Weather Elements are Controlled Maybe by Different Things

December 6, 2012

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

And lo, the CFI board of directors did in this blessed time elect Edward Tabash to be its chairman, and yea, it was then joined by new board member Judith Walker, and there was much rejoicing and feasting.

Reba Boyd Wooden, chief of CFI-Indiana, talks about the motives behind our lawsuit for equality in solemnizing marriages:

True, atheists/Secular Humanists, etc. generally see less need for ritual than religious people. However, we feel that we should be able to offer it to those who do. 

Hemant Mehta hits WaPo to talk about lending a hand to young atheists, gives a shoutout to CFI On Campus. 

Try not to eject your breakfast: Kansas governor Sam Brownback declares this saturday a "Day of Restoration" to "ask every citizen of our state to join in asking a Holy God to bring healing and restoration." Yeah, there's a fuzzy video. 

Houston Press does a big feature on the rise of atheism in Texas. Yes! Texas! 

Christian Walters rounds up some excellent resources for online skeptical video content at Skeptical Inquirer

CFI-Los Angeles is holding its Winter Solstice Party on December 16, featuring music by the Heathens and the premier of (and I love this title) 2012 Gets Kicked in the Nuts.  

CFI-Michigan is also hosting Solstice Dinners with Ron Lindsay and Alan Kinniburgh in Troy and Grand Rapids.

Taslia Nasrin would rather we just didn't bother with all this:

I do not celebrate religious festivals, I do not miss anything. I can have a family get-together on any beautiful day. I can have a happy feast on any happy day. You can do the same if you want. Do we really need Krishna, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad or any charlatan to be born in order to eat good food or to lighten our homes or to give gifts to our loved ones? The answer is simple, no. 

George Washington University's Secular Society carries out the mission of the secular movement by doing something simple and powerful: reading to kids

WHAS radio talks to Ed Hensley about the Kentucky atheist-persecuting homeland security bill, the CFI Indiana lawsuit, and other issues (which is a fairly frustrating discussion as the host seems none-too-sympathetic).  

Tech super-site The Verge takes a tough look at Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, and the enormous power he will wield. Oh, and this is troubling:

Despite Smith’s reluctance to admit that human behavior is a major factor in climate change, he represented the least extreme choice for committee chairman. 

Yeesh. 

Mother Jones has a great piece on "America's 50 Worst State Legislatures" (Get it?? Because they're all bad, you see???), and often was makes them worst is stuff like evolution and science denial and weird, Old Testament ideas about how the world should work.

Via Michael De Dora's blog, we find Christian blogger Robert Hunt make a refreshing declaration about secularism:

Does the secular state abandon the possibility of being a moral state? The answer is no. The secular state does not abandon being moral. Indeed moral discourse remains firmly a part of political discourse. 

Dan Barker talks atheists at Christmas-time in WaPo:

In America, Christians are welcome to celebrate whatever they want. We are happy to share the season with them. They just can’t use the government to privilege their party over everyone else’s. 

Dale McGowan publishes Voices of Unbelief: Documents from Atheists and Agnostics

Physicists, in the wake of the Higgs discovery, are realizing their worst nightmare: They've been pretty much right all along. 

CSI's Ben Radford at Discovery: If you lead police to raid someone's home because you psychically determined that they were serial killers, you will get sued.

I like this Australian prime minister. Has a sense of humor, she does.

According to my son's favorite show Dinosaur Train, Eoraptor may have been the earliest dinosaur. Looks like they need to update that, 'cause here comes (went?) Nyasasaurus

Marco Rubio sort of says he doesn't "pass judgment" on gay people when asked if homosexuality is a "sin". Also now accepts the actual age of Earth.

Free speech advocates Article 19 offer "a practical guide for dealing with cases of incitement to hatred." 

OMG Bigfoot's in my Christmas tree

Anti-Quote of the Day

Arizona governor Jan Brewer, when asked a question about climate change, gives this very clear and definitive answer:

Everybody has an opinion on it, you know, and I, you know, I probably don’t believe that it’s man made. I believe that, you know, that weather elements are controlled maybe by different things. 

And then later to the reporter who asked the question:

Where in the hell did that come from? 

Quote of the Day

Jeff Sharlet on Rick Warren:

If moderation doesn’t exist, the policy press would create it. That’s been Rick Warren’s advantage for years. That’s the meaning of the Hawaiian shirts and the goofy goatee, the hugs and the self-deprecation. Warren’s real contribution to American evangelicalism is the perfection of the humble-brag.  

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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