Avoid Communal Exercises

June 02, 2015

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

CFI has helped bring Taslima Nasrin to safety in the U.S., and there is a lot of interest in this from Indian outlets such as The Times of India, as well as places like Huffington Post, and the International Business Times. Obviously, her colleagues at Freethought Blogs are writing about it and encouraging folks to donate to the Freethought Emergency Fund. Here's Hemant Mehta's take:

As much as I love CFI for doing this, it shouldn’t be their responsibility to offer protection for these writers. The local governments overseas, and even our own, should be doing more to protect people whose are targets of religious extremists. It’s their inaction forcing CFI to throw so many resources at this problem. I’m thrilled CFI is doing it; I just wish they didn’t have to. 

Tom Flynn takes issue with the NYT "theology of atheism" piece, noting that it misrepresents the real distinctions in secular thought...

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Snicker-Proof

June 01, 2015

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

CFI is establishing an emergency fund to assist freethought writers and activists under threat in countries such as Bangladesh. Facing death threats from the same monsters who killed other allies, Taslima Nasrin arrived in the U.S. last week under CFI's assistance, and we are taking donations now to help her get safely settled. 

Mondays are weird. Don't even attempt Monday until you're up to speed on the previous fortnight with Cause & Effect

Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier takes a broad look at four decades of skeptic activism, and likes where things are going. 

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Like the Reds Do

May 29, 2015

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

CFI will be holding Capitol Hill briefings on International Religious Freedom in June, along with allies in the movement, and you can urge your senators and representatives to attend.  

Bikers. Guns. Drawing Muhammad. Outside a mosque. In Arizona. I'm going to stay home, thanks. 

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We All Just Fall to the Ground Naturally

May 28, 2015

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

The Canadian government is keeping a lid on an assessment it did as to whether its arms deal with Saudi Arabia is discordant with its human rights aims. (Let's get these people playing Saudi Girls Revolution.)

Consensus seems to be that Scott Walker has a genuine shot at this whole president thing. Jud Lounsbury reminds us:

If Walker prevails in the Republican primaries, he will be the first presidential candidate to come from a church whose members believe the Apocalypse is "imminent," do not allow women to serve on congregational boards of elders, practice "speaking in tongues," and do not believe someone is a real Christian unless he has been "born again." 

Uh oh. 

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The Second-Least of These

May 27, 2015

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

Point of Inquiry has The New Yorker's Michael Specter, talking about the whole gluten-free thing and why it's silly. Specter is going to be at the Reason for Change conference next month!

Our boss Ron Lindsay insists that his analysis of the death penalty doesn't make him deficient in empathy, and he cuddles a kitten to prove it.

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury at VICE covers the plight of freethinkers in Bangladesh, coping with threats from radicals and the murders of friends and colleagues. 

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Backwards Religions and Flyover States

May 26, 2015

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

Ireland votes in favor of marriage equality with 62.1%, becoming the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. 

Daniel Loxton looks to the example of Carl Sagan, who helped found what is now CFI's Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and emphasized kindness in our quest for truth.

Ben Radford is the guest on the Big Picture Science radio show, talking about (not) visiting the afterlife

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A Stark, Soulless, Inhuman Edifice

May 22, 2015

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

Before I was "executive producer" (cough cough) of Point of Inquiry, I was its biggest fan. I still am, so I'm doubly excited that Spotify picked Point of Inquiry as one of the few podcasts for the launch of its brand new podcast streaming offerings. See our announcement/brag here, and read me gushing about the show. Congrats, guys.

You wanna help CFI become an even more powerful and unstoppable force online? Maybe apply for this web content job.

First of all, I had no idea Bob Gates was now head of the Boy Scouts, but that's on me. Second of all, he just said he wants to reverse the ban on gay leaders.  

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19th Century Misunderstandings

May 21, 2015

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

Hey look! It's our own Michael De Dora on a religious freedom panel at the Newseum!

Transhumanist philosopher Zoltan Istvan is running for president, which spurs me to write about some of my own concerns about transhumanism

Philip Ball at Nautilus looks at the often-troublesome human equation in the practice of science

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Books are Pointy

May 20, 2015

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

Big news in Oregon, as the state's House of Representatives easily passes a CFI-backed Secular Celebrant bill! In Ohio, meanwhile, while we still don't have a Secular Celebrant law passed, this can still happen

Articles from the new Free Inquiry issue on the population crisis are now posted and available for all to read. There's some sobering stuff there. 

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Trading in Christ for Thor

May 19, 2015

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

Ron Lindsay opens up a new series of posts that will challenge what he calls "humanist orthodoxies," the positions our community tends to hold that might not be sufficiently backed up by evidence:

My forthcoming essays are designed not so much to persuade, but to make us think carefully about the grounds for our opinions. It seems to me this work is in furtherance of CFI’s mission. We are the Center for Inquiry, after all, not the Center for Ideology. 

Point of Inquiry is super-cool this week, as Josh Zepps interviews the writer and director of Ex Machina, Alex Garland, and they talk about the ethics and perils of artificial intelligence. Neat stuff.

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