April 15, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh goes off the deep end in attacking freethinkers for criticizing religion (emphasis mine):
I consider such writings as not free thinking but filthy words. Why anyone would write such things? It's not at all acceptable if anyone writes against our prophet or other religions. This is a characteristic fault, expression of distorted or filthy mindset. I hope no one would write such filthy things. ... Everyone should maintain decency. Otherwise in case of any uncivilised attitude, the government wouldn't take the responsibility.
Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee vetoes that super-dumb bill that would have made the Bible the official state book, saying:
In addition to the constitutional issues with the bill, my personal feeling is that this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text. If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn't be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance. If we are recognizing the Bible as a sacred text, then we are violating the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Tennessee by designating it as the official state book.
How's this for a lede? Zack Kopplin at The Daily Beast looks into the hiring practices of some churches: "If you want to work for the Twin Cities Bible Church, you will have to disclose whether you were raped as a child." And so he reports that several churches are discriminating in hiring against anyone who admits to having ever been sexually abused.
Meanwhile, a priest in Melbourne puts the sexual abuse of children by clergy on the same level as "adulterous women." That'll play well.
ISIS puts Rep. Keith Ellison and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin on a "death list" in its magazine Dabiq.
Dean Reynolds at CBS News shows how the sudden rash of anti-LGBT laws in states around the country can largely be traced to one organization: the right-wing Liberty Counsel.
Ramon Casha at The Times of Malta considers the changing religious landscape in his country, and talks up humanism:
I am going to be a bit presumptuous here and say that a significant number of people only say they’re Catholic because they don’t know what else to answer, or simply feel no need to identify as anything else.
Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward watch a LOT of Tyler Henry's psychic show on E! so you don't have to.
Cheryl Eddy at io9 asks the Finding Bigfoot guys what the hell is taking so long for them to, you know, find Bigfoot, and as you can imagine the answers are evasive. This was also dumb, from Matt Moneymaker:
If someone has an encounter, they should try to overcome their initial shock and horror, and be as overtly friendly as possible. Hold up your hand and wave as if it’s a person you’ve been wanting to meet.
So this is a story about, um, particular, um, implements for the, uh, augmentation of, you know, carnal activities, you understand, and anyhow they are apparently made of special crystals that have "perfect molecular structures that can positively effect our electro-magnetic fields." So, you know, bonus!
Trump evades and evades on a question about "religious liberty" aka discrimination in hiring.
A court in India looks at whether witnesses must swear to God or on a religious text.
More is now known about the 300-million-year-old "Tully monster," which was a vertebrate with eyestalks, characterized as "a weird, Dr. Seuss-like creature."
Some guy whose name is, hilariously, "Ed Manners" says that church-state separation came from the KKK. And a newspaper published it!
Quote of the Day:
I give you the mystery of asparagus pee. Happy weekend.
Original image by Shutterstock.
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