April 19, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
We have a must-read from Carrie Poppy at Skeptical Inquirer: an exposé of sorts of the inner working of Peter Popoff's televangelist operation, from a former employee.
Point of Inquiry this week talks to journalist Tamar Wilner about another instance of a person who claims he can heal you and almost certainly can't, the case of Stanislaw Burzynski.
Reason Rally 2016 announces that members of the Wu-Tang Clan will perform at the rally.
Arif Rahman comments on the victim blaming of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh:
The wording of the premier who has been the chief executive of the government since the questionable one party election in earlier 2014, has effectively given the killers a green signal that they can carry on their business and the government will not interfere. “Everyone has to hold their tongue, has to maintain a level of decency in what the write. If they write something provocative and something bad happens, the government will not take responsibility.” Translated into understandable language this means, “if someone wants to kill someone because of what the later wrote, the government will do nothing to prevent it”
At the Dhaka Tribune, AKM Wahiduzzaman says:
It is the government’s responsibility to seek out the killers and ensure exemplary punishment so that no one can get the courage to kill anybody in the name of anything, either religion or politics. The head of the state simply cannot afford to say: “The government will not take the responsibility.” It is the government’s responsibility, and it has to take it. It is our administration’s task to find the killers of all victims, including atheist bloggers, and ensure safety for all citizens, instead of pointing fingers at them
Chris Sevier, a Texas same-sex marriage opponent and serial stalker, is suing to be able to marry his computer in order to make a point about the gays or something.
Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant, signs into law the state's "Church Protection Act," that allows churches to form little vigilante squads among their flocks, carrying concealed firearms in case of invasion or something. Oh, and:
The legislation also allows Mississippi residents eligible to own a gun to carry a firearm in holsters without a permit.
I don't see how this could possibly go wrong. Larry Decker, head of the SCA, does, however, and says:
Religious institutions are already exempt from taxation, financial transparency, and many civil rights laws. By signing this bill, Governor Bryant has now exempted them from homicide.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the recent "religious liberty"/pro-discrimination laws in states are crap:
The North Carolina and Mississippi laws, and similar legislation proposed in other states, perverts the meaning of religious liberty and perpetuates homophobia, transphobia, marginalizes the transgender and gay community and has no place in our society.
Ben Radford takes a detailed look at the latest numbers from GLAAD and Annenberg on LGBT and minority representation on scripted television shows, and considers what proportions constitute a success for diversity.
Ted Cruz's Senate staff refuse to meet with Muslim constituents organized by the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations.
New York state may nix its "Blue law" that prohibits the sale of alcohol before noon on Sundays. Says Assemblyman Sean Ryan:
Whether it is the separation of church and state, we should not be imposing one religion’s Sabbath day upon everybody else, or if it’s the simple fact that we should treat adults like adults, and not like children.
May these Kiwis' marriage be blessed by His Noodly Appendage.
FFRF and the Antelope Valley Freethinkers in California are suing the local school district for not informing students of the availability of scholarships for the irreligious.
UK's Justice Secretary says that Muslim prison chaplains are distributing extremist propaganda to inmates. "The material included homophobic and misogynistic sentiments and encouraged the murder of apostates." The report was leaked, and not yet cleared for publication, so I dunno, I'd wait and see.
NASA is covering up the existence of space horseshoes. That is so NASA.
Dig the lede from an article about "goliards" from John Allen at Crux:
In Medieval Europe, the “goliards” were a class of clergy who roamed from town to town singing ribald Latin verse, living a debaucherous lifestyle steeped in the pleasures of the flesh, and amusing themselves by staging blasphemous versions of the Church’s sacred rites.
Yowza! The medieval Italians knew how to party!
Quote of the Day:
Science has always been vulnerable to infection by pseudoscience, which pretends to use the methods of science but subverts them in pursuit of an obsession. Instead of evidence-based policymaking, pseudoscience specialises in policy-based evidence-making.
Well played, sir.
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