The Province of Wusses

January 19, 2017

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

I was sick yesterday. Today is our last full day with President Obama. Tomorrow is the first day of President Trump. 

As though fuming in frustration, Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, the third straight year it's done so. NYT's Justin Gillis puts it plainly:

Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization. 

The State Department, in something of a hurry, sends half a billion dollars to the UN's climate fund.  

Olga Khazan reports on the network of anti-vax doctors who will now have far more influence under Trump. 

Point of Inquiry has Daniel Dennett this week, chatting with his former student, Lindsay Beyerstein. 

Pro-lifers want to march against Trump too.

Human Rights Watch puts the U.S. on the list of states that it says pose a threat to human rights because Trump will soon be in charge

President Obama commutes the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Julian Assange, who said he'd turn himself over to the U.S. if Obama did this very thing, is wriggling out of his promise.

Kristin Du Mex at Religion & Politics describes Trump in terms of the rise of evangelicals' embrace of "militant machismo":

The truth is, many evangelicals long ago replaced the suffering servant of Christ with an image that more closely resembles Donald Trump than many would care to admit. They’ve traded a faith that privileges humility and elevates the least of these for one that derides gentleness as the province of wusses. Having replaced the Jesus of the gospels with an idol of machismo, it’s no wonder many have come to think of Trump himself as the nation’s savior.

Betsy DeVos. Well. As Emily Willingham says:

DeVos raised eyebrows and dropped jaws during her confirmation hearing before the Senate education committee where she showed her ignorance about two widely divergent subjects: bears and disability laws. 

Manuel Roig-Franzia at WaPo looks at the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich, and the misery it causes his family. As his brother Aaron says, “When facts aren’t required, how are you supposed to counter any argument?” 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is proving more and more to be something of a wild card-maverick type, made a secret "fact-finding" trip to Syria to meet with Assad. 

Meet Cameron Harris, who invented fake news about Hillary Clinton "stealing ballots" to go along with his fake publication.

A Supreme Court case involving trademarks (in this case, one that is seen as racially disparaging), Howard Friedman notes that it raises the specter of blasphemy laws

A woman in Pakistan, who trapped her daughter into an "honor killing" by burning her alive, gets the death penalty.  

Chris Stedman is leaving Yale to establish a Humanist Center in Minnesota.  

Depression is now linked with heart disease in men. Oh great. 

Pope Fluffy says don't waste your time going to church if you don't walk the walk:

If I say I am Catholic and go to mass, but then don’t speak with my parents, help my grandparents or the poor, go and see those who are sick, this does not prove my faith, there’s no point. 

This is interesting: The Atheists in Kenya Society wants February 17 to be an official atheist holiday in Kenya

Gwyneth Paltrow wants women...to...um...you know, just don't. The thing she wants you to do? Don't. 

MSN shares four tips for when you're preparing to get a psychic reading. Here are mine:

1. Don't

2. Go

3. To

4. Psychics. 

Quote of the Day:

Sidney Fussell at Gizmodo on the hearing for EPA nominee Scott Pruitt, which he called a "surreal nightmare":

There are points where Pruitt came across both as patently unqualified and shamelessly unethical, particularly when he refused to answer simple questions. The whole thing was disappointing, but not the least bit surprising. On the upside, Pruitt said he’s disagrees that global warming is a Chinese hoax. So at least there’s that.

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