I Hear the Word Messy a Lot

May 25, 2017

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

Because things aren't ridiculous enough, the GOP candidate for Montana's House seat, Greg Gianforte, physically attacks Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for having the gall to ask him questions about health care. Like, seriously attacks the guy, and literally puts his hands around Jacobs' throat. Broke the dude's glasses, too, which is ALSO NOT COOL. Two Montana newspapers retract their endorsements of Gianforte, and Gianforte is charged with misdemeanor assault (announced by a sheriff who actually donated to Gianforte's campaign).

Besides being a sad example of what the GOP has become, it's also an interesting rift in the Republican Information Cartel™, as the story gained full legitimacy due to the detailed reporting of the incident by none other than Fox News, whose reporters were clearly appalled. 

Oh hey, the CSICon 2017 schedule is up! It's packed! Like, it's a LOT.

A team of scientists publish a paper in National Scientific Reports explicitly to refute the misinformation spouted by EPA Destructor Scott Pruitt when he told the Senate, "[O]ver the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming." Yeah, no. 

Check this out: Muslimish, a group that supports ex-Muslims and those questioning their faith and has roots with CFI New York City, is holding a conference on June 24.

I don't know anything about the Far Cry series of video games, but it seems the fifth installment will center around a radical Christian cult, so that's something. 

Ken Ham and company plan an expansion of the Ark Encounter monument to alternate facts with a biblical theme park. Well, maybe they have a Sorting Hat. 

The University of Central Florida now has resources on its website for both faith-based groups and "Humanist and Secular Services." 

Maryland Christian school Heritage Academy bans senior Maddi Runkles from graduation ceremonies because she got pregnant, or, as they put it, "she was immoral."

This picture of Richard Dawkins high-fiving a young girl at his event with Annabelle Gurwitch is officially adorable.

New Zealand fails to rescind its blasphemy law. Come on.

We knew Canada had a blasphemy law. But did you know that it also has a law against pretending to practice witchcraft? Not practicing witchcraft, but faking it. I suppose they just find that rude.

UFOs fly across the skies over Lake Ontario, except that they weren't spaceships. It was just the Rescue Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Or, that's what the Canadians want you to believe. I bet they're up there pretending to practice witchcraft. 

FFRF does one of its full-page-ad-in-the-New-York-Times splashes, this time needling Trump about his "nation of believers" comments.

In Florida, fake-psychic Gina Wilson is charged with scamming a widow and a veteran out of more than $155,000.  

Quote of the Day:

Writing at Tulsa World, Indiana University's Lee Hamilton caught my attention with an op-ed about the dangers of "political atheism," and I was all, "what the hell?" Turns out he doesn't mean secular/atheist activism, he means "atheist" as in people who don't believe in politics like atheists don't believe in God (this is assuming he even came up with the headline himself, and not the editors):

[T]hey’re convinced that people in power place their own interests ahead of the country’s — which is why so many of them express real contempt for politicians. They certainly don’t see politics as an uplifting pursuit; I hear the word “messy” a lot, not as an objectively descriptive term, but as an expression of ethical disapproval. ... 

... Those of us who believe in the system must shoulder the burden of persuasion — and I’m worried about what happens if we don’t meet it. If we lose the argument and the next generation turns away, we face dangers and risks — chaos, authoritarianism — that are far worse than what we face now.

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