The Science of Keyboard Cat

October 07, 2013

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

Persecuted Egyptian atheist Alber Saber, though away from his home country as he struggles for justice, is nonetheless a proud papa. Welcome, Hypatia Alber Saber!

Politico runs a report largely critical of vouchers (aka, taxpayer funding for private and religious schools). I know, I'm surprised too. They quote secular wunderkind Zack Kopplin:

Nationwide, many schools participating in voucher programs infuse religion through their curriculum. Zack Kopplin, a student activist who favors rigorous science education, has found more than 300 voucher schools across the U.S. that teach the biblical story of creation as science; some also instruct children that the world is just several thousand years old and use textbooks describing the Loch Ness Monster as a living dinosaur. Parents at one such school in Louisiana received a newsletter calling secular scientists “sinful men.”

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Put This in Your Pipe for Separation of Church and State

October 04, 2013

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

Now how cool is this?! MLive expands on its coverage of the CFI Living without Religion campaign with short video interviews of some of the folks at CFI-Michigan, who talk about how they find meaning and purpose.

Some folks are surprised to find the body of Christ in their burger

Brian Pellot rounds up some other blasphemous examples that have been attacked by believers. 

Scalia opens mouth, makes secularists die a little inside...

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Armies of Pestilence

October 03, 2013

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

Arab League member states collaborate on drafting a blasphemy law that expands jurisdiction to blasphemy practiced outside national borders. Living in Opposite Land, one official said:

The law does not interfere in any way with the freedom of opinion and expression which is well protected and guaranteed.    

Jim Downard in Spokane alerts his community that the godless are coming! Of course I'm referring to the CFI Summit this month!

And hey, remember that big ARIS survey about secular, religious, and spiritual college students? Well, at the Summit, Barry Kosmin will drop more new data, this time focusing specifically on we seculars. I can't wait! 

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Proselytism is Solemn Nonsense

October 02, 2013

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

Elise Hilton at the religious-conservative organization Acton Institute respectfully questions the new CFI Living without Religion campaign, and still concludes, "Believers and non-believers have much in common, and much to discuss."   

Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be magically turned into saints on on April 27, 2014. 

The current pope is still generating good copy, for example:

Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. 

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Atheists Don’t Steal Danish Bicycles

October 01, 2013

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

The government may be shut down, but luckily, heresy does not depend on public funds.  

Yesterday was International Blasphemy Rights Day, and I was proud to watch as CFI's Michael De Dora did a live Google Hangout interview with persecuted atheist Kacem El Ghazzali of Morocco. (Alber Saber was supposed to be there, too, but his connection failed. We plan to have him back.) Skim past the technical troubles in the first few minutes, and then it's a great interview with a fascinating guy.  

Also yesterday we launched the Living without Religion campaign, and people seem really excited about it. I know we are! Tweets are coming in that eloquently tell how you guys live happy, fulfilling lives #withoutreligion, and I encourage you to keep it up. If you live in or near DC, NYC, Grand Rapids/Detroit, or Indianapolis, keep your eyes out for the ads, like this one in Michigan!  

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You Bunch of Perverts

September 30, 2013

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

This is a huge day at CFI!

Today we're launching a national outreach campaign declaring that, yes indeed, millions of Americans live happy, meaningful lives without religion. We have ads going up in NYC, DC, Michigan, and Indiana. We have an amazing new website with a fantastic video, testimonials from real people about the benefits of secular humanism, stats, resources, and other great content. In fact, we want you to join in and tell us how you live happily #withoutreligion on Twitter. Here's our official announcement and our press release

But wait! There's more! 

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Help Us Spread the Message: We Are Living Happily #WithoutReligion

September 29, 2013

Today, CFI is launching a national outreach campaign declaring that millions of Americans do, in fact, live happily without religion – and we want you to help us spread that message. We seculars are the fastest-growing "belief" group in the country, and we want everyone to know that we don’t need God, dogma, or a sacred text to find fulfillment, meaning, and joy. We want to reach out to those who have doubts about religion, but may not be ready to leave it behind, to let them know that life is full of wonder and purpose that we create ourselves, and that leaving religion does not mean going without community and support.

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Out the Window

September 27, 2013

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

Bob Smietana at USA Today covers the big ARIS-CFI survey on the worldviews of American college students, gets commentary from former CFI intern Stef McGraw, and talks to Mark Forrester, a chaplain at Vanderbilt University:

"[When I started in 1991, students] were either Protestant or Catholic," he said. "The biggest question was, what kind of Protestant are you? "

Now Jewish, Muslim, and other non Christian students are common as are those with no faith.

"All of our assumptions are out the window," he said. 

Don't forget: Michael De Dora is doing an online video chat with persecuted atheists Alber Saber and Kacem El-Ghazzali on Monday! 

Fake psychic Rose Marks is found guilty on 14 counts of fraud, may get 20 years. 

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#FirstCause

September 26, 2013

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

In conjunction with CFI, Trinity College's American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) releases a new report on the religious identification of college-age Americans, and the results are rather surprising. Not only do these folks divide pretty much evenly between three groups (Religious, Spiritual, and Secular), but the those claiming "no religion" are not just fuzzy "searchers," but mostly straight-up nontheists. Here's the press release with highlights and the full report (PDF)

On Monday, CFI's Michael De Dora will do a video chat with persecuted atheists Alber Saber and Kacem El-Ghazzali for International Blasphemy Rights Day. This is an amazing opportunity, and it's not to be missed. 

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi says, I assume with a straight face, that Jesus invented Twitter. Sort of:

[Jesus] used tweets before everyone else, with elementary phrases made up of fewer than 45 characters like "Love one another." 

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Smaller

September 25, 2013

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

The Morning Heretic is traveling this morning to be amongst the journalists at the Religion Newswriters Conference in Austin, so this is going to be a very short roundup.

CFI has filed an amicus brief (PDF) with the Supreme Court it Town of Greece v. Galloway, the case about prayer at government and legislative functions. We summarize our reasoning here

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova says she is going on hunger strike to protest the "slavery-like" conditions at her penal colony. 

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