9 Minutes with God

June 19, 2014

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

Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot writes in The Guardian about the fear behind Putin's tough veneer:

When the authorities have to crack down so hard for such small violations, it is hard to escape the conclusion that someone in our country is very much afraid. 

Eman Al Nafjan in the New York Times explains how Saudi Arabia is using the threat of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on dissent in any form. He sites some of the cases CFI has been working on, such as those of Hamza Kashgari (interviewed by our own Michael De Dora last year), Raif Badawi, and Badawi's lawyer, Waleed Abulkhair.

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Monolithically Against You

June 18, 2014

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

Oh man, did y'all see Dr. Oz on Capitol Hill yesterday? At a Senate hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill took him to task for his myriad claims to have discovered miracle weight loss solutions (here's C-SPAN video), and really nailed it with these two statements:

The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles' ... I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true!"

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Giveth and Taketh, Just ‘Causeth

June 17, 2014

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

How cool is this: Josh Zepps nabs veteran political analyst Howard Fineman for this week's Point of Inquiry, talking about the battles within the GOP and the power of religion in politics. 

Carrie Poppy at Skeptical Inquirer tackles the claims by PETA that dairy aggravates autism:

There are plenty of good reasons people choose to avoid animal products, from animal protection to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity to curbing climate change. But these bonus issues have the benefit of being evidence-based. Dairy, on the other hand, doesn’t cause or aggravate autism, and claiming that it does indirectly supports the same deadly pseudoscience that has created massive outbreaks of horrifying diseases. PETA would do well to retract their claim and apologize to the parents of autistic children. 

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Hitching a Ride on Nessie

June 16, 2014

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

We at CFI pack a lot into each fortnight. Catch up with the latest edition of our newsletter, Cause & Effect.

The guy who just primary'd Eric Cantor out of a job, David Brat, turns out to be a fascinating (and troubling) guy. Michelle Boorstein profiles Brat and his approach to what he sees as theologically-correct Christian economics

This is rich: Deepak Chopra issues his own $1,000,000 challenge to James Randi and other skeptics ("any of your cronies") to explain normal experience. What? 

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Rick Perry’s Genetic Coding

June 13, 2014

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

It's a full moon -- a "honey moon," no less -- on Friday the Thirteenth, so I suppose the world will be sucked into the Bermuda Triangle, which is operated by the still-living Elvis and Hitler, both of whom are lizard people. But in honor of today, we've got some classic Skeptical Inquirer from 1985: I. W. Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver with "The Moon Was Full and Nothing Happened." 

Saudi Arabia's Justice Minister, Mohammed Al-Eissa, spoke to a gathering of lawyers in DC (we don't know who they were), and made a scary defense of his country's draconian, theocratic laws...

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Spank a Plankton

June 12, 2014

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

So everything on the Internet was broken yesterday. For me, that meant Feedly, Evernote, and a handful of sites crucial to this blog were totally inaccessible. Google Apps and Facebook would break sporadically. And many of us saw what happened to TweetDeck, which affected both the official CFI account and my personal account, because I love TweetDeck and for the love of all things unholy why is there not a native TweetDeck iPad app??? Allegedly, these things are all fixed now. But it was a real pain.

Several towns in Iraq are being taken over by Islamic militants, and it's revealed that the White House has rejected pleas from the Maliki government for military assistance. 

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Gohmert Vociferously Gohmerting

June 11, 2014

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

Well this is fun. Thanks to a series of DDOS attacks on websites by hackers looking to extort ransom, I can't access some of my usual sources for news and links. This includes Feedly, my RSS aggregator of choice. So I'm digging around the Internet the old-fashioned way, but some of the places I often go for news simply aren't available. Please use your imagination to fill in any gaps in today's Heresy. It's what I usually do. 

Amid the online demonstrations against Pakistan's censorship of Twitter under its blasphemy laws, Pakistan blocks the petition being circulated by Ex-Muslims of North America. We made a birdDeseret News covers some of the activity.

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I Saw Goody Proctor with Slender Man!

June 10, 2014

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

CFI joins a coalition of secular groups today in a campaign to urge Pakistan to end its censorship of social media and its crackdown on religious dissent with #TwitterTheocracy. Our policy chief Michael De Dora has written a letter to the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, which has been signed by a wide array of groups.

Point of Inquiry this week features trans rights activist Janet Mock, talking to Lindsay Beyerstein about her new memoir. 

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Odd, Misanthropic, Supercilious

June 09, 2014

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

CFI's Michael De Dora comments on the unanimous Senate passage of a bill allowing for a prayer plaque at the WWII memorial, here in the Washington Post:

We thought the Senate would take the long view of this and see the policy implications of adding a Christian prayer to a World War II monument. But even more upsetting was the way it was passed. There was no floor debate, no official vote, no one went on the record regarding their position. No one was allowed to speak up and no one did speak up. 

Without naming us, yet linking to us, Mark Tooley at the American Spectator characterizes CFI and its "odd coalition" as perhaps "misanthropic" and definitely "supercilious" for our opposition

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Clap Along if You Feel Like You Are Made of Star Stuff

June 06, 2014

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

Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress has an excellent piece on our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign:

You’ve seen the headlines: another abortion restriction approved, a record-breaking measles outbreak, a new hospital merger, a controversy over whether an individual should remain on life support. Now, a new campaign from the Center for Inquiry wants you to start connecting the dots.

Boing Boing is the second big outlet this week to highlight Carrie Poppy's Skeptical Inquirer piece on Masaru Emoto's yelling-at-water experiments. The other was Vox.

One dead and three wounded yesterday by a shooter at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian university. 

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