Something to Do with Obama

October 18, 2016

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

It's a Radfordpalooza! A clownucopia! Ben Radford brings his scary clown expertise back in-house as the guest on the latest Point of Inquiry.

In Skeptical Inquirer, Matt Nisbet considers whether labeling GMO foods might actually have the effect of normalizing them, rather than seeming like some spooky "franken-food."

Planned Parenthood is one century old. To mark their century of providing crucial services, we've got an action alert asking you to tell Congress you support them too.  

Andy Ngo at Portland State University's paper Vanguard profiles Saudi Arabian students in the U.S., through which the piece explores the impact of the Saudi brand of Islam within and without the kingdom's borders:

Defiantly enjoying a glass of French wine during the interview, Noora [one of the students] added, “I am most homesick when I’m actually at home. I am homesick for freedom.” Possessing or consuming alcohol is strictly prohibited in the Kingdom; transgressors can be arrested, fined and lashed as punishments.

Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns received briefings on international religious freedom by Open Doors USA and the Institute for Global Engagement. 

Amnesty International is calling out Bangladesh for a new law, the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Bill:

If passed, the law would not only hinder the ability of human rights defenders and civil society organizations to seek and secure resources but it would also expand the government’s ability to unlawfully interfere with the work of NGOs and arbitrarily cancel their registrations. 

The Moon is getting his by more space rocks than we thought, which poses unforeseen risks to future Moon missions. 

PEN America releases its recommendations on campus free speech:

The PEN America Principles offer a way to address some of the most polarizing campus unrest in decades over issues such as sexist speech, racial epithets, controversial campus speakers, trigger warnings, and so-called “safe spaces” and “microaggressions.”

Pope Fluffy names a flock of new cardinals. Which means they have more magic powers I think. 

Sally Morrow at RNS profiles the efforts of the Satanic Temple to counter the Good News Clubs' indoctrination campaign with its own After School Satan clubs

Castleton University's Ellis Hall is haunted, so say some students and a Ouija board. 

Atheists in Kenya ask the government to change the country's national anthem to something secular:

Atheists want to feel proud when we sing or listen to the national anthem. This pride must arise from a sense of unity with shared values and ideals. The word ‘God’ disenfranchises atheists from this unified ideal.   

“I am a big fan of Hindu," says Trump, who also has fans among Hindu nationalists in India, who recently held an event with him in Edison, New Jersey.

UFO conspiracy theorist Max Spiers sent a text to his mom that said, "If anything happens to me, investigate." A few days later he was found dead. So that's weird.

"I think this hurricane is [sic] something to so with what Obama did," said Jim Bakker, meaning something-something Israel something something Bible.

This kind of tickles me. I watch a lot of the TWiT tech podcast network, and a VERY frequent personality there is Father Robert Ballecer, "the Digital Jesuit." He's does a great job, and he got a profile in the National Catholic Register. Leo Laporte, the "chief TWiT," is an atheist, and says of Ballecer's role:

He's a true geek and his enthusiasm and expertise have become a vital part of our technology programming. ... Some of our listeners have expressed concern over a priest hosting secular content. I think inclusivity is very important in what we do. All that's required is an enthusiasm for technology and an interest in how it is changing the world. 

Quote of the Day

A group of North Carolinian writers and artists places an ad in the Charlotte Observera birthday card for Gov. Pat McCrory:

 

 

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Photo credit: Fitzrovia via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 2:17pm

“Atheists in Kenya ask the government to change the country’s national anthem”

It would be nice if Canada’s atheists kept the pressure on as well.  The song that became our anthem has three verses, none of which mentioned God or the supernatural (and was also not sexist).  Over the years, it’s been made worse and worse.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 2:23pm

These PEN people are very long-winded… not wanting to read the full report, I chose the other document… 14 pages!  Is there a summary?

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