Nessie-Optimized

March 09, 2016

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

Our International Man of Diplomacy™, Michael De Dora, is in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Council, doing his thing, and we'll have more on this specific adventures soon. Meantime, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeldt made a case for considering the freedoms to belief and expression to be "twin beliefs":

While freedom of expression seems to signal a ‘green light’ to all sorts of provocation, freedom of religion or belief seems to give a ‘stop sign’ instead. That kind of misunderstanding typically originates from the view that freedom of religion or belief protects religions or belief systems per se. ... [Both rights] protect unconditionally a person’s inner realm of thinking and believing, where no restrictions can be justified on whatsoever grounds. 

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Stem Cell Smoothie

March 08, 2016

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

Point of Inquiry has a fascinating episode this week, where Lindsay Beyerstein talks to New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova about con artists, what motivates them, and what makes even us smartypants vulnerable to their schemes. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Stuart Vyse stands up for the miserable, like me. He looks at what is being learned about happiness and melancholy as they relate to longevity, health, and education.

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Implausibility Upon Implausibility Upon Implausibility

March 07, 2016

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

Let's talk about the God Lady, Denise Ghattas, at the Democratic debate last night. My less well-considered question about that whole exchange is, "WTF was that?" It would have been one thing if a journalist had asked, in a more academic framing, "is God relevant to this campaign?" But instead we had what seemed to me to be a leading question aimed squarely at the one guy in the whole race who has largely eschewed brining God into the discussion...

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Undorsement

March 04, 2016

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

When a future civilization -- maybe of this planet, maybe not -- asks, "Where did it all go wrong for the humans of the 21st century? How did they destroy themselves so suddenly," the scholars will, as one, point to the Republican debate last night as the harbinger of the End of All Things. I'm guessing, anyway.

In case you haven't overdosed on Trump yet, allow me. I have a whole slew of Trump stuff here...

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Multiple Counts of Pandering

March 03, 2016

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

A man in Russia, Viktor Krasnov, could get up to a year in prison for expressing his atheism on Facebook. The charge? "Offending believers' feelings." I thought Russia was supposed to be tough.

Daniel Burke at CNN looks at what Super Tuesday means for various religious blocs, such as the breakup of the religious right and Sanders' appeal to heathens:

Sanders attracted a majority of voters who don't regularly attend worship services in Arkansas and Texas, and came close (46%) in Virginia, helping him win delegates even where he lost states. The four states that Sanders did win -- Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont -- all have large numbers of religiously unaffiliated voters, or "nones." 

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Fall Off of a Cliff

March 02, 2016

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

Sorry about the lack of a Heresy yesterday. I had a thing. Onward!

Lookie here, CFI's Nick Little pens an op-ed for Salon on the big Texas abortion case at the Supreme Court, focusing on the shady character behind the state's case:

Vincent Rue is not a medical doctor, but, through surrogates, he has tried to play one in court. And in this role of a lifetime, he has masterminded the dissemination of pseudoscientific testimony in several state court cases —all in an effort to defeat women’s right to an abortion. His act is about to be reviewed by his most important audience yet – the United States Supreme Court.

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Please Die More Quietly

February 29, 2016

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

Last week marked one year since the murder of Avijit Roy, and things aren't getting any better in Bangladesh. We're asking you to contact your Member of Congress to back House Resolution 396, demanding that Bangladesh do more to protect the human rights of dissenters and minorities. 

Two weeks is a crazy long time. No way you can remember everything that happened over a whole fortnight. Good thing there's Cause & Effect, CFI's newsletter.

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Natural Born Zodiac Killer

February 26, 2016

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

I'm still reeling from that GOP debate last night. I mean, holy buhjeezus what a spectacle. I just. I just don't even know. 

Oh wait, yes I do. Right after the debate, Trump speculated that the IRS was auditing him because "I'm a strong Christian." He really said that! Relatedly, Ben Radford is about to release a new book, Bad Clowns. SEE WHAT I DID THERE

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A Cascade of Computations

February 25, 2016

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

The coming of the Depp to the Reason Rally is making news. Our evil plan is working.

Matthew Sheffield created NewsBusters, so I'm not exactly a fan, but at The American Conservative, he gets something very right: The right will have to contend with the fact that "nones" are the future:

In 2016 and beyond, Christian conservatives face a choice. They can embrace identity politics and become a small group of frustrated Christian nationalists who grow ever more resentful toward their fellow Americans, or they can embrace reality 

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Clarifying the Anti-Christ

February 24, 2016

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

So, no kidding, Johnny Depp is going to be at the Reason Rally. If he doesn't sing some Sweeney Todd selections I will be sad.

Larissa MacFarquhar is the guest on Point of Inquiry, talking to Lindsay Beyerstein about attitudes toward those who throw themselves into charity and volunteerism

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