Sullying This Religion

December 04, 2014

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

As I type, it's looking like NASA's Orion launch to Mars may be postponed.

New CFI-related videos just posted: We have former pastor Ryan "Atheist for a Year" Bell at CFI-Los Angeles, and Richard Dawkins in conversation with CFI-UK's Stephen Law.   

The University of Texas lost its brains. But they say they know what happened now.

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Sensitive to Robots

December 03, 2014

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

Yesterday was #GivingTuesday, where nonprofits were showing their puppydog eyes to potential supporters. Yes, it's now Wednesday, but don't let that stop you

The Secular Coalition gets an Interim Executive Director in Kelly Damerow, as Herb Silverman returns as its board president. I hope he can make time for the SCA while he's moonlighting with the KKK

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I Really Don’t Want to Be a Jerk

December 02, 2014

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

Yesterday we announced that the wife of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi, Ensaf Haidar, had provided to CFI a rare look at a Saudi judicial document detailing the (non)offenses of Badawi and the medieval charged brought against him. 

Hemant Mehta reacts to the document:

To those who say faith is a virtue, go ahead and defend this. I don’t know how you can. All Badawi did was express his thoughts, which didn’t fall in line with a certain interpretation of Islam and was critical of the government. And based on the reaction he got, Badawi was right. It’s just appalling what’s happening to him.

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Atheists Are to Marvel At

December 01, 2014

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

Happy Cyber Monday, when I assume one is much less likely to be killed than on Black Friday. 

Our boss Ron Lindsay's new book, The Necessity of Secularism, is officially released today! Go get it. Meanwhile, Ron's got a new essay up at Huffington Post on the problem with prophets:

If you are a faithful Jew, Christian, Muslim, or Mormon, then you must accept that God does not convey any really important information except through the medium of a few prophets. In other words, there is a rigidly hierarchical, cognitive class system inherent in revealed religion. There are a few people who have been in direct contact with God and are in the know about his plans and instructions. These are the people who tell us what to believe and do. Then there are the billions of the rest of us, who just have to follow along. 

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Politicians in the Pocket of Big UFO

November 25, 2014

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

Today my little boy turns 5. He's the best. And related programming note: The Morning Heresy will be off for the rest of the week, so we wish you a safe and happy feasting period.

Okay, so, last night it was announced that a grand jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. In this context, Sincere T. Kirabo calls upon his fellow nonbelievers to more overtly pursue a social justice agenda:

I know not all atheists identify as secular humanists, but for those that do—for the nonbelieving individuals and groups who, like me, contend for secular rights and ethical reasoning conducive to the wellbeing of all humans in the here and now—I need you.

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Amazing, Baffling, Incredible, Bizarre, Seemingly Miraculous

November 24, 2014

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

Examinations of exit polls from the midterms shows that 62% of those who never attend church or religious services went Democratic.  

One big reason Americans are so divided on climate change: belief in the end of the world...

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There’s a Trilobite in My Latte

November 21, 2014

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

The city of Royal Oak, Michigan authorizes "ghost tours" led by "ghost hunters" of a 19th century farmhouse. CFI's Joe Nickell is disappointed (the piece says "upset," but Joe doesn't get "upset" about this kind of thing), and tells the Free Press:

When you allow ghost tours to operate, you are sanctioning mysticism and pseudo-science ... Most people don't want to believe that you actually die. This gives them the promise that your spirit lives on somewhere. 

The American Astronomical Society releases a definitive statement on the "Shirtstorm" regarding the poorly-chosen shirt and analogies made by Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor...

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Ode to Bolts and Screws

November 20, 2014

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

This might be the most irresponsible "news" article I've ever seen. The Daily Mail claims definitively that homeopathy can cure Ebola:

Homeopathy could have cured Ebola if the World Health Organisation had not stepped in to prevent a trial, according to members of a group who travelled to Liberia hoping to try out remedies including rattlesnake venom and the aphrodisiac Spanish Fly. ... Organisers of the trip are still inviting donations from supporters of homeopathy - whose ranks include Prince Charles - to fund a second attempt to run an Ebola trial in Liberia. 

Tom Chivers at The Spectator pounces:

Take a moment to think about this....

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Jupiter Looking Askance

November 19, 2014

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

Kimberly Winston talks seriously with Richard Dawkins about the controversies that have erupted over some of his recent statements, and gets perspective from backers and critics alike. I like Todd Stiefel's thoughts, which show an all-too-rare generosity of spirit:

It is wonderful that we have such a brilliant asset with a keen, logical mind and passion for integrity. But he is not perfect. He has flaws and weakness, just like we all do. I forgive Richard his faults and try to care for him as a human being, just like I would any other person. I think it is OK to admire Richard for his strengths and forgive him his weakness. 

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God the Insurance Agent

November 18, 2014

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

Jessica Steinhauser, aka Asia Lemmon, aka Asia Carrera, is a member of Mensa with an IQ of 156, a mom, a Utahan, a former porn star, and now an out and proud Pastafarian with a colander on her head. I think we've found our new leader.

Pope Francis disses physician-assisted suicide and its “false sense of compassion,” which he also compares to abortion. Meanwhile, HuffPo publishes CFI president Ron Lindsay's article on the connection between public acceptance of physician-assisted suicide and same-sex marriage. Take that, Pope Fluffy! 

CFI's Michael De Dora, current president of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief will moderate a panel discussion on the economic benefits of religious freedom on December 10.

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