The Morning Heresy 8/15/12: Overly-Aggressive High-Fives

August 15, 2012

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

CFI announced changes to its board of directors, including the addition of Elisabeth Cornwell, head of the US branch of the Dawkins Foundation. 

Michael De Dora, CFI's public policy director, contributes to the Skepchick series on hate directed against women, and aims his message at those who are rolling their eyes as they read this. Writes Michael:

Imagine the message it would send and the potential consequences both within and outside the movement if secularists and skeptics finally collectively stood together against sexism and misogyny, and for equality of the sexes and fair treatment. I dare say it could be historic. 

On CNN, Lawrence Krauss bets that we'll find evidence of past life on Mars, and that it would probably be related to us. 

New York City voters don't think of themselves as prejudiced, but a new poll shows that they're at least a bit queasy about voting for an atheist, born-again Christian, or Mormon. 

FFRF releases a short educational video of sorts to be shown on PBS stations in between programming, which they claim will put in front of three million pairs of eyeballs. 

Also, FFRF loses suit to stop Arizona's gubernatorial proclamation of a Day of Prayer, Gov. Jan Brewer rubs it in.  

Jonathan Turley: Tunisian journalist Sofiene Chourabi arrested, not for committing blasphemy, but for simply criticizing the blasphemy laws. 

I'm going to listen to this episode of Point of Inquiry with guest Joe Romm so I can learn how to persuade you to listen to the next episode of Point of Inquiry.  

Three suicide bombers kill 29 at a bazaar in Afghanistan, timed for the crowd-producing Id-al Fitr holiday.

Reuters: LDS church rakes in $7 billion a year from tithing. 

This one hurts. Mortally ill children are, according to the Journal of Medical Ethics"tortured" by parents who insist on awaiting divine intervention to save their kids:

While it is vital to support families in such difficult times, we are increasingly concerned that deeply held belief in religion can lead to children being potentially subjected to burdensome care in expectation of 'miraculous’ intervention. In many cases, the children about whom the decisions are being made are too young to subscribe to the religious beliefs held by their parents, yet we continue to respect the parents’ beliefs.

Ski magazine Powder on the church-state hubbub over Big Mountain Jesus, whose hand had to be reattached after "overly-aggressive high-fives." 

Riverfront Times takes a cartoonish look at the history of UFO sightings in Missouri. 

Bigfoot apparently has a dialect.

Mullis believes that Sasquatch, Yeti and Bigfoot are all the same species, and he attributes the Asian dialect of the North American Bigfoot to its Asian origins. Perhaps, he says, the North American Bigfoot traveled across the Bering Strait just as humans did centuries ago.

He also noted that some Bigfoot recordings have a bit of American Indian dialect mixed in, which makes sense, he says, since they've been living among us for hundreds of years. 

Yep, that totally makes sense. 

Hey, what's big, bipedal, hairy, and spooks people in the forest? Actually, lots of things. Ben Radford on the animals many folks think are Bigfoot.

Mouse ears? OK. Head scarf? Not so much

Billy Graham is still not dead.

Two good catches from Daniel Florien: Atheist shoes and a big guy with a pipe and a bear hat trying to find something in the Bible

Amish-Mennonite pastor quickly found guilty of abetting a kidnapping scheme, which is a real soap opera of same-sex partners splitting up, one becoming born again, and then hiding the kid from the former partner. Crazy stuff.

Via Blag Hag, here's why you might want to invest in something other than lottery tickets, like, say, Facebook stock -- oh snap! (That said, my wife was given three lottery tickets yesterday, and WE TOTALLY WON $1.) 

xkcd did this comic that reminded me of the skepto-atheosphere, and I was all gonna post it here and be all, "Hey guys, this is just like us!" and you'd all think it was totally clever, and then Hemant beat me to it

Quote of the Day      

Michelle Singletary, warning about the con-artist ministers who perpetrate "affinity-fraud" - ponzi schemes that take advantage of parishioners' trust:

Every time you hear about one of these cases, remind yourself that having trust and faith doesn't mean you shouldn't have an abundance of skepticism.  

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