I Am So Tired of Hearing About Your Doubts

March 6, 2015

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

Joining forces with our pals at the American Humanist Association, CFI has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court for the big Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage case. A snippet from our release:

“The Supreme Court is poised to make a historic decision, potentially extending the protections and benefits of marriage to all Americans,” said Nicholas Little, Legal Director of CFI. “If they affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry, they will have made truly momentous advancements for equal treatment under the law, secular government, and even the fundamental human need for love and companionship.”  

It's not just us. In fact, a titanic alliance of almost 400 super-corporations including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Comcast, Levi's, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, Wells Fargo, United Airlines, and more file their own joint brief in support of marriage equality. I bet ours is better, but good on you guys.

Also, we now have official documents from Egypt on the imprisonment of atheist student Sherif Gaber, outlining his "offenses" such as a refusal to acknowledge miracles and his espousal of atheism.

Desmond Tutu writes to King Salman about Raif Badawi. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the new Free Inquiry issue, which has lots of great stuff: An exposé on Hobby Lobby's president and his plans for Christian domination of the U.S., a great overview of the CFI/CSH/CSI merger from Ron and Tom, and of course the final essay from Avijit Roy

Here are two otherwise-unrelated stories that if they don't make clear to you why religion needs to get as far away from policy as possible, you're reading the wrong blog.

First, religious groups, including the Legion of Doom itself, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, are actively lobbying against a bill that would provide emergency contraception to, wait for it, migrant children who were raped and impregnated. Just to be very clear, religious groups are opposing that. Help for raped children. (We're part of a coalition working on this.) Okay, we clear? Okay. Next.

Second, an Arkansas state rep who runs a Christian childcare facility which has taken state funding despite being overtly sectarian (oh, and he's on a committee that allocates such funds), adopts a foster child, then abandons her to a former troubled employee, who rapes her. What is Rep. Justin Harris's response? He Bibles: “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” 

Barry Kosmin, CFI board member, is in the New York Times this morning, discussing his research on anti-Semitic bias among college students, in the context of a strangely backward debate on UCLA's campus.  

Sometimes it's just, like, I don't even know. Catholic magazine First Things hosts a lecture by its editor entitled "Against Critical Thinking." I just feel like, you know, they're not supposed to say that out loud, right?

American expat in the UAE disses his employer over Facebook, and is arrested for it

Hey man, we all have baggage. Including our DNA. Carl Zimmer at NYT:

The size of an animal’s or plant’s genome has essentially no relationship to its complexity, because a vast majority of its DNA is — to put it bluntly — junk. 

Lance and Zachary Dodes at Salon: Alcoholics Anonymous is pseudoscience, straight up. “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA.” 

Uh oh. I don't watch House of Cards, maybe I should (the pilot didn't grab me), but apparently we have another nasty atheist character in Frank Underwood. There is that No God But Funny contest... 

Foreign Policy looks at the efforts of India's prime minister Narendra Modi to make official the country's use of "traditional" medicine, with leeches and stuff.

Here's a good, quick explanation of homeopathy

Former New York Archbishop Edward Egan is dead

Chopra, man, he really can't take it

(Unintentionally Hilarious) Quote of the Day 

Here's an actual email into CFI, sadly typical. You can see a related image here.

Here is something for the skeptics. I am so tired of hearing about your doubts, this [video] was taken with a galaxy cell phone, I am an energy healer, what [sic] the energy emanate from MY Hands. Now what do you have to say
 
Ma'am, I have nothing to say. But your email did remind me of this.
* * *  

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 Code Monkey on Friday March 06, 2015 at 9:25am

What you say!!

#2 Randy on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 8:39am

“I bet ours is better, but good on you guys.”

Actually, yours is indeed better, because the arguments in the AHA/CFI brief are unique.  While it’s nice to confirm that equality is still good business, additional legal arguments are I think more helpful than additional data.

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