Nobody Photoshops Angela

January 14, 2015

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

Several outlets are publishing Charlie Hebdo's latest cover image, including us ('cause that's how we roll) and the Washington Post. The New York Times didn't, but their public editor says they should have:

The new cover image of Charlie Hebdo is an important part of a story that has gripped the world’s attention over the past week. The cartoon itself, while it may disturb the sensibilities of a small percentage of Times readers, is neither shocking nor gratuitously offensive. And it has, undoubtedly, significant news value. 

Ali Rizvi laments the many news outlets that would not show any of Hebdo's offending cartoons.   

French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is arrested for "glorifying terrorism" for mashing up Charlie Hebdo and one of the names of the Paris attackers on his Facebook page. 

Susan Pinker reports on some fairly disturbing research about religious belief and violence:

While religion is exquisitely designed to bind people together, enabling them to trust and protect each other, denigrating outsiders can be the flip side of that trust—and that denigration can snuff out empathy fast. Now, brain imaging studies tell us that witnessing bad things happen to those outsiders can make people feel powerful and superior.

Pinar Tremblay reports that Turkish cartoonists who would support Charlie Hebdo are under particular scrutiny and threat. 

Mustafa Akyol at NYT writes that it's curious that there is less outrage over depictions of other sacred figures in Islam, like Allah himself:

The unique sensitivity around Muhammad seems to be a case of religious nationalism, with its focus on the earthly community — rather than of true faith, whose main focus should be the divine. 

Ultra-orthodox Jewish paper The Announcer photoshops women out of images of the Paris march, including Angela-freaking-Merkel. 

If you helped us wish Raif Badawi a happy birthday yesterday, thank you. And even though his birthday is technically over, I bet he wouldn't mind if we kept the good wishes going. 

In an additional outrage, Raif's lawyer, Walid Abu al-Khairhas his own sentence increased from 10 to 15 years for such dastardly crimes as "breaking his allegiance to King Abdullah, showing disrespect for the authorities and creating an unauthorized association." 

At least the Saudi authorities are serious about banning the real threat to morality and public order: snowmen

This guy pointed out an alarming amount of hypocrisy among the world leaders marching in Paris.

So Brian Pellot points to this Fox News rant by Jeanine Pirro about killing terrorists, and before I saw it I was all, come on Brian, it's Fox News, what do you expect? And then I saw it, and Brian's right. It's the most bananas, ugly, jingoistic, atavistic, inciteful vomit I think I've ever seen. I can't help but wonder what the people in the studio at the time were thinking. "Holy crap, she's lost it." 

Emily Mace says that the movement away from mainstream religious belief has not been accelerated by the New Atheists, but is merely a generations-long trend. 

The U.S. Senate will vote on whether climate change is real. I don't even. 

The DeSmogBlog reports on our work with Forecast the Facts to get the media to stop conflating skeptics with climate change deniers. 

Bill Nye, one of the signatories to our statement, is the guest on Science Friday

Tanzania bans witch doctors in order to protect those with albinism, who are murdered for their "magical" body parts. It's a strange world.   

No big surprise here, but research shows that the closer to the political fringes you are, the more primed you are to believe in conspiracies

Ben Radford interviews caricaturist Celestia Ward.

Parents not vaccinating their kids means measles outbreaks, even in the Magic Kingdom.  

Quote of the Day

Melissa Binder at The Oregonian asks religion professor Tony Gill about Christianity's vast over-representation in Congress. He says:

There are more lawyers in congress than in the population. More people over 50 in Congress than in the population. There are more people not overweight in Congress than in the population. It would be really strange if there was an exact proportion for all the people in Congress. That's a small sample size for 316 million Americans. 

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