We Swoop in with Our Wall of Separation and Make Everything Right

February 6, 2013

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

Britain's House of Commons votes in favor for marriage equality by a huge margin. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is set to extend certain benefits to same-sex couples within its ranks this week.

Science writer extraordinaire Carl Zimmer is the guest on the latest Point of Inquiryand he's got viruses! To talk about. Viruses to talk about. Come on, people. 

CFI's Debbie Goddard declares that the skepto-atheist movement should be much more involved in education and poverty:

I am frustrated that we-the-movement only seem to get involved with public education when a teacher puts Bible quotes on the walls of her classroom, when a football coach leads his high school team in prayer, when a science teacher spends time promoting intelligent design, when an administration prevents a student from starting an atheist club, or when a high school graduation is scheduled to take place in a church. Then we swoop in with our science advocates and Wall of Separation to make everything right…but don’t seem to worry about the fact that the high school’s graduation rate might be less than 50% and the shared science textbooks are older than the students. 

Black Skeptics Los Angeles finds itself able to offer four $1000 scholarships to college-bound South Los Angeles students thanks to the secular community's donations.

Religious studies professor Stephen Prothero's prescription for getting church and state less entangled:

I have been arguing for some time that an injection of religious literacy into our body politic would inoculate our civic space against many of the silly religious arguments that pervade our public square. If U.S. citizens knew more about the Bible, would politicians still be able to get away with simplistic (and often erroneous) claims that their views on abortion or capital punishment or tax policy are “biblical”? But the best way to restore some church/state balance in our public life is for American citizens to say, “enough is enough.”    

Rapid City, South Dakota debates prayers at city council meetings as FFRF legal action looms. From the AP:

Only two of the 15 people who testified opposed the prayers. Cole Bedford, a senior at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and a self-described atheist, said he favored a moment of silence. It is important for non-Christians to know they have an equal voice in government, a message that holding religious prayers does not send, he said.

“This is not a challenge to anyone’s faith. It’s an appeal to your empathy,” he said. 

Niagara parents fight a school board policy allowing for the distribution of Gideon's bibles to students. 

RTV in Indianapolis gives completely one-sided, uncritical report on parents giving homeopathic "remedies" to their kids when sick, other than "some argue that there is no sound scientific evidence that they really work." Some? You think?  

Discovery of fossils of a prehistoric crocodile thing in Scotland obviously means that the Loch Ness Monster is real. 

Godless, hedonistic, communist San Francisco to begin enforcing parking meters even on Sundays.  

At the CFI On Campus blog, Thomas J. Coleman III wants you to take part in a big research survey to better understand the nuances between nonbelievers

Vlad Chituc at HuffPo calls for a simplification of atheistic labels.   

Rep. Paul "Lies-from-the-Pit-of-Hell" Broun is running for the US Senate. Great.

Quote of the Day

Taslima Nasreen writes a letter to the happily-recovering Malala Yousafzai:

Malala, you say that you are recovering because of god and prayers. But the truth is, you were shot because of god and prayers, and you are recovering because of medical science and skilled doctors.  

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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