Khuy, Pizda, Ebat’, and Blyad

May 06, 2014

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

The Supreme Court completely blows it. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rules in favor of sectarian prayer at government legislative functions. CFI's response is to call the decision "ill-reasoned," "hostile to the rights of religious minorities," and "dangerous," among other unflattering things. CNN notes our reaction, including our boss Ron Lindsay's statement that "those of us who believe in a secular government must redouble our legal and advocacy efforts. The New York Times called the decision "lamentable."  

We agreed with the dissent of Justice Kagan:

[M]onth in and month out for over a decade, prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not square with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.

Calling the Court's bluff, the Satanists are ready.

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Oh Variola, What Are We Going to Do With You?

May 05, 2014

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

Saturday, CFI and allies protested Saudi Arabia's persecution and imprisonment of Raif Badawi, the dissident atheist blogger. I'm told the folks inside the embassy were perturbed. Here's a couple of pics from our boss Ron Lindsay and our public policy office.  

Meanwhile, another major focus of CFI's free expression efforts, Indonesia's Alexander Aan, was profiled in the New York Times

Lindy West of Jezebel will be among the amazing speakers at Women in Secularism III (11 days away!), and she's interviewed at Skepchick as part of their series on conference speakers. 

Make sure you catch up on everything else CFI community members are up to in the latest edition of Cause & Effect.  

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Let’s Invade Puny Mars

May 02, 2014

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

Tomorrow is the demonstration at the Saudi embassy in DC for Raif Badawi, the imprisoned atheist dissident. Come and help us speak out for free expression.

Lauren Becker's National Day of Reason essay yesterday was so well-liked, we meme'd it

The Satanist monument for the Oklahoma Statehouse? It exists. And, like, wow.

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A Manifestation of a Foul Substance

May 01, 2014

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

It's the National Day of Reason (also the National Day of Prayer, but come on, who celebrates that?), and to mark the occasion we have a powerful piece by CFI's Lauren Becker on why we need to lose religion to save America.

Bill Nye goes on Seth Myers' show to tell the world: Don't ask me for a selfie while I'm defusing a bomb

This is like a birthday present for skeptics: Harriet Hall knocks out a pretty darn comprehensive introduction to homeopathy for Skeptical Inquirer. Of course, it has only the essence of words that were once there. I'm kidding! But seriously, here's a homeopathic cartoon

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The Truthiness of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

April 30, 2014

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

Okay, there is some really awful stuff in the news this morning. I'm going to start with some important and more general stuff, and I'll try to get the bad stuff all out in one shot. I'll warn you. First, some CFI news: 

May 3 in Washington, DC, CFI will join allies around the world in protesting for the freedom of Raif Badawi, the Saudi writer and dissident jailed for blasphemy, and facing a possible death sentence for apostasy.  

Two CFI Institute online courses are about to get underway, so sign up now to feed your brain on "Modern Humanism" and "Science and Its Institutions," both taught by David Koepsell.

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If I Were in Charge

April 29, 2014

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

You already know this by now: Sarah Palin says something that manages to offend almost everyone who isn't Sarah Palin:

Oh, but [liberals won't let you] offend [terrorists], can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists. 

Sarah Posner unloads smartly:

[I]n joking that torture was like a baptism, Palin revealed her view of evangelization as an act of force, not love, and her view of salvation as something one imposes on irredeemable enemies, who further prove their lesser worth by protesting and resisting it. Get it? It just shows how the Muslims can't even see how something "so cool" is actually good for them. 

Greta Christina is the guest on Point of Inquiry this week, talking about her new book about atheistic comings-out.

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One Man’s Saint is Another Man’s Vampire

April 28, 2014

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

The big story in Religion Land is the canonization of popes John Paul II and John XXIII, because even in Christianity, all the benefits -- even the ones in the afterlife -- are going to the top 1%. (Oh and hey look they just beatified another pope. Sorry, regular people!)

CFI chief Ron Lindsay weighs in on the new popes-as-saints (and Pez dispensers):

John Paul’s specific failings are a symptom of a larger problem, which is the Catholic Church’s continuing failure to understand and accept human sexuality.

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A Hatful of Galaxies

April 25, 2014

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

At Skeptical Inquirer, Thomas R. Casten says both climate realists and climate denialists should take heed of the potential for profit in fighting global warming.

Sarah Posner has a great report on the efforts to jam "religious expression" bills into public schools, essentially inviting church-state separation violations. 

The Clergy Project starts a new blog at Patheos, Rational Doubt. Kimberly Winston reports on the launch.

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Aligning with Forces that Rule the Moon

April 24, 2014

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

A 7-minute documentary on Al Qaeda for the National September 11 Memorial Museum is now the center of controversy because some feel that "some of the terminology in it casts aspersions on all Muslims." 

I'll be honest, I don't fully understand this, but it seems like some scientists have found that time goes in the direction it does, and thermodynamics works the way it does, because of quantum entanglement

Soraya Chemaly, who will be speaking at next month's Women in Secularism III conference, highlights some "everyday sexism" examples, and number 1 on her list:

We tolerate the ritualized silencing of women mandated by all major religions, which, with minor exceptions, bar girls and women from authority and mandate that access to the divine is mediated by exclusively male speech.  

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Although You May Not Realize It, You Are Self-aware

April 23, 2014

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

I did not expect this: NJ's Star Ledger endorses removing "under God" from the Pledge:

The Supreme Court has said it’s unconstitutional for public schools to endorse religious activity in general, but hasn’t ruled specifically on the Pledge of Allegiance. We should turn the clock back 60 years and erase “under God” — a poorly conceived plot to force religious words into schoolchildren’s mouths. 

The U.S. Army approves "humanist" as an official faith category. (But what about the Jedi in this UK prison?)

Folks are really digging the Lauren Becker Earth Day audio essay we put up yesterday. Hemant says it's got "an ending that really made me smile." Make sure you check it out and pass it on.

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