Sir, I Protest, I Am *Not* a “Fuzzy None”!

March 10, 2014

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

So how was Cosmos? I haven't seen it yet, because we don't get cable or broadcast TV, so I'll need the Information Superhighway to help me out with seeing the show. I get the sense, though, that people liked it. 

Matt Zoller Seitz at New York Mag notes the secularist overtones:

The new Cosmos makes it clear that the war [against science] is still going on, and that this series is determined to be on the right side of it, by painting organized religion as an irrelevant and intellectually discredited means of understanding factual reality.  

Willa Paskin at Slate says it's less overt than that, writing, "Cosmos is offering viewers a way to reconcile science and faith: Don’t let your god be too small."

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Five Finger Discount on Crosses

March 07, 2014

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

The push to privatize public education and send tax dollars to religious schools has reached new heights of late, with a series of new bills in Congress that would privatize nearly all federal funds for K-12 schooling. We have an action alert out so you can help stop it. 

Check out what we've been up to public-policy-wise throughout the past month in our Advocacy Update

Pope Fluffy: Grave robber

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A Collection of Passionate Oddballs

March 06, 2014

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

The impact of Carl Sagan on humanism is examined by Kimberly Winston, here in the Washington Post. Lots of important skepto-atheists are quoted in here, and somehow I got in there too, saying:

He showed us that to marvel at life on our planet was to cherish it and work to preserve it. For that, we have to reject bad, old modes of thinking, look at the world as it really is rather than how we’d like to believe it is, and tackle the crises that face us. 

Winston also rounds up some of Sagan's profound quotes. Chris Stedman talks to former Sagan pupil, SETI Carl Sagan Center director and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry fellow David Morrison:

Carl was an inspiration to his students—not only in helping us to become good research scientists, but also in challenging us to understand the cultural context of our science and encouraging us to be leaders and reach out to communicate with the public.

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We Get in There and Burp and Scratch

March 05, 2014

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

It's Ash Wednesday, and Michelle Boorstein reports on the reluctance of some of the faithful to don the forehead mark in public.

Amid the outrage over Uganda's awful anti-gay law, American Evangelicals have their hackles up as if to say, "hey, we didn't do it!" 

Last night's Q&A with the team behind the new Cosmos is available to watch online

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Your Murky Raison d’Etre

March 04, 2014

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

Daniel Loxton, author of one of my son's favorite books, Ankylosaur Attackis the guest on Point of Inquiry this week. 

Carrie Poppy chants her way to altered states of consciousness at Skeptical Inquirer:

I felt like I was out of my body, floating above it. I couldn’t tell if my hands were near my face or far, far away. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were open or closed. I heard sounds no one else appeared to hear and saw vague, distant images: a pink diamond, a rooster with a pyramid for legs, an elderly woman in a revealing gown. At one point I snapped to attention and found that my upper body had been rhythmically swaying in a semi-circle. I wasn’t awake, and I wasn’t asleep. I was in a trance. 

Rob Boston's book Taking Liberties goes on sale today, and you can read an excerpt here

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A Flash of Luminescence in a Great Dark Ocean

March 03, 2014

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

NPR's Michele Norris will be at a CFI-Michigan event March 12 in Grand Rapids. How cool is that? 

A federal judge says Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from out of state, and gives the state until March 20 to get its ducks in a row. 

Sharon Hill at Skeptical Inquirer explores the desire by many to believe that prehistoric and long-dead species are still among us.

This is genuinely useful: Tim Farley shows you how to debunk questionable images really quickly with a couple of clicks. 

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Pink Monopoly and Pink Pens

February 27, 2014

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

Ensaf Haider, wife of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi, gives a heartbreaking interview to IFEX:

Raef's health has deteriorated; he developed diabetes when he was first arrested, and he has faced problems with his heart. He also suffers from unsanitary detention conditions and from malnutrition, but I have not heard anything about him being subjected to torture or anything of the sort. Despite all of this, his morale is very high and he is not broken. ... My life has changed 180 degrees, it is enough to say that overnight I became both mother and father to my children, and I live in a daily nightmare of questions from my children about Raef. 

Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062. She says:  

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. 

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Negative Ninjas

February 26, 2014

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

Mitt Romney and John McCain are among the Republicans calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the anti-gay "religious freedom" bill passed by the legislature, and she is expected to do so

Eric Sasson at TNR calls these new "religious freedom" bills "the new stand-your-ground laws":

Purporting to be against discrimination, these lawmakers are trying to use the victim card against the very people they want to discriminate against.  

Indiana's House, for now at least, ditches its own "religious freedom" bill

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The State of Our Meatball

February 25, 2014

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

The state of our Meatball is strong (the "meatball" is the loving nickname we have for the logo): CFI releases its annual report for 2013, "Progress Report: Advances in Advocacy, Community, and Inquiry." It's mighty pretty, is full of really inspiring developments for our organization, and has a free toy inside. Okay, there's no toy, but you can read it anyway. 

Gabriel Sherman is the guest on Point of Inquiry, talking to Josh Zepps about his big exposé on Fox News Supreme Leader Roger Ailes.

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If Scientific Accuracy is Your Jam

February 24, 2014

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

Today's Morning Heresy starts the week on a terribly sad note, as over the weekend freethought activist and friend of the blog Eric Broze died suddenly of unknown causes. Even if you don't know Eric, you're probably aware of some of his work for the movement, which includes the Coming Out Godless project, done with his wife Rose Schwartz, and spearheading the United Church of Bacon based in Las Vegas. 

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