Appetite for Mars

February 05, 2016

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

Bernie Sanders' religion or lack thereof is, surprisingly to me, a very hot topic of late. At Quartz, the most excellent Jennifer Michael Hecht (who notes that she leans toward Clinton) reflects on the broader importance of Sanders' secularism:

Sanders’ deeply humanist views make me think that he could turn out to be a good leader for our heterogeneous nation—both because he is brave enough to speak a new kind of truth about religion, and because he is motivated to do the right thing for its own sake. ... A candidate ready to admit that he is not a part of any religion, while respecting people whose beliefs differ from his own, might well be the person who can lead our fractured country toward trust and unity.

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Come and See the Dead Monk

February 04, 2016

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

President Obama visits a mosque, the Islamic Society of Baltimore, and says this, which kind of chokes me up:

Let me say as clearly as I can as president of the United States: you fit right here. You're right where you belong. You're part of America too. You're not Muslim or American. You're Muslim and American. 

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Luxembourg…In…SPAAAAACE

February 03, 2016

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

A very positive development: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom writes to Secretary Kerry to urge the State Department to provide humanitarian parole for Bangladesh's secularist writers and activists in danger. CFI and a coalition of other groups did the same in December. (Catch up with the rest of CFI's policy work from last month in our Advocacy Update.)

As a side note, apparently John Kerry has been referring to ISIS as "above all, apostates," which seems really, really counterproductive.

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They Want Us to Swallow It

February 02, 2016

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

Last night, the people of Iowa decided who the next president will be, and nothing that happens from here on out matters whatsoever. Trump has been revealed as a flash in the pan, Clinton can't possibly recover from having narrowly won, and third-place Marco Rubio is the next Obama. Or that's what I glean from Twitter, and really, what else is there. Man, it's too bad there aren't any more primaries after this one...

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Neither a Duran, Nor a Duran

February 01, 2016

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

Egyptian satirical cartoonist Islam Gawish is arrested for "running a website without a license." NYT reports:

The Sunday raid on the Egypt News Network, where Mr. Gawish worked, was carried out because the website was operating without an official permit, said Maj. Gen. Ayman Helmy, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry...

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Archaeopteryx Matters

January 29, 2016

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

Huffington Post's Nick Wing spoke with me about Bernie Sanders' recent comments about God and the candidates' alignment with humanist principles:

"I think everyone believes in God in their own ways," Sanders said in his interview with The Washington Post.

Glossy platitudes like this have become typical in the hyper-religious arena of national politics, but as Fidalgo points out, it's a blanket statement that casually dismisses nonbelievers. Coming from anyone else, it might be expected. But for the godless Americans who have followed Sanders' career and support his presidential campaign, the words sting more. 

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People Abandon Rabbits

January 28, 2016

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

Pew releases a trove of data about religious attitudes in politics, including the warming of Christians to Trump, and the incremental lowering of that "would not vote for an atheist" number, which remains very high. 

Muslim scholars will convene in Morocco next week with an aim to emphasize, and hopefully politically codify, the rights of non-Muslims in majority-Islamic countries. Laudable, of course, but while other faiths are specifically cited as having equal rights, no mention at least in the reporting of the rights specifically of nonbelievers.

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Hologram-Filled Catacombs

January 27, 2016

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

Bernie Sanders opens up a little more about his religious beliefs, and boy does he get one big thing really wrong right out of the gate:

I think everyone believes in God in their own ways.

No, actually. No, everyone really doesn't. 

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Inverted Snobbery

January 26, 2016

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

Those antiabortion activists that secretly recorded conversations with folks at Planned Parenthood? And tried to make it look like they were selling baby parts? Right? Remember? Well funny thing: they managed to get a grand jury to look at what Planned Parenthood was doing, and, doesn't it just figure, and like you'd never guess, but the grand jury winds up indicting not Planned Parenthood, but the people who did the misleading sting videos! Classic, right? And PP has been cleared of any wrongdoing! What do you know, huh? What a world. I tell ya.

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Rivalry and Enmity

January 25, 2016

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

Happy Monday! Here's how you'll probably die.

While we were celebrating our merger with the Dawkins Foundation, a judge in Florida handed us a kick in the gut, ruling that explicitly-Christian rehab operations for former prisoners, groups literally called Lamb of God and Prisoners of Christ, aren't "sectarian" and can keep on sucking up taxpayer dollars. We are gobsmacked by how wrong this ruling is, we are not pleased, and we will appeal.

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