Ring Ding

June 20, 2016

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

One of the men suspected of having killed Avijit Roy last year, one "Shariful," is killed in a gunfight with police.

Following the Brock Turner case, CFI President Ron Lindsay considers what punishment is actually sufficient for sexual assault, and concludes that Judge Persky was indeed too lenient:

To convey the message of condemnation, to fulfill the expressive function of punishment, the punishment must be proportionate to the offense. As the symbolic vehicle of public condemnation, the punishment must reflect the harm to the victim and society. Here is where Judge Persky failed. In too many cases, crimes involving sexual assault have not been taken seriously.  

Hey, CSICon 2016 just got even better, with Massimo Polidoro and Dr. Joe Schwarcz set to headline the two VIP lunches.

Carrie Poppy takes Scientology's personality test to see if it has any validity, and gets the hard sell on signing up for expensive Sea Org classes to "correct" things about her. Carrie, of course, outwits them. 

The head of the AMA warns about medical pseudoscience in the form of health apps and gadgets, calling it "the digital snake oil of the early 21st century." 

Jeremy Peters and Lizette Alvarez at NYT report on the balance many in the GOP are striking between "standing up" for LGBT Americans after the Orlando shooting, and their draconian anti-LGBT policies:

“If one more Republican tells me they have gay friends, I’m gonna scream,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York and one of just a few openly gay, lesbian or bisexual members of Congress. “I don’t care that they have gay friends. I care that they’re voting against equality.” 

That's not all, though. Religious folks are starting to look inward, such as Rev. Joel Hunter who said, "I have been searching my heart: is there anything I did that was complicit in that loss?" (Meaning the Orlando massacre.) Or Pastor David Uth:

“We’re the worst at really, genuinely loving like Jesus,” he said of Baptists, calling it a church failure that gays and lesbians feel unwelcome in its pews. “That we own completely. We apologize.” 

AND: Spencer Cox, Utah's lieutenant governor and a Mormon, admits he has not been "kind" to LGBT Americans, apologizes, and says:

How did you feel when you heard that 49 people had been gunned down by a self-proclaimed terrorist? That’s the easy question. Here is the hard one: Did that feeling change when you found out the shooting was at a gay bar at 2 a.m. in the morning? If that feeling changed, then we are doing something wrong. 

Oh and look at this: The Southern Baptists disown the Confederate flag:

“This denomination was founded by people who wrongly defended the sin of human slavery,” said Russell Moore, head of the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “Today the nation’s largest Protestant denomination voted to repudiate the Confederate battle flag, and it’s time and well past time.” 

This is interesting: UN experts warn the UN Human Rights Council about fundamentalism -- not just religious, but also political and "free market" economic fundamentalism.

Joe Nickell looks into the alleged haunting of a spaghetti factory in Vancouver (I didn't know spaghetti got its own factories), but fails to consider the presence of His Noodliness posing as a dead train conductor.

Pope Fluffy gets un-fluffy with his own flock, criticizing the "great majority" of Catholics in our "provisional culture" who get married without really understanding that it's supposed to be a lifetime commitment.

Steven Salzberg says Zika at the Rio Olympics is not being taken seriously enough, noting that it also causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome. 

Google spots the Kraken. I hope they cached it. 

Saturn's all, "Who put a ding in my ring?" 

Quote of the Day:

Goodnight, Dune

Goodnight Saudukar, goodnight gom jabbar...and goodnight to the bene-gesserit witch whispering "they tried and they died"
* * *

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The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta


#1 Mario (Guest) on Monday June 20, 2016 at 11:11am

“Religious folks.”  I love the way you qualify your statements.

Gays are murdered, and atheists play the guilt-by-association game, which I suppose is the proper response to the tragedy.

#2 alphonse (Guest) on Monday June 20, 2016 at 11:42am

Religious folks!  My church marched in the first gay pride parade in Columbus, which city just held one of the largest gay pride celebrations in this country.
Where were you back in those days???? Seems it’s easy to sign on once something is accepted.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Monday June 20, 2016 at 4:07pm

Janice Fiamengo’s analysis (on YouTube) of the Brock Turner case is more convincing to me.  Having been acquitted of rape, Brock got an adequate sentence, if indeed he should have been charged with anything at all.

As for Ron, the misandry exhibited in the photo in his piece is quite offensive and inappropriate.  Women rape as often as men.  And, for either gender, college campus is among the safest places to be, to avoid rape.  1 in 3?  That’s just absurd scaremongering and propaganda.

As best I can tell, Brock was punished solely for being, of two drunk and horny and consenting people, the one who had the misfortune of having a penis at the time the other one passed out.  It could easily have gone the other way, with no decision made by either one.  As it stands, his life is over, destroyed at the hands of an anonymous accuser. 

I also think it’s totally absurd that SEVEN DECADES after the fact, a man was convicted for bookkeeping.  That is a travesty of justice.  The plaintiff I read about in my paper today said she didn’t even want to be involved, but did it for the imagined pain of others.  That’s not a valid reason to press charges.

I strongly disagree that it is valid to use the criminal justice system for “expression”.  That is exactly what it should NEVER be used for.  Ask a gay person.

#4 n0b0dyz (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 11:32am

The Old Spaghetti Factory is a chain of, yes, spaghetti restaurants across Canada. Good food, and lots of it. Never noticed a ghost, though!

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