The Serpent of Obscurantism

November 04, 2013

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

CFI's International Program Director Bill Cooke guest-posts at Butterflies & Wheels on the fantastic work being done by George Ongere and CFI-Kenya to help get orphan students the educations they need.

Ireland's Constitutional Convention recommends nixing the 2009 blasphemy law, though replacing it with a measure against "incitement to religious hatred," whatever that means. Members of Atheist Ireland delivered speeches on the subject.

Maine gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud comes out as gay in an op-ed, in order to end whisper campaigns and rumors.

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Shlomo, Herb, and Esther Part the Sea

November 01, 2013

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

Oklahoma atheist group FreeOK is doing a big charity drive for kids affected by natural disasters. 

Pope Francis is looking for ways to let divorced Catholics get communion again. Stop this guy! He's crazy!

I would like to combine these next two links into one gestalt-uber-nonsense story. First, two Nashville pastors proclaim "they can use hyperbaric chambers to treat everything from hair loss to depression." Then, this guy thinks JFK was killed to keep him from spilling the beans about UFOs. Now SOMEBODY GET TO WORK MERGING THESE TWO.

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The Right to Be Confused

October 31, 2013

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

Happy All Hallows' Eve, everyone! Don't get into any mischief tonight, or the Morning Heretic's boy, donning the guise of the Dark Knight, will have to set you straight. (The Heretic's daughter, meanwhile, will be a cute piggie, and likely not crime-fighting, or even aware that she's wearing a costume.)

If Tom Flynn were a vampire or a werewolf (and who can say, really), and there was only one way to kill him, this might be it: "The Humanist Ten Commandments"

Piercarlo Valdesolo looks at the power of belief in things like Satan and the notion of "pure evil."

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What if They Gave a War of the Worlds and Nobody Came?

October 30, 2013

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

Huge: Hamza Kashgari, imprisoned for the past two years by Saudi Arabia for tweeting about the human aspects of Muhammed, has been released. Kashgari is a focus of our Campaign for Free Expression.

Meanwhile, an atheist in Egypt is reportedly under investigation for starting a Facebook atheism group. 

Former CFI intern Monica Harmsen has produced this great promotional video for the Living without Religion campaign with the folks at CFI-Michigan. 

CFI legal director Nick Little is quoted in this Reuters piece on Internet psychic scammers. 

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The Heart and Liver of a Muscovy Duck

October 29, 2013

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

Your Morning Heretic has been soaking up the skepto-atheism at the CFI Summit in Tacoma, which was a truly excellent and enlightening event (if for no other reason getting to witness the rebirth of Point of Inquiry, which is largely responsible for getting me into the movement back in Olden Times™). Yesterday, I was recovering from a time-zone-shifting redeye. Hopefully, nothing all that interesting happened outside the conference.

One theme that came up a couple of times at the Summit was the desire for CFI to make more noise about its international program, headed by Bill Cooke. Ophelia Benson makes this point. No argument here, as a lot of that activity is a little under the radar. If you're interested in international activism, don't forget our Office of Public Policy's Campaign for Free Expression and our UN work. 

Major Newsweek piece covers the loss of tax revenue to churches in the U.S., citing data from the groundbreaking study in our own Free Inquiry.

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Don’t Get Atheism in the Soup!

October 24, 2013

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

What time is it? Is it still morning, technically? Well, it is somewhere -- specifically on the West Coast, an alien land to the Morning Heretic, who awakens to find himself in Tacoma for the start of the CFI Summit! And what do you know, here's an awesome piece on the Summit by Steve Maynard at the News Tribune

That's not all, of course. At Newsday, there's coverage of CFI's opposition to the use of a public library on Long Island for the commercial promotion of a fake psychic. 

And! And! CFI-DC announced that February 1, 2014 is the date for the next African Americans for Humanism regional conference!

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More Off-Putting Than Hasselbeck!

October 23, 2013

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

The CFI Summit starts tomorrow, where humanists and skeptics will gather to solve all world problems. <listens to earpiece> I'm sorry? <pause> Ah. I'm now being told that this is not true. But I think we ought to at least give it a shot.

CFI-Michigan's Jennifer Beahan, our shining media darling lately, is a guest on WKAR radio to talk about our Living without Religion campaign and the mission of CFI. 

Ali A. Rizvi's posts are always must-read, and he's done it again, this time trying to lend comfort to a grieving friend through the perspective of the nonbeliever. 

Anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy might be rejected by The View's own immune system...

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Not the Genetic Mutagen We Thought it Was

October 22, 2013

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

Today is a big day for my own religion, the Cult of Apple, in which the prophet Tim Cook, emissary of The Steve (peace be upon him), reveals the latest Holy Gadgets of Loveliness. It seems as of this moment that the Apple online store is down...it's a sign!!! Steve be praised.

CSI Fellow Mark Boslough uses a metaphor involving a child's blocks to help us understand why we are really in trouble with global warming, no matter the small fluctuations:

Not knowing exactly how energy is "partitioned" into its various forms at any given time is like not knowing how much melting an asteroid will cause, how small the pieces will be when a boiler explodes, how the victims of a drunk driver will die, or how many minutes it will take for the Titanic to sink. 

CFI expresses its disappointment with a Long Island-area public library that hosted a psychic's event, serving mainly as a commercial platform for fake paranormal services. 

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Atheism Times Infinity

October 21, 2013

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

Hemant is not so sure about AHA's choice of Barney Frank as "humanist of the year":

Barney Frank came out as an atheist only after he left office, and he did it in a passive manner on the segment of [Bill] Maher’s show that most of his viewers never even saw. For 32 years, Frank’s official religious affiliation was “Jewish,” but he kinda-sorta-wishy-washily came out as an atheist only after it was too late to have made a serious impact on society. 

The Economist reports, troublingly, that science as a discipline may be getting, well, sloppy:

Various factors contribute to the problem. Statistical mistakes are widespread. . . .

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Hitler and Satan Ruin Your Coffee

October 18, 2013

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

Point of Inquiry has a new team! Yesterday we announced two new hosts: Lindsay Beyerstein and Josh Zepps, and producer Joshua Billingsley. Completely awesome.

CFI-Michigan makes the news again with the Living without Religion campaign, this time hitting the Detroit Free Press and by extension USA TodayAnother piece from Calvin College's paper in Grand Rapids goes further into the mission of CFI. 

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis considers our campaign, and seems to think we're in trouble...

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