Curious and Teachable

April 5, 2013

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

North Carolina's House Speaker says the bill that would allow for the establishment of a state religion is dead.

Breaking news, via NYT:

A federal judge has ruled that the government must make the most common morning-after pill available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger. 

Hemant Mehta weighs in on the New-Atheists-as-racists meme:

. . . the facts are on the atheist side even if eloquence doesn’t always accompany it. The people who want to portray Harris (and Richard Dawkins and others) as Islamophobic are adept at taking their words out of context and, when they can’t, taking the least generous interpretations of them. They have to work overtime to make it look like the New Atheists hate Muslims because the truth is there’s no real issue with Muslims at all. 

Ben Radford at LiveScience on the partisan delineations of certain conspiracy theories. National Geographic fact-checks 6 conspiracy theories.

In a rare change of pace, Pakistan court acquits a Christian man sentenced to death for blasphemy. 

Sharon Hill posts video of her talk on atheism and skepticism to PA Nonbelievers.

Headline of the Day: From Ars Technica - Om nom nom: Black hole dismembers and eats a large planet 

Brawl in an immigration center in Indonesia between Muslims and Buddhists ends in the death of eight people

According to The Vatican Today, Pope Francis means to continue the "decisive action regarding cases of sexual abuse" begun by Ratzinger, and it seems no irony was intended. 

Either way, the pope is a hit with US Catholics right now, with 84% approval (Ratzinger was in the 60s). 

Kenny Loggins died for your sins. In the danger zone. 

Malou Innocent on what the US can do for women's rights in Afghanistan (spoiler: not much): "the entrenchment of women’s rights across Afghanistan . . . are beyond the ability of the United States to uphold."`  

American Humanist Association sends an action alert on behalf of the atheist bloggers arrested in Bangladesh.  

Study looks promising for the pain-relieving properties of "cupping," or it might just be the placebo effect. 

The Economist reviews the news books from AC Grayling and Frans de Waal (a recent Point of Inquiry guest). 

Art exhibition in Berlin aims to demystify Jews and Judaism with real folks "on display" to chat and answer questions. 

God will punish Starbucks if it doesn't stop supporting marriage equality. I hope that's wrong, for the sake of my considerable chemical addiction. 

You probably already read this by now, but here's Bill O'Reilly kind of agreeing with us, sort of, on the issue of marriage equality:

The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals: … ‘We're Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.' That’s a compelling argument. And to deny that, you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible." 

Quote of the Day 

The late Roger Ebert:

What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.

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