It’s Almost an Embarrassment

April 11, 2013

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

Okay, my nerd brain just exploded, reformed itself into a new nerd brain, and then exploded againHere's a panel discussion with Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Brian Greene, Ira Flatow, Neal Stephenson (!!!), Tracy Day, and Lawrence Krauss. 

The Bangladesh crisis spirals further out of control: Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of a Bangladeshi newspaper, is arrested for printing quotes from the persecuted atheist bloggers, or, "inciting people by publishing defamatory comments against religion." Stay tuned for more from CFI on this.

The lower house of Russia's parliament approves a brand new anti-blasphemy law, prohibiting offending anyone's "religious feelings."  

David Niose on the fundamental problem with blasphemy laws:

One of the many problems with the concept of protecting religion from defamation is that ideas (including religious ideas) cannot be defamed – only people can be defamed.  

The White House moves to block a subpoena from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, which wants administration documents regarding the formulation of contraceptive coverage policy. 

Tunisian school allegedly bars a female student wearing a face veil from entering, so Islamists storm the school and attempt to kill the director. 

Pat Robertson says that if the US plays a role in dividing God's land, man, the Lord is going to be cheesed off

At Friendly Atheist, I turn up an interview Kay Warren (wife of Rick and co-founder of Saddleback) gave to Sally Quinn about her struggle with doubts about God

Oh, North Carolina. Two new bills emerge having to do with student-led prayer in public schools. 

Hutterite religious commune wants the Supreme Court to hear its case resisting moves by Montana to regulate its farming business. (Yes, I had to look up what a Hutterite is.)

Zombie Jesus hamster?    

German Lopez at Citybeat castigates conservatives for "saying religious institutions and employers should get special economic treatment from the government because they are religious. That is the direct opposite of separation of church and state." 

The flogging of a rape victim, the attempted murder of a gay blogger; The Independent looks at the dark side of` Maldives, now in thrall to religious extremists. 

IndieGogo project looks to fund a documentary on clergy who have lost their faith: Refusing My Religion.

Chris Mooney looks at how global warming deniers attempt to bolster their case by mocking Al Gore

Romanian bishop is sued for not exorcising farting demons. Yep. 

And lo, <thundercrash!> the latest Human Bible episode did manifest, and it spake upon the listeners about guys named Herod and something called "biblical feminism."  

Bridgett Crutchfield on the need for black-centric atheist groups, and why they're not "racist":

Many of us are disowned from our biological families. These organizations serve, for many of us, as extended families.  

Julie Mankowski of the GW Secular Society trumpets her group's successful event with Nathan Phelps. 

Theo Hobson in UK's Spectator says that New Atheism is over, Dawkins is 'so yesterday,' and it's nicer atheists who now run the show. 

Connie Willis (an investigator of "strange anomalies," as opposed to your run-of-the-mill anomalies) touts the UFO revelations to come at a pretend-congressional hearing.

Cranberries won't cure your urinary tract infection, no matter what Big Cran tells you. 

Hand it to the Seventh-Day Adventists. 150 years on, they still wish the world would end. One Adventist says "it’s almost an embarrassment" that it hasn't happened yet. No doubt. 

Media Matters: Congressman cites Noah's flood as evidence that global warming is a hoax, media yawns

Kevin Drum on the real motivations behind school vouchers:

Conservative intellectuals like to make the case that they support school vouchers because the free market will produce better educational outcomes, especially for inner-city kids stuck in terrible schools. And I suppose that maybe conservative intellectuals really do support vouchers for that reason. The problem is that those of us who are over the age of 40 and have three-digit IQs remember where this all started: with segregated Christian schools in the South who were denied tax-exempt status in the 70s. 

Kraken vs. Galactic Empire!!

Quote of the Day  

Ali Razeghi, a 27-year-old Iranian scientist, who claims to have designed a time machine:

My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users. It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you. 

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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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