This Kobayashi Maru Scenario

August 07, 2014

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

Brian Pellot previews the World Humanist Congress, and says, "Some of the greatest advocates for these rights I’ve met in the past year have been non-religious groups, a good example being the Center for Inquiry."

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Harry Potter and the Atheist of Sioux Falls

August 06, 2014

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

The European Space Agency makes history with the successful orbit of its Rosetta spacecraft around comet 67P, which required what one scientist called "the most complex and exotic trajectory that we have ever seen."

(And while you're at it, check out Cassini's picture of a hexagonal cloud formation on Saturn.) 

We at CFI are activating our SHARE program (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort) to raise funds for the Ugandan humanist organization that lost everything after a violent robbery. 

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And By the Way, Save My Cats

August 05, 2014

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

Lindsay Beyerstein has a great episode of Point of Inquiry up, with Laurel Braitman discussing "madness" and mental illness in the animal kingdom

South Carolina state legislator Mike Fair is working on a law to "teach the controversy" on evolution in public schools. This is a guy who says:

To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong. I don’t think it should be taught as fact.

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More Dangerous Than Nukes

August 04, 2014

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

At Huffington Post, CFI chief Ron Lindsay relates his impressions of the Qur'an, and finds it a "defensive" work in which "the text exudes insecurity masked with bravado."

If the Qur'an seems more relentlessly violent, it's in part a function of its structure. Rather than a chronological narrative, it's a set of admonitions and instructions, repeated often, so the effect produced can be one of adamant hostility to those who reject Muhammad's revelations, whereas the murder of those who stood in the way of the Israelites is part of a larger, unfolding story.

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Pseudoscience with Tax Breaks

August 01, 2014

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

Huge: Uganda's Constitutional Court strikes down the country's horrid anti-gay law. The catch: The ruling was more procedural, as the court determined that the law was passed without a quorum, and the substance of the bill was not at issue. 

Kimberly Winston reports that the Satanic Temple's legal gambit about "informed consent" abortion laws and the Hobby Lobby precedent faces some legal obstacles, one of which being whether any court would conclude that the Satanists are actually part of a religion. 

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The Moral Hard Drive

July 31, 2014

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

CFI is officially backing a bill from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen that would expand access to contraception for women in the military and their dependents. 

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says the State Department made a glaring omission by not including Pakistan on its list of Countries of Particular Concern on the issue of religious freedom. 

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, says women should not laugh in public because it threatens their chastity. 

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And I Would Rove Twenty-Five Miles

July 30, 2014

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

On Point of InquiryJosh Zepps talks to David Ropeik, an expert on the perception of risk, to talk about the recent spate of horrible air travel disasters and what we think of as "safe."

A blog billing itself as "liberalism's worst nightmare" (I wonder what that could be...a ban on artisanal cheeses?) really thinks we at CFI are a bunch of jerks for our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign:

I fail to see how this campaign has anything to do with inquiry. The Center for Inquiry has already decided the issue for all of us. They’ve done the inquiring and the research, and we just need to fall in line. I’m so sick of this pompous attitude.

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We Entertain All Complaints

July 29, 2014

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

The State Department releases its 2013 International Religious Freedom Report, highlighting the actions of nations of concern:

These governmental actions not only infringed on freedom of religion themselves; they often created a permissive environment for broader human rights abuses. Restrictive policies included laws criminalizing religious activities and expression, prohibitions on conversion or proselytizing, blasphemy laws, and stringent registration requirements for religious organizations. 

Meanwhile, President Obama appoints Rabbi David Saperstein as the U.S.'s ambassador for international religious freedom, making Saperstein the first non-Christian to hold the position. 

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It Should Go Without Saying

July 28, 2014

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

As seems to always be the case, the great scramble to get everything up and running for the CFI Leadership Conference turned into a great experience of inspiration and determination for all in attendance. I had to miss the last day's events so I could be home for my daughter's second birthday, but judging from the tweet stream, there was a pretty moving lineup of presentations. Many thanks to all who attended, all who presented, and most of all to those outreachers who actually made it all happen.

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Reactionary Weirdos

July 25, 2014

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

The 2014 CFI Leadership Conference is underway, and I'm knocking out a quick Heresy here before I get back into things here at the Mothership. 

USA Today has a new piece on he-of-the-baseless-cancer-treatments, Stanislaw Burzynski, as the Texas Medical Board tries to pick up where the FDA fell down. CFI chief Ron Lindsay is quoted as the prime critic of Burzynski cheering on the Texas Board, saying, "Burzynski should not be practicing medicine. Period." 

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