The Interaction Was Paradox-Free

January 30, 2015

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

CFI is a proud coalition partner of the new End Blasphemy Laws campaign headed by the IHEU. The official announcement is hereBBC has early coverage.

The Reason for Change conference is just a few months away. Register now, make your plans, and come celebrate freethought with us

You know, usually we can just point and chuckle at the quantum-silliness of Deepak Chopra, and roll our eyes at his gobbledygook, but he's really crossed a line here. Chopra is denying that HIV causes AIDS, and that the real culprit is "[sufferers'] own interpretations of the whole reality they’re participating in." He's now moved from joke to danger. 

Read more…

I Experimented with Atheism, But I Didn’t Inhale

January 29, 2015

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

You know who's huge on Twitter? The new King of Saudi Arabia. You know who'd like to control exactly what you're allowed to say on Twitter? Etc. 

Wow, there's a bill in Oklahoma that would make the issuing of marriage licenses an exclusive power of clergy, meaning no more nonreligious marriages. (I presume that those that are married already shall keep as they are.)

Read more…

That Chaos is Our Destiny

January 28, 2015

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

Our own Debbie Goddard gave the opening remarks at FTBCon, and the people, they really liked it.

James Randi announces his retirement.  

The Federal Trade Commission declares that the weight-loss supplements hawked by Dr. Oz are junk, and it's no innocent mistake on Oz's part. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at his snake oil show. 

Read more…

Quetzalcoatl Didn’t Return on His Raft of Snakes

January 27, 2015

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

Yesterday, we called upon President Obama to push the Saudis to free Raif Badawi and other jailed dissidents when the president was to meet with King Salman. But given Obama's discussion with Fareed Zakaria, I'm going to guess he won't.

Vox has a useful primer on Saudi Arabia and how it came to be what it is, though I wish it didn't have to be framed in that "but were afraid to ask" trope. Can we just not be afraid to ask? Can we just be okay with the idea that not everyone knows everything about everything? Okay I'll stop. 

Read more… | 1 Comment

Fudging a Fatwa

January 26, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay sits down to talk about the ideas behind his new book, The Necessity of Secularismin this short video. "If we want to live together in peace, we need to reason together. We can't have God tell us what to do." I bet Ron didn't expect to find praise for his book in the Jamaica Gleaner, where Ian Boyne says, "His is an excellent, irenic book that should appeal to well-thinking theists, showing why their best bet is a secular state, not a religious one." (Irenic means "aiming or aimed at peace." I didn't know that before.)

Before you do anything else this week, you should probably catch up on the last fortnight of CFI activity with the latest Cause & Effect newsletter

Read more… | 2 Comments

He Kept His Head

January 23, 2015

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

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is dead. Mainstream obituaries and condolences from world leaders are fairly warm and fuzzy about the absolute dictator of a medieval theocracy that subjugates women, and tortures and executes dissidents. But he was a "reformer," you see.

As President Obama said in a statement:

I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.

Well, that he did. 

Read more…

No Owls, Bats, or Moths

January 22, 2015

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

Amnesty International says Raif Badawi's second round of flogging may be postponed for medical reasons for the second time. The Guardian profiles Raif's wife Ensaf Haidar, and it's fairly heartbreaking, but boy is she an inspiring person.

Kevin Sullivan at WaPo looks at the big picture of Saudi Arabia's crackdown on human rights, and notes that the Saudis are "allies" in the West's fight against ISIS. Meanwhile, Adam Taylor, also at the Post, compares the legal punishments of Saudi Arabia with those of ISIS, and, well, you'd be forgiven for getting them mixed up.

Read more…

It’s a Small(pox) World After All

January 21, 2015

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

The Supreme Court unanimously decides that a Muslim prisoner may wear a beard, in violation of prison policy. Howard Friedman says the floodgates are now open:

The Supreme Court has now reaffirmed the conclusion of most courts that an inmate may invoke [the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act] to require accommodation of a totally idiosyncratic belief-- so long as it is sincerely held. Religious visions shared by no one else apparently still qualify. 

Thomas Friedman (no relation I assume) is irritated with the Obama administration's dancing around the "Islamic" part of "Islamic extremism":

I am all for restraint on the issue, and would never hold every Muslim accountable for the acts of a few. But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.  

Read more… | 1 Comment

Like a Diamond in the Sky

January 20, 2015

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

The decibel level of the demands for Saudi Arabia to cease its punishment of Raif Badawi is getting much louder (and to think we were struggling to get anyone to care just a few weeks ago). 18 Nobel laureates appeal to their peers in Saudi Arabia to speak out, and eight U.S. Senators wrote to King Abdullah. At the end of last week, Raif's punishment was postponed, and his case was put up "for review" by the Saudi Supreme Court. I told Iain Thomson at The Register:

It's hard to believe that they would have referred the case for any reason other than responding to the sudden international pressure over the case. ... The attention is there, that's great, but pressure needs to be more forceful. 

Read more…

Scholars the World Over, Abandon Your Studies!

January 16, 2015

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

It's Religious Freedom Day.

The second round of floggings for Raif Badawi were to take place today, but due to his medical condition, it is reported that the next lashings have been postponed so he can heal from the first lashings. Ali Rizvi goes on CNN to lend his personal perspective to the story. 

This footage of press speaking to a State Department representative about this is not encouraging, as she asserts, "We're not in the business of demanding things." But she does support your right to make a snowman, so there's that.

Read more… | 5 Comments

 1 2 3 >  Last »