Totally Sober

July 11, 2017

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

NASA live-streamed a real-time simulation of the Juno spacecrafts's pass over Jupiter's red spot. Actual images will start coming in July 14.

But all is not celebratory in the world of planetary science. A survey of astronomers shows that 28% of women of color feel unsafe at work because of their race, and 40% feel unsafe because of their gender. Astronomers. "Oh my, Morning Heretic," you might be thinking. "This must be an oldy-timey survey from many decades ago. Scientists are so above this now." And you'd be wrong.

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Worse Than You Think

July 10, 2017

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

The Amelia Earhart mystery got even more interesting last week with the unveiling of an incorrectly-filed photograph from 1937 that shows what very well may be Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan in the Marshall Islands, supporting the theory that they survived the plane's disappearance and were subsequently captured by the Japanese.

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Frustrated by the Lack of Bayesianism

July 07, 2017

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

Yesterday I screwed up the link to Andy Ngo's blog post again. Is there some supernatural force that is causing me to prevent you from reading Andy's piece??? Well, in your face, supernatural force, because third time's the charm! Here's Andy's "The Orlando Selfie."

(Did I get it right this time?) 

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Hammurabi Lobby

July 06, 2017

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

France has a crazy idea: Let's stop kids from dying of measles. I know, I know, only the French would come up with something so nutty. But it's true. Parents will be required to vaccinate their kids beginning next year.  

There's a new book about SETI's Jill Tarter by Sarah Scoles, and two big science-y mags are running excerpts: Popular Science and Wired. Tarter is also a fellow of CFI's Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

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It Will Be the Shockwave That Gets You

July 05, 2017

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

Posts on social media are at the center of a lot of crazy stuff right now. 

To celebrate our freedom from British tyranny, NPR tweeted out the text of the Declaration of Independence. It...confused some people:

Some supporters of Donald Trump didn’t recognize one of the nation’s founding documents and accused the broadcaster of inciting violence and even revolution. 

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Sunshine Makes Things Grow

July 03, 2017

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

Last week, we helped spur some news coverage of the sneaky GOP scheme to undermine the Johnson Amendment through the budget process, and to do so for the benefit of churches (as no other institutions, religious or secular, are mentioned): The Associated Press did a great report on this, plus more good stuff from Newsweek and Bustle.

Trump thought this GIF of him beating up a personified CNN was cool, so he tweeted it out. That'll show the dishonest media! CNN calls it an incitement to violence against journalists. Jerry Falwell Jr. approves! The source of this creation is a straight-up racist Reddit troll who also makes images like this.

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Omnishambles

June 30, 2017

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

While the very fabric of space-time warped and undulated over the Trump-Morning Joe conflict (we'll get to that), Republicans in the House finance subcommittee worked up a scheme to neutralize the Johnson Amendment. The proposed rule would deny the IRS the funds it would need to investigate Johnson Amendment violations...for churches only. That's right, no mention of other nonprofits, no mention of other houses of worship. We joined a big coalition of groups opposing the measure, and I did the equivalent of marching up and down, toddler-Bart-Simpson style, making noise about it.

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You May Wear Pants

June 29, 2017

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

Cardinal George Pell is the third-most powerful official in the Catholic Church as head of the Vatican's finances. And he's just been charged multiple sexual assaults in his native Australia. I think it's time to play this song again.

Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky signs into law a bill allowing Bible classes in public schools. I'm sure that not far behind are classes on the Qu'ran, the Bhagvat Gita, Dianetics, and the Books of Bokonon. Any day now.

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A Rich, Dense Fossil of the Immediate Present

June 28, 2017

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

Jay Sekulow, the creepy guy from the religious-right group the American Center for Law and Justice, and now a Trump lawyer, has reportedly directed more than $60 million donated to another nonprofit right into his and his family's bank accounts. Jon Swaine at The Guardian reports:

Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.

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Nobody Knows What Happens

June 27, 2017

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

As our legal director Nick Little put it, SCOTUS "detonated a massive breach in the wall of separation between church and state" with its decision in the Trinity Lutheran case, a decision that will have really bad consequences as religious institutions get the green light to go diving for public dollars. Tara Isabella Burton at Vox looks at the implications, including a reference to our lawsuit in Florida over prison ministries looking for taxpayer funding. Betsy DeVos is probably really excited.

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