Che, Puss in Boots, and the Pope

May 15, 2014

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

A group of UN Special Rapporteurs (a gaggle? a pride? a rookery?) pull no punches against Saudi Arabia and their grotesque persecution of Raif Badawi:

"This outrageous conviction should be overturned and Mr. Badawi immediately released. ... Mr. Badawi is a prisoner of conscience, who has been convicted for peacefully expressing his views on religious and other issues." ... The UN experts condemned the cruelty of the punishment and recalled that such attacks against the physical and psychological integrity of a person represent an affront to the dignity inherent to all human beings.

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One Non-Abrahamic Lump

May 14, 2014

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

Bill Nye feels strongly that Skeptical Inquirer is an important tool in helping to change the world.

Lindsey Graham is leading the Senate charge for an outrageously restrictive abortion ban. Maybe he's running for president. 

A pregnant Sudanese woman faces 100 lashes and a possible death sentence for apostasy, unless she recants her Christianity for Islam.

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From Water Therapy to Lasers

May 13, 2014

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

Women in Secularism III is mere days away! I'm, like, even going to leave my house to be there! You don't want to miss that, right? (Please only don't-miss that from a respectful distance.) 

Donald Prothero sounds the alarm on science denialism on Point of Inquiry with Lindsay Beyerstein (who will also be at WiS).

The latest issue of Free Inquiry is hitting newsstands now, with fascinating research by Barry Kosmin, who says the U.S. is undergoing a major shift as a "secular constituency" emerges.

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Rekindle the Devil’s Image

May 12, 2014

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

Responding to the Washington Post's uncritical piece on alt-med last month, our boss Ron Lindsay pens a letter to the editor taking on a specific claim made about homeopathy, and the Post runs it:

[H]omeopathy is a pseudoscience, based on nebulous notions developed long before modern scientific research. Homeopaths maintain that the more dilute a substance is, the more potent it is as a remedy. Not surprisingly, controlled studies have not shown that homeopathic drugs are more effective than a placebo. 

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Bad Luck

May 08, 2014

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

As we reported yesterday, Saudi dissident Raif Badawi has had his sentence for "insulting Islam" heavily increased to 10 years and 1000 lashes. We are working this case very hard, and you can help us tell the world about it through Facebook and Twitter (#IStandwithRaif), and tell the Saudi government what you think. 

And there's more awful news...

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They Would See Us as Bacteria

May 07, 2014

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

Terrible news: Raid Badawi, the persecuted Saudi dissident, facing a horrific penalty for "insulting Islam" and perhaps even death for apostasy, has had his sentence made even harsher: 10 years in prison (from 7), 1000 lashes (from 600), and a fine equal to about $267,000 US. We'll have more on this soon. CFI and allies held a protest outside the Saudi embassy for him this past Saturday, in concert with other protests around the world.

CFI is urging lawmakers in Ohio to nix a resolution that would endorse the work of religion and ideology-driven "Crisis Pregnancy Centers":

[C]ertainly you can see that the Ohio state government should not endorse or financially support CPCs, which mislead the public, spread dangerous anti-scientific views, and advance sectarian religious beliefs. 

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Khuy, Pizda, Ebat’, and Blyad

May 06, 2014

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

The Supreme Court completely blows it. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rules in favor of sectarian prayer at government legislative functions. CFI's response is to call the decision "ill-reasoned," "hostile to the rights of religious minorities," and "dangerous," among other unflattering things. CNN notes our reaction, including our boss Ron Lindsay's statement that "those of us who believe in a secular government must redouble our legal and advocacy efforts. The New York Times called the decision "lamentable."  

We agreed with the dissent of Justice Kagan:

[M]onth in and month out for over a decade, prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not square with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.

Calling the Court's bluff, the Satanists are ready.

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Oh Variola, What Are We Going to Do With You?

May 05, 2014

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

Saturday, CFI and allies protested Saudi Arabia's persecution and imprisonment of Raif Badawi, the dissident atheist blogger. I'm told the folks inside the embassy were perturbed. Here's a couple of pics from our boss Ron Lindsay and our public policy office.  

Meanwhile, another major focus of CFI's free expression efforts, Indonesia's Alexander Aan, was profiled in the New York Times

Lindy West of Jezebel will be among the amazing speakers at Women in Secularism III (11 days away!), and she's interviewed at Skepchick as part of their series on conference speakers. 

Make sure you catch up on everything else CFI community members are up to in the latest edition of Cause & Effect.  

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Let’s Invade Puny Mars

May 02, 2014

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

Tomorrow is the demonstration at the Saudi embassy in DC for Raif Badawi, the imprisoned atheist dissident. Come and help us speak out for free expression.

Lauren Becker's National Day of Reason essay yesterday was so well-liked, we meme'd it

The Satanist monument for the Oklahoma Statehouse? It exists. And, like, wow.

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A Manifestation of a Foul Substance

May 01, 2014

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

It's the National Day of Reason (also the National Day of Prayer, but come on, who celebrates that?), and to mark the occasion we have a powerful piece by CFI's Lauren Becker on why we need to lose religion to save America.

Bill Nye goes on Seth Myers' show to tell the world: Don't ask me for a selfie while I'm defusing a bomb

This is like a birthday present for skeptics: Harriet Hall knocks out a pretty darn comprehensive introduction to homeopathy for Skeptical Inquirer. Of course, it has only the essence of words that were once there. I'm kidding! But seriously, here's a homeopathic cartoon

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