Stupid and Even Cruel

March 21, 2017

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

I forgot to mention yesterday that the day before that was the 5-year anniversary of The Morning Heresy as a web-published thingy. Here's the first one to appear on the web, and as you can see, the quality has not diminished one iota. Nor has it increased. That's the kind of excellence you can expect from, um, whatever we were just talking about. 

Here's some encouraging news. A study from North Carolina State University suggests that studying the humanities can make one less likely to believe in pseudoscience.

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Parents in Pajamas, Secular Humanism, Mass Hysteria!

March 20, 2017

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

The State Department says the U.S. is boycotting the UN Human Rights Council debate on "agenda item seven," which is about Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.

In India, a man named H. Farook is hacked to death by men with sickles for posting atheistic content to Facebook and WhatsApp. 

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The Lee of the Stone

March 17, 2017

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

The Trump budget"Cuts" don't do justice to what this would mean if it passed. Gutting science (specifically climate science), diplomacy, help for the poor, the arts, even local police. It's like the plow coming for the Frisby home while Timothy is sick. 

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One Can Demonstrate Animus

March 16, 2017

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

Yesterday, CFI's Michael De Dora told the UN Human Rights Council that the U.S. is "regressing" in its role as a human rights defender, saying, "We have been disturbed by the recent rise in baseless, xenophobic rhetoric and actions by political leaders, and heightened social hostilities, in many states — including our home country."

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Constant as the Northern Star

March 15, 2017

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

The end of an era for our wider secular movement, as Rev. Barry Lynn announces his coming retirement from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I can hardly imagine him not being on the scene! He's certainly earned a break after 25 years. Hats off to you, sir.

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Permanently Post-400 Parts Per Million

March 14, 2017

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

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has made its biggest recorded jump ever last year, now at 405 parts per million. Before the Industrial Revolution, the average was about 280. Chelsea Harvey reports:

... we’re now living in a permanently post-400 parts per million world. In September 2016, the time of year when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are usually at their lowest, scientists observed that the monthly average concentration still remained above this threshold. And now, the new NOAA measurements further indicate that carbon dioxide levels are only continuing to grow — and they’re rising at breakneck speed. 

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Half Sunk a Shattered Visage Lies

March 13, 2017

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

Before we get into the usual skepto-atheist stuff, please enjoy this short story at The Prompt by my amazing wife Jessica, a look at the reunion of Frog and Toad after 12 years apart:

Toad considered his entree, a plate of balsamic glazed flank steak, resting under an enormous pile of mushrooms. He was just doing the things he was supposed to do, wasn’t he? Why make it so hard, why push back against fate? You were born, you lived a little while, then you died. It really wasn’t any more complicated than that, he thought. It really isn’t anything so remarkable.  

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Handmaid’s Tale Scary

March 10, 2017

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

Rep. John Shimkus, who we already consider something of a bonehead for his assertions a few years back that climate change isn't real because only God can flood the Earth, has a question about health care policy. Via WaPo, Rep. Mike Doyle asked Shimkus what his problem with Obamacare is, and Shimkus says:

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus said. At that point, one could hear the room start to stir. “I’m just . . . is that not correct?” Shimkus said. “And should they?" 

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George W.F.O. Bush

March 09, 2017

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

Every member of the U.S. Senate unanimously signs on to a letter urging Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director James Comey to help bring to justice those responsible for threatening and vandalizing Jewish Community Centers.

Alex Nichols at The Outline says the time has come for Twitter to just start booting the trolls off its service for good

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Stock Phrases and Empty Debates

March 08, 2017

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

It is International Women's Day, which is being marked by many as a strike for the Day Without a Woman.

Jennifer Bardi at The Humanist checks in with Sikivu Hutchinson, Amanda Knief, and Linda LaScola consider what a day without secular women would look like. Hutchinson says:

A strike of nontheist women would have the same grave socioeconomic implications for atheists and agnostics (estimated at around 7 percent of the US population) as it would for religionists.

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