Negative Ninjas

February 26, 2014

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

Mitt Romney and John McCain are among the Republicans calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the anti-gay "religious freedom" bill passed by the legislature, and she is expected to do so

Eric Sasson at TNR calls these new "religious freedom" bills "the new stand-your-ground laws":

Purporting to be against discrimination, these lawmakers are trying to use the victim card against the very people they want to discriminate against.  

Indiana's House, for now at least, ditches its own "religious freedom" bill

Early screenings of the new Cosmos are happening in cities across the country, and we have some of the low-down. CFI-Indiana is among those having a premier viewing party on the 9th.

US News says they checked, and retiring congressman Rush Holt is not a secret atheist. But he is "questioning."

Skeptics post pieces exposing the malarkey of John Edward (like this) to one of the fake psychic's Facebook event pages, he deletes them, and writes:

Hi there everyone! Hope you are having an amazing night! Please do not let the negative ninja's drag you down. Many bad apples posting tonight looks like those in the darkness have nothing better to do! What's your favorite way to deal with negative energy?

Well, John, one way like to deal with negative energy is to rage against the misuse of apostrophes. But that's just me. 

CPAC un-invites American Atheists. 

Kylie Sturgess does a best-of for The Token Skeptic podcast, and it's got me!  

The FDA considers a new technique for preventing birth defects that involves, get this, three genetic parents

Hemchhaya De of India's Telegraph gives a good overview of the debate over the country's law that prohibits written works (including tweets, apparently) that are found to be "outraging...religious feelings," such as Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus.

New Pew survey shows increased positive feelings toward LGBT Americans across all religious and political groups, with a 21 percentage point jump in favor of same-sex marriage from a decade ago.

Small, positive steps: Treasurer of Boone County in Missouri, Nicole Galloway, says she'll recognize same-sex relationships in claims on the county. Reports the Tribune:

For Boone County, Galloway's new policy means that a surviving same-sex spouse can claim money due their partner by proving their relationship with the marriage license issued in another state. The move takes an unnecessary worry off the shoulders of surviving spouses, Galloway said in a news release. 

An online petition looks to remove Katy Perry's new video "Dark Horse" from YouTube for being "blasphemous" to Islam.

Lesbian woman forced to watch an anti-gay evangelical video at her workplace in Petaluma, CA, and then fired her when she complained, loses a claim of anti-gay discrimination. Wow.

Tim Lambesis of the Christian rock band As I Lay Dying was not being very Jesusy, and is found guilty of hiring a hit man to kill his wife.  

Chris Tognotti has 5 handy refutations for when you're arguing in favor of atheism. 

Louise Antony anthony goes up against Gary Gutting in an immediately-tense interview/debate about atheism at NYT.

A new Frontline goes digging in the Vatican to document "the scandals that rocked Benedict's papacy." Was Ratzinger really "rocked"? Hmm.

Speaking of which, Ratzinger says there was nothing weird about his resignation, and that he still wears the white pope-uniform because, "At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available." Really? Anywhere? 

Meanwhile, Pope Fluffy disses arms dealers, and, in his own way, wonders, 'War, good God, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, amen.' 

Russell Crowe would really like the pope to see his new Noah movie.  

Oh, one more Vatican thing. At the Holy See, the Holy Spirit ain't the only spirits they're into

Emily Willingham tells you how to promote a conspiracy theory in 5 easy steps

Shock of shocks, the "spontaneous baptisms" of magachurcher Steven Furtick are staged

Two publishers of scientific papers un-publish 120 of them after just discovering (and this makes me sad) that they were all computer-generated gibberish. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet baa weep grahna weep ninny bong.

Josh Rosenau takes issue with the idea that there was ever a "scientific consensus" for a flat Earth, as some global warming deniers like to say:

The idea of a globular earth was first bruited about for theological/numerological/philosophical reasons, and was established as a consensus well before a recognizably modern science could be said to exist. ... The modern flat Earth movement starts with Samuel Rowbotham, who started developing flat Earth arguments under the pen name Parallax in the 1830s. 

AHA wants a WWI memorial cross taken off government property in Maryland. 

Quote of the Day

Brook Wilensky-Lanford says that when it comes to separating the allegorical from the historical in the Bible, it usually comes down to politics:

Basically, the Bible (or other sacred scripture) is “historical” when it suits the purposes of the religious institution or tradition, and just “spiritual” when it doesn’t.  

* * *  

Image via Shutterstock. 

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta

Comments:

#1 Paddy (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 9:06am

For the record, As I Lay Dying weren’t a Christian band, more Christians in a band.  No mention of God or Jesus or any of the usual Christian tropes in their songs.

Tim Lambesis has also confirmed on his blog that he has “lost his faith”

So this isn’t a story of a Christina singer in a Christian band doing something un-Christian, this is a dude in a band tried to kill his wife. 

I’m all for calling out the harm religion does, or the hypocrisy of the religious, but in this case, it’s simply not a relevant issue.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 1:40pm

“un-publish”

Do they imagine themselves Amazon or Apple, with the power to reach into people’s libraries and erase stuff?

Unlike the spoon, there is no “un-publish”.

100 of the 120 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  It’s important to name and shame.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 1:49pm

“across all religious and political groups”

Not quite.  As the chart shows clearly, the Unaffiliated category (you know, us) became more hostile toward same-sex marriage.  Some speculate this may be because people leaving the church take their bigotries with them when they leave.  Or it might be due to interpreting the question “does same-sex marriage go against your religious beliefs” literally, due to the prerequisite of having religious beliefs.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.