June 21, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
On Point of Inquiry, Lindsay Beyerstein talks to Michelle Vines about the experience of growing up with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome, and discovering it as an adult.
At the Washington Post, Mohammed A. Malik writes, "I was the one who told the FBI about Omar Mateen." Malik counters the idea espoused now by Trump that Muslims aren't doing their part by turning in the bad guys in their midst, saying:
Muslims like me can’t see into the hearts of other worshipers. (Do you know the hidden depths of everyone in your community?) ... I had told the FBI about Omar because my community, and Muslims generally, have nothing to hide. I love this country, like most Muslims that I know. I don’t agree with every government policy (I think there’s too much money in politics, for instance), but I’m proud to be an American.
Google, realizing that many people search for their symptoms and wind up believing they have the plague, makes changes to its product so that people get better-curated, fact-based information and avenues to get real answers to medical questions.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, perhaps the most chronically aggrieved human being alive, celebrates the defeat of a New York state law that would have helped victims of priest sexual abuse get justice, saying the measure was ”a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church." You can't make this stuff up.
Horrible, horrible people on Twitter are harassing and reporting to Kuwaiti authorities women and girls who they say are atheist or pro-LGBT. That's a blasphemy charge, and the punishment could be death. Ben Collins at the Daily Beast reports:
When asked to “better outline how Twitter assesses threats to personal safety” after a violation of the rules that could leave its users in danger, the company did not respond to repeated requests at press time.
Hundreds of high school students in Turkey are standing up against the incursion of fundamentalism into their schools.
In Pakistan, a man is arrested for blasphemy because he sold shoes with a Hindu symbol on them.
Amy Qin at NYT reports on the rather upsetting Chinese Yulin Lychee (a small fruit) and Dog Meat Festival, and that dog meat is part of it because of "holistic" views of food:
According to traditional Chinese medicine, some foods, like lamb and onion, have warm energy. Others, like rabbit and asparagus, are said to have cool energy. Both dog meat and lychees are seen as warming.
At the CFI blog, Stephen Law adapts a chapter from his book The Philosophy Gym to explore the idea of relativism, and the sentiment, "it's true for you, but not for me."
Lyle Jeffs, leader of the FLDS Church, is on the run after being subject to home arrest for his "multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme." Were they golden food stamps that only he could read?
David Wheeler at The Week looks at how evangelical colleges seem to be cool with straight atheists, but not Christians who are gay. You reject the core supernatural principle upon which this institution is founded? Yes? Hm. Well, are you a boy who kisses other boys? No? YOU'RE IN.
America's madness is apparently effecting Canadians. I suspect chemtrails. Via CTV:
A 56-year-old man in eastern Ontario is wanted by police on a mischief charge, after he allegedly threw a propane tank into a fire during an argument with his son's girlfriend over whether the Earth is flat or round.
Remember Blink-182? I only kind of do. Anyway, apparently one of their members is really into UFOs, and that counts as news.
Quote of the Day:
Someone on Quora asks if atheists pray "just in case," and one responder, Joe McCracken, recounts his experience of nearly drowning to make his point:
The moral of this story is that I now know that being religious and keeping all my faith in others could have resulted in my death. Being an atheist saved my life. I knew that the only person who could save me was me. Praying would have done nothing. Waiting for more rescue services would have done nothing. Taking the bull by the horns and assuming control of my own destiny was what was needed. When I was in my foxhole, being an atheist saved my life.
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#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 1:08pm
“flat or round”
Clearly, whatever it is, it’s out of tolerance.
#2 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 1:12pm
Has this site gone creationist?
#3 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 2:15pm
“Dog Meat Festival”
I’m sure there are aspects of this festival (stolen pets, treatment of the animals) that are unusually wrong, but in the USA I can order rabbit and deer and goat to eat. Why do we care about dogs so much more?
It seems hypocritical. Dare I say racist.
(I don’t eat mammals, so there).
#4 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 2:23pm
“I don’t agree with every government policy”
Notably, Malik says nothing about gay men here, the group actually targeted by Mateen.
But I bet he gets a pass anyway—one that was denied to Republicans.
#5 Robin (Guest) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 4:55pm
When confronted unexpectedly with displays of ignorance, us Canadians sometimes react with unseemly behaviour.
Sorry about that.