Armchair Apocalyptists and Newspaper Exegetes

February 21, 2013

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

Just posted yesterday (we're really excited about this): Point of Inquiry's big live show (on video no less!) for the AAAS conference with guest Steven Pinker. 

I missed this one a couple weeks ago, but it's good. Daniel Burke explores how notions of the "Antichrist" reflect a current era's anxieties, meaning that current fears among "armchair apocalyptists" and "newspaper exegetes" is of a Muslim Antichrist. (And not for nothin', I'm going to go ahead and recommend not doing a Google image search for "Antichrist.")

Sunday is the Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers, and CFI branches are holding events, including NYC and DC.  

CFI-Indiana's Reba Boyd Wooden is among those quoted in an Indy Star piece on a new bill that would require a transvaginal ultrasound to acquire RU-486. 

Filed under "No Kidding": UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child says that US legal authorities have been way too easy on the Catholic Church in regards to child sex abuse.

Big NYT Magazine piece by Michael Moss is a must-read, about how the food industry brings an enormous amount of research to bear to make their products as addictive as possible. (And I'm never buying Yoplait yogurt again.)

Secular Woman announces travel grants for women looking to attend the Women in Secularism 2 conference. 

Julie Mankowski of GWU's Secular Society reports on her group's sit-down with some Dominican friars:

The friars used many metaphors, jokes, and scholarly jargon to enhance their speeches. I could not help but note their ability to find tangents that involved intellectual scholars, such as Stephen Hawking, to support their logic. They rarely used simplistic language and never failed to throw in a personal joke or two along the way. 

Mother Jones reports on the Oklahoma bill, just passed the House, that shields students from getting a bad grade in science class if they turn in work asserting the truth of creationism. 

Kylie Sturgess on Token Skeptic talks to RDF's Sean Faircloth about his tour to learn about secularism in Australia. 

Bill O'Reilly, who seems to be obsessed with high-profile murders, will next release a book about "Killing Jesus." I admit, I totally thought Hemant was kidding when he linked to this

"Minnesota Iceman" Bigfoot hoax-corpse sells for $20,000.

A deputy at the local sheriff's office clears up a UFO sighting in Florida: "They were people at the beach lighting Paper Hot Air things with candles!" 

Harvard Crimson reports on Eddie Izzard's acceptance of the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. 

Atheists on microfinance site Kiva have now loaned over $10,000,000

Quote of the Day

A tough one. Naima Washington, a champion of the Day of Solidarity, writes with deep disapproval of the movement's failure to address and promote black members:

Among the ‘faith’ communities, even those with the most racist and sexist doctrines, continue to do whatever it takes (and make no apologies) as they aggressively recruit and make space in their communities for people of color.  Based on their disinterest in any recruiting efforts, the leadership of the secular community is apparently very proud of the fact that they, on the other hand, have few people of African descent in leadership positions as well as very few members.  While there is no genuine intent or concerted plan to change this situation, many attempt to explain this phenomena by claiming that black folk are just too addicted to religion; otherwise, those of us who aren’t addicted to religion are either nominal or closet atheists, and therefore, need not be taken seriously.

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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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Comments:

#1 Davey (Guest) on Thursday February 21, 2013 at 10:44am

“(And not for nothin’, I’m going to go ahead and recommend not doing a Google image search for “Antichrist.”)”

Sorta like, “Wet paint, do not touch.”  Geez-o, where else can you see results that bring together Barack Obama, Benedict XVI, Marilyn Manson, George W. Bush, AND Willem Dafoe?

#2 Paul the Morning Heretic on Thursday February 21, 2013 at 11:56am

I warned you.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Friday February 22, 2013 at 7:07pm

I expected to see lots more Obama, and a lot less art cinema, in the image search.  It’s a good thing.

(By the way, these captcha questions aren’t correct in all contexts.  For example snow is often regarded as white (typically “snow white” as opposed to say ivory or eggshell), but it’s black on the sides of streets, yellow where certain critters have used it, and blue if you’re inside a lot of it.  In green light, it’s green.  At microscopic scales, one flake has many colors.  I’m always concerned I’ll pick an unpopular correct answer, and be identified as a computer just because I’m detail-oriented.)

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