You Can ‘Opt Out’ of My Covenant

December 03, 2012

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

This is why the Heresy is late today. It's bad news: An Indiana court has dismissed CFI's lawsuit challenging its prohibition against the solemnization of marriages by secular celebrants. CFI boss Ron Lindsay:

According to the court, what is a required accommodation for the religious, is just a matter of convenience for the nonreligious. It would be difficult to imagine a clearer way to classify nonbelievers as second-class citizens. . . . A wedding is one of the most important ceremonies in a person’s life, and it is just as meaningful to atheists as it is to theists. It’s disappointing that a 21st-century court refused to recognize this reality.

CFI plans to appeal. Early reaction to the decision from Hemant

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Glassy-eyed Regressive Conservabot Zealot

November 30, 2012

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

Remember all the hubbub about how NASA was about to drop a mystery bombshell about something the Curiosity Mars rover discovered? Not so much. Via Slashgear:

NASA‘s teased data “for the history books” from the Curiosity Mars rover has all been a huge misunderstanding, the space agency now says, with the reference apparently encompassing the mission as a whole – not a specific finding. 

Pat Robertson said this:

I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this. . . . You go back in time, you've got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you've got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas. They're out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don't try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That's not the Bible. 

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Dead Relatives Boost Workplace Productivity

November 29, 2012

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

The Netherlands will scrap its blasphemy law. But it's still not okay to diss the queen. Baby steps.

Wendy Kaminer has a thought-provoking piece, sure to rile folks up, on the problem with criminalizing speech and opinions we don't like:

I'm not suggesting that we should resign ourselves to bigotry. I'm arguing that we should tolerate expressions of it.  

Dave Silverman, apparently a fascist, does battle in the War on Christmas with white knight Bill O'Reilly, who says that Christianity is not a religion, which will be news to billions of people. 

 

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Tax My Church and I’ll Blight Your Crops

November 28, 2012

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

Obviously, the biggest news today in the skepto-atheosphere is that amazing piece of artwork you see at the top of this post. That's right, The Morning Heresy now has its own freaking banner and logo. Isn't it awesome? That guy's tablet is on fire with damnable links. Spilled his coffee, even. My thanks to Chris Fix for designing the logo, and for Lauren Becker's creativity for coming up with the concept. Since I know you like it so much, you should buy a coffee mug with the logo emblazoned on it.

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The Morning Heresy 11/27/12: The Dying Man’s Best Friend

November 27, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, defies the NBA over its endorsement of the snake-oily Power Balance bracelets, calling them "a scam," and banning them from the Mavericks' locker room.

Our own Sarah Kaiser interviews Hemant Mehta about his new book, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive, for the CFI On Campus blog.

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The Morning Heresy 11/26/12: We’re Waterboarding the Easter Bunny Next

November 26, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

CFI boss Ron Lindsay says enough with the blacklisting in the skepto-atheosphere:

We need to cut each other some slack. Nor should criticism of one or the institution with which one is associated necessarily result in placement of the offender on the “To Be Shunned” list. We need to develop thicker skins. Critical thinking and a commitment to free inquiry do not mix well with hypersensitivity. 

Some folks have some feelings about Ron's post, which I'm sure you can find with some light googling.

Hey look! Hemant's new book is available. Go get The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide so you can, you know, survive!

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The Morning Heresy 11/23/12: Go Directly to Jail

November 23, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

You know what your loves ones really want to get for [insert winter holiday here], but you're too much in denial to realize it. Admit it to yourself and make their year: Get them the all-new, official Morning Heresy coffee mug! Heck, get them nine! I mean, look at that awesome logo, the brain child of Lauren Becker and Chris Fix (and a little bit me, who decided it had to be an iPad on fire). There's lots more CFI swag newly available right this very second. 

"Pantheon" is probably not the word to use in conjunction with a skeptics' organization, but whatever its secular alternative is (Justice League?), Harriet Hall and Steven Novella have been added to CSI's version of said vaunted group: the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's Executive Council.

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The Morning Heresy 11/21/12: Kahless is the Reason for the Season

November 21, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

The skepto-atheosphere is already having parades and throwing ticker-tape over the news that CFI's Debbie Goddard has been elevated to Director of Outreach for the organization. Debbie replaces Lauren Becker who, thankfully, remains with CFI as the new Director of Marketing. 

Rubidium atoms tickle each other across a distance of 500 feet as Chinese scientists for the first time achieve quantum teleportation of macroscopic objects

Tim Farley presents the long, sordid, crazy story of Dennis "Mabus" Markuze, newly re-arrested for harassing the skepto-atheosphere. Seriously, this has all the details.

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The Morning Heresy 11/20/12: Operation Archangel, Mission Aborted

November 20, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Yesterday, Dennis Markuze, aka "Mabus," the Internet tormentor of atheists, skeptics, and others in the reality-based community, was arrested by Montreal police -- again -- for violating the terms of his probation by harassing folks over social media. You may have even been a target of his threats or "prophecies" yourself, often appearing on social media services as "Operation Archangel" and raving about atheists, Jesus, and Nostradamus, among other things. More from the Montreal Gazette and fellow Makuze target Ars Technica. (I know! Who would harass Ars Technica for Pete's sake?)

CFI chief Ron Lindsay laments the recent court decision allowing a publisher of Christian books to claim a religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate of the health reform law:

Score one for the Catholic Church and everyone else who thinks religious liberty implies the right to impose their dogma on others.  

Rimsha Masih is acquitted of blasphemy charges. 

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The Morning Heresy 11/19/12: To Serve Man

November 19, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Selections from the latest Free Inquiry are up online, which features two special sections: One drawing from and inspired by the Women in Secularism conference (introduced by Melody Hensley here) and the other on blasphemy laws (Tom Flynn's editorial here).  

At the Rutgers Humanist Chaplaincy website, our own Michael De Dora makes a powerful case for our involvement in the struggle against blasphemy laws around the world...

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