The Winepress of God’s Wrath

February 01, 2017

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

Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He seems like a very nice man who also seems to have a lot of bad ideas about religion and government and a philosophy in line with Scalia. So we're not feeling good about him (no surprise there). In our statement, we say:

We have grave doubts that Judge Gorsuch is someone who will weigh his duty to the Constitution over ideological loyalty to an administration that has already proven its hostility to secular government and tolerance of dissent. ... Judge Gorsuch’s prior rulings, along with his expressed philosophy, indicate a dangerous antipathy towards the protections of the First Amendment for nonreligious Americans and those of minority religious faiths.

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Bathing in Our Byproducts

January 31, 2017

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

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates defies Trump and refuses to defend the Muslim ban. So Trump fired her, accusing her of "betrayal." Her replacement will defend it.

Trump also fired the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale. 

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Truly Indecipherable

January 30, 2017

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

What a time we are living in.

Trump bans Muslims with a ban that isn't a Muslim ban, but actually is. He prioritizes Christians. Confusion reigns. Protests erupt, like, everywhere. Especially in airports. The ACLU wins emergency stays of the order. (Nicely done, ACLU.) The ACLU calls the ban a violation of the Establishment Clause (it is).

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Manipulating Nothingness

January 27, 2017

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

Well shit. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moves the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, two and a half minutes to The End, the closest its ever been since 1953. Why? Trump and nukes and climate change. Lawrence Krauss and David Titley explain:

Mr. Trump’s statements and actions have been unsettling. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding and even deploying the American nuclear arsenal. He has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and the Budget have disputed or questioned climate change. 

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Pining for the Fjords

January 26, 2017

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

Three people running a religious bootcamp in Alabama have been convicted of child abuse:

"The jury got to hear about the isolation chambers, kids being put in restraints for punishment and transport, and the excessive physical training over several hours with no breaks." 

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Department of Parks and Insurrection

January 25, 2017

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

This is not meant to be snarky or hyperbolic, I mean this sincerely: There are so many bad things coming from the Trump administration, not even a week old yet, that I really can't keep up. And that's only counting things that fall under the CFI wheelhouse. I have to look up from my browser every few minutes just to remember to breathe.

Where to start? I suppose we can start with the attempts by folks at the National Parks Service to go rogue, and do a lot of very passionate tweeting about climate and environment facts, all despite the Trump-imposed freeze on their doing so. The tweets were eventually deleted, but WE REMEMBER.  

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No Obligation to Make Sense

January 24, 2017

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

Trump reinstates the destructive and cruel "global gag rule," a Reagan-era dictate barring any organization working outside the U.S. and getting federal funds from discussing abortion, ever. It's just callous and backward. CFI has always staunchly opposed the rule, and we're part of a huge coalition of organizations pushing back. Jina Moore at Buzzfeed helps explain...

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The Murky, Otherworldly Ether

January 23, 2017

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

The Women's March on Washington, along with its sister demonstrations around the world, was magnificent. I love these pictures. Estimates of the numbers of people who came out vary wildly, but a few things are certain: the crowd in DC alone utterly dwarfed the number that came out for Trump's inauguration (which also happened). Nationwide, according to two researchers there were at least 3.7 million protesters, which is more than 1% of the entire U.S. population. 

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I’d Vote for Any Ungulate in Rut

January 20, 2017

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

I can't seem to wake up today. Almost as though my body is saying, "No, really, you don't need to see this." 

SciAm reports on the possible consequences of this "vaccine commission" Trump might create with RFK Jr.:

Public health experts and autism advocates are deeply worried that an effort with presidential backing could undermine public confidence in vaccines and trigger epidemics of all-but-eradicated diseases. 

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The Province of Wusses

January 19, 2017

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

I was sick yesterday. Today is our last full day with President Obama. Tomorrow is the first day of President Trump. 

As though fuming in frustration, Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, the third straight year it's done so. NYT's Justin Gillis puts it plainly:

Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization. 

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