I Am Not a Lizard!

June 16, 2016

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

It's 6-16-16, which is of course the Mark of the Somewhat Hesitant Beast.

Police in Dhaka arrest a member of the Ansarullah Bangla Team said to have been involved in the attempt on the life of secularist publisher Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul. Also, a Hindu teacher in Bangladesh is attacked by knife-wielding assailants in his home, but survives, and is now in critical condition.

The Economist reports on the attacks on people with albinism in Malawi, noting that the Malawian government blames foreign witch doctors as opposed to the local ones.  

CFI intern London Sneden writes about the need for people of faith to do more than feel bad about the Orlando victims:

Simply claiming that your faith does not hate LGBTQ+ individuals, does not address or fix the people of your faith that do. If anything it just denies and attempts to belittle their existence. And they exist. ... If you are religious and claim to support the LGBTQ+ community, instead of stepping forward to defend your faith’s tolerance, actually support the community.  

Parvez Sharma writes at The Daily Beast

As a devout gay Muslim I am not going to make a claim that “Islam is a religion of peace.” ... Calling Islam a religion of peace is dangerous and reductive. Like the other two monotheisms that precede it, it has blood on its hands. It’s time we Muslims start looking inward at our own communities so that the bloodshed can stop. I’m convinced that Mateen’s attitude is not fringe. It can be found everywhere from Mecca to my own mosque in New York City. 

The American Medical Association says gun violence is a public health crisis, and urges Congress to end its ban on CDC research into gun violence as a health concern.

Orlando Humanist Memorial Services crowdfunds to offer free secular memorial services to the families of the victims of the massacre.  

Tamar Wilner, writing for us, wants journalists to stop being lazy about (or fearful of) math: "Math is doable. And it’s essential. We need it to understand everything from politics to finance, sports to health."

Orlando, Bangladesh, and threats to scientific thinking are all covered in the latest Dawkins Foundation newsletter.

President Obama meets with the Dalai Lama, which makes China angry. China is like the John McCain of nations, everything makes it angry. 

Adam Shapiro at Religion Dispatches, mainly channeling legal scholar Casey Luskin, worries over Richard Dawkins' associating the understanding of evolution with opening the door to atheism, I think stretching things too far to make the point.

Hemant posts a short film about his Reason Rally experience. I haven't watched it yet because I'm trying to get you all your Morning Heresy. But then I'll watch it.

Mark Zuckerberg, in a Q&A session with Jerry Seinfeld, gets the Big Question: Is he a lizard person?

Um… I’m gonna, I’m gonna have to go with ‘no’ on that. I am not a lizard. But keep the high quality comments coming in please, this is surely on track to be a great Live Q&A if we continue getting stuff at that level of quality. 

omg that is just what a lizard person would say. 

Quote of the Day:

In a Pakistani town where there's been a lot of religious violence, poor Muslim farmers are building a church for their Christian neighbors, because they're neighbors, and because they're friends. Father Aftab James tells Saba Eitizaz of the BBC:

This church being built in a small village by the Muslims, it is very significant. It shows that people have love in their hearts, they want to stay together. If there are those who fuel the fire, there are also those who douse the flames. 

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Comments:

#1 Mario (Guest) on Thursday June 16, 2016 at 4:19pm

“If you are religious and claim to support the LGBTQ+ community, instead of stepping forward to defend your faith’s tolerance, actually support the community.”

“Actually support the community?”  That’s pretty vicious, even by your side’s standards.  Not that I don’t love it when someone who hasn’t been alive as long as I’ve been a progressive Democrat suggests I need to redeem myself in this fashion (because, God knows, there’s no possibility I might ALREADY be supporting said community), but….

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