Blame the Peanut Butter Sandwich

June 22, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Good morning. Here's some Grade-A crap from the top court of the EU:

The highest court of the European Union ruled Wednesday that courts can consider whether a vaccination led to someone developing an illness even when there is no scientific proof.

Paul Offit says:

Using [the court's] criteria, you could reasonably make the case that someone should be compensated for developing leukemia after eating a peanut butter sandwich. 

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Eggs and Lusty Thoughts

June 21, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Here is a mild example of what happens when religious service providers, like child care facilities, aren't subject to the same rules as everyone else. A 4-year-old girl at the Zion Lutheran Learning Center was hog-tied by her caretakers. Sarah Fenske at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis reports:

The little girl had been running around when she was supposed to be napping, and so Mr. Josh had bound her legs together with duct tape. She would be untied, another teacher told her, once she behaved. 

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This Seething Moment

June 20, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

The Supreme Court struck down a law prohibiting trademarks deemed offensive, finding in favor of a rock band called The Slants, and the decision is assumed to bolster the case of the Washington Redskins who are in a separate legal fight over their trademark. Justice Kennedy:

A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society. 

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He Gets Sweaty and Swallows a Lot

June 19, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia is charged with the murder of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen. Torres allegedly confronted Nabra and a group of her friends outside an IHOP, all of whom fled to a mosque except for Nabra whose body was found yesterday afternoon. 

In London, a man plows into a group of Muslims leaving a mosque, killing one and injuring 10 others. When the driver tried to escape on foot, he was tackled by another man who reports that the driver said, "I want to kill more people, I want to kill more Muslims." 

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A Pinch, if Not a Dash

June 16, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

They got him. Lyle Jeffs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and brother of incarcerated leader (and child rapist) Warren Jeffs, has been found and arrested in South Dakota. He escaped custody last year as he faced conspiracy charges for money laundering.  

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Hähnchen Über Alles

June 15, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

The Southern Baptist Convention, after being shamed into it, votes to condemn white nationalism and the alt-right. (Before you get too excited, they also voted to condemn Planned Parenthood and to commend "those leaders who choose not to meet privately with members of the opposite sex who are not their spouse," meaning Pence.) 

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Those Who Remained Groaned and Gasped

June 14, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Holy freaking crap some guy started shooting at GOP Members of Congress at their baseball practice, wounding House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, and likely others. 

The organizers of the Sandy Hook Promise Champions Gala have dropped Megyn Kelly as the event's host due to her upcoming interview with Alex Jones. 

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The Universe is an Echoing Void

June 13, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

I'm quite proud of this new episode of Point of Inquiry, my second as the new host, where I talk to The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert about how we might honestly come to grips with inevitable climate change. She was super cool and really informative. PLUS, there's a bonus "exit interview" with now-former POI producer Nora Hurley.  

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Insufficiently Terrified

June 12, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Laurie Goodstein at NYT has a big feature on the religious left: newly galvanized by opposition to Trump, but tied to a party that is largely secular. Sojourners founder Rev. Jim Wallis tells her:

The fact that one party has strategically used and abused religion, while the other has had a habitually allergic and negative response to religion per se, puts our side in a more difficult position in regard to political influence. ... Most progressive religious leaders I talk to, almost all of them, feel dissed by the left. The left is really controlled by a lot of secular fundamentalists.

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Bucket of Deplorables

June 09, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

"Veni, dixi, vici." - Comey, probably. 

"Conati, perdidi, victi." May, probably.

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