Electrons and Fish

April 12, 2016

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

Jeff Sharlet has a feature in NYT Magazine looking at the Trump phenomenon as a kind of hyper-macho prosperity gospel:

“You had so many killings [by illegal immigrants],” Trump shouted. “So much crime.” But then he held up a finger, and his voice dropped into a deep and deliberate monotone: “It’s gonna end.”

There it was: the positivity, not a promise or a prediction. A fact. 

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Kepler Red Alert

April 11, 2016

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

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claims responsibility for the murder of Nazimuddin Samad in Bangladesh, for being an "enemy of Allah." The country's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan says something that made my jaw drop.

The bloggers, they should control their writing. Our country is a secular state... I want to say that people should be careful not to hurt anyone by writing anything -- hurt any religion, any people's beliefs, any religious leaders.

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Latin for Waffle

April 08, 2016

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

Students protest in Bangladesh over government inaction to the killing of Nazimuddin Samad and other secular writers. We have put out an action alert urging passage of House Resolution 396, which demands that Bangladesh affirm its secular constitution, protect minorities, prevent the growth of extremism, and guarantee human rights for all.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-Justice League) introduces the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA) which supports comprehensive, reality-based sex education, and CFI is one of the bill's supporting organizations.

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More Woeful Pageants

April 07, 2016

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

Another atheist activist hacked to death in Bangladesh, 28-year-old law student Najimuddin Samad. The day before he was killed, he had posted to Facebook criticizing the government's ability to maintain law and order, and has previously posted about atheism and his criticisms of radical Islam. We have responded, which is noted in reports on the killing by the APNPRBuzzFeed, and elsewhere. This is the first attack of this kind in 2016, following several of them in 2015.  

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Associate Citizens

April 06, 2016

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

Well, Tennessee looks about to adopt the Bible as the official state book. Katie Rogers at NYT reports:

During a Senate floor session on Monday, Senator Steve Southerland, the Republican who sponsored the bill, argued that it is about honoring the Bible’s historical and cultural contributions to the state. He said that a Jewish friend of his had agreed the Bible is a historical text. ... The legislation does not say which version of the Bible would be used. 

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People Really Like Burning Stuff

April 05, 2016

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

Look who's on Point of Inquiry this week: It's American Atheists' Dave Silverman, in a spirited discussion with Josh Zepps about his fight against all things goddy. 

Google removes from the Play Store an app...by the Taliban

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The Most Privileged Dirty Old Men

April 04, 2016

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

Brandon Withrow at the Daily Beast looks at the places around the world where Christians really are persecuted (hint: not Starbucks), and the larger problem of blasphemy and apostasy laws. Oh, I'm quoted here too:

We have to “look beyond our borders,” adds Fidalgo. We need to recognize that “people truly are suffering in unthinkable ways—being beaten by mobs, imprisoned, executed, flogged—for holding certain beliefs or questioning the majority. And then we need to start bringing to bear our diplomatic and economic influence and making serious efforts to make change."  

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Insidious Superfluous Consonants

March 31, 2016

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

Housekeeping note: No Heresy tomorrow, which is good, because it'll be April 1, and that means a miasma of not-funny hoax news pieces that I'm perfectly content to avoid sifting through.

Morton E. Tavel's Skeptical Inquirer cover story on why lie detectors are more or less crap is now online, and it's good stuff. He says:

Given such overwhelming evidence of inaccuracy as I have presented here, how can we, as a society, react to such a perversion of science? The logical solution is to completely abandon this method of testing. 

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Psychological Acupuncture

March 30, 2016

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

Jaweed Kaleem at The Atlantic looks at the homeschooling phenomenon among atheists

Utah goes off a pseudoscience deep end, passing a law requiring anesthesia for abortions performed after 20 weeks, all in a pointless move to keep the fetus from feeling pain, which it can't anyway, and thereby putting the woman's health at risk -- a risk that the law says women aren't supposed to know about. 

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A Muddled and Troubling Lesson

March 29, 2016

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

Georgia's governor Nathan Deal -- a Republican! -- vetoes the state's anti-LGBT "religious freedom" bill. Wisely not being North Caroline, Deal says:

I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, which I and my family have been a part of for generations.

You should read Kimberly Winston's piece about the blasphemy law in Pakistan, about real religious persecution, and how it's all really sad.   

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