Actually Let’s Not

February 13, 2017

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

Know what? Today is my fifth anniversary as CFI's chief communificationist. To celebrate, I will be surrounded by 2 feet of snow, trapped indoors with my children as I try to do my now five-year-old work.

The Columbus Dispatch reports on the efforts to allow Secular Celebrants to solemnize marriages in Ohio. Oh hey, that's us! More specifically, CFI–Northeast Ohio's Monette Richards:

"Why we're pushing the secular celebrant bill is so we'll have a choice, so everyone can have a choice," said Richards, president of the northeast Ohio chapter of the Center for Inquiry, a nonpartisan organization focused on creating a secular society. "No one loses, the churches can still do it their way."

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Nefarious Activity

February 09, 2017

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

Well, they confirmed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. No surprise there. Even got one Democrat. Alabama's governor, Robert Bentley, appoints the state attorney general, Luther Strange (actual name!!) to fill the U.S. Senate seat, which means that Bentley can also appoint a new state attorney general. And I'm sure this part is pure coincidence:

The appointment comes two months after Strange asked an Alabama House committee to pause an impeachment probe of Bentley, who was accused last year of having an affair with a onetime top political adviser. Strange said at the time that his office was doing "related work" though he never publicly elaborated on what it involved or when the work would be completed. 

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The Crack

February 08, 2017

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

First things first. We need you to tell the White House not to pull the trigger on this "Religious Freedom" executive order, which we're calling "a religious blank check for conservative Christians to claim special privileges." Go do that, then come back.

The Senate is having issues. Betsy DeVos, Trump's nominee for Steward of God's Kingdom I think, passes Senate confirmation by a single vote, Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaker. This is the only time that's ever happened with a cabinet nominee. 

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Plant Improvement

February 07, 2017

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

With everything going on in the world, it can be easy to forget some of the major crises we're still working on. Secular Rescue still needs your help so we can get more freethinking writers and activists out of danger. 

That "everything going on in the world" is mostly this guy: Trump calls the New York Times and other outlets "fake news" again (so yes, that term is now ruined forever), and claims that The Media has refused to report on instances of terrorism, which is as crazy as it sounds. The Outline takes a particular look at the president's refusal to accept polls that don't favor him.

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2,999 Gods

February 06, 2017

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

I was away for a long weekend, and for about four days I didn't look at social media. You wanna talk about a detox? A cleansing? Holy crap, folks. I can't recommend this highly enough. My only regret is that now that I have to bang out the Heresy, making up for the lost days, I have to dive back into the swamp. The impact of the splash will sting, and the filth in the murky water will make me sick. But I do it for you.

Michael De Dora summarizes a busy January for our advocacy efforts. 

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The Winepress of God’s Wrath

February 01, 2017

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

Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He seems like a very nice man who also seems to have a lot of bad ideas about religion and government and a philosophy in line with Scalia. So we're not feeling good about him (no surprise there). In our statement, we say:

We have grave doubts that Judge Gorsuch is someone who will weigh his duty to the Constitution over ideological loyalty to an administration that has already proven its hostility to secular government and tolerance of dissent. ... Judge Gorsuch’s prior rulings, along with his expressed philosophy, indicate a dangerous antipathy towards the protections of the First Amendment for nonreligious Americans and those of minority religious faiths.

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Bathing in Our Byproducts

January 31, 2017

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

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates defies Trump and refuses to defend the Muslim ban. So Trump fired her, accusing her of "betrayal." Her replacement will defend it.

Trump also fired the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale. 

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Truly Indecipherable

January 30, 2017

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

What a time we are living in.

Trump bans Muslims with a ban that isn't a Muslim ban, but actually is. He prioritizes Christians. Confusion reigns. Protests erupt, like, everywhere. Especially in airports. The ACLU wins emergency stays of the order. (Nicely done, ACLU.) The ACLU calls the ban a violation of the Establishment Clause (it is).

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Manipulating Nothingness

January 27, 2017

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

Well shit. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moves the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, two and a half minutes to The End, the closest its ever been since 1953. Why? Trump and nukes and climate change. Lawrence Krauss and David Titley explain:

Mr. Trump’s statements and actions have been unsettling. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding and even deploying the American nuclear arsenal. He has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and the Budget have disputed or questioned climate change. 

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Pining for the Fjords

January 26, 2017

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

Three people running a religious bootcamp in Alabama have been convicted of child abuse:

"The jury got to hear about the isolation chambers, kids being put in restraints for punishment and transport, and the excessive physical training over several hours with no breaks." 

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