Politicians in the Pocket of Big UFO

November 25, 2014

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

Today my little boy turns 5. He's the best. And related programming note: The Morning Heresy will be off for the rest of the week, so we wish you a safe and happy feasting period.

Okay, so, last night it was announced that a grand jury would not indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. In this context, Sincere T. Kirabo calls upon his fellow nonbelievers to more overtly pursue a social justice agenda:

I know not all atheists identify as secular humanists, but for those that do—for the nonbelieving individuals and groups who, like me, contend for secular rights and ethical reasoning conducive to the wellbeing of all humans in the here and now—I need you.

On Point of InquiryLindsay Beyerstein talks to Rachel Godsil of the Perception Institute about the phenomenon of "racial anxiety," and why new research suggests there's some hope for relieving some of the tension. 

Next week, the Supreme Court will consider free speech implications of threatening language on Facebook

CFI's director of international programs, Bill Cooke, considers the debate as to whether the Islamic State constitutes "true Islam":

The West could not mount its under-strength response to ISIL without significant help from Muslim countries like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And Western leaders need to take care not to alienate Muslim communities within their own borders. But if politicians have good reasons to say these things, that doesn’t mean they’re true.  

At Skeptical Inquirer, Joe Nickell goes searching for Bigfoot near Mount Ranier, or maybe "sub-Ranierian" creatures. 

While 77% of white Evangelical Protestants attribute extreme weather to the coming apocalypse, Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress points out that there are a number of Evangelical groups pushing for action on climate change.  

FFRF has its suit to stop gubernatorial day-of-prayer proclamations in Colorado dismissed

Have you ever heard of the cryptid called the "ropen"? I hadn't, but apparently it's a pterosaur-like thing that doesn't exist, and is pretty much entirely attributable to one guy, a Mormon creationist. 

An airline cancels flights based on the ominous warnings of firy death from a fake psychic

There's a priest shortage in Brazil, and in desperation, the church wants to let married dudes be priests

There's apparently a registered lobbyist working on government disclosure of space aliens.  

Quote of the Day

Human rights activist Frazana Bari writes in Pakistan's Express Tribune that the state is culpable in the spate of religiously-motivated spasms of violence, such as the torture and burning of a Christian couple for alleged blasphemy:

[I]t is imperative that these incidents of brutality should not be seen and condemned as isolated incidents. Such violence and vigilantism is the result of the jihadist policy that the state has followed. A radicalised mindset has been systematically created and supported in order to pursue political interests within the country and in the region. Thus, the state is equally responsible for this mob mentality and the violation of human rights in Pakistan.

We are now trapped. 

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Comments:

#1 Mario (Guest) on Tuesday November 25, 2014 at 5:48pm

It seems to me that the logical, reason-based thing to do in the Michael Brown case—and forgive me if this sounds utterly radical, or even insane—is to review the facts and determine whether or not, you know, the officer was justified in firing his weapon.  You know, given the circumstances.  Otherwise, we’re basing our judgments on emotions.  Correct?

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