The Morning Heresy 9/14/12: Fatuous and Smug

September 14, 2012

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

Businessweek looks at the prospects for atheist merchandising, and how business around the movement is evolving beyond tchotchkes.  

I interview friend-of-the-Heresy Sharon Hill on the topic of her CSICon presentation, and she offers me (and all of us) some very useful advice about conversing with the less-than-skeptical:

By just opening up that conversation, not being dismissive of ideas and exploring different angles, you may be able to help anyone see a different view. Then, just let it be. Even if you don’t think you’ve made any difference, you never know if they will retrieve that memory some other day and it will resonate then.  

At the CSI site, Sharon talks about teaching kids how to think about "weird things."

Also at CSI, Kylie Sturgess interviews skepti-comic Robin Ince, who says:

. . . knowing that people will . . . go out and buy a Richard Feynman book, just based on a bloke jumping around on stage and occasionally quoting from Feynman, is wonderful. 

Polish your crystal ball and wax your Ouija board, and guess Ron's Halloween costume for CSICon! 

Google, owner of YouTube, selectively blocks the protest-spurring, anti-Islamic video in certain countries, Afghanistan just blocks YouTube.  

Tomorrow, BBC will air a documentary on "Atheists in Black America," which will include participation from Sikivu Hutchinson. 

Is the Dalai Lama going all secular on us? 

Mystery airplane frozen waste lands on someone's house, and everyone seems mostly sure it's not poop.  

I wonder if we will soon see riots in the Bible Belt over this Dr. Pepper ad.

UK rabbi, who has apparently just now tuned in, accuses Dawkins of anti-Semitism for dissing specifically the Old Testament. Rest of the world rolls its eyes.

No, those mammoth cells are not "alive." 

Hassan Khalifeh, a former attendee of CFI's Student Leadership Conference, argues in favor of atheist participation in interfaith events. 

Boston Globe reviews the "fatuous and smug" movie Last Ounce of Courage, a bit of right-wing propaganda about the "War on Christmas." 

AP: There is "little appetite to repeal or amend the blasphemy laws" in Pakistan

NYC board of health officially votes to regulate the ultra-Orthodox, extremely gross and creepy Jewish circumcision practice. 

Look out, Secular Coalition. The Church of Scientology is opening a DC policy shop

Quote of the Day       

Europeans start looking at taxing the Vatican. Says Mayor Antonio Gonzales Fuertes of the Canary Islands:

We need to force the church to answer why it should continue to have these benefits while the rest of us suffer.

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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