March 19, 2013

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

Dr. Elizabeth O'Casey, CFI's Geneva UN representative, takes the UN to task for not including the nonreligious in resolutions on freedom of religion:

The EU's refusal to include any direct reference to non-believers as a group meriting special protection from religious intolerance fails people like Kacem. It also fails the one in six people across the globe who do not self-identify as religious. That's a lot of people to fail. 

She of Pandagon and Slate (and a speaker at Women in Secularism 2), Amanda Marcotte, is the guest on the latest Point of Inquiry

Kimberly Winston covers atheists' exploration of religious practices, like Lent, and talks to our own Tom Flynn about why he thinks it's not so smart.

Ronald Bailey at Reason, in a kind of response to the arguments of Point of Inquiry's Chris Mooney, looks at where each of the major parties come down on accepting scientific truths

Charles Nevin at More Intelligent Life explores whether there's validity to the idea that we as a society are becoming less gullible (drops in religious adherence, fewer UFO sightings, etc.). 

The Empire wants you to think it was the Rebels who blew up the Death Star. Now who's gullible?  

At Skeptical Inquirer, Eve Siebert shows how creationists like to use other works of fiction to help bolster their own. In this case, Beowulf. 

A task force in Bangladesh will be combing through Internet social networks looking for blasphemy.

David Gibson on how the new pope seems to, so far, be walking the walk of being a more down-to-Earth (as it were) pontiff. 

There's a new pope, so you gotta have the Pope Song, right? 

Hipster Evangelical pastor Rob Bell (the guy who says Gandhi is not going to Hell) comes out in favor of gay marriage, solidifying his status as persona non grata with the rest of his religion. 

Wisconsin State Journal reports on the Clergy Project, with one closeted-atheist pastor saying, "I know there will be anger. The reason: I’m not who they think I am."

CFI-DC will be living it up with AC Grayling, doing a fundraising lunch and then hearing him lecture on The God Argument, April 7.

U.S. Supreme Court nixes American Atheists' challenge to Kentucky's law saying that God protects us from terrorists. 

Archbishop of Durban Wilfrid Fox Napier, wants pedophile priests to not be treated like criminals:

He said he knew at least two priests, who became paedophiles after themselves being abused as children. "Now don't tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don't think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged." 

Johnnie Moore at FoxNews.com says Dawkins was "walloped" at a recent debate with a preacher, and that "actually no one really is irreligious." 

Just found out Ben Radford has his own fansite for that movie Falling Down where Michael Douglas breaks a lot of stuff. So, you know, I worry.  

Quote of the Day 

Friendly Atheist has the introduction to Dale McGowan's Atheism for Dummies:

Atheist. If that word makes you flinch, you’re not alone. People are conditioned to flinch at certain words. When my son came home in seventh grade and said, “You know what? I think I’m a communist,” I nearly flinched down a flight of stairs. He’d learned about systems of government, you see, and the one where everybody shared what they had sounded good to him. But I grew up in the 1970s, and before I could actually learn anything about communism, I’d heard it hissed so many times that I couldn’t think about it at all. All I could do was flinch.

The same is true of atheism; however, it’s much less flinch-worthy than you may think. And one purpose of this book is to bring that flinch down to a mild tic. 

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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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