May 29, 2013
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
In the Wall Street Journal, Ayaan Hirsi Ali demands a hard look at the connection between violence done in the name of Islam and moderates' defenses of "real Islam":
The question requiring an answer at this moment in history is clear: Which group of leaders really speaks for Islam? The officially approved spokesmen for the "Muslim community"? Or the manic street preachers of political Islam, who indoctrinate, encourage and train the killers—and then bless their bloodshed? . . . It is time [moderate leaders] came up with more credible talking points. Their communities have a serious problem.
The LA Times wants religious freedom to be a factor in the U.S.'s international relations:
. . . there is value in an objective and open-eyed accounting, even if U.S. diplomacy sometimes must be guided by factors other than a foreign nation's respect for individual rights. And sometimes, though not often enough, governments can be shamed by the truth into changing their behavior.
CFI marked the passing of Alton Lemon in this message to our supporters. Personally, it was gratifying to introduce Mr. Lemon to so many who had never heard of him before. (Thanks to those of you who wrote in saying so.)
Latina magazine: More Latinas are coming out as atheists, and Mandy Velez reports that the pope's recent friendly words toward nonbelievers might make that easier on their families.
Christ's representative on Earth, Michele Bachmann, will not seek reelection. Yeah, her video, predictably, is surreal. And long! I mean what the hell!
Seth Kurtenbach thinks wizards suck at engineering.
CFI in Amherst, NY (the home of our global mega-headquarters-fortress) will take part in the June 2 Pride Parade in Buffalo.
Also at the CFI Mothership, this Friday there'll be a screening of the documentary American Freethought, Vol. 1, followed by a Q&A with the creators.
Joe Nickell is skeptical of the whole pope-doing-exorcisms thing:
We should look for more details about this aspect of the case, which could suggest that there was an attempt to take advantage of an unsuspecting pope.
Islam gets no official recognition in Italy, even though it's the number 2 religion.
You probably know Jay Sekulow's steely bespectacled sneer on television, and seeing his name attached to op-eds in which he tries to commingle religion and government as much as possible. Now he's pushing hard on the IRS quasi-scandal about the unfair targeting of right-wing nonprofits, and Wall Street on Parade reports that in the meantime, he's raking in tens of millions from, you know, right-wing nonprofits.
Jenny McCarthy isn't the only reason kids aren't getting vaccinated. Most of the time, according to a CDC study, the chaos of parenthood and other mundane issues like insurance problems are to blame. I sympathize, but still.
But whoa, anti-vax falsehoods about autism are being taught to general practitioners in training in Australia!
Chris Stedman in USA Today takes atheists' good PR over the last week as a cue for atheists and the religious to start listening to each other.
Court in Pakistan orders the blocking of Facebook pages deemed blasphemous.
Rob Boston shakes his head at local government officials who don't seem to get that separation of church and state is not up for a vote.
The Supreme Court declines to hear an Indiana case concerning the denial of Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, which is good: The state can no longer disqualify them just because they provide abortion services.
Hey look! Perpetual motion might be possible thanks to "time crystals"! HAHAHAHAHAHA....oh wait, it's real.
Minister and alt-med fraudster Christine Daniel gets 14 years in prison for her fake cancer treatments, and will be required to repay $1.2 million to her victims.
A handy dandy chart of the religious beliefs of superheroes and other comic book characters. The Hulk is a lapsed Catholic, Wonder Woman worships Greek gods, the Green Arrow is agnostic, Donald Duck is listed as "anthropomorphic animal," which doesn't tell us much, and Thor is, well, his own deity.
Quote of the Day
Cairo University's Sonia Farid at Al Arabiya on the persecution of atheists in Egypt:
Like any dictatorship, the regime is selecting a group of enemies on whom it can lay the blame for anything it chooses to label as “destabilizing” and a term as broad as “atheist,” like its medieval equivalent “heretic,” would be perfect for instigating public opinion and presenting the state as the guardian of faith. The charge known as “deriding religion,” which was leveled against a number of journalists and activists, was actually a prelude to that of atheism and a test balloon in a society that does not see religion as debatable and would automatically turn against anyone who is suspected of questioning its very essence.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
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