I’m Sorry, Ms. Jackson

May 8, 2015

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

The New York Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan considers the challenge posed by our Committee for Skeptical Inquiry on not calling science-deniers "skeptics." 

Norway finally scraps its ridiculous blasphemy law. Better late than never. 

Egypt, however, remains in the dark ages. From The Christian Post:

Police in Egypt recently arrested five Coptic Christian children after angry Muslim mobs accused them of blasphemy for being featured in a circulated prayer video with their Coptic teacher that showed them making fun of the Islamic State terrorist organization.

Wait wait wait wait wait. Hold up hold up hold up. Iowa governor Terry Branstad issued a Day of Reason proclamation??? Branstad??? For reals????? What?!?!?

The Planetary Society, headed by CSI Fellow Bill Nye, is going to get another shot at the big solar sail project with a new launch scheduled for May 20. 

Stephanie Guttormson mocks a faith-healer in a video, said faith-healer files a lawsuit, and the Streisand Effect is activated!

Federal judge in Nebraska quickly throws out what would have been one hell of a lawsuit, Driskell v. Homosexuals

Jon Green at Americablog notices that the WSJ didn't ask anything about a potential atheist presidential candidate when asking a bunch of questions about voters' feelings toward overtly religious candidates. 

Casey Brescia of the Secular Coalition highlights the work of member orgs (such as CFI) on behalf the persecuted nonbelievers and secularists in Southeast Asia

Note to journalists and editors everywhere, in every medium. It is time to stop titling your stories on atheism "Losing My Religion." It has been done. To death. Stop it.

Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory says scientists used to burn heretics for not agreeing with them. Um, is he being metaphorical? 

Ben Carson, a physician, says God gave him the answers to his college chemistry final when he knew none of the answers himself. Now, if I were his patient, that would give me pause. 

Pew says about 6 percent of the world's population belongs to some sort of "folk religion," and Cathy Lynn Grossman explores some of them.

A Nazi-ish group in Germany has four member arrested for plotting bomb attacks on Mosques

WaPo does a video report on those "new" Roswell "alien" photos

Irwin Stelzer at The Weekly Standard says even climate change deniers (he says "skeptics," but I shan't honor that) should support a carbon tax

Cool as a cucumber, our own Joe Nickell responds rationally to the poltergeist-peddling Guy Playfair who recently told Joe to "piss off":

Now, I don’t think Playfair is playing fair. He could easily discover that I have expertise in trickery (I am former Resident Magician at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame) and in investigation (having been a private investigator—twice promoted—for a world-famous detective agency). Playfair lacked training in these essential fields—or in much of anything as far as I have seen. He is hardly one to teach “proper research,” but he does excel in one thing: credulity regarding paranormal claims. 

Quote of the Day:

It's actually almost two years old, but I just saw this tweet from K. Thor Jensen:

I'm sorry Mrs. Jackson / chemtrails are real / they're putting toxins way up in the sky / info wars dot com will tell you why 

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Original image by Shutterstock. 

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