Pink Monopoly and Pink Pens

February 27, 2014

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

Ensaf Haider, wife of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi, gives a heartbreaking interview to IFEX:

Raef's health has deteriorated; he developed diabetes when he was first arrested, and he has faced problems with his heart. He also suffers from unsanitary detention conditions and from malnutrition, but I have not heard anything about him being subjected to torture or anything of the sort. Despite all of this, his morale is very high and he is not broken. ... My life has changed 180 degrees, it is enough to say that overnight I became both mother and father to my children, and I live in a daily nightmare of questions from my children about Raef. 

Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062. She says:  

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. 

Charles Blow says the GOP is giving up the support of a whole generation with bills like this one. They're also losing the Nones.

Ophelia Benson, one of the speakers at the upcoming Women in Secularism III, notes some of the things she's looking forward to about the event, which include Taslima Nasreen and this:

Susan Jacoby and Rebecca Goldstein are going to do an onstage conversation to talk about “Why Women Are Too Polite About Religion.” I look forward to that – it’s the other side of the “outspoken atheism is more of a guy thing” mistake. One reason people make that mistake is because a hell of a lot of people think that’s how things are divided: women do politeness and men do outspokenness. Women are pink and fluffy and need pink Monopoly and pink pens, and men are normal and sandpaperish and know how to be direct and frank. I look forward to hearing Susan Jacoby and Rebecca Goldstein skewering that notion. 

Gajah Mada University in Indonesia nixes a rule forbidding expressions of atheism. 

This is disappointing: Kalei Wilson's high school atheist group, which looked like it had scored a victory in North Carolina, is now not going to form, due to threats and harassment

CFI-DC's Simon Davis reminds me that author Jeff Sharlet gave an address which included discussion of the US political connections to Uganda's anti-gay furor at a CFI event in 2011. Uganda comes in around the 18-minute mark. 

An appeal hearing for Asia Bibi's blasphemy charges in Pakistan were supposed to be held two weeks ago -- three years after being filed -- but nothing has happened yet. Why? "One of the judges on the division bench had gone on leave that day." No new date has been set. 

Left-wing media watchdog group Media Matters releases a report saying that Reuters' coverage of climate change has been problematic since the arrival of a "climate skeptic" editor. 

9th Circuit says an injunction to take down The Innocence of Muslims from YouTube can be granted, not because of "blasphemy," but because one of the actors is purported to have been misled as to what kind of film was being made. 

Pope Fluffy allows the ordination of a married man as a priest in the Maronite Catholic Church. 

About a quarter of folks think 7 really is a lucky number, and about a fifth think knocking on wood is, too. More from a new Harris Poll

The Alaska bill to allow public funding of private and religious schools through vouchers passes the state's judiciary committee.  

Damon Linker, who recently has it in for us secularists, thinks the trend away from religion is partly illusory, existing in the minds of "intellectuals and academics who pine for a religious experience they can't quite seem to achieve." Aw.

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown has his hide chapped by some letters to the editor which, to him, mistake what does and does not define "Christian" and "atheist":

If you go to Brunei, don't say these 19 wordsTry these instead

Theologians at the Vatican say, yep, Pope Paul VI cured a baby of brain damage through magic. Well, that settles that.

repeal effort is underway in Louisiana to undo the 2013 law that allowed the teaching of creationism in public schools. 

Oklahoma Gazette profiles Bryan Farha and his new book, Pseudoscience and Deception: The Smoke and Mirrors of Paranormal Claims. Farha is a Skeptical Inquirer contributor.

New lawsuit against Narconon looks to expose it as an alleged Scientology recruitment scheme

Steve Ahlquist questions the wisdom of American Atheists' attempt to be part of the CPAC conference (from which they were just uninvited).

Ben Radford does a profile of a false-accusation case.  

There's water on them thar exoplanets

Quick note: No Morning Heresy tomorrow because I have a thing. You'll be okay! 

Also, RE today's image: The Morning Heretic would love to play Powerpuff Girls Monopoly.  

Quote of the Day

Judge Orlando Garcia, who rules Texas's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional:

Texas' current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason. ... Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.  

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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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