Tired of Trying to Be Moved

September 09, 2013

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

Former W. press secretary Dana Perino, now at Fox (of course), discussing the Massachusetts Pledge case, is sick, sick, sick of atheist pests:

I’m tired of [atheists]. I remember working at the Justice Department years ago when I first started right after 9/11 and a lawsuit like this came through, and before the day had finished, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives had both passed resolutions saying that they were for keeping ‘under God’ in the pledge. If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.

Action alert, y'all: Tell Congress to tell the Family Research Council to back off our laws. 

This is a boatload of awesome: Slate posts a big map of "here be dragons"-type creatures from Renaissance cartography. 

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Do Magic Coconuts Have Hanging Chads?

September 06, 2013

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

Three new faces are added to the lineup of speakers at the CFI Summit: Josh Zepps, Debbie Goddard, and Mark Hatcher. 

This Monday, the outreach crew is running another CFI On Campus On-Air Session, this time on blasphemy rights and the Campaign for Free Expression, with a really great panel of folks.

A magic coconut has disrupted Maldivian elections and now there is an investigation into the magic coconut and OH GOD I WISH I WAS KIDDING:

A vote-rigging row has erupted in the Maldives ahead of Saturday's presidential election amid suspicions that one party is using cursed coconuts imbued with black magic spells to sway voters’ political allegiances. 

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Only God Can Judge Carlos Danger

September 05, 2013

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

So you all know about how Bill Nye will be at the CFI Summit next month. Oh, I guess he's doing this TV show too where he dances or something. 

Massachusetts' supreme court heard arguments yesterday in a case concerning the Pledge of Allegiance's bit about being beneath Yahweh. SCA president David Niose argued for the plaintiffs, and CFI contributed an amicus brief

To help you get more involved with our work at the Office of Public Policy, CFI has just launched a bill tracking page, keeping an eye on legislation in the House and Senate relating to issues such as science, religion, and freedom of expression.

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Pop Star Seeks Person to Stare at Sky for Aliens

September 04, 2013

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

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Court hears arguments in its big Pledge of Allegiance case, which will be streamed live. CFI has submitted an amicus brief, and you can read Ron Lindsay's explanation of our position here

IHEU gathers thoughts from various prominent seculars on the unbearable question what to do, if anything, about Syria, which includes a contribution from our own Michael De Dora. 

Southern Baptists are advising chaplains not to perform services with anyone who "practices or affirms a homosexual lifestyle."

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Psychic Fraud to the Nines

September 03, 2013

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

Whew! This weekend, Hemant Mehta done got himself "Hitched." (Cute photo!) The Morning Heretic of course offers its sincere congratulations. But while he was being nuptial'd, Hemant tasked me with the stewardship ofFriendly Atheist. Despite this being an obvious mistake, I did my best not to crash his Ferrari of a blog.

What did I blog about? GLAD YOU ASKED. Well, an Indian novelist was charged with blasphemy, the South Jersey prayer-at-council-meetings fiasco got weirder, I found a great example of apologetics leading to nonbelief, E.W. Jackson nailed himself to a proverbial cross, EWTN explained how Hell actually works (and how Karl Marx is probably there), looked at the universality of messiah-wishes, and a teacher in India is fighting for his right to NOT pray in school. Like I said, whew!

It's always all about them: Build-up to a US attack on Syria seen by some Christians as a harbinger of the End Times. But what isn't, really? 

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A Fatwa to Kill da Wabbit

August 30, 2013

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

Christian research organization the Barna Group does a study on Amercians's perceptions of the Bible, which among other things finds that "antagonism" to the Bible is ticking up, and 54% agree that the Bible and politics "do not mix."

Saudi Arabia's cabinet passes a ban on domestic violence at home and at the workplace. 

Member of a Hare Krishna sect in Hawaii is arrested for threatening to behead Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. 

The IRS recognizes all legally married same-sex couples for tax purposes, regardless of the state in which they reside.

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Men are from Mars, Women…also from Mars!

August 29, 2013

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

An arrest is made in the murder of Indian skeptic activist Narendra Dabholkar.

An appeals court backs the Ohio hospital that wanted to treat a girl with leukemia, whose Amish parents refused chemotherapy for her.

Wow: a not-crazy theory says that life on Earth may have originated on Mars after hitching a ride on meteorites. 

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Science in Scare Quotes

August 28, 2013

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

50 years ago today was the March on Washington and Dr. King gave that speech.

Persecuted Bangladeshi atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin has been reaching out, despite the ongoing danger to his life and freedom. Here he is talking to Austin Dacey and to Hemant Mehta. Michael De Dora, our public policy director who runs the Campaign for Free Expression, has been working with Asif, and we expect to hear more from him. 

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Dan Mozena, is trying to heavily downplay the role of religion in the country's recent turmoil. 

The CFI On Campus crew hung out Google style for their second On Air Session last night, talking Light the Night and Hug an Atheist.

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Rhythmic Fluctuations of Cerebrospinal Fluid for Fun and Profit

August 27, 2013

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

Kimberly Winston gives feature treatment to the Freethought Trail, a project of the Council for Secular Humanism, which is a self-guided tour through the sites of historic importance to the secularist cause in the 19th century.  

Ebook service Smashwords tampers with an atheist client's book about God's non-existence, sneaking in religious material, and refusing to own up. 

Tonight, tonight, toniiiiight, oh-oooohhhhh, we're gonna light the night! Tonight, oh-ooooohhhh. (Ahem. That is, tonight at 8pm ET the CFI On Campus On-Air Session will cover Light the Night and Hug an Atheist Week.)

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Stop Oppressing My Fake Medicine

August 26, 2013

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

Dylan Matthews at WaPo's Wonkblog expands on Matthew Yglesias's call to tax churches, and highlights Ryan Cragun's research for Free Inquiry, in which it is estimated that American taxpayers are subsidizing religion to the tune of over $80 billion a year (Matthews' revised number). The same study is cited in a Star-Ledger editorial, though not by name.

This is pretty big: 9th Circuit Court says California has to compensate an atheist drug offender for sending him back to prison because he refused a religiously-based addiction treatment. It's this kind of thing that makes things like the Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) program important.

CFI's Michael De Dora pens an article on the importance of storytelling in secular activism for the Dawkins Foundation's newsletter

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