Better Call Sol

October 6, 2015

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

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law California's End of Life Option Act, giving the terminally ill the right to seek the assistance of a physician in ending their lives. Check out his fairly moving statement on the matter, and our response, which says in part:

There can be no more intimate, self-defining decision for a person than the decision whether to continue living. That decision must not rest with any church, politician, or cultural tradition, but with the person who is terminally ill.

On Point of Inquiry this week, Lindsay Beyerstein talks to medical journalist Jon Palferman about the mysteries of the brain, in particular in terms of diseases like Parkinson's, which he suffers from himself. 

The New York Times has a piece ostensibly about how chiropractic care is becoming more generally accepted in mainstream medicine, but then holy moly, look at the deluge of woo writer Katherine Ellison experiences herself:

To my surprise, and temporarily stunned acquiescence, what I’d imagined would be a brief encounter resulting in a soothed tailbone for $125 (the fee quoted by the receptionist) turned into a three-hour “wellness” exam, with more than $300 in extra charges.

Long before he looked at my spine, the chiropractor inspected the rest of me with various instruments, alerting me — by dictating loudly to his assistant, who scribbled on a pad — that I was suffering, among other things, from a potential Candida infection in my mouth, a slight tremor and muscle wasting in my hand, possible Lyme disease, bone-density loss, mismatched leg lengths, a worrisome “brown spot” on my right eye and an asymmetrical smile. 

Dahlia Lithwick comments on "the strange spectacle of American liberals falling crazy in love with [Pope] Francis":

Hoping he will help stop American executions is not all that different from American conservatives who delight in the references to religious liberty and abortion in the Red Mass. Both are blurring religious doctrine with legal constraints, and in both cases, it ranges from awkward to unseemly. 

Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida (of course), Augustus Sol Invictus (nice name), admits to killing a goat and drinking its blood as part of a sacrifice to the god of the wilderness. Do you want to placate a pagan deity? Better call Sol.

A new website offers information and resources for parents, dealing with the insidious Good News Club's invasion of the public places where their children are.  

CFI joins a huge coalition of secular groups urging Congress's chaplains to allow humanists to perform opening invocations

Bangladesh is turning out to be unsafe for Christians as well, as a Baptist pastor survives a knife attack in his home

We always have several full plates of policy work at CFI, and here's a recap of what went on in September with the Office of Public Policy. 

We've jumped the shark. We have naked scientists on our website.

Ben Radford is skeptical of the president's contention that Americans are "numb" to mass shootings, saying, "It's an understandable lament. There's also no evidence that it's true, and plenty of evidence that it's false." 

Quite a picture that accompanies this article: the Ten Commandments monument is finally being removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds

Rachel Weiner at WaPo looks at what John Boehner seeks to leave behind as he leaves Congress, and vouchers are a huge part of that. (In case you didn't know, we're really, really opposed to them.)

Nick Simmons interview Sam Harris about his collaboration with Maajid Nawaz and his "qualifications" for writing on secular spirituality: "The case I'm making stands on its own merits: it's either well-reasoned, or it isn't." 

Writing at Pakistan's Express-Tribune, Kile Jones (who I briefly used to do a podcast with many years ago) tells Muslims and atheists that they have the potential to "flip the script" of mutual distrust.

Richard White reviews Steven Green’s Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding and Kevin M. Kruse’s One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America at Boston Review.  

Reason Rally 2016 has a Facebook event page

Headline of the Day, by Steven Salzberg at Forbes"Don't Eat Dirt." 

Quote of the Day:

This is great. Natalie Degraffinried explains in detail how to get an atheist to come home to Jesus:

If you’re a Christian who doesn’t actually read the Bible — which, if my experience in these conversations tells me anything, should not stop you from trying to argue about it with other people — you have the best ammo. Bible verse aside, all you need to do is repeat yourself over, and over, and over, and over again—this could even provide the trauma that the atheist will need to call upon God to escape your repetitive wrath. Here’s all you really need to know:

Because God said so. Because it’s in the Bible. Because the Bible is the word of the Lord. Because you have to have faith in the Bible. Because the Bible is the word of God. Because you must have faith in God. Because the Bible says so.

KEEP. AT. IT.    

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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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