Backwards Religions and Flyover States

May 26, 2015

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

Ireland votes in favor of marriage equality with 62.1%, becoming the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. 

Daniel Loxton looks to the example of Carl Sagan, who helped found what is now CFI's Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and emphasized kindness in our quest for truth.

Ben Radford is the guest on the Big Picture Science radio show, talking about (not) visiting the afterlife

Bangladesh bans the extremist Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team for threatening to kill bloggers and activists.

John Snyder at Science-Based Medicine points out the big thing that separates real science from quackery: science self-corrects and evolves

Sarah Jones says to go ahead and condemn Josh Duggar and the cover-up of his crimes, but then leave the kids alone:

The Duggar children had no control over their victimization. But we do have the power to make sure we aren’t complicit in it. We don’t need to accept TLC’s invitation to treat them like they’re an exhibit in a highly profitable human zoo. We don’t honor them as individuals and as survivors by using their stories to confirm our stereotypes about backwards religions and flyover states. Josh may not have respected them. His parents still may not respect them. But we should. 

Sticking by Josh Duggar the child molester: Ray ComfortMike Huckabee, and, um, I think his mom maybe?

Laura Donnelly and Justin Stoneman at the Telegraph report on what was supposed to be a secret conference, the Spirit of Health Congress, which pimped fake cancer and AIDS cures

Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky at NYT warn that fraud in science is enabled by the "fetishization" of publication in scientific journals, "the ultimate marker of individual productivity." 

The Institute for Modern Russia (why no, I had not heard of it before now) uses a 2003 Free Inquiry article as a jumping-off point for a discussion of fascism

Akilah Richards at the Atlanta Blackstar considers the search for meaning among nonreligious African Americans, and cites CFI's African Americans for Humanism program. 

Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz's co-authored book is now available for preorder. I still need to get to Waking Up

Parent's lawsuit in West Virginia says that teaching evolution to their kid violates the kid's constitutional rights or something. 

Google's doodle honors Sally Ride

Sertan Sanderson at Deutsche Welle profiles Turkey's only atheist organization, emboldened by the weakening of the country's conservative party.

A Muslim televangelist says that those who masturbate "will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife." That. Is. Awesome. 

To look directly at this galaxy, you may need 300 trillion pairs of sunglasses

Quote of the Day:

RNS's Brian Pellot posts his opening remarks at the International Interfaith Conference, on violent extremism in the age of social media:

Peace advocates can just as easily and effectively use social media to directly counter these messages of hatred and intolerance without stifling freedom of expression. Through positive messaging we can critique their hypocrisies and condemn their injustices. Through biting satire we can undermine their ability to recruit allies and erode their power. If we collaborate, if we learn from one another both online and off, we can have the last laugh.  

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Original image by Shutterstock. 

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