Service is Denied

March 13, 2015

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

Very good insight comes this morning from two of our fearless leaders in Free Inquiry on the CFI merger with its programs Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. First, we have CFI boss Ron Lindsay what unites skepticism and humanism:

What is it that skeptics do? Well, as the mission statement of CSI indicates, one of the important things that skeptics do is use science, reason, and critical inquiry to examine controversial and extraordinary claims.

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You Are Just Begging To Be Lied To

March 12, 2015

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

We have a great guest post at the Free Thinking blog from Jahed Ahmed, a good friend of Avijit Roy and co-founder of their website Mukto-Mona. Jahed reflects on the powerful legacy of his friend:

So, what’s Avijit’s most important legacy? I cannot help pondering. In my opinion, it is that he transformed many minds, both young and adult, toward freedom, toward the courage to question convention, authority, tradition the “sacred” — toward a world free from all kinds of shackles and superstitions.

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Homeopathetic

March 11, 2015

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

Yesterday, freethought writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed, wife of murdered writer Avijit Roy, chose the Center for Inquiry to deliver her first public statement after she survived the attack that her husband did not. We are honored to share her story. She calls the attack "a crime not only against a person, but against freedom of speech and humanity." Bangladesh news outlets are focused on the part of her statement in which she says, "While Avijit and I were being ruthlessly attacked, the local police stood close by and did not act."

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We’re Moving Backwards

March 10, 2015

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

On a brand new Point of Inquiry podcast, Josh Zepps talks to foreign policy journalist Eli Lake about the difficult topic of Islam and violent extremism. 

Check in on all the activity of CFI-On Campus with the latest Campus Inquirer

Sam Harris interviews Dr. Nina L. Shapiro, a pediatric otolaryngologist (which I had to look up to know that that means "ear and throat doctor"), about the anti-vaccine movement and why so many people are afraid of them.

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I Mean, Jesus. God. Oh, God.

March 09, 2015

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

Oliver Laughland and Saad Hammadi at The Guardian have a wonderful piece on Avijit Roy and what he meant to people around the world, which includes a look at his conversations with our own Michael De Dora.  

Tristram Korten at the Miami Herald reports that officials at the Florida (of course) Department of Environmental Protection were instructed by their higher-ups at the Office of General Counsel not to use the terms "climate change," "global warming," or even "sustainability" in any of their materials. 

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I Am So Tired of Hearing About Your Doubts

March 06, 2015

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

Joining forces with our pals at the American Humanist Association, CFI has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court for the big Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage case. A snippet from our release:

“The Supreme Court is poised to make a historic decision, potentially extending the protections and benefits of marriage to all Americans,” said Nicholas Little, Legal Director of CFI. “If they affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry, they will have made truly momentous advancements for equal treatment under the law, secular government, and even the fundamental human need for love and companionship.”  

It's not just us. In fact, a titanic alliance of almost 400 super-corporations including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Comcast, Levi's, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, Wells Fargo, United Airlines, and more file their own joint brief in support of marriage equality. I bet ours is better, but good on you guys.

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Will People Die? Probably.

March 05, 2015

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

67 Members of Congress sign on to a letter to the Saudi king, urging him to release Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair. CFI is one of 17 organizations endorsing the letter.

The New York Times editorial board weighs in on the murder of Avijit Roy:

Bangladesh’s government needs to do far more to protect writers and to send a clear message that it will not allow free speech to be silenced by murder. 

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That’s a Really Minimal Minimum

March 04, 2015

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

A court in Turkey blocks access to the website of the country's first atheists' group, The Atheism Association, less than a year after the group formed. The charge? "Provoking the people for hate and enmity or degrading them." Right.

I am not what you'd call a fan of Jimmy Kimmel, let's just say that. But I gotta give him this: his takedown of the anti-vax crowd is one for the ages. 

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Interstellar Spam

March 03, 2015

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

Authorities in Bangladesh arrest Farabi Shafiur Rahman as a suspect in the murder of Avijit Roy, a man who Dr. Roy said in his final article for Free Inquiry had been issuing death threats against him over social media. (Note: Rahman's name is ordered differently depending on the outlet. Dr. Roy referred to him as I have here, the New York Times calls him Shafiur Rahman Farabi.)

The Baltimore Sun notes their local connection to Dr. Roy's murder, noting that his daughter and Free Inquiry co-authorTrisha Ahmed, attends Johns Hopkins. 

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Ceres, and Unfortunate Events

March 02, 2015

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

The punishment just keeps on coming. Raif Badawi may be re-tried under the charge of apostasy, and thereby face the death penalty.

Following the brutal murder of Avijit Roy by Islamic extremists in Bangladesh, our own Michael De Dora (a friend and admirer of Roy's) made the media rounds over the weekend to discuss Roy, his work, and the larger meaning of this tragedy. He spoke twice on CNN (here and here), with deeper coverage from CNN's Ray Sanchez. Roy lived in the Atlanta area of Georgia, and Michael spoke to Georgia pubic radio about him, as well as Buffalo-area WGRZ television, and a lengthy panel discussion on BBC Radio's World Have Your Say. I'm sure there's some I'm missing.

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