Sullying This Religion

December 4, 2014

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

As I type, it's looking like NASA's Orion launch to Mars may be postponed.

New CFI-related videos just posted: We have former pastor Ryan "Atheist for a Year" Bell at CFI-Los Angeles, and Richard Dawkins in conversation with CFI-UK's Stephen Law. UPDATE: Turns out, that Dawkins-Law video is over a year old, but I just saw it reemerge on Twitter. I need more coffee in the morning.

The University of Texas lost its brains. But they say they know what happened now. 

Todd Van Luling at Huffington Post rounds up some of the nutty conspiracy theories that surrounded the Beatles, including one that purports that they never existed (plus a cameo from Skeptical Inquirer).

Speaking of conspiracies and Skeptical Inquirerthe latest issue is hitting newsstands any moment now, with features on why the heck people believe the things they do.  

Sam Harris interviews Phil Zuckerman about his new book Living the Secular Life.  

The Satanists in Florida are going to get their holiday display in the State Capitol

What does it look like when 500,000 animals are killed for a Hindu festival in India? If you must know, here you go.

Horrible person, Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson, said this, beginning with a reading from the Bible:

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS. It was right there in the Bible all along — and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant. 

Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention sounds off against the silence of fellow Christians in the wake of the Eric Garner tragedy:

I have gotten responses and seen responses that are right out of the White Citizen’s Council material from 1964. In my home state of Mississippi, seeing people saying there is no gospel issue involved in racial reconciliation. Are you kidding me? ... We have a group of people—a small group of people, not a lot of people—some unreconstructed racists in American society and we have some who continue to come and to sit in pews of churches and pretend as though they are disciples of Jesus Christ. 

Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, a top Muslim leader in Egypt, wants the coalition going after ISIS to broaden its scope to all violent Islamic operations:

I ask myself… day and night about the reasons for this Arab ordeal and this blind discord that is mixed with the smell of blood and death and explosions and the beheadings of people and the expulsion of millions with a brutality that is unknown in history. These barbaric and awful crimes are sullying this religion. 

Scott Gavura looks at the trouble caused by homeopaths as they threaten public health with their claims of being able to replace vaccines. 

Victims of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witnesses' church are filing a $10.5 million lawsuit. Lawyer Irwin Zalkin says: 

Our goal is not to destroy the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They may think that’s what we’re after — we are really after trying to get them to change what are really just antiquated and dangerous policies.

Irish Catholic Church says that granting same-sex couples the right to get married would itself be a grave injustice. This must be the introduction to the Opposite Sketches. 

The blurry smudge behind those trees in this fuzzy picture is obviously Bigfoot

So there might really be a Cosmos Season 2

Quote of the Day

The pope has an official astronomer, Brother Guy Consolmagno, who seems like a cool dude. When asked if he'd baptize an alien, he says:

Yes, [but] only if she asks!

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Image by Shutterstock 

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