Laundry Instead of Faith

November 11, 2013

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

If you see any CFI folks today who seem to be emitting a particularly intense glow of pride today, it might be because of this: Beyond Faith is a support group for young ex-Christians, run from CFI-NYC by volunteers Dena Roth and Geoffrey Golia, and it just got the attention it deserves from a big Newsweek story out this morning by Katie J.M. Baker. Read it, and have a better Monday as a result. Two good quotes I pulled (of many):

"The group just makes me feel less screwed up," [22-year-old Jacob] Link says. "It seems like when you're done with religion, you should be able to move on; but, in reality, when you've built your entire life around it during your developmental years, you can't just let it go." . . . 

"I can't even describe how refreshing the first meeting was, how invigorating," says [24-year-old Renato] Rengifo, who started attending meetings earlier this year. "I needed people to say, 'I understand how pathetic you feel right now trapped in a mindset that you know you want to get away from but you can't.'" Rengifo says Beyond Faith's support helped him work up the courage to move out, and that his relationship with his parents was slowly improving: "Now I can talk to my parents about laundry instead of faith."

The next meeting of Beyond Faith is December 2. 

Hey look! Our own Debbie Goddard appears in this trailer for an in-production documentary on the stigma of atheism. Oh snap! And she's in this video helping recite the Pale Blue Dot for Carl Sagan Day. Superstar!

The FDA finally releases its findings after investigating the quack cancer treatments of Stanislaw Burzynski.

Bodies tangled on a floor mattress. "Clitoris rejuvenation." Swastikas. Yes, Carrie Poppy begins her transformation into a Raëlian.  

Nobel Prize winning chemist Sir Harold Kroto wants to take you on a cruise to the Galapagos. Well, I mean, he probably doesn't know you personally, but trust me, he's down. 

Orlando Sentinel does a piece on ghost hunters and their tech-toys, and lets in a small dose of skepticism from our own Joe Nickell.  

Okay, I had no idea this happened, and I'm going to have to watch: a debate between Richard Dawkins and Deepak ChopraJerry Coyne says:

Chopra is an intensely irritating man, and willfully stupid—indeed, duplicitous—because his errors have been pointed out to him many times. 

Speaking of Coyne, he takes to The New Republic to expose the absurd claims of persecution by pseudoscientist Richard Sheldrake:

The “ideological agenda” here, though, is simply this: false or unsupported claims should not be presented as credible. If that’s an agenda, I’m all for it.

A study shows that pediatricians who use language with patients that presumes they will be vaccinating their kids are more likely to have patients who vaccinate their kids. 

Outspoken Texas atheist Daniel Moran is running for the state legislature

Conservative Catholics focused on gays and women's reproductive organs are feeling a little marginalized by the new pope. Aw.

Those cards with the shapes that Dr. Venkman uses to gauge psychic powers? They do get used in real life, and turns our they're kind of rigged

Did Justice Breyer let it slip that he's a nonbeliever? 

Mark Mueller at The Star Ledger discovers "at least seven alleged sexual predators quietly placed in the Rutherford retirement home in the past 15 years" by the Newark Archdiocese, right near "a residential block that teems with children from the Catholic elementary and high schools a few hundred yards away." 

Phoenix-area skeptics get a chance to weigh in on a piece on a local faith healer

I was alerted to the publication of this book that looks pretty relevant: In the Name of God: The True Story of the Fight to Save Children from Faith-Healing Homicide. It's recommended by Sharon Hill, who also has news on faith-healing deaths in Oregon being traced to lenient laws in Idaho.

American Prospect covers the Sunday Assembly event hosted by CFI-DC last week.

If you can stand it, New York Magazine has a Sarah Palin War-on-Christmas soundboard, complete with animated flapping Palin jaw. One gem:

Atheism’s track record makes the Spanish Inquisition seem like Disneyland by comparison. 

Thor, you beautiful mess

Neither here nor there, but here's a guy who made a life jacket for fish

Quote of the Day

Last week, Ron Lindsay lamented that atheists had been thrown under the bus by the plaintiffs' attorney in Greece v. Galloway, Douglas Laycock. The Economistusing the same bus analogy, agrees:

Echoing John Locke, who famously excluded atheists from accommodation in his Letter Concerning Toleration in 1689, Mr Laycock even sells out one of his clients—the 70-year-old retired librarian and atheist Linda Stephens—without batting an eye. This may not technically be an admission of defeat, but for all practical purposes it is: Mr Laycock is asking the justices to instruct Greece to change its prayer practice in a way that would continue to coercively offend one of his clients.      

* * *  

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta