You Can Eat a Black Hole

December 02, 2015

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

I was off for a few days, so, uh, what I miss?

Oh look! CFI joined up with some other Super Important organizations (USCIRF, Lantos Foundation, PEN) to hold a Capitol Hill briefing yesterday with Bangladeshi-American humanist Bonya Ahmed, survivor of the machete attack that took the life of her husband Avijit Roy. The AP covered it, but, like, somehow forgot to mention us. (This is where I get very Dangerfieldian.) However, and probably more importantly, the event was covered by major outlets in Bangladesh (The Daily Star and BDNews24), with us included.

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Phobos Will Put a Ring On It

November 25, 2015

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

Now hear this: Due to the holiday and other sundry events, The Morning Heresy will go on a brief hiatus, returning December 2. You'll be okay.

At National Journal, Ron Brownstein digs into Pew's religion data, and finds that white Christians no longer make up a majority of the country. There's a lot to unpack here, and Brownstein is, like, the best. 

Paul Bloom explores the way we come to believe things about science and religion, noting that both can require certain "leaps of faith" and deferral to the experts...

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Putin v. Xenu

November 24, 2015

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

Yesterday, CFI joined with the Richard Dawkins Foundation to tell the FTC to use its authority to stop the false advertising of homeopathic products. Or, as we put it elsewhere, tell them to put a cork in it. 

Millennials get a bad rap, most of the time. Not this time! 40 percent of them anyway are earning that bad rap, saying that the government should be able to outlaw speech that might be offensive to some minority groups. Just to be clear, a society having standards about what is and is not acceptable, and distiniguishing between criticism and explicit encitements to violence are in one category. The government deciding that something that is perceived as offensive is therefore illegal is very much in another.


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It Pains Me

November 23, 2015

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

Okay, so here's the big thing I was talking about last week: Thanks to the efforts of some very clever people here at CFI, we launched a new "series" of sorts, a new hub for the excellent presentations and conversations held at CFI events, and we call it Reason Talks. Think of it as a web series of high-quality video for freethought talks, coming in "seasons" of episodes. We launched with three videos, and a new one will come every week until the season is over. To kick it off, we have Rebecca GoldsteinMichael Specter, and Taslima Nasrin

Speaking of Goldstein, at NYT, she reviews Tim Whitmarsh’s new book Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

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Just Big Dudes Walking You Where You Need to Be

November 20, 2015

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

So that thing I said we'd be launching yesterday unless something went terribly wrong? Well, it wasn't terribly wrong, but wrong enough that the thing has to launch today instead. BUT IT'LL BE TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Free Inquiry has opened up a few new articles for free access on the website, including, most importantly, our boss Ron Lindsay's last Free Inquiry column as our boss, where he focuses on humanism and hope.

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Everything Important Happens in New Jersey

November 19, 2015

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

Quick teaser: We have a cool thing we've made that's coming out today (unless something goes horribly wrong). That's all you get! You'll just have to hope you're paying attention to this website or subscribed to our emails.

Ta-Nehisi Coates wins the National Book Award for Between the World and Me, and you can hear him talk about it with Lindsay Beyerstein on CFI's Point of Inquiry from back in August. 

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My Trumpy Sense is Tingling

November 18, 2015

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

We don't take too kindly to religious bigotry or faith-based tests, especially when it comes to people in desperate need. Our official statement on the fearmongering now rampant over the Syrian refugees: "As secular humanists we insist: These refugees are us, and we are them, whatever their religion might be." 

The local Fox affiliate in Springfield, Missouri covers Skepticon, and features our own Stef McGraw and Cody Hashman, plus a lot of our table swag! (The Satanists and Cthulu are there, too.) 

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Argument and Reason and Words

November 17, 2015

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

There's no other way to put this: The Republican presidential field seems more or less unified on the idea that only Christian refugees from Syria should be admitted into the U.S., and Ted Cruz is the standard-bearer. Here's what the president said about that:

When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion. 

Or for anything else. 

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Music, Kisses, Life

November 16, 2015

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

At least 129 innocent civilians were killed Saturday in Paris in a coordinated terror attack of suicide bombings and hostage executions, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility. But you know that already. France is carrying out a massive retaliatory military strike, and the city of Paris is on lockdown as police raids swarm across France and Belgium.

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It is a Tale Told by an Acupuncturist

November 13, 2015

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

Religion News Service publishes an op-ed by me on the Bangladesh crisis, and how religious groups ought to join us in trying to stop the killings, that is if they sincerely care about a literally mortal threat to religious freedom (and Washington Post is also running it):

We in the American secular humanist community are doing all we can to save lives and change the course of events in Bangladesh, from the grass roots to the halls of American and international diplomatic power. We have done the same in the past, passionately and proudly, when conservative Christian groups asked for help supporting their fellow believers, like Asia Bibi in Pakistan and Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan. But we can only do so much. Our resources and reach are limited, and frankly dwarfed by those of American churches and conservative Christian organizations. So we’re asking for their help.

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