Our Failing Trajectory

November 14, 2017

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

Okay, let's get all this Moore stuff out of the way.

A fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, comes forward to say that Roy "I-Ask-Permission-of-Their-Mothers" Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16:

“I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch,” Ms. Nelson said, growing emotional as she described the assault, which she said happened one night after her shift ended at a local restaurant, where she was a waitress. She said that Mr. Moore warned her that “no one will believe you” if she told anyone about the encounter in his car.  

AL.com and The New Yorker report that the Gadsden Mall had banned Moore from mall property as far back as 1979, and that his predatory behavior was well known throughout the city.

The head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Cory Gardner, says that if Moore is elected (which I still predict he will be), the Senate should vote to expel him, and Mitch McConnell has also stated that he wants Moore to step aside and, frankly to my surprise, "I believe the women."

Now we get into even darker territory. Julie Zauzmer explores how this kind of creeping around for teenage girls is perfectly in line with parts of fundamentalist culture in America, since they think women are just supposed to stay home and make babies anyway. And as if to defiantly hammer home that point, 50 pastors in Alabama have signed on to a letter of support of Moore, though two did so anonymously.

Jana Riess looks at whether Mormons are now the sole source of conscience left in the GOP, and it turns out that they're not doing such a bang-up job either, pointing out that the opposition to Moore has come mainly from Mormon politicians who are out of power or about to be, and that they never seemed to have any problems with any of Moore's many, many, many, many other outrageous acts unrelated to sex. 

Why oh why do I find I have to look to Russell Moore (no relation to Roy, I assume) for even a hint of humanity from Christian conservatism? And yet, I must:

There are girls and women in our churches, right now, wondering where they can turn as they are molested by predators. 

I know Jesus’ answer. What about that of the church? 

Human rights activist Lubna Ahmed goes on Dave Rubin's show to discuss her escape from a life under threat in Iraq, an escape that CFi and its supporters helped make possible through our Secular Rescue program. 

Relatedly, Slate's Aymann Ismail features Sarah Haider and Muhammad Syed of the Ex-Muslims of North America in a video interview, and sets it up with this admission:

I'll be honest: I was one of those Muslims who wanted them to go away. I resented how their stories were coopted by the right as proof Islam is rotten at its core. No matter their beliefs, I thought they were misrepresenting Muslims. 

2014-2016: Hey! It looks like we're finally turning down the dials on carbon emissions! We might turn this whole climate change thing around! 2017: What? Oh. Never mind

In 1992, 1700 scientists signed on to a "warning to humanity" about the urgency to confront global warming. 25 years later, 15,000 scientists are signing on to a new warning:

Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse. ... Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory. 

I'm going to go ahead and guess that we're well past "too late" and now it's time to start stocking the life boats with non-perishable foodstuffs. 

If the Earth is flat, maybe we can prevent global warming by just turning the disc over. Anyway, I can't watch this, but here's the Q&A session from the Flat Earth International Conference in North Carolina.

Oh hey, hate crimes are up this year. We're running out of things to be worse about. Maybe 2018 can be a record year for people who get smacked in the face after stepping on rakes.

Oh hey, Loch Ness Monster sightings are up this year. How about the people committing the hate crimes redirect their energies toward finding plesiosaurs?

William London writes at CSICOP.org about the various marketing gimmicks of chiropractors, particularly in the treatment of diabetes.

Trump picks the former head of a huge pharmaceutical corporation to be the next HHS secretary. So surprise there.

The lede for this PRRI poll is that one in five Americans are "spiritual but not religious" according to their rubric, but the headline to me is that 31% are neither spiritual nor religious, and that if you add the two, you have 49% of Americans who are not religious. Which seems like, well, a lot. 

The Supreme Court has said it will take up a case on what information about abortion that those deceptive "crisis pregnancy centers" are required to provide to women, and another on whether Minnesota can ban the donning of campaign materials like buttons at polling places.

Trump is reportedly in favor of revoking the Church of Scientology's tax-exempt status. He probably feels threatened by rival cults, so watch your backs, Raelians.

American Atheists is suing the Bergen County Animal Shelter in New Jersey for having a bishop bless all the animals.

The "demon child" in these SPOOKY images looks a lot like the snake creatures from my kids' Lego Ninjago toys. 

A world without Christ leads to "the atheist gunman," says Derya Little at the National Catholic Register. Because no one has ever done any violence whatsoever because of Ch...you know what, never mind. 

No quote of the day today. Maybe just imagine the sound of hundreds of millions of people's consciences being squished through the fingers of a fat, meaty fist. That sound is your quote for the day. 

* * * 

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

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