Cruel Hearts, Arrogant Souls, and Warped Logic

April 01, 2015

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

I've been practicing rolling my eyes and making indignant, above-it-all faces just to get through today, April Fools' Day, when the whole Internet thinks every absurd lie is hilarious and totally worth your time. I'm ready!! But here's a promise: This is an April Fools'-free Morning Heresy.

Kimberly Winston reports on the reaction to the murder of yet another Bangladeshi atheist blogger, Washiqur Rahman, including our statement and response from Asif Mohiuddin, who knew Rahman personally.

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A Lived-in Face

March 31, 2015

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

Today the U.S. and Iran are expected to announce a deal on Iran's nuclear program. Just in time, Point of Inquiry has a guest with deep expertise on the U.S.'s 30-year conflict with Iran: Senior Historian for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, David Crist. Don't miss it. 

The Indiana right-to-discriminate fallout continues. For example, Wilco cancels its tour in Indiana. Garrett Epps at The Atlantic spells out why this particular version of RFRA is so problematic, as opposed to the federal counterpart. Some lawmakers begin to scramble to "clarify" the law (good luck). Arkansas and North Carolina are perhaps the next to adopt this kind of measure.

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♫ How Long ‘til Ted Cruz Gets it Right? ♫

March 30, 2015

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

There's a lot to cover this morning, folks. Buckle up. 

It's happened again. Bangladeshi atheist blogger Washiqur Rahman is murdered by machete-wielding assailants in Dhaka, and police detain two madrasa students in connection with the attack. From the Dhaka Tribune:

He was a admirer of another secular blogger Avijit Roy, who was killed by extremists in Dhaka one month ago. After Avijit’s killing, Washiqur paid tribute to him making his Facebook profile and cover photos with the text: #iamavijit and words cannot be killed.

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Uneventful Horizon

March 27, 2015

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

The FDA is going to take a serious and public look at homeopathy. We're going to be all over this. 

You know that CFI's Michael De Dora represents us at the UN, and was just at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. But what goes on there besides all the statements and speeches? Michael gives us a behind-the-scenes look at all the bureaucratic intrigue.

Rep. Sam Johnson wants to make sure military servicemembers have to swear an oath to God, whether they believe in it or not. We think you should tell your congressperson otherwise

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The Most Arch Act of Piteous Massacre (Alleged)

March 26, 2015

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

It's Richard Dawkins' birthday today (I learn from Twitter), and you can drink a belated birthday toast to him when he appears at the Reason for Change conference in June!

Unrelated to skepto-humanism (for now anyway), turns out that the crashed Germanwings plane was downed intentionally by one of the pilots. I am dizzy just thinking about it.

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Liberate Planets from the Greys and Reptilians

March 25, 2015

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

CFI-Michigan's activism in opposition to a religious sign in a public park is covered in two pieces at MLive and at the Holland Sentinel. CFI-Michigan's Jennifer Beahan hammered home the central point at a meeting of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners: "Frankly, it doesn't matter how many people want the sign replaced, it is still unconstitutional." Alas, the board voted in favor of the sign anyway, which quotes Psalm 19:1 - “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”

The FDA may finally be taking the problem of homeopathic "medicines" seriously, as they announce public hearings on their use and regulation. CFI has been petitioning the FDA to move in this direction for some time.

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Thanks For Nothing, Jupiter

March 24, 2015

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

We've got an awesome Point of Inquiry this week, where Josh Zepps talks to Johann Hari about the century-old war on drugs, and how (according to Hari) so much of what we assume to be true about addiction and prevention are simply wrong.

Ted Cruz officially enters the GOP primaries, and makes no bones about who he is trying to appeal to. At Liberty University the Senator for Texas said:

Imagine millions of courageous conservatives all across america rising up together to say in unison, 'We demand our liberty.' Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across america coming out to the polls and voting our values.

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The Editing History Will Back Us Up

March 23, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay announced this morning that he'll be resigning from CFI at the end of 2015. Though this grieves me mightily, he will certainly be going out with CFI in excellent shape, and he's leaving us a good long time to have a smooth transition to the next overlord. Richard Dawkins tweets:

There goes a good man. Thanks, Ron, and no doubt you’ll give the secular world a great last year in office.  

And because Ron likes to avoid controversy at all costs, here's his post on Israel...

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My Darkest Dystopian Paranoia

March 20, 2015

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

More reactions to the New York Times' awful smartwatches-and-phones-cause-cancer piece, with Daniel Engber at Slate calling it, "So weird, and so bad, and so weirdly bad." Dave Pell concedes the point, but tries to strike a middle ground about the general cloud of unknown that surrounds the larger impact of these devices:

Should I be at least a little concerned? I would think so. But I’m even more concerned by the fact that I probably wouldn’t move either device out of reach even if science confirms my darkest dystopian paranoia. And even if our physical health is in no danger, there is absolutely no doubt that our psychological and social worlds are in a state of chaos that is of our doing, but not fully in our control. And that scares us. 

The Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan says yeah, maybe it should have been vetted a bit more, and reveals that no one involved in science at the paper ever saw the article before it was published. Says it all, doesn't it?

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As Ye Have Dumped Water Unto the Least of These My Brethren…

March 19, 2015

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

NYT tech journalist Nick Bilton (who is usually among the very best) publishes a techno-panic piece about how smartwatches might-maybe-possibly cause cancer, and bases it on blatantly weak and tenuous inferences. To make matters worse, consults pseudoscientific Dr. Oz pal Joseph Mercola for comment. Russell Brandom at The Verge, in a piece that is subtitled "Cram it, Bilton," writes:

Bilton tackles an interesting and important question: could smartwatches be raising your risk of cancer? There are decades of research that could speak to the question, since all the relevant radiation is also emitted by cell phones. Unfortunately, Bilton ignores almost all of it, kicking the piece off by comparing the new Apple Watch to smoking cigarettes. 

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