Heliocentrism is So Second Millennium

December 12, 2013

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

Yet another "student religious-freedom" bill emerges, this time in Michigan. Reports Brian Smith:

Under the proposed language, instructors would not be permitted to grade a student's work differently based on religious content, and schools could not prevent students from participating in religious activities on campus before or after classes. Schools also would not be able to limit access to facilities to religious organizations if the facilities are made available to the general public. 

Holy moly, there's a sneaky-looking "documentary" coming next year that promotes, wait for it, geocentrism. And the trailer is full of scientists who I'm pretty damn sure are down with Copernicus. And, ugh, that's Captain Janeway at the beginning. (hat tip Rob Boston, who I'm kind of upset with for showing this to me) 

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The Best Pope of the Year!

December 11, 2013

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

Time names Pope Cuddly as Person of the Year, choosing human interest over the genuine news impact of its runners-up. Oh, there I go again, being grouchy. But I definitely think he's the best pope of the year, hands down. (Meanwhile, the magazine also officially corrects its earlier assertion that Mr. Pope had "rejected church dogma.") 

I cannot wait to read this: Jennifer Michael Hecht, one of my heroes, pens a big piece in Politico's magazine on the plight of the open atheist in American politics. (A topic I cover at some length in my wee little mini-book here.)

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Egomania and Cowardice

December 10, 2013

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

IHEU releases its 2013 Freedom of Thought Report on the state of persecution for atheists around the world.  

Lindsay Beyerstein conducts an extremely informative interview with Americans United's Barry Lynn on the latest Point of Inquiry. A great primer on the major church-state cases going on.

The Time magazine entry for Pope Francis's nomination for Person of the Year included the assertion that the pope "reject[s] church dogma and luxury." It has since been changed to omit "church dogma." 

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Less Canyon Than Itty-Bitty Crack

December 09, 2013

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

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown takes exception to the recent Time magazine assertion that there are "no atheists in the Grand Canyon," and what he has to say is quite lovely:

[O]verwhelmingly, there it was. That mighty, magnificent chasm 6 million years in the making is the physical embodiment of the word awesome. From the first glow of dawn until the long evening shadows engulf all but the rim, this colossal labyrinth of carved rock changes personalities hour-to-hour, season-to-season, eon-to-eon. It never shows the same face twice. 

Bill Nye pens (and records on video) an open letter to the president encouraging NASA's funding be held at $1.5 billion.

Satanists want a monument of their own alongside the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma statehouse, and the ACLU has their back.

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Angling on Exoplanets

December 06, 2013

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

Apologies for the late posting - The Morning Heretic as All-the-time-Daddy had to go bring his Baby Heretic to the doctor, but all is well and Baby Heretic is blaspheming happily.  

Wow: Humanist Community Day declared by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. I guess he's not running for president. 

(Someone should tell this to Boston University, where the campus humanists were barred from the school's interfaith panel.)

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Tedious, Difficult, Infuriating Work

December 05, 2013

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

CFI has taken over the fantastic Freethought Books Project, which provides skepto-atheist books to prisoners and hooks them up with volunteer pen pals at CFI branches. It's great.  

I'm just wondering, are you guys listening to the relaunched Point of Inquiry yet? Hey, it's me talking here. I'm just getting caught up after holiday travel and whatnot, and I'm telling you. It's great.

Rob Boston has a new book coming out in March: Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do. Sounds right up our alley. 

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Erik Estrada Saves Jesus

December 04, 2013

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

Secular Coalition for America hits the Hill today with briefings on its policy guide for both the House and Senate. Our own Michael De Dora, who had a hand in the policy guide, will be speaking. Meanwhile, our Office of Public Policy puts out its advocacy update for October and November

Kylie Sturgess at CSICOP.org interviews Robin Ince and Trent Burton, makers of the love-letter-to-science app, The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome.

Ken Chitwood profiles Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, a secular humanist and refugee from Iraq. 

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ACLU v. Legion of Doom

December 03, 2013

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

This strikes me as a big deal: The ACLU is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (or, as I call it here at the Heresy, "The Legion of Doom") over its directives to Catholic hospitals to deny all abortion services, calling it medical negligence. Pass the popcorn.

Reason Rally musical headliners, veteran band Bad Religion, has a new, totally Jesus-y, honest to goodness Christmas album. Sold. 

Josh Zepps talks to Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, the first Hindu Chaplain for Columbia University and New York University, on the latest Point of Inquiry

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Prejudice and Bigotry and Error

December 02, 2013

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

LA Times headlines CFI's big holiday Times Square ad in its piece on atheist billboarding. (Here's our announcement from last week.)

Kimberly Winston covers the Thanksgivings of seculars, with insights from CFI's own Sarah Kaiser and Jennifer Beahan.

Our Office of Public Policy weighs in on the announcement that SCOTUS will take up Hobby Lobby's help-help-I'm-being-oppressed challenge to the Affordable Care Act:

The Center for Inquiry has always, and will always, defend the right of individuals to worship or not worship as they choose. However, we will also always fight to ensure that the government does not unfairly prioritize or promote religion, forcing it into people’s lives. 

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Look at All Those Corpses, Noah!

November 27, 2013

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

Get warm and fuzzy, folks, because CFI just launched a video ad in Times Square for Thanksgiving! The baby in the ad was not consumed by any nonbelievers. 

Maria Beelen of On Campus affiliate Center for Inquiry–Grand Valley, recounts the mounting of the big Neil deGrasse Tyson event they held where this happened

Hobby Lobby manages to get its "poor-us-we're-oppressed" religious freedom case to the Supreme Court

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