Aura Friction

August 03, 2016

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

So much good stuff today. The DNC accepts the resignations of staffers involved in the leaked emails that included the suggestion by CFO Brad Marshall to use atheism as a way to attack Bernie Sanders. If you recall, we asked for Marshall to step down, and while I'm not saying this is all our doing, I will at least pretend it was. 

In the run-up to our big fall conferences, Women in Secularism 4 and CSICon Las Vegas, I interviewed a woman who will be speaking at both, one of my favorite skeptic writers, Kavin Senapathy. She had so much smart stuff to say! Here's one thing she said about the overlap of secularism and skepticism...

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A Marginal Constituency

August 02, 2016

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

Just under 100 days to go before the election, and the conspiracies are in full swing. Donald Trump believes that the election will be rigged against him, which conveniently means that he wins no matter what happens, and also happens to be what he thought happened in 2012 too.

Trump backers are accusing Khizr Khan as being an agent of the Muslim brotherhood, and the late Captain Humayun Khan of having been a "double-agent" for Al Qaeda. Of course, right? Of course.

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Red Hot Pointy Things

August 01, 2016

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

You almost certainly are already aware of Trump's public battle with Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan. Do give a read to Ghazala's op-ed in the Post on Trump's attempt to take a whack at them for seeming to him to be subservient:

Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family. 

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Project Malarkey

July 29, 2016

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

Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party last night, and as Hemant Mehta points out, this Bible-quoting methodist chose "e pluribus unum" as the American motto to emphasize (over that other one), and declared "I believe in science," followed by a wry giggle that read, to me, as "I can't believe I actually have to say that."

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Lots of Things He Said Were Stupid

July 28, 2016

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

David Smith at The Guardian has a really interesting piece on the response of Jewish Democrats to the DNC staffer's email suggesting Bernie Sanders be attacked for atheism. The takeaway: For Jews in the party, at least, it would have made no difference:

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, said on Tuesday: “...If I was running the DNC, no one would say that because I’d kill them. I mean that figuratively.” 

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Historical Gravity

July 27, 2016

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

Hillary Clinton was formally nominated last night by the Democratic Party, the first woman ever to be the candidate of a major party in U.S. history. You knew that already, but it seemed weird not to mention it. 

Wendy Kaminer (a Women in Secularism 4 speaker) is the guest on Point of Inquiry this week, having a rather pointed discussion with Lindsay Beyerstein on the conflict over things like free speech and safe spaces.

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Nothing To Do With Spaceships

July 26, 2016

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

In a statement cosigned by CFI's CEO Robyn Blumner, Board Chair Eddie Tabash, President Ronald Lindsay, and Council for Secular Humanism chief Tom Flynn, we came down hard on DNC CFO Brad Marshall for his suggested attacks on Bernie Sanders for his incorrectly presumed atheism. ...

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Infiltration Activities

July 25, 2016

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

On Friday, the Center for Inquiry filed suit in Illinois to allow Secular Celebrants trained and certified by CFI to solemnize marriages. This is the same kind of case we won (big time) in Indiana in 2014, and Illinois is under same appeals court jurisdiction, so this is a super-strong case (and our legal chief Nick Little calls Illinois' law a "pointless snub of the secular community"). Our plaintiff in Illinois is CFI Secular Celebrant Galen Broaddus, who notes we tried a lot of other avenues to make this happen, to no avail.

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Oh, Now, We Took it Back Too Far

July 22, 2016

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

Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president last night, you may have heard. And you may have literally heard because he yelled the whole thing. Yoni Applebaum at The Atlanticnotes the glaring difference between Trump's speech and all other modern GOP nominees': Trump never made himself out to be a man of God, but implied that the All Powerful was he, alone:

I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.

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Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Done That

July 21, 2016

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

Last night, Mike "Christian, Conservative, Republican in that order" Pence gave his acceptance speech at the RNC. But whatever, that wasn't interesting. What WAS interesting was that Ted Cruz gave what I assume was his speech announcing his run for president in 2020, getting boos from the audience for not endorsing Trump, and even apart from that he said:

Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. Whether you are gay, or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

So it's a crazy year is what I'm saying. 

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