Hologram-Filled Catacombs

January 27, 2016

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

Bernie Sanders opens up a little more about his religious beliefs, and boy does he get one big thing really wrong right out of the gate:

I think everyone believes in God in their own ways.

No, actually. No, everyone really doesn't. 

CFI president Ron Lindsay channels Jonathan Swift to show what's so bonkers about the terrible ruling on our Florida suit, which cleared the way for government funding of sectarian rehab ministries:

Religious television programs should be funded by the state because doing so serves the secular purpose of providing entertainment (no one can deny the comedic value of The 700 Club, for example)—provided, of course, no one is compelled to watch the programs.

Iowa Free Press interviews CFI's Michael De Dora for a deep dive into our political and lobbying work, and Michael makes a lot of key points:

If people believe we are just an “atheist organization,” then they might operate under the assumption that we are out to simply criticize their beliefs rather than find ways to engage in constructive dialogue centered [on] shared values. To be clear, there are times at which we do directly criticize an elected official’s beliefs, if we find said beliefs are at odds with science or reason. But our policy focus is not debating theology; it is advancing secular principles. 

Charles Pierce at Esquire warns us that as, um, eccentric as Donald Trump is, Ted Cruz is way more out there (and I agree):

Ted Cruz is a religious fanatic who parlays with dangerous theocratic crackpots. That may be the least of the reasons why he shouldn't be president, but it's the one most basic to his entire political career. Anyone who thinks He, Trump is the extremist in this race has not been paying attention.  

Nonetheless, Trump gets an endorsement from Jerry Falwell, Jr. Congrats? 

Egyptian journalist Fatema Naout is sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy - "insulting Islam" on Facebook. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, Joe Nickell examines the paranormal claims of Matthew Manning, who Joe says exhibits "poltergeist-faking syndrome." 

The American Bar Association is looking into whether Brigham Young University is in violation of nondiscrimination rules by kicking out students who don't comport with Mormon dogma. 

Sarah Posner shows how Hillary Clinton missed a great opportunity to defend secularism while discussing her own faith. However, candidate-tracking atheist Justin Scott got this out of Clinton:

Well, look, I think we’ve gotta stick with our founding principles, separation between church and state. And remember: It was done in the beginning mostly to protect religion from the state. So we need to stick… We need to stick with what has worked.

Daniel Oberhaus at VICE looks at how the 2016 election will effect the search for extraterrestrial life, and seeks comment from CSI Fellow Seth Shostak of SETI. 

Carol Kuruvilla at HuffPo explores ways Americans who may be abandoning religion may have a strong sense of "wonder."

Televangelist Morris Cerullo looks to build a Christian resort "with the help of hologram-filled catacombs, a 20-foot-tall wailing wall and an interactive biblical museum." Fun.

Members of the Coalition of Reason in Iowa will demonstrate outside the GOP debate tomorrow, which looks like it will be Trumpless. 

Bye-bye, Abe Vigoda.  

John Hodgman rules on the whole Pastafarian colander-on-your-head thing:

I will not interfere with his freedom of expression, so long as he wears that thing when going through security at the airport. Otherwise, how will they know it’s him? 

Quote of the Day

Smartphone maker HTC finds a way to use the Neil deGrasse Tyson feud with B.o.B in their marketing. Well played. 

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Original image by Shutterstock

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Comments:

#1 cornell (Guest) on Thursday January 28, 2016 at 7:44am

The reason why Sarah Posner shouldn’t be surprised at why the political candidates don’t speak so much about defending secularism is because there are many other problems that take such a higher priority than appeasing to the “nones” who try to make it about them


We have such a low labor participation rate right now even though the unemployment has went down.

We have a huge debt that is in the trillions

Healthcare system is still broken

Gun violence is still a problem

Income equality is a problem

Racism is still a problem

Homelessness is still a problem

The Iran deal is still on the minds of many

Syrian refugees

Syria in general

Russia and Putin

North Korea and their strange behavior with the so called “hydrogen bomb”

So even if I was pro secularism, I’d give Hilary a pass

#2 Old Rockin' Dave (Guest) on Friday January 29, 2016 at 1:54pm

Actually, Bernie Sanders is right. I do believe in God in my own way, which is to believe that God is a figure out of mythology, like Zeus or Horus.

#3 Randy on Saturday January 30, 2016 at 2:57pm

“insulting Islam” on Facebook.”

Then there’s this Swedish refugee who burned a Quran on YouTube, in a bid to avoid deportation back to Egypt.

watch?v=-2cjYaXC1sg

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