Caveat Sucker

June 22, 2015

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

I was off on Friday, but Heretical duties were taken up by Stef McGraw and Peter Wood, who did a great job filling in. (Stef made the mistake of telling me that she likes doing the Heresy when I'm off work, hehehe.) Thank you both!

Holy moly, this Michigan state legislator, Todd Courser, is so scared of same-sex marriage that he's introduced a bill that would require clergy to solemnize all marriages, removing any civil authority. His motivations are totally secular, though (ha ha kidding): 

I believe that the traditional marriage is really God’s model for marriage. ... The contract that has been in place for thousands of years is between a man and his wife on one side and God on the other side. 

MotorCityBlog has a lengthy and positive writeup of the Reason for Change conference last weekend, which points out the "movie-star handsome Michael De Dora." Well, well, well.

Our Center Stage podcast has Christopher Cameron's lecture from the Ingersoll conference: “Frederick Douglass as an Antislavery Campaigner, Feminist, and Freethinker.”

"Nones" not only rank second in the U.S. in terms of religious identification, but in 111 other countries as well

Rachel Aviv at The New Yorker covers the very liberal attitude toward euthanasia in Belgium, and really points the finger at "secular humanism" (by way of Freemasonry?), which Julia Duin at GetReligion thinks is a little overboard

At Skeptical Inquirer, Joe Nickell looks back on the snake-oily history of “The Prince of Quacks” of Buffalo, Ray Vaughn Pierce.  

At my little blog iMortal, I look into an allegedly mind-altering cranial dongle called "Thync" and suspect it might be bullshyt

David Niose writing at Psychology Today looks at the role of American anti-intellectualism in the Charleston massacre. 

Herb Silverman, who lives in Charleston, attends a vigil for the victims, and says, "it turned out that I came to sing, pray and keep the dark away."

Geert Wilders uses his political party broadcast time to show lots of drawings of Muhammad on Dutch TV. 

Clay Jones looks at two very dubious devices meant for curing your baby's ills by sticking things into orafices. Dude, taking care of babies is gross enough. 

Monterey Bay has its own not-real sea monster named "Bobo."  

That deep fried rat from a KFC is probably a hoax

I missed this piece at the Times on fake psychics in New York, and Louis Menand at The New Yorker wonders if we ought to let them be:

If you enter one of those little storefronts with a neon “Psychic” sign in the window ... you deserve what you get. You’re also stuck with it. ... Maybe caveat sucker should be the rule. 

Kerry Pieri is cool with psychics: "More than one has told me I'll have a beach house soon, so they must be right." 

Blustery Texas pastor John Hagee says that shouting out the LORD's name during sex is blasphemy, and "if it were up to me, I would put every single woman or girl who does that in jail." I wonder how he'd find out who was doing it. Require coital transcripts?

(Looks like I'm the sucker, as that story is from a satire site.) 

Seriously, someone thinks this is a ghost, and not what it obviously is: a mannequin. 

Former president of the Atheist Alliance of America, Chuck VonDerAhe, dies at 66. Our condolences to his friends and family, and to all at AAA. 

Quote of the Day:

Margery Eagan at the Catholic publication Crux goes to see an event with Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, and is "unnerved":

I’d hoped both men would be humorless, strident, militant, even obnoxious. Then I could go home feeling confident in my faith. Instead they were funny, charming, and quite likable. I went home deflated. 

Then I was unnerved when Eagan wrote: "Maybe they’ll rethink when they’re older and facing their own mortality." Macabre, Eagan.

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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Comments:

#1 Craven Lovelace (Guest) on Monday June 22, 2015 at 8:53am

You got hoaxed with that John Hagee story.  It’s from another one of those obnoxious “satire” sites.

#2 jeremyatc on Monday June 22, 2015 at 9:26am

@ #1:
You can’t fault Paul, that’s just Poe’s Law. This is what they’ve sown: even the craziest fundamentalism seems completely plausible.

#3 Paul the Morning Heretic on Monday June 22, 2015 at 9:54am

Oh man this keeps happening. I’ll strike it from the record.

#4 Mario (Guest) on Monday June 22, 2015 at 1:11pm

Psychology Today writing about anti-intellectualism—interesting.  Sort of like Biker Babes Monthly penning a piece on sexism….

#5 Stephanie Savage on Monday June 22, 2015 at 1:38pm

Believers are always convinced that atheists will repent when they’re facing death because they don’t understand that our beliefs are just as bedrock as theirs. My remarkable recovery from my six-week coma, after coming so close to death, didn’t make me suddenly believe in miracles, despite the fact that so many believers insist that I experienced an authentic “miracle from God”—you know, the kind they make popes over. My beliefs won’t change if I find myself facing my ultimate doom…unless I’m suffering from a tumor on the reasoning centers of my brain.

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