I Am Just a Little Fish

April 26, 2017

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

Here's a cool thing: In the latest Richard Dawkins Foundation newsletter just out this morning, we have an exclusive excerpt from Annabelle Gurwitch's new book Wherever You Go, There They Are, provided just for us by Gurwitch herself. Remember, she's chatting with Dawkins in Boulder on May 22

The creator of the misogynistic "Red Pill" men's rights Reddit forum, "pk_atheist," is revealed by Bonnie Bacarisse of The Daily Beast to be New Hampshire GOP state legislator Robert Fisher. In one example posting, Fisher says, "I'm going to say it- Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really." 

Writing at WaPo, Jacob Mchangama of Denmark calls for his country to abolish its blasphemy law. The Economist explains why it's so freaking hard to even approach reforming Pakistan's deadly blasphemy law.

Saudi Arabia sentences to death one Ahmad Al-Shamri, charged with blasphemy and atheism for social media posts they didn't like.  

Skeptical Inquirer has Kendrick Frazier's interview with James Randi, which took place live on stage at last year's CSICon. 

51 members of the House write to Trump asking for a new "religious liberty" executive order so more people can safely be awful to LGBTQ folks and fewer women get access to contraceptive services.

Rod Dreher (who, remember, is very scared of the gays) says that liberal religion will go extinct, leaving only conservative/orthodox believers and the secular.

AdWeek reports that Facebook is testing a new way to present related articles that pierce the filter bubble, giving "easier access to additional perspectives and information," and Google is trying to downplay fake news in its algorithm.

David Remnick minces no words in his assessment of Trump's first 100 days in office: "Trump’s way of lying is not a joke; it is a strategy, a way of clouding our capacity to think, to live in a realm of truth." 

Tausif Sanzum remembers Xulhaz Mannan, murdered by Islamists in Bangladesh one year ago. 

Lawrence Krauss talks to Alan Alda for the New York Public Library Podcast

Bertha Vazquez has a new TIES update, including her participation in the March for Science. 

Franklin Graham and other religious conservatives are mad that UC Davis has vending machines with Plan B pills

WTSP in Florida talks about the stigma of atheism with an interview with Jim Peterson of Atheists of Florida. 

Naturalish presents a history, both mythological and scientific, of the Kraken

A self-proclaimed psychic medium in Thailand seeks to prove his imperviousness to the physical world, stabs himself in the chest with a sword, and dies. Apparently it was supposed to fall apart before impaling him. Said one local resident, "This is a tradition that happens every year. The sword normally breaks but this time it went inside him." Fishy. 

Is that a tree on Mars?????? No it's a rock. Because that's what's on Mars. Rocks. 

Quote of the Day:

Wouldn't have expected this. In his blasphemy trial, Jakarta’s outgoing governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (aka "Ahok") uses the Finding Nemo defense:

How can I explain to kindergarten kids that I am doing this for the good of many? I asked them, have you watched Finding Nemo? Do you remember a scene where Nemo tried to save a school of fish getting caught in a fishing net? He knew he could get squashed. His father knew it too. But … he let Nemo save the fishes. When Nemo asked the fishes to swim down instead of following the net did they listen in the first instance? When they finally did, and the fishes were freed, did they thank Nemo? I get asked a lot by my detractors; ‘Who do you think you are? Why should we listen to you?’ I am just a little fish named Nemo trying to save a school of fish named Jakarta. Even though we are going against the current, we must be firm. 

Just keep swimming, y'all.

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Original image from This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. 

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