Not a Political Act, a Human One

June 27, 2013

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

DOMA is dead, Prop 8 effectively so. We at CFI celebrate a grand step toward being a more perfect union. From our press release, here's Michael De Dora:

DOMA and Prop 8 were betrayals of the secular ideals set forth in our founding documents, relegating LGBT Americans to second-class status. The Court’s rejection of these measures strongly reinforces the idea that religiously based attitudes on sex and marriage will not stand in the way of granting fundamental rights to anyone. 

President Obama and Defense Secretary Hagel promise immediate action concerning federal benefits for same-sex spouses. 

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An Example of Something Absurd

June 26, 2013

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

Anything interesting happen yesterday? I wasn't paying attention. Slow news day I guess?

I'm kidding. In the wider world, President Obama outlined a new climate change initiative, and CFI responded with input from CSI Fellows Marc Boslough and Stuart Jordan. (Al Gore liked it way more. The White House has a zippy infographic.)

We were introduced to what Joan Walsh called a feminist superhero in Texas, state senator Wendy Davis, mounts a "badass" filibuster of crazy anti-abortion legislation. (Which did not pass.) ...

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It Sounds Very Hocus-Pocusy

June 25, 2013

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

In the Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein explores the (real) phenomenon of atheist prayer, in particular one atheist who has a "rigorous prayer routine" despite his nonbelief. Oh, and I'm quoted as well, perhaps being the first person in history to introduce the term "hocus-pocusy" into a major national newspaper. 

The Secular Coalition for America announces its meeting with Melissa Rogers of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which included CFI's Michael De Dora. Washington Times also reports on the meeting. 

Tom Flynn and I both come at the Joe Klein potshot at secular humanists from different angles. Tom says Klein is actually correct that secular humanists do not require an affiliation to rally around or plug when doing good works. I try to make clear that, apart from Klein's factual error, he's also engaged in a hurtful smear. 

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Joe Klein’s Cheap Shot: Why it Was Wrong

June 24, 2013

Why, in the middle of this piece which highlights the good works done by those who have dedicated their lives to service, go out of your way to land a potshot at an already maligned minority?

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Ghost in the Potty

June 24, 2013

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

We just finished up our conference for CFI branch leaders, and part of that conference was a frank discussion between branch leaders, staff, and our CEO Ron Lindsay about the controversy and anger surrounding his talk and actions around Women in Secularism 2. There, Ron offered a sincere and deeply heartfelt apology to CFI folks, and on Saturday posted this apology to everyone else. 

American Atheists' Dave Silverman, talking to Raw Story at Netroots Nation, calls WiS2 "a huge success." 

Time magazine columnist Joe Klein inexplicably takes a nasty potshot at nonbelievers in the publication's cover story on veterans and community service...

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Faking the Fake

June 21, 2013

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

This has to be a short one, folks, as I'm about to get on a plane for CFI's Branch Leaders' conference. A super-secret cabal of godless masterminds, bent on, um, I think playing Dungeons & Dragons or something. With snacks. To the (very brief) news! 

Oh snap, guys, look at this! Skeptical Inquirer can now be gotten digitally! Here's the link to the Apple iOS Newsstand version!  

Ben Radford has a super-cool piece in Skeptical Inquirer on his sleuthing out a pseudoscientific plagiarizer

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Absolutely. Sure. Possible. Unlikely.

June 20, 2013

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

I've been on "vacation." If you've ever travelled with two small children, you know why the quotation marks are there. 

Lauren and Ed did a fantastic job keeping up the Heresy while I was away, and I can't thank them enough. I mean, I didn't read it or anything, but I'm presuming.  

Alan Chambers of Exodus International, a pray-the-gay-away ministry, apologizes for all he's done...

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How bad could atheist grandma be?

June 19, 2013

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

Paul is on his way home from his "vacation" and will be back at the helm tomorrow. Today, we bring you one last Heresy from Guest Heretics Lauren Becker and Ed Beck. 

It's mid-week and the perfect time for some good news!

It's a start: Scores of Catholic colleges and universities now offer some sort of programming, counseling opportunities, or student groups geared specifically for LGBT students.

Paul Offit’s new book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, is getting some great coverage. Gonna have to go buy this one. 

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The Nativity of Yeezus

June 18, 2013

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

Paul is still off exploring the Windy City, he's set to return on the 20th. Maybe we'll even let him have is blog back! Until then, your Guest Heretics remain CFI's Director of Marketing Lauren Becker and Senior Policy Analyst Ed Beck. Now, by the grace of Yeezus, the news:

In honor of Yeezus' arrival, a handy timeline of blasphemy in popular music.

Kenan Malik examines pluralism, offense, and freedom: You can't have one without the others:

To defend the right to give offence, in other words, is not merely to defend free speech. It is also to defend diversity in its true sense. If we want the pleasures of pluralism, we have to accept the pain of being offended.

Never get lost on a road trip again with this fascinating 3D map of the entire known universe.

A New Hampshire court struck down yet another Rube Goldberg school "neo-voucher" machine that aimed to divert public tax dollars to sectarian religious schools. 

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Too Ridiculous for Words

June 17, 2013

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

Paul is off on something called a "vacation," but we are starting to suspect he's really "bonding with Sasquatch." He'll return on the 20th. Until then, your Guest Heretics are CFI's Director of Marketing Lauren Becker and Senior Policy Analyst Ed Beck. Now to the news!

If you're like me, a good weekend can sometimes leave you struggling on Monday morning to summon the energy to be really concerned about rights and wrongs. Fortunately (?) there is much in the news to wake you up today.

First up, we celebrate a happy 50th anniversary for Ellery Schempp and the landmark case that removed official prayers from public schools. Thanks, Ellery! 

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