Validated by a Flock of Geese

January 05, 2016

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay, rather quick on the draw I'm happy to say, takes to Huffington Post to confront the latest madness from Antonin Scalia, and the idea that government ought to favor religion over nonreligion:

Neutrality between religion and non-religion is for Scalia not only something that lacks constitutional warrant, but, disturbingly, he also maintains that such neutrality risks incurring the wrath of God or, at best, his indifference. Apparently, the United States cannot expect to prevail in any future conflicts if we show equal respect to theist and atheist alike.

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Sucker Bet

January 04, 2016

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

Happy new year. Not looking good so far:

Saudi Arabia executes 47 people for "terrorism," including Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a Shia religious leader, charged with leading anti-government demonstrations. (We were among those protesting his sentencing in November.) Iran is extremely pissed about this, and while also fuming over the massive death toll of the hajj stampedes in September, cuts diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia. So I'm sure this will all work itself out calmly.  

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In the Year of Our Trump

December 31, 2015

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

If ever there was a year that needed to be kicked out into the cold, dark night, it's 2015. Or, as future historians will one day refer to it, 1 BT (Before Trump). 

RNS's Lauren Markoe rounds up some of the notable figures in religion who died in 2015, and perhaps due to a friendly tip from a certain heretical link-blogger, the list includes Avijit Roy, "a champion of secularism." 

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The Din of Our Rice Krispies

December 30, 2015

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

CNN gives a nod to Skeptical Inquirer, specifically a Bruce Martin piece from 1998, in a look at spooky coincidences and "synchronicities." (Alas, nothing about shouting over the din of our Rice Krispies, or something crawling to the surface from the bottom of a dark Scottish lake.)

A poll by the AP shows, troublingly, that a huge majority of Americans rank Christians' religious freedoms over other faiths, ranking Muslims last (who are nearly tied with the nonreligious). 

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Authority Over the Airways

December 29, 2015

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

Joshua Hammer covers the crisis for secularists in Bangladesh in depth at the New York Times Magazine.

Science advocacy wunderkind Zack Kopplin, at the Daily Beastgets a look inside the Discovery Institute, with insights from a former employee of the creationism-promoting, faux-science outfit. 

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No Mastermind

December 28, 2015

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

So there was going to be a Heresy post on Christmas Eve, but what had started as a bout of influenza turned into several other uncomfortable and non-life-threatening conditions, and the long and the short of it is that I was laid up. I'm never really "healthy," let's be honest.  

The New York Times decries the "anti-science" ban on the study of gun violence placed on the CDC:

Imagine if the tobacco industry had been similarly favored by Congress with a ban on federal research about cigarette deaths. Imagine, too, if the auto industry had such a shield during the years when the government successfully fought unsafe cars in the cause of public health. 

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Jake and the Neverland Psychics

December 23, 2015

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

NYT's Laurie Goodstein explores how in the midst of terror attacks and fears over ISIS, "some Muslims are beginning to publicly confront the uncomfortable questions that non-Muslims have about Islam and violence, and trying to provide answers, both through words and through the example of how they live their lives." 

In a feature at WaPo, Greg Jaffe looks at how President Obama's faith has informed his view of himself as a uniter, and how things haven't worked out they way he'd hoped.

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To the End of the World

December 22, 2015

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

Our boss Ron Lindsay was on a HuffPost Live panel yesterday along with Hemant Mehta, Annabelle Gurwitch, and Jonathan D'Elia, talking about the secularization of Christmas. Point of Inquiry's Josh Zepps was host.

The AP reports on the efforts of a coalition of groups, which includes CFI, urging the State Department to help Bangladeshi freethinkers who fear for their lives. Don't forget you can donate to CFI's Freethought Emergency Fund here to lend a hand. 

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Jimmy Quit, Jody Got Married

December 21, 2015

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

2015's last Cause & Effect newsletter came out Friday, chock full of skepto-secular goodness. Go see. 

Georgetown University's Arjun Sethi publishes a piece at Al Jazeera America criticizing Saudi Arabia for using terrorism as an excuse to torture and execute, only to have the piece removed by Al Jazeera, which "did not intend to offend Saudi Arabia." Heaven forbid. (The Intercept republished Sethi's piece anyway.)

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Always Looking For That Other Cheek

December 18, 2015

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

Let's just put it this way: Michael De Dora kicked some serious butt for pluralism at the White House yesterday. The Know Your Neighbor campaign, designed to foster better understanding and dialogue between those of differing beliefs, was launched yesterday, and even just from the live stream I could tell that people were heartened by Michael's sincere expressions of his and our commitment to freedom of religion, expression, and thought. I'm a little surprised not to have seen more coverage of the event itself (I mean there were more powerful PR folks than myself pimping the event), but I'm hoping to see more today. At any rate, the Catholic News Agency highlighted Michael's remarks. You can watch the event here, and Michael appears on the second panel.

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