Be Increasingly Irrelevant

March 12, 2013

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

Lemme tell you, folks. My 7-month-old daughter kept me up most of the night last night. She's a great baby, don't get me wrong, and for someone with only negligible motor and verbal skills, she's really damn funny and charming. But less so at 4am. So I'm a little bleary as I present this morning's edition of the Heresy, so bear with me.  

Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command says that climate change is the greatest security threat to the Pacific region. Whew, good thing it's not real. 

Kansas City Atheist Coalition is banned from a St. Patrick's Day parade, out of "respect for the legacy of St. Patrick." 

Stellar neighbors we never knew we had: Two very nearby, mutually-orbiting brown dwarf stars discovered.  

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Looking for Bigger Rocks

March 11, 2013

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

Douglas Adams would be 61 today. And still, I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle. Today's Google Doodle brilliantly honors Adams. Keep clicking the Guide to see really great little animations. (Notably, the Guide in the image looks a lot like a second-generation Kindle.) Here's a permalink to the doodle.

Rob Boston takes to AlterNet to showcase five young people doing battle with anti-science forces in their public schools.  

AFP: Over 100 homes of Christians are burned in Lahore, Pakistan by a mob of over 3000, following allegedly blasphemous remarks from a young Christian. 

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Deliberately Breaking All Codes of Politeness or Manners

March 08, 2013

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

Wow there's a lot of news for a Friday. Let's start with something nice. Go ahead and enjoy theseSmithsonian Magazine's finalists for their 2012 photo contest.  

CFI's Michael De Dora is about to whip some would-be secular activists into shape with a training workshop with CFI-NYC on March 17.  

Human rights org Article 19 releases a report on the efforts around the world to ban so-called "homosexual propaganda":

These bans must be seen in the worrying context of attempts to manipulate international human rights law to take account of ‘traditional values.’ 

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The Very Fabric of Our Country

March 07, 2013

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

Rob Boston of Americans United on the new CFI report on fundamentalism in the military:

[Jim] Parco’s report is important. It deserves to be read – and acted upon – in the highest echelons of the U.S. military. 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation will lead a rally tomorrow in Colorado Springs protesting the USAFA for promoting a homophobic and misogynistic religious website.

CFI-Canada leads the calls for Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to not allow an anti-vaccination conference to take place on its campus. Here is the full letter sent to the university.

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HuffPost Live Discusses CFI’s New Report on Fundamentalism in the Military

March 06, 2013

CFI just released an important new position paper on the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in the U.S. military, written by Jim Parco, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and former member of the NSC under President Clinton. It's fascinating and disturbing, and already has a lot of people talking.

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The Right to Stay Away

March 06, 2013

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

Must-see: The HuffPost Live panel on fundamentalism in the military with Jim Parco, author of the CFI report on this issue, as well as Blake Page and Mikey Weinstein. 

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, does not see things the way we do:

We don't see agnosticism or atheism as being in need of defense in the same way persecuted religious minorities are. We speak of the right to worship and practice in peace, not the right to stay away from places of worship. 

The NYT comes down against FEMA grants to houses of worship on church-state separation grounds...

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Something Just Clicked

March 05, 2013

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

CFI drops an important new position paper on the rise of rampant Christianism in the U.S. Military.

The report itself is authored by Jim Parco of Colorado College, formerly of the National Security Council under Clinton and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. You can read his forward to the report here. And if reading is a bummer to you, here are some bullets of key findings

A one-two punch of awesomeness from Kimberly Winston at RNS: First, she profiles "Samya," a young Middle Eastern woman who is fleeing Islam and the violent consequences of her apostasy.

Then, Winston looks at CFI-NYC's own efforts to support former or questioning Muslims with the program "Muslim-ish."

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Barack + Nessie 4eva

March 04, 2013

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

Margaret Talbot at the New Yorker on the internal views of the sex abuse crisis within in the Catholic Church:

What is distinctive is that Catholic officials can find a higher purpose—protecting the sanctity of the priesthood—in shielding abusers, and a spiritually rewarding humility in enduring criticism of their conduct. [Los Angeles cardinal] Mahony has been blogging about the public disparagement he has received, and he compares it to what Christ withstood, urging the faithful to join him in exploring what it is to “take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus—in rejection, in humiliation, and in personal attack.” But, unlike the criminal prosecution of perpetrators—or real Church reform—that doesn’t do much to help victims or to prevent abuse.

Disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland cops to "having engaged in unspecified sexual misbehavior" with priests. 

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You May Already Be a Winner

March 01, 2013

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

Fox 29 in Indiana talks to CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden in a piece about the end of Ratzinger's reign

Danish Muslims organize to defend the freedom of speech of anti-Islamic writer Lars Hedegaard, who narrowly escaped assassination last month. Know hope.

The State Department's Esther Brimmer delivers remarks on the US's role on the UN Human Rights Council...

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Melrose Pope (Or, Pope Opera)

February 28, 2013

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

A lot of local activism in the news today:

We have the public outing of South Jersey atheist activist Michael Cluff who was going to avow his nonbelief before a prayerful town council meeting, but was thwarted. 

Relatedly, a court in Kentucky defies the protests of a local atheist and reinstates prayers

And Lindsey Brackin is the lone person at a public meeting over the infamous Kountze High School religious banners to speak up for church-state separation. 

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