A Transgression Against the Nation Itself

January 10, 2014

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

New Jersey's state senate votes in favor of secular wedding celebrants, 32-5. The bill now goes back to the assembly, which voted in favor of an earlier version two years ago. 

Meanwhile in the Garden State, Mark Silk says Chris Christie's "bridgegate" is an offense against New Jersey's "civil religion":

[T]he George Washington Bridge is not just an important commutation artery for the residents of Fort Lee. It symbolizes the establishment of the nation, its noble span representing the spiritual journey from bitter defeat to joyous victory. Denying access to it for partisan political purposes is no less than a transgression against the nation itself. 

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Literally, or Perhaps Figuratively

January 09, 2014

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

A solar flare is coming right at us! CFI's Barry Karr worries, "In my mind this is how the Zombie Apocalypse starts." One thing that actually might happen: The Northern Lights may become visible over a wider area as a result. (And here's a nice song about solar flares.)

Utah's governor says the same-sex marriages that have been thus far performed in his state no longer count

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates discovers he is an atheist after realizing there is no moral arc of the universe that bends toward justice, or anything else for that matter. 

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The Inexorable Infinity of Death

January 08, 2014

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

Zora Neale Hurston, featured in our African Americans for Humanism campaign, got a Google Doodle yesterday

Sarah Pulliam Bailey looks at NYC's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, "perhaps the nation’s most visible 'none'." 

Extremely murky "strengths and weaknesses of science" education bill introduced in Virginia.

Kick back and read a paper from the Annals of Internal Medicine. Or just dig the line-in-the-sand title: "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"

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Sit on the Lap of Satan

January 07, 2014

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

Since we all know abstinence-only sex ed doesn't work, let's stop funding it. Join this CFI action alert to support new legislation. 

Chris Emdin and Josh Zepps talk about shaking up education and making science accessible for students on the latest Point of Inquiry.

Hundreds of Bibles are seized in Malaysia for using the word "Allah" to refer to God. Or Yaweh. Or LORD. Or whatever. 

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Words Almost Fail

January 06, 2014

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

Tom Flynn thinks the Nye/Ham debate is a dubious prospect, but, "Nye will be going into a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent, and the proceedings are bound to be astounding to watch." 

Ben Radford weighs in on the same: "CNN would be widely ridiculed if they invited a member of the Flat Earth Society to debate astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about whether our planet is round."  

The Onion hits atheists pretty hard. Fair or not, it's funny! 

Jenny McCarthy says her son never had autism, except she'd said it four years ago, except no, she never said it. Are we done now?

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Suffering from an Inherent Paradox

January 03, 2014

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

Science Friday aired a 1996 interview with Carl Sagan over the holiday, and it's just great. 

As he gets set to leave his position as head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the group primarily responsible for pushing anti-blasphemy resolutions at the UN, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu says OIC states should maybe consider being a little easier on non-Muslims. Hey thanks. 

Mother Jones profiles Bill Nye (where we learn that President Obama "lights up when he sees Bill"), and meanwhile, Bill agrees to debate Answers in Genesis's Ken Ham on creationism and evolution on February 4, which I think a lot of folks have mixed feelings about. 

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The Parents Are Becoming Very Upset

January 02, 2014

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

Welcome to yet another jaunt around the Sun, folks.

The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert looks at the life and work of Georges Cuvier, who pioneered the study of species extinction, though rejected early concepts of evolution. It's for subscribers only, but my wife read it in print, which apparently is notextinct. 

Benjamin Bratton at The Guardian worries over TED talks becoming “middlebrow megachurch infotainment.” 

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Widespread Ignorance Bordering on Idiocy

December 31, 2013

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

What better way to close out the year than with a huge blow to the head that is Pew's data showing that fully one-third of Americans don't accept evolution, and that a majority of Republicans (you know, the party that controls the House and the Supreme Court) reject it. And, just to make sure you understand that "unaffiliated" or "nones" does not equal "atheist," 20% of the unaffiliated reject evolution as well.

Human Rights Without Frontiers publishes a comprehensive report on the imprisonment of religion dissenters around the world. I focus on the blasphemy charges and persecuted nonbelievers, and Brian Pellot notes the horrible irony of the offenders sitting on the UN Human Rights Council. 

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A World Swarming with Evil Forces

December 30, 2013

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

The UN human rights office condemns Uganda's anti-gay legislation, and urges its president not to sign it into law. 

Jennifer Michael Hecht and Ron Reagan went on Hardball to talk about atheism as a supposed "poison pill" in politics.  

Tim Farley rounds up the skeptic luminaries we lost in 2013

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By the Light of the Fluorescent Pig

December 27, 2013

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

On his day off no less, CFI chief Ron Lindsay considers whether Catholic judges ought to recuse themselves from contraceptive mandate cases:

If simply filling out a form objecting to contraception makes one an accomplice to evil, what about rendering a judicial decision upholding the contraceptive mandate? This would appear to be a much more affirmative and consequential act than the completion of a form. But if that is the case, how can a judge who is a good Catholic by Church standards possibly render a decision upholding the mandate?

Have you heard this crazy story from Oklahoma about the church volunteers who got all weird about a woman's baby, insisting they take hold of the kid when they came for a toy drive, and then atheists totally saved their Christmas??? It's crazy. 

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