New Religion: Not Liking Flu Shots

January 4, 2013

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

Buzzfeed rounds up some firsts for the 113th Congress (first Buddhist senator, first openly gay senator, etc.), but it's US News that focuses in Kyrsten Sinema as the first "none," as in "no religion."

The image to the right is from the Hindu American Foundation, which is pretty excited about the first Hindu congressperson, Tulsi Gabbard, here being sworn in by John Boehner on a Bhagavad Gita -- which I'm sure threw him for a loop.  

Reason magazine feature covers the growing entanglement between the Orthodox Church and Putin's state. 

NPR covers the plight of Greece's Philippos Loizos, the atheist responsible for the "blasphemous" parody Facebook page of "Elder Pastitsios." (More background here.)

8 Indiana hospital employees fired for refusing to get a flu vaccine. One attempt has been to make it a "religious exemption" -- sort of:

Hoover's lawyer, Alan Phillips, says his client had the right to refuse her flu shot under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination of employees. Religion is legally broad under the First Amendment, so it could include any strongly held belief, he said, adding that the belief flu shots are bad should suffice. "If your personal beliefs are religious in nature, then they are a protected belief," Phillips said. 

CFI's Sarah Kaiser profiles CFI On Campus afiiliate with the best acronym, "MU SASHA." Say it out loud, many times. (Bonus: MU SASHA includes former CFI intern-servant-hipster, and former Morning Heretic emergency fill-in, Tony Lakey! Hi, Tony!) 

CSI's Ben Radford at Discovery on the Sandy Hook student whose mother believes his psychic premonition kept him from school on the day of the massacre. 

Gay marriage bill heads to the floor of the Illinois state senate

Dallas Observer talks to Aron Ra about all that is wrong with a "Merry Christmas" bill being considered in the state legislature. 

UK atheist comedians begin their own church of sorts, The Sunday Assembly, "a godless gathering for people who want to hear funny and interesting people talk, sing songs and celebrate life."

AIDS patients in Gabia hospital treated only -- not complementarily -- with herbs

New free e-book from Bill Mutranowski, You Bloggin' to Me? How the Self Illusion Trolls Us and Why Skeptics Should Care, says skeptics are hampered by our attachment to old notions of "the Self."  

James Croft launches a new project, ROUSE Them, which is based on "a set of principles and resources for eliciting the best in other people." (FYI, "ROUSE" stands for Rodents Of Unusual Size....um....Ethics.) 

Quote of the Day

A creepy lecture from World Controller Mustapha Mond in Huxley's Brave New World that I rediscovered recently:
 
. . . civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise.

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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