A One-Dollar Browbeating

August 16, 2016

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

John Fea at RNS lauds the wisdom of America's founders for their aversion to having clergy serve in public office, comparing the intermingling of politics and religion to mixing "horse manure and ice cream":

The Founding Fathers understood something about the role of clergy in American society that Lane and his Christian nationalist friends do not. Those who care for the soul have a “great” spiritual duty that should never be compromised or tarnished by politics. This is why they thought that the “separation of church and state” was important.

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Adultery and Gluttony and Greed and Pride

August 15, 2016

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

The new video just posted for CFI's series Reasonable Talk has good ol' Matt Dillahunty at CFI HQ talking about his experiences in debating the religious, and how we all can hold beliefs that don't jibe with reality.  

Friday's issue of Cause & Effect (which is the official CFI newsletter, by the way) is just busting with good stuff. It's like Reader's Digest of Awesomeness. I may be overselling it a bit.

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Yoda-Old

August 12, 2016

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

The Center for Inquiry thinks the idea that the U.S. would start banning particular religions from the country is a crap idea. There's a new bill that seeks to put the breaks on this bananapants idea, the 2016 Freedom of Religion Act, and we want you to tell your congressmonster to support it

The entirety of this week's New York Times Magazine is one big story: How the Arab world has shattered since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.  

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Diplopia, Estropia, Nystagmus, and Strabismus

August 11, 2016

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

Okay, now we're talking. The State Department releases a new religious freedom report and comes down hard on countries with blasphemy laws on the books, particularly Muslim countries:

Such laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights ... False accusations, often lodged in pursuit of personal vendettas or for the personal gain of the accuser, are not uncommon. Mob violence as a result of such accusations is disturbingly common. 

Before Trump has even been elected (cough cough), and well before the much-derided "Muslim ban" has been enacted, Mike Pence decides to get an early start on the snowball effect, saying that other faiths could be added to the list of prohibited religions. What year is it? 

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The Names of a Few Demons

August 10, 2016

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

We put out a statement yesterday expressing the serious concern that useless and often dangerous alt-med is getting way too much of an endorsement from the Olympics, and that those in a position to do so need to make clear that things like cupping are not based in any science. Luis Alfonso Gámez at the CSI site has more on Michael Phelps and his bruises -- in Spanish!

We have a brand new interview for CSICon Las Vegas, this time with Paul Offit who discusses his work on vaccines, and teases his conference talk on the "never-ending quest for pain relief without addiction." 

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Succor Punch

August 09, 2016

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

You may have heard of the problem where Facebook seems to be targeting posts and pages from secularists and progressive Muslims for takedown when anything having to do with Islam is criticized. On Point of Inquiry this week, Josh Zepps focuses on the issue with guest Faisal Saeed Al Mutar.

So this McMullin guy who apparently deserves mass media attention because he's I guess running for president. Maggie Haberman at NYT notes the one aspect of his candidacy that actually could have an impact: His religion...

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The Type Who Walk into Traffic

August 08, 2016

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

I don't follow the Olympics, but I do stare at Twitter for unhealthy lengths of time, so I do know two things: Team USA swims real good, and somehow the pseudoscientific alt-med practice of cupping has become a thing with some of the athletes. Mark Oppenheimer tweets:

if, like the Olympians, you're cupping, are you 3 clicks from homeopathy? and are you worried about microwaves? 

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Messy, Fractious, Contextual Relationships

August 05, 2016

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

Idaho is going to take a hard look at its "faith-healing" exemptions, which let parents not provide their kids with actual medical care if it conflicts with religious beliefs. Ada County Prosecutor Jean Fisher says, "I don't think the rights of the parents should so supersede the rights of a child." I don't either.

Three crisis pregnancy centers (fake abortion counseling clinics that pressure and proselytize to women) are warned by the Los Angeles City Attorney to follow the law or be fined.

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No Bugs Go to Heaven

August 04, 2016

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

We have a new action alert, where we need you to tell Congress to support the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, which will correct the military records of those discharged from the military under Don't Ask Don't Tell. 

Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina thinks that disaster relief isn't nearly as important as his state's anti-LGBT "bathroom bill," so $500,000 have been moved from disaster relief to the legal defense of bigotry. Good thing natural disasters never happen in North Carolina. 

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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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