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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Lend Me Some Sugar, I Am Your Neighbor

December 17, 2015

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

THIS IS A BIG DEAL: CFI has been selected to join a coalition of faith-related groups for a campaign aimed at increasing understanding among people of differing beliefs: the Know Your Neighbor Campaign. Today at 1pm ET, CFI's Michael De Dora will be at the campaign's kickoff event at the White House. You can watch the live stream here. Importantly, CFI is the only group in the coalition to represent the secular/atheist/skeptic/"nones" perspective, and we're honored to do so.

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Stolen, Polished, and Candied

December 16, 2015

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

At last night's GOP debate, there was a lot of argument about things like banning Muslims, killing the families of terrorists and ISIS members, and carpet bombing. And while a lot of the arguments against such things were grounded in constitutional issues, treaties, and whether or not these things made us "safe," I don't think I heard anyone say anything like, "We shouldn't do those things because they are really wrong and immoral." Just bad tactics. Alas.

Tom Gjelten at NPR reports on the religious right's desire to paint secularism as a "religion" in order to undermine church-state separation. (CFI's firm position is that secularism -- secular humanism in particular -- is absolutely not in any way a religion.)

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Sun-Suckers

December 15, 2015

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

Stephen Law, our CFI–UK provost (because of course he deserves a fancier title than "director"), has two new pieces up. One is at Aeon magazine, where he explores why people are "remarkably prone to supernatural beliefs and, in particular, to beliefs in invisible agents." And at the CFI blog, he offers five ways atheists and the religious might find ways to constructively discuss their differences. Among them, he suggests that honesty is the best policy:

I for one would much rather understand what my intellectual opponent really believes about me than have them disguise it. After all, if a Christian really believes that, as an atheist, I am hell-bound, they surely have a moral duty to warn me.  

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Perceive Something Threatening

December 14, 2015

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

CFI's Michael De Dora is the guest on the Friendly Atheist Podcast - I haven't listened yet, but I assume he didn't embarrass us or anything. 

195 countries sign on to historic climate change accords in Paris, promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ensaf Haidar says her husband Raif Badawi is on a hunger strike, and tweets: “I call on his majesty King Salman to pardon my husband. Please unite my children with their father."

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Crispy Bug Balls

December 11, 2015

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

Rick Jervis at USA Today looks at the tent revival that is the Ted Cruz presidential candidacy.

Republicans courting the Jewish vote are facepalming over Trump's Trumpiness:

“The Jewish community, collectively, has that institutional memory, and institutional scars from previous events in history where a group based solely on religion was persecuted,” said Lee Cowen, a Republican strategist, adding that Trump was damaging the party. 

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