A Fresh Dollop of Persecution Complex

June 24, 2014

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

Saudi Arabia tries (and fails) to bully CFI's representative at the UN Human Rights Council, Josephine Macintosh, who was delivering a statement regarding Saudi Arabia's flagrant human rights abuses. Three times the Saudi representative tried to silence her, but she persisted, with support from the representatives from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and France. Check out the video here. Canada's Ambassador Andrew Bennett tweets, "Proud that Canada defended @center4inquiry right to speak in Human Rights Council on Raif Badawi case today." 

Speaking of which, Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar is now in Canada with their children, and is helping to put pressure on Canada's government to intervene

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Infinitely Malleable

June 23, 2014

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

Wonderful news from moments ago: Sudan's appeals court orders charges be dropped against Meriam Ibrahim and that she be released. 

CFI chief Ron Lindsay looks at the explosion of violence in Iraq, and sees religion as a root, not a solution, to the problem:

[T]he phenomenon of intra-religious strife highlights the key problem with using religious texts and doctrines to address ethical issues in general, and in particular, how we treat other human beings. All holy texts, and the doctrines derived from such texts, are infinitely malleable. Which is another way of saying that, in themselves, they are useless as ethical guides.  

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Step On it Until it’s Dead

June 20, 2014

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

Dig it, folks. Greece, NY was the town at the center of the Supreme Court public-prayer case of Greece v. Galloway, and guess who's coming to the July 15 town board meeting to give an invocation? Atheist Dan Courtney, along with CFI's Ron Lindsay at the accompanying press conferenceAP picks up the story.  

CFI-DC's Simon Davis at VICE interviews Hiba Krisht who runs the popular Tumblr blog The Ex-Hijabi Fashion Photo Journal

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9 Minutes with God

June 19, 2014

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

Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot writes in The Guardian about the fear behind Putin's tough veneer:

When the authorities have to crack down so hard for such small violations, it is hard to escape the conclusion that someone in our country is very much afraid. 

Eman Al Nafjan in the New York Times explains how Saudi Arabia is using the threat of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on dissent in any form. He sites some of the cases CFI has been working on, such as those of Hamza Kashgari (interviewed by our own Michael De Dora last year), Raif Badawi, and Badawi's lawyer, Waleed Abulkhair.

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Monolithically Against You

June 18, 2014

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

Oh man, did y'all see Dr. Oz on Capitol Hill yesterday? At a Senate hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill took him to task for his myriad claims to have discovered miracle weight loss solutions (here's C-SPAN video), and really nailed it with these two statements:

The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles' ... I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true!"

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Giveth and Taketh, Just ‘Causeth

June 17, 2014

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

How cool is this: Josh Zepps nabs veteran political analyst Howard Fineman for this week's Point of Inquiry, talking about the battles within the GOP and the power of religion in politics. 

Carrie Poppy at Skeptical Inquirer tackles the claims by PETA that dairy aggravates autism:

There are plenty of good reasons people choose to avoid animal products, from animal protection to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity to curbing climate change. But these bonus issues have the benefit of being evidence-based. Dairy, on the other hand, doesn’t cause or aggravate autism, and claiming that it does indirectly supports the same deadly pseudoscience that has created massive outbreaks of horrifying diseases. PETA would do well to retract their claim and apologize to the parents of autistic children. 

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Hitching a Ride on Nessie

June 16, 2014

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

We at CFI pack a lot into each fortnight. Catch up with the latest edition of our newsletter, Cause & Effect.

The guy who just primary'd Eric Cantor out of a job, David Brat, turns out to be a fascinating (and troubling) guy. Michelle Boorstein profiles Brat and his approach to what he sees as theologically-correct Christian economics

This is rich: Deepak Chopra issues his own $1,000,000 challenge to James Randi and other skeptics ("any of your cronies") to explain normal experience. What? 

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Rick Perry’s Genetic Coding

June 13, 2014

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

It's a full moon -- a "honey moon," no less -- on Friday the Thirteenth, so I suppose the world will be sucked into the Bermuda Triangle, which is operated by the still-living Elvis and Hitler, both of whom are lizard people. But in honor of today, we've got some classic Skeptical Inquirer from 1985: I. W. Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver with "The Moon Was Full and Nothing Happened." 

Saudi Arabia's Justice Minister, Mohammed Al-Eissa, spoke to a gathering of lawyers in DC (we don't know who they were), and made a scary defense of his country's draconian, theocratic laws...

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Spank a Plankton

June 12, 2014

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

So everything on the Internet was broken yesterday. For me, that meant Feedly, Evernote, and a handful of sites crucial to this blog were totally inaccessible. Google Apps and Facebook would break sporadically. And many of us saw what happened to TweetDeck, which affected both the official CFI account and my personal account, because I love TweetDeck and for the love of all things unholy why is there not a native TweetDeck iPad app??? Allegedly, these things are all fixed now. But it was a real pain.

Several towns in Iraq are being taken over by Islamic militants, and it's revealed that the White House has rejected pleas from the Maliki government for military assistance. 

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Gohmert Vociferously Gohmerting

June 11, 2014

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

Well this is fun. Thanks to a series of DDOS attacks on websites by hackers looking to extort ransom, I can't access some of my usual sources for news and links. This includes Feedly, my RSS aggregator of choice. So I'm digging around the Internet the old-fashioned way, but some of the places I often go for news simply aren't available. Please use your imagination to fill in any gaps in today's Heresy. It's what I usually do. 

Amid the online demonstrations against Pakistan's censorship of Twitter under its blasphemy laws, Pakistan blocks the petition being circulated by Ex-Muslims of North America. We made a birdDeseret News covers some of the activity.

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