No Desire to Stretch the Truth

April 1, 2014

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

Yes, it's April Fool's Day, but please breathe a sigh of relief that your Morning Heresy isn't playing. No (intentional) hoaxes here.

Have you grown to hate April Fool's Day as much as me? You can thank a pope

Our CEO Ron Lindsay wonders if biblical believers might want to distance themselves from God as portrayed in Noah (also now on HuffPo):

Let’s not mince words: if the story of the Flood is to be believed, God is a moral monster. To say his response to the alleged wickedness of humans is disproportionate is a gross understatement. Moreover, God engages in conduct that we would expect from the worst dictators, namely collective punishment that sweeps in the innocent along with the guilty. Children, presumably, were among those drowned (unless we assume that wicked adults had no offspring) as were most all of the animals, who bore no responsibility whatsoever for the misdeeds of humans. Intentionally drowning a kitten is conduct we’d expect of some psychopathic juvenile, not a loving deity. 

Point of Inquiry applies some science to an investigation of the murky world of the sex trafficking industry, as Lindsay Beyerstein talks to the Urban Institute's Meredith Dank

Newsweek ain't what it used to be, as Ben Dooley at Mother Jones exposes the magazine's new owners' ties to charismatic Korean pastor David Jang and his media empire.

Creationist South Carolina lawmakers block the adoption of a state fossil, an idea from an 8-year-old girl. Good job, guys, make sure you squash that love of science and knowledge. UPDATE: Looks like the objection has been lifted.

UN climate group: Yep, screwed. And we're poised to get screwed-er.

I have a huge problem with this headline from a post by Ashutosh Jogalekar which reads, "The House of Representatives Committee on Science is turning into a national embarrassment." Come on. "Turning into"??? It has been for years

The last domino of a Florida fake-psychic family falls as the daughter-in-law of Rose Marks is sentenced to 3.5 years. 

Alyssa Rosenberg at WaPo says with shows like The Good Wife and Cosmos (which she has written as "Cosmo"), atheism might be getting a fairer shake on TV than usual. 

Our ally, Saudi Arabia, has declared atheism equivalent to terrorism

Ah, the good old days of prehistoric humanity, when we lived in total harmony with nature. Actually, turns out, we never did

Bill Cooke takes to the CFI blog to cheer on the UN's children's rights committee as they put pressure on the Vatican:

The Holy See’s response to the criticisms has been pathetic. It said that it had no jurisdiction over its priests in countries around the world, and that its ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Child applied only to the Vatican City itself. The disingenuousness of this reply beggars belief. 

But guys! The US Council of Bishops (as I call them, the Legion of Doom) just investigated themselves and found that they are even BETTER at protecting kids than they thought!

Our überlibrarian Tim Binga looks at some skeptical works on hoaxes for April 1, and reminds us today, "if you hear something that is pretty unbelievable, use some of your critical thinking skills before you react." 

Speaking of which, hold on to your hats, because Rick Dyer, the guy with the Bigfoot corpse, says he was only kidding.  

Friend-of-the-blog Rob Boston of Americans United will enlighten minds about what religious freedom does and doesn't mean as he speaks to CFI-DC on April 27

10 cancer myths you need no longer believe. (Poor sharks.) 

Already the victims of mob violence, Muslims in Burma are now about to be subject to new religious restrictions by the government

A man is swept out to sea during a baptism ceremony in Santa Barbara, and so far no luck in recovering him

You, too, can take an adult "enrichment" course in how to develop your third eye

Darwin also thought homeopathy was ridiculous

Quote of the Day

Doctors at the Jane Phillips Medical Center in Oklahoma, a Catholic medical center, are told they are not allowed to prescribe birth control, meaning almost no doctors in the area can. An anonymous woman quoted in the piece reacts to the idea that there may be a workaround if the birth control is not prescribed for the purpose of birth control:

I was told that my physician has been instructed that they can no longer write prescriptions for birth control as birth control. This effects me because I take birth control as birth control. There are other ways to receive birth control, for example headaches, cramps, excessive bleeding — but I have none of those symptoms. I was given the impression that birth control for those [non-contraceptive] reasons would be overlooked, but I have no desire to stretch the truth or fabricate a reason. This is between me and my physician. This is about MY health care. Why should we have to commit borderline insurance fraud because I want to maintain my health care? 

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