Bathing in Our Byproducts

January 31, 2017

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

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates defies Trump and refuses to defend the Muslim ban. So Trump fired her, accusing her of "betrayal." Her replacement will defend it.

Trump also fired the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale. 

Before that happened, we released our formal statement of opposition to the ban, calling it an "act of cruelty" and "an affront to American values," among other things. 

Galen Broaddus is taken aback by the blowback on social media to CFI's opposition, and reminds us all, "We should wish to stamp out all injustice, not merely when it happens to us."

Lots of folks on Twitter are yelling at us that the Muslim ban is not a Muslim ban. Trump called it a ban

Lots of folks on Twitter are yelling at us that Obama's policy was the same as Trump's. Obama seems to disagree

Google employees around the world stage a walkout to protest the ban. Karen Weintraub at Scientific American profiles scientists who have also taken to protesting the ban.

Some people coming into the country are having their political views questioned and their social media profiles checked.

The UN's human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says, "Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law" and calls the ban "mean-spirited." 

I did not expect this. The White House says it will NOT roll back Obama's LGBTQ protections:

“President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement reads. “The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”  

On Point of Inquiry this week, Lindsay Beyerstein talks to Ronnie Greene about the massacre by police of an innocent family in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the ensuing cover-up. 

Without mentioning Trump, the U.S. Holocaust Museum releases a statement responding to the whole "it wasn't just about the Jews" coming from the White House:

The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. Nazi ideology cast the world as a racial struggle, and the singular focus on the total destruction of every Jewish person was at its racist core. Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy. As Elie Wiesel said, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.”

Felony charges against journalists who were arrested for "rioting" at inauguration are being dropped.

Also unexpected: The Boy Scouts of America open the door to transgender boys. (Still not open to atheists.) 

Collin O’Mara of the National Wildlife Federation calls for the rejection Scott Pruitt for the EPA:

It is abundantly clear that he does not share America’s time-honored bipartisan conservation values or a commitment to sound science. We cannot allow science to be discarded in the agency that was created specifically to protect public health and the environment. 

WSJ shows what it might be like to live in the other side's social media filter bubble

Way, way too many Americans think God is really invested in the Super Bowl

Richard Ostling offers some guidance to journalistic coverage of the "rise of the nones." 

Tom Stafford at the BBC looks at studies on why people reject facts and what might reverse the problem.

Paul Offit addresses some of the myths and concerns about vaccines coming from Trump, Rand Paul, and others.  

Seems the Moon is kind of bathing in Earth's organic byproducts. You're welcome, Moon. 

Quote of the Day:

Madeleine Albright:

By slamming the door shut on those fleeing violence and persecution, including people who took great risks by working on behalf of the US military, the order represents a stark departure from core American values. Despite what the administration says, the order effectively creates a religious preference in our immigration system and is deeply biased against Muslims — undermining the principles of religious freedom upon which our country was founded. As a refugee who rose to serve in one of the highest offices in the land, I consider it a repudiation of everything that America represents. 

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 6:30pm

I would like to thank the CBC for leading me astray regarding the recent goings-on in Quebec, by the way.  Apparently I believed some fake news from my government.  I’ll be more diligent.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 6:34pm

“Way, way too many Americans think God is”

Surely this is a mere corollary to the fact that many Americans think there IS a god, and they’ve selected the correct one, and worship it correctly…

#3 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 6:47pm

“the principles of religious freedom upon which our country was founded”

What the US has is not religious freedom, but religious privilege, and it looks to be expanding that privilege significantly. 

The First Amendment never says that the government cannot establish “a” religion.  It says that it cannot establish “religion”.  They worried over every word of this amendment, so they were being very precise when they decided there would be no “a”.

From the dollar, to the pledge, to RFRA, to town hall prayers, to the presidential oath, the US has been in constant violation of the First Amendment for decades.

#4 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 7:08pm

“As Elie Wiesel said, ‘Not all victims were Jews…’”

According to Wikipedia, MOST were not Jews.  Of all the things to criticize Trump on, I really think this is particularly petty. 

People who can find fault with “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.” can find fault with anything.

I was more taken aback by the claim to “make love”.  I mean, that escalated really quickly, even for a pussy grabber, right?

#5 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 7:15pm

“Some people coming into the country are having their political views questioned and their social media profiles checked”

The latter change originated under Obama, by the way, the proposal first reported by The Verge on June 24.

#6 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 7:18pm

“Lots of folks on Twitter”

Citation needed.  (Well, maybe not today, but give it time, give it time…)

#7 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 7:20pm

“We should wish to stamp out all injustice, not merely when it happens to us”

This is, of course, more difficult than it sounds.  If you’re looking for a persecuted group, you should probably start in the country’s prisons, not in foreign lands.

#8 dmbierlein on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 9:33pm

“They worried over every word of this amendment,”

That would explain that grammatical mess called the Second Amendment.

#9 Richard (Guest) on Tuesday January 31, 2017 at 11:12pm

I’m glad CFI is standing up for the rights of Muslims. You are sending a message that we atheists/seculars may be critical of Islam, but we support Muslims.

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