Podcasts Cause Cancer

May 17, 2016

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

Yesterday the Supreme Court made a non-ruling on Zubik v. Burwell, a non-decision, an sans-vertebra pronouncement that they were remanding the case back to the lower courts. Our legal guru Nick Little says:

How exasperating to now find ourselves back at square one, thanks to the Court’s failure to ensure the seamless provision of reproductive health care to the hundreds of thousands of women employed by religious non-profit organizations.

Pro-discrimination measures (cough-religious freedom-cough) are being snuck into the National Defense Authorization Act, and we want you to tell your congressmonster to cut that garbage out.

One particular "religious freedom" bill in Mississippi has something special about it: Instead of giving a blank check to religious beliefs in general, it singles out three of them: opposition to gay marriage, premarital sex, and that gender is determined at birth. That's it! No other religious beliefs matter! I guess!

Cell phones still don't cause brain cancer, most probably. But who holds their phones to their heads anymore? That's so 2006. Everyone knows that all voice communication is done over Skype and recorded and distributed as a podcast. Now podcasts, they cause cancer.

This is truly horrible, I'm almost sorry to mention it here: A man in China has his wife "steamed" by witch doctors to chase ghosts from her body, torturing and killing her in the process. Neil Connor at the UK's Telegraph reports:

The two men who had been "treating" the woman proceeded to place her inside a wooden barrel suspended over a large vat of slowly boiling water.  “She seemed okay at first," said Mr Yan. ... As scalding hot vapour began to pass through the barrel, he was told to fetch a needle needed for the exorcism. "When I returned the screaming had begun." 

It only gets worse from there. 

Justice Clarence Thomas, who is apparently constantly under assault for his religion and patriotism, tells Hillsdale College:

I admit to being unapologetically Catholic, unapologetically patriotic and unapologetically a Constitutionalist. ... Do not hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness. 

VICE interviews Steve Hill, the Satanic Temple guy running for the California Senate. Oh, and this was a fun thing to discover - Hill says:

We're setting up a chapter in Los Angeles. We've been doing that for several months now. We were supposed to meet at Center for Inquiry in Hollywood—they were going to let us have a space there in their offices. 

Oh! Well! Interesting! 

More anti-abortion lunacy in the states, as Indiana mandates funereal burials or cremation for aborted fetuses. What, no 21-gun salute? No display of U.S. air power overhead?

Depressed? Overheat yourself. Kastalia Medrano at Inverse interviews medical historian Dr. Edward Shorter about hyperthermia, and why he thinks it might have merit.

Naturopaths team up with supplement manufacturers to lobby states to be recognized as more like medical doctors, which they very much are not.

Interesting take on the whole what-if-an-asteroid-is-coming problem: It's actually one of the very few natural disasters we can actively prevent from happening. Potentially. 

Ken Ham is upset about the Reason Rally, and has a Twitter tantrum about it. Cool, more publicity for the rally! 

The alien megastructure is looking more like a bunch of comets

Quote of the Day:

Samantha Bee has a present for you: Ten minutes of education-through-mockery of the religious right

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Original image by Alexas_Photos. 

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 at 11:10am

China…. the story above is one reason I do not buy the claim that China is a country that just has a lot of atheists in it.  Plainly there is enough belief for a wife-steaming business to exist.  There may be not be a particular unifying name or dogma, but China sure has a lot of behaviors that are best described as religious.  Also, government disapproval probably means religious people aren’t as open about their beliefs.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday May 17, 2016 at 11:23am

“National Defense Authorization Act”... one of the committees (Rules, I think) just re-instated sexist discrimination by stripping out an update to equality law which would have removed a person’s gender as a consideration in draft registration requirements. (HB 4909, section 528—originally written as “striking ‘every male citizen’ and inserting ‘all citizens’”)  As it stands, a person’s sex will still be used to require or exempt them from registration.

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