The One Rock

June 15, 2015

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

The Reason for Change conference this past weekend was a huge success. Now you'd expect me to say that, being the organization's Chief Flack™, but it's simply true. The place was packed (sold out!), the panels and presentations were illuminating, engaging, and some even deeply moving. We had brilliant minds, brave champions of free expression, and a genuine sense of camaraderie and shared mission. I managed not to hurt myself when moderating a panel discussion (though I did have to borrow Matt Cravatta's shoes - long story). Ron Lindsay tweeted that Reason for Change was the "best conference by far during my tenure" as president. Receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award from us, Richard Dawkins said that CFI is "the one rock, the one reliable force" in the freethought movement. If I weren't so intimidated by people, I'd have given him a fist bump for that.

Read more…

God Kills Hitlers

June 11, 2015

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

Reason for Change kicks off today! Uh oh, I better get on a plane. But first, real quick, some links, then I gotta dash.

The California bill to end belief exemptions for vaccinations is headed for the full Assembly - if you're in California, tell your representative to vote for it!

The Wall Street Journal comes down hard on the UN for failing to give consultative status (which CFI has) to Freedom Now, saying that the obstruction by dictatorships is an example of how the UN "betrays human rights." 

Read more… | 2 Comments

The Same Plane as Santa Claus

June 10, 2015

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

The New York Times urges Saudi Arabia's King Salman to pardon Raif Badawi:

His death, or his crippling for life, another real possibility, would be a blot that even Saudi Arabia — known for administering harsh physical punishments that include amputations and beheadings — would find difficult to live down. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds many of the most onerous restrictions placed on abortion providers in Texas, reducing the number of such providers from 41 to "less than a dozen." 

Read more… | 1 Comment

This is an Amazing Mistake

June 09, 2015

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

Today on Capitol Hill, CFI is joining allies to host two congressional briefings on the persecution of secularists around the world. Tomorrow, we focus on Bangladesh. 

Point of Inquiry this week takes a sobering look at the phenomenon of anti-abortion terrorism with guest David Cohen.

After Saudi Arabia upholds its sentence against Raif Badawi (no surprise there), our own Michael De Dora offers commentary to pieces at Religion News Service and (cough) The Daily Caller. The U.S. State Department urges the Saudis not to continue Raif's flogging, but frustratingly refuses to specifically ask the king to pardon him...

Read more… | 1 Comment

Don’t Tell Chopra

June 08, 2015

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

This is, sadly, not a surprise: Raif Badawi's sentencing is upheld after a "review" by a Saudi court.

The New York Times calls for the military to let transgender troops to serve openly

In Skeptical Inquirer, Charles S. Reichardt and Ian A. Saari look at why evolution is rejected by highly-educated believers.

Read more… | 1 Comment

Don’t Let the Pigeon Breed in the Caliphate

June 05, 2015

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

Melissa Binder at The Oregonian covers the CFI-backed Secular Celebrant bill in the state that recently passed the Oregon House. 

Okay, granted, the fact of ISIS is scary and dangerous, and it's a very, very serious subject. But ZOMG:

Senior clerics fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have issued an instruction banning pigeon-breeding claiming that “the sight of the birds' genitals as they fly overhead is offensive to Islam.”

I...I just can't even.  

Read more…

A Metric Thrill-Stravaganza

June 04, 2015

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

We were delighted that Reps. Joe Pitts and Sheila Jackson Lee had introduced a House resolution advocating for the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world. Blasphemy laws and the persecution of nonbelievers and religious minorities will of course be the subject of congressional briefings we're hosting and taking part in next week.

And lo, the heavens did crack open and behold there was lightning and thunder and the maidens did swoon and the menfolk did weep and the children sang songs of a world transformed, for on that day did Lincoln Chafee announce his candidacy for president. Okay I poke fun at the thrill-stravaganza that is Lincoln Chafee (he's for the metric system, guys!), but he is good on our issues.

Read more…

No Plausible Biological Mechanism

June 03, 2015

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

Free Inquiry has a special new piece by Ryan Shaffer on the perilous situation in Bangladesh for secularists:

The Bangladeshi government caters to the majority in a republic that has extremist groups and Islamist parties as it also must protect the rights of a minority that do not believe in the nation’s official faith. At the same time, the country suffers from poverty, a lack of infrastructure, and a literacy rate that lags behind more developed countries. This makes the task of Bengali rationalists and humanists more difficult as they challenge superstition where many people do not have access to education and religion is legally protected. 

Our efforts for Taslima Nasrin and other secular activists is covered in the Washington Post and by the BBC. You can donate to our emergency fund here.

Read more…

Avoid Communal Exercises

June 02, 2015

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

CFI has helped bring Taslima Nasrin to safety in the U.S., and there is a lot of interest in this from Indian outlets such as The Times of India, as well as places like Huffington Post, and the International Business Times. Obviously, her colleagues at Freethought Blogs are writing about it and encouraging folks to donate to the Freethought Emergency Fund. Here's Hemant Mehta's take:

As much as I love CFI for doing this, it shouldn’t be their responsibility to offer protection for these writers. The local governments overseas, and even our own, should be doing more to protect people whose are targets of religious extremists. It’s their inaction forcing CFI to throw so many resources at this problem. I’m thrilled CFI is doing it; I just wish they didn’t have to. 

Tom Flynn takes issue with the NYT "theology of atheism" piece, noting that it misrepresents the real distinctions in secular thought...

Read more… | 2 Comments

Snicker-Proof

June 01, 2015

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

CFI is establishing an emergency fund to assist freethought writers and activists under threat in countries such as Bangladesh. Facing death threats from the same monsters who killed other allies, Taslima Nasrin arrived in the U.S. last week under CFI's assistance, and we are taking donations now to help her get safely settled. 

Mondays are weird. Don't even attempt Monday until you're up to speed on the previous fortnight with Cause & Effect

Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier takes a broad look at four decades of skeptic activism, and likes where things are going. 

Read more… | 3 Comments

« First  <  2 3 4 5 6 >  Last »