Upsetting at Best

December 16, 2016

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

2016 will be over in 15 days. 

Dylan Roof, who killed nine black parishioners in Charleston last year, is convicted on 33 counts of federal hate crimes. He could face life in prison or execution. A state trial for his crimes begins next month.

Sean Omar Rivera at Blavity says, "I am black, I am a humanist, and I support Black Lives Matter." He makes a case for the secular movement's alliance with Black Lives Matter...

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It’s Called Ignorance

December 15, 2016

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

Here's something I didn't know: Religions are officially registered in Germany, and receive tax subsidies based on the size of their respective flocks. Of course Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism are there, as are Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses. Not legally recognized is Islam, which claims over 4 million adherents.   

In the U.S., Americans vastly overestimate how many Muslims live here. On average, Americans think the population is about 17% Muslim. The reality? 1%. That's a one. 

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It Sounded Almost Like Health

December 14, 2016

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

Gov. John Kasich vetoes the unthinkably awful Ohio 6-week abortion ban, but signs the almost-as-awful 20-week ban. 

At The New Yorker, Lawrence Krauss says what readers of this blog already know: Under a Trump administration, science is in big damn trouble:

Taken singly, Trump’s appointments are alarming. But taken as a whole they can be seen as part of a larger effort to undermine the institution of science, and to deprive it of its role in the public-policy debate. 

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The Boundary Within Which Nothing is Able to Escape

December 13, 2016

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

Horror in Aleppo. Assad's forces plow into the city, executing dozens of activists and just regular civilians, including women and children. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 257 journalists have been jailed in 2016, the most since they started keeping track in 1990. The big offender? Turkey. 

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This Zoo is Going to Kill Itself Off

December 12, 2016

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

You might have heard something about the CIA saying that, yeah, Russia definitely tried to tip the election for Trump by hacking the political parties and other major figures. Trump, who essentially is a walking conspiracy theory, dismissed the U.S. intelligence apparatus thusly:

Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory! 

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I’ve Accomplished Something

December 09, 2016

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

John Glenn is dead at the age of 95. Record-breaking pilot, pioneering astronaut, U.S. Senator, and then at age 77, astronaut again. An amazing human being. President Obama said:

The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn. 

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Lie More, Die Sooner

December 08, 2016

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

Ohio's legislature passes that terrible "fetal heartbeat" anti-abortion bill, which would ban abortion at the point a heartbeat can be detected, around six weeks into pregnancy - even in cases of rape or incest. If you're an Ohioan, you need to tell Gov. Kasich to stop this bill right now.  

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Always in Danger of Being Shut Down

December 07, 2016

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

Angela Merkel calls for a ban on full-face veils at a rabble-rousing speech for her party's conference, veering from her earlier position in which she advocated for bans only in the most specific circumstances when absolutely necessary. CFI, being the stalwarts for freedom of expression and belief that we are, responded:

“We strongly oppose allowing religions to dictate oppressive dress codes on women, but change must come by freeing women to choose their own style of dress — not by imposing bans,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s director of government affairs. “Targeting Muslim religious practices is a distasteful and dangerous electoral ploy to appeal to rising right-wing sentiments. Civil liberties should never be subjected to political calculus,” he added.

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Adios Ununpentium. Sayonara Ununseptium. Arrivederci Ununoctium.

December 06, 2016

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

This past Sunday, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina barged into Comet Ping Pong, a pizza joint in D.C., armed with an assault rifle, fired at least one shot, and declared he was there to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and allies were using the restaurant as a child-sex trafficking front. Welch was arrested.

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Find Two Rules to Get Rid Of

December 05, 2016

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

A little good news: It looks like the Russell Amendment, which would have allowed religiously-based discrimination by federal contractors, has died in conference. We dance on its grave:

“This is an even more important victory than it might seem,” said De Dora. “The incoming administration is being staffed by figures who enthusiastically endorse discriminatory measures like this one, and those being pushed through statehouses across the country. It is imperative that we build widespread resistance today so that we are better prepared to defend the secular nature of our government against the assaults of tomorrow.”

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