Criminal Aliens

October 5, 2016

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

What I miss? What I miss? I was off for a couple of days, regenerating in my Borg alcove. Stef McGraw, I tell you, she does such a great job on the Heresy when I'm away. Maybe I should just have her do it every day. You hear that Stef? You should do it.

Every. 

Day.

Good! Moving on.

There was a VP debate last night. Moving on. 

Point of Inquiry this week has Phil Torres, author of The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse, and one of the two lead contributors to the latest Free Inquiry issue on the threat posed by terrorism.

Tim Murphy at Mother Jones wades deep into Trump's conspiracy-theorist paranoia-mongering

Craig Hlavaty at the Houston Chronicle seems to endorse the Sweet Meteor of Death for president

The Golden Record aboard the Voyager probes, serving as our planet's interstellar tourism pamphlet, has never been commercially available in its original form. A Kickstarter, which has already blown past its goal, aims to fix that. I wonder how they will keep it out of the hands of "criminal aliens." SEE? I DID A TOPICAL VP DEBATE REFERENCE AFTER ALL.

The FDA tells parents not to get those stupid homeopathic teething products for babies. 

Lyle Jeffs, brother of Warren Jeffs who is the "prophet" Fundamentalist LDS church, is supposed to be facing charges of running a food stamp fraud, but it looks as though he may have been raptured.

Benjamin Radford's clown-expertise is sought by People Magazine and CNN to lend some insight into the evil clown phenomenon. 

Pope Francis pretends to be fluffy about gay people because he doesn't "abandon them" in bringing them "closer to the Lord." It doesn't always work out, he admits. Imagine that. 

Sarah Jones, formerly of AU and now at The New Republic, looks at what seems to be Roy Moore's abandonment by his own kind. "It’s possible that Moore’s tactics finally went too far, even for the religious right." 

Joe Nickell was so moved by the Ark Encounter, he wrote a poem about the "never to float" spectacle. 

May Bulman at The Independent previews the documentary Exposure and speaks to Maryam Namazie about the "tsunami of atheism" brewing in the Muslim world

Tony Ortega discusses Fair Game, a new book on the origins of Scientology, and highlights the bit where L. Ron Hubbard more or less admits he made it all up.

Surprising no one, a new study reveals that kids whose parents treat them with alt-med are less likely to get the vaccines they need.

UK tourism officials have tips for hunting Nessie.  

Hey this is a pretty darn good Dawkins Foundation newsletter if I do say so myself. 

Pit bulls were going to be banned in Montreal, but a judge put a hold on the ban. Recently, Bronwen Dickey on Point of Inquiry explored how we need to skeptical about the folklore around pit bulls. 

That dark, pixelated blob on the forest floor deep in the background of a high-perched nest-cam is obviously Bigfoot.

Deseret News can't get enough of CFI's Michael De Dora when it comes to the Johnson Amendment. Speaking of which, let's protect that amendment.

Andrea Jain and Michael Schulson at Religion Dispatches on "yoga teacher and mega-celebrity," India's Baba Ramdev:

The single most influential yoga teacher in India, if not the world, is a right-wing activist who campaigns against homosexuality, promotes Islamophobia, and advocates for religious nationalism. He’s also really into herbal remedies and natural foods. 

Quote of the Day

Okay so CFI is definitely nonpartisan, but when a candidate says something correct and important, you gotta point it out. At the debate last night, Tim Kaine totally got secularism, not by rejecting religion, but as a devoutly religious person in a government role that conflicted with his beliefs (Kim Davis and Roy Moore take note): 

When I was running for governor, I was attacked pretty strongly because of my position [against] the death penalty. But, I looked the voters of Virginia in the eye, and said, "Look. This is my religion. I’m not going to change my religious practice to get one vote, but I know how to take an oath and uphold the law." ... That was a real struggle, but I think it is really, really important that those of us who have deep faith lives don’t feel like we can just substitute our own views for everybody else in society regardless of their views. 

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 at 5:26pm

“Tim Kaine totally got secularism”

Well, technically, Tim Kaine said words consistent with secularism.  As anyone who has voted before sadly knows, what is said during a campaign often has no relation to what happens after the election.  And religionists have a track record of saying one thing, and doing another, on secularism.

We can see for ourselves, by the way other Democratic politicians have actually used their power, that they are not secularists.  Even Hillary has gone on record that the president must have a personal relationship with God, meaning the Christian god.  Democrats (and in particular, Bill Clinton) gave us RFRA, one of the most important laws that elevated religion above the general laws.  This law gave us RLUIPA, state RFRAs, the Hobby Lobby case, and worse.

Has Hillary (or Tim) even uttered the word “atheist” at all during this years-long campaign?  A secularist would never miss an opportunity to talk about us, not only due to our increasing percentage of the population, but due to the continued blatant violations of our rights.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 at 5:35pm

Glad to have you back.  Still, you are correct that Stef did a great job filling in.  There have been some blog closures recently (as I suppose is always the case really) but it’s reassuring to know that this blog could survive one person’s decision to stop…

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