This Wallowing Notion of Freedom

November 30, 2016

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

Well, they got me. My Quote of the Day yesterday was premised on a fake Trump tweet, and I feel really stupid. The fake, it is everywhere. My apologies.

NONETHELESS, CFI has officially come out in opposition to the REAL tweet in which Trump called for the criminalization of flag burning. CFI president Ron Lindsay:

If America stands for anything, it is the fundamental human right to free speech, which includes the right to express dissent and criticism of one’s own government. That Mr. Trump would criminally punish someone for the expressive act of burning a flag shows that either he does not understand the foundational principles he will soon be swearing to uphold, or that he stands in opposition to those principles. 

American mosques are receiving pro-Trump letters that call for the genocide of Muslims. What's happened to us?

The biggest pro-Trump subreddit seems to be eating Reddit alive

Leah Remini does a Reddit AMA about her time in the Church of Scientology. 

Joe Nickell checks out a "haunted" tavern in Rhode Island, and reminds us that hauntings are usually good for business. 

India's Supreme Court rules that movie theaters must play the Indian national anthem before each screening of a film. Said one Justice, "People must feel they live in a nation, and this wallowing individually perceived notion of freedom must go." Also the exits have to be closed so no one can escape during the anthem. THIS IS VERY UNSETTLING.

Philip Sherwell at The Daily Beast reports on the slow progress being made by gay activists in Muslim countries, as well as the harrowing dangers they face. 

Melissa Rogers and Dana Mayber look back on their work in Obama's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships:

Connections between the federal government and community organizations, both faith-based and secular, are critical to better serve those in need. ... Working together across beliefs and backgrounds, both religious and non-religious, Council members found common ground on a wide range of issues, including promoting fatherhood and healthy families, addressing poverty and inequality, tackling climate change, ending human trafficking, resolving certain church-state issues and promoting interfaith service and dialogue.  

Garrison Keillor considers God's role in the ascent of Trump:

Maybe God did choose this bloated narcissist and compulsive liar and con man to be president, and maybe He will send a couple of Corinthians to light his pathway. It does seem like the very thing God might do. Put an idiot in charge and cluster his clueless children around him and a coterie of old hacks and opportunists and thereby teach us haughty journalists a lesson. God made Balaam’s donkey open its mouth and say, ‘Quit hitting me, stupid.’ And if He could do that, He could make this moose a halfway decent president. 

Pope Francis meets Stephen Hawking

Quote of the Day:

At Religion Dispatches, Leah Pannell exhorts her fellow Christians to understand the value and intention of protest:

Protest at its core is disruptive. As a Christian, my faith tells me that God understood this and disrupted the world in a human body. Filled with the Spirit, Jesus declared, “You have nothing to lose but your chains!” He walked the earth, protesting the powers of death and darkness, disrupting systems as he healed the sick, embraced the poor, and ultimately claimed victory over death and the grave.

It’s hard for me to comprehend how so many fellow Christians misunderstand the purpose behind protest. The forms differ, but the intention is always to interrupt business as usual. Their complaint is that there are less intrusive ways to send a message, but intrusion is the point. Intrusion is acknowledging the need and urgency to disrupt an unjust and oppressive world, especially when the light of the world—the one Christians worship—did just that. 

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Photo credit: gordontour via / CC BY-NC-ND

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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#1 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:04am

“You have nothing to lose but your chains”

Not Jesus… Marx.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:06am

“And if He could do that, He could make this moose a halfway decent president”

In other words, it’s going to be a really bad four years…

#3 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:13am

“Also the exits have to be closed so no one can escape during the anthem”

What could possibly go wrong?  /s

Still, some of my fondest memories as a kid are sitting through our (non-Indian) national anthem back when cinemas used to do that sort of thing. 

Maybe we just had exceptionally good photographers and directors.  But at the time, you felt part of something.

Today now that it’s left only to sport, having been booted out of arts and entertainment, it’s just strange.  Is patriotism taboo now, only for the roaring mob at the coliseum?  Are the rest of us mere residents and visitors?

#4 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:26am

“The biggest pro-Trump subreddit seems to be eating Reddit alive”

Perhaps, but it’s hardly their own doing.

I tend to think that if Reddit survived Ellen Pao.  It will survive the_donald.

It is worth noting that all the bad behavior attributed to the_donald’s people can also be attributed to subreddits like SRS (S—-RedditSays).  Brigading, vote manipulation, defamation, harassment of users, and so on.  But nobody cares because admins and the larger non-Reddit public tend to agree with SRS politically.

Recently an admin (spez) admitted secretly editing other people’s posts, in the_donald, instantly undermining any credibility that the admins, or the site itself had.  It’s now a legitimate question whether anything someone appears to have posted is actually what they posted.  This isn’t a result of the_donald, but of Reddit admins themselves, who align with SJW.  It’s only bad when other people do it, in their minds.

#5 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:28am

“The fake, it is everywhere. My apologies”

Well done.  We all make mistakes.

#6 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:36am

“pro-Trump letters that call for the genocide of Muslims”

It’s worth noting that every Bible calls for my death, and every Quran revels in it.

So am I upset about some letters?  Not really.  But murder is still murder, and if these letter-writers try to carry out their threat, I hope they get the maximum penalty.

#7 SpiderHugger on Wednesday November 30, 2016 at 11:58am

Thanks for fixing the Trump post. And don’t feel bad. Being informed is much harder work than it used to be, despite this ocean of “information” that was supposed to make us all so much savvier. Bad information fights dirty.

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