Cosmic Unicorn Ride to Valhalla

May 09, 2017

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

They actually went and did it. Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, aka "Ahok," an ethnic Chinese Christian, is convicted of blasphemy and jailed for two years.

The blasphemy investigation in Ireland against Stephen Fry is closed. Why? The police "were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people." Yep. 

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Talks with God and Knocks People Down

May 08, 2017

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

Not a joke: Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy in Ireland (IRELAND!!!) for his comments in 2015 calling the imagined Abrahamic God "a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god." 

A Hindu man in Pakistan is arrested for blasphemy, and a mob outside the police station where he is held gets violent as they demand to be allowed to beat up the guy themselves.

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We Had a Lot of Caves

May 05, 2017

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

Well that was not a great day. Trump signed his crap executive order meant to weaken the Johnson Amendment, sort of, and “provide regulatory relief” to believers who want to opt out of various rules and laws, but sort of. As we noted in our statement, the order is worse for what it symbolizes than what it actually accomplishes:

Despite the president’s claims today, religious leaders are already free to speak openly, and religious groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year lobbying, on all political issues...

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Irredeemably Hostile

May 04, 2017

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

Okay we're really busy this morning because of the executive orders that are coming any minute.

We're part of a coalition of groups supporting the Johnson Amendment, and here's our letter to Congress. Here's a joint letter from hundreds and hundreds of groups, including us, also supporting the Johnson Amendment. See our logo up there?

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Sadly Mistaken

May 03, 2017

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

Trump is set to sign an executive order on "religious liberty," which of course is really about discriminating against LGBTQ folks and controlling the bodies of women. Put it this way, when Politico (or as they call themselves, POLITICO) reports that "the signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence," you know it's a bad thing. Anyway, boy are you gonna hear from us on this. In fact, we've been pushing to stop this thing before it came into being.

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Increasingly Unavoidable

May 02, 2017

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

At the Vision Summit, a major conference for virtual reality and augmented reality, Richard Dawkins discussed virtual reality as an ages-old concept, thanks to the VR software in our own brains. He starts at about the 41-minute mark.

Benjamin Radford uses an episode of the ghost-hunting show Kindred Spirits as a case study of paranormal investigations done badly:

This is one of the most common mistakes in ghost hunting: Trying to establish the identity of a ghost (through a psychic medium, historical research, etc.) before establishing that the ghost exists at all. 

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Guided by Yetis

May 01, 2017

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

Happy "Loyalty Day," you faithless bunch of subversives. 

The CSICon 2017 website is up, and you can register now to join us in Vegas


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Equivalent to Falling Back

April 28, 2017

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

Rep. Ted Lieu and Senators Patty Murray and Corey Booker introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which would have the FTC classify gay-conversion therapy as the pseudoscientific bamboozle that it is.   

Speaking of conversions, here's a real one. Kelsey Osgood, wrting for Longreads and Atlas Obscura, profiles converts to the Amish-Mennonite faith and way of life

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A Worm-Like Creature

April 27, 2017

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

Pew Research looks at the connection between education levels and religious belief in the U.S. and finds that while higher levels of education are linked to lower levels of religious belief, it's not a blowout, and it doesn't even seem to apply to Christians.  

Does this count as a shark-jump? Pope Fluffy gives a TED Talk

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I Am Just a Little Fish

April 26, 2017

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

Here's a cool thing: In the latest Richard Dawkins Foundation newsletter just out this morning, we have an exclusive excerpt from Annabelle Gurwitch's new book Wherever You Go, There They Are, provided just for us by Gurwitch herself. Remember, she's chatting with Dawkins in Boulder on May 22

The creator of the misogynistic "Red Pill" men's rights Reddit forum, "pk_atheist," is revealed by Bonnie Bacarisse of The Daily Beast to be New Hampshire GOP state legislator Robert Fisher. In one example posting, Fisher says, "I'm going to say it- Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." 

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