Kelly explains who Robert Ingersoll was: "The most famous American you never heard of." 

Robert C. Blitt at Jurist looks at anti-blasphemy policy in Tunisia, and the concept's continued entrenchment in much of the world. 

Rob Boston warns that the Louisiana voucher law is worse than we thought, and it may be leaking out. 

This guy needs a t-shirt that says "I spent 26 years hunting the Loch Ness Monster, and all I got was a picture of this lump." 

You are being influenced by fonts.

MAAF: Atheists are the largest non-Christian "religious" group in the U.S. military, but still have no chaplains.  

"We can all get behind this, can’t we?" Russell Blackford wonders, as I do, why we are failing to turn out for the Alexander Aan petition

CSI's Ben Radford says that round thing in Antarctica is really not a UFO. 

Jewish Daily ForwardLeave Spinoza alone

It's Vincent Bugliosi taking on the New Atheists in his talk “Divinity of Doubt: An Agnostic’s Challenge" at CFI's Center Stage podcast. 

Christianity Today: Whether a president likes it or not, they wind up filling the role of chief pastor

Amanda Marcotte on "atheism in the service of feminism." 

Editorial at Louisiana paper The Advertiser worries over the state's voucher program:

How finely should we parse the term "Christian"? Should our tax money go to schools reflecting the faith of those who believe in the Rapture, or to those who don't? Or communion? Or purgatory? If we continue on this road, we have to remember the awesome power we're turning over to bureaucrats and lawmakers. 

Speaking of Louisiana vouchers, here be dragons

Anti-vaxxer fined $10k for pretending to practice medicine - on autism patients, no less - with the help of his arts degree.

Marine Corps Times: Atheists are fighting against "preferential treatment" for Christians.

Hey, everybody. Let's talk about what the Reptile Aliens mean to you. 

Quote of the Day      

Black Skeptics interviews Moses Alusala, chair of the Kenyan Humanist Association. Says Alusala:

A group cannot gain acceptance when its members are closeted and accepting marginalization. As the movement gains momentum we can expect more identity-based activism, more reminders from the secular community that non believers are part of the Kenyan landscape. Coming out is therefore is a powerful means of demanding recognition, speaking out against religious based public policy, harmful superstitions, and opposing the vilification of secularity.     

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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