Moral Fuzziness

February 19, 2016

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

More more more. More exemptions, cry religious employers, horrified not only by the idea of offering legally mandated contraceptive coverage, but even aghast at having to declare their opposition to doing so! That in itself is a violation of their Religious Freedom™! We say no. Along with our friends at American Atheists, we've submitted an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Zubik v. Burwell to argue that these claims of religious exemption -- exemptions from even having to exempt oneself! -- have gone too far:

“This ludicrous case is a transparent attempt to legislate from the pulpit,” said Nick Little, CFI’s Vice-President and General Counsel. “It showcases the intolerable consequences of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], a bad law that has predictably been twisted into a scattershot weapon used by those who want to see their narrow religious beliefs imposed on everyone else. It is religious privilege at its worst.”  

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Heal the Bern

February 18, 2016

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

Today's top story: God, taking a cue from Stephen Fry, has left Twitter

While they can't claim a straight line of causation, scientists are warning that outbreaks such as the Zika virus could be greatly accelerated by global warming.

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People Shriek Their Secularism

February 17, 2016

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

Bangladesh police shut down a stall at a Dhaka book fair because it is reported that some of the books "hurt religious feelings." Police also arrest three people for the publication of the book Islam Debate. One year after his murder, Avijit Roy's works are no longer being sold at the book fair as sellers and publishers fear meeting the same fate. The U.S.'s ambassador in Dhaka expresses optimism for a "breakthrough" in the year-old case.

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Sheen of Plausibility

February 16, 2016

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

CFI president Ron Lindsay takes to HuffPo, not to praise Scalia, but to bury him. More specifically, to bury his supposedly "rational" originalism:

The more fundamental flaw [in Scalia's thinking] is to assume that the Founders wanted us to use detailed historical research, or perhaps necromancy, to discern the specific things they were thinking of at the time they wrote the Constitution. 

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Odin is Judging You

February 15, 2016

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

Richard Dawkins records a message to update everyone on his condition after a minor stroke last week. Even as he works to recover, he's still displaying wit and insight. David Gibson at RNS looks at the discussion about whether believers should pray for Dawkins' health. Some are apparently upset that folks would dare to do, and Hemant says, "To suggest [the prayers] were anything but an honest plea for his quick recovery suggests a bitterness that just isn’t there."

As you are no doubt already aware, Justice Antonin Scalia is dead. There will be a great disturbance in the Force as a result.

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Invisible Music

February 12, 2016

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

First, we start the day by wishing a speedy recovery and good health to Richard Dawkins, who last week suffered a minor stroke. He's doing okay and is expected to be back in action, but there will be some work ahead to recover. CFI and RDFRS staff is handling his Twitter account for now (thus, alas, a spelling error in a recent tweet that Dawkins himself would never make). 

But a Happy Darwin Day to him and to you nonetheless.

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Transbunnyism

February 11, 2016

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

Rapid Growth, which is a news outlet in Grand Rapids -- get it? Rapid growth? -- checks to see what all the fuss is about with the secular Sunday Assembly services, and highlights the area's existing freethought community represented by CFI–Michigan.

Scott Gavura considers the ethics of marketing and selling complementary and alternative medicine. And there are none. There are no ethics.    

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Really Most Sincerely Dead

February 10, 2016

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

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump handily win the New Hampshire primary. Sanders becomes the first non-Christian to win a presidential primary. Trump is the first, uh, whatever he is to win a presidential primary [citation needed]. 

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Bizarro Vermont

February 09, 2016

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

My neighboring state of New Hampshire (or as one friend once referred to it, "Bizarro Vermont") is holding its sort-of-first-in-the-nation primary today, and you can almost feel the electricity and the excitem--- that's not true, it's just a regular cold day here in Maine. 

Good stuff: Point of Inquiry this week is all about the new chapter for CFI and the merger with the Dawkins Foundation, as Josh Zepps interviews both Ron Lindsay and our new boss Robyn Blumner

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A Proper Villain

February 08, 2016

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

In The New York Times, Susan Jacoby argues that secularists must find ways to combine their powers and hold politicians accountable for their positions and their language, citing the CFI-RDFRS merger as a rare example of "a rare union of secular forces," and mentions Michael De Dora's efforts to build coalitions with non-secular groups. 

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