The Morning Heresy 9/18/12: Cupcake Rage

September 18, 2012

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

Rebecca Watson begins a petition on behalf of Alber Saber, the Egyptian atheist blogger arrested for running an atheist Facebook page, and recalls the drive for Alexander Aan:

A few months back, freethinkers campaigned to free Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, resulting in a failed petition and a lot of soul-searching from secular organizations trying to figure out how to do better next time. If you read the comments on that last link, you’ll see a whole bunch of atheists who were very angry that someone was pointing out that the atheist community completely failed to help someone in great need. I’m hoping those folks have as much energy to devote to getting angry over the arrest of yet another young atheist 

Now go sign and share the damn thing

Ayaan Hirsi Ali pens the cover story for Newsweek on "Muslim Rage." That's cool. But many found Newsweek's choice of imagery for the cover, well, questionable. Happily, it has sparked a good deal of humor under the Twitter hashtag #muslimrage. RNS rounds up some of the funnier ones, including this one I liked:

When they run out of Red Velvet cupcakes @Sprinkles #muslimrage

Reza Aslan reacts: "Memo to those few violent MidEast protesters, this is how you fight Islamophobia. You make fun of it. #MuslimRage" 

Mark Juergensmeyer argues that the radicals of the American right and the radical militant Islamists need each other to undermine their moderate governments. 

Anti-quote of the Day comes from Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

Freedom of thought and belief ends where the freedom of thought and belief of others start. You can say anything about your thoughts and beliefs, but you will have to stop when you are at the border of others' freedoms. 

It looks like the Boy Scouts of America has been covering for its alleged child molesters. But at least they don't allow gays or atheists. 

Chris Mooney talks to Phil Zuckerman, author of Society Without God and Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion on Point of Inquiry.

In SlateAmanda Marcotte takes Susan Jacoby's presentation on the low level of female participation in the secular movement from Women in Secularism (and published in The Humanist) and connects it to the struggle going on right now over feminism:

As more women have joined with the movement, more voices have been making these connections between feminism and secularism, which awakened a previously unknown contingent of angry misogynist atheists 

CFI's John Shook answers the question "what follows from atheism?":

First and foremost, atheism means never having to silence your curiosity, and never having to confuse blind obedience with personal responsibility. Atheism is not the end of a path -- it's the start of a journey.  

This was news to me. Atheist Revolution compiles a list of conservative atheist blogs. I only knew about Secular Right

Every day, hundreds flock to a 3-year-old Cambodian boy for his amazing healing powers. My kid is almost 3, and he has amazing wounding powers. 

Thanks to the anti-vaxxers, whooping cough is staging a comeback in Connecticut. 

Robert Blaskiewicz, writing for CSI, watches the conspiracy snowball roll down the hill in the wake of this summer's mass shooting events. 

You can never be too careful. A security firm begins training folks for a zombie outbreak. (Sort of.) 

Quote of the Day        

V. V. Raman notes that the definition of blasphemy has broadened beyond to a crime committable only by a religion's adherents:

For the first time in history -- perhaps since the publication of the cartoon in a Danish newspaper -- even outsiders are subject to the same laws of blasphemy. It is important for the world to recognize this ominous turn and its terrible consequences, actual and potential.  

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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