Avoid Communal Exercises

June 2, 2015

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

CFI has helped bring Taslima Nasrin to safety in the U.S., and there is a lot of interest in this from Indian outlets such as The Times of India, as well as places like Huffington Post, and the International Business Times. Obviously, her colleagues at Freethought Blogs are writing about it and encouraging folks to donate to the Freethought Emergency Fund. Here's Hemant Mehta's take:

As much as I love CFI for doing this, it shouldn’t be their responsibility to offer protection for these writers. The local governments overseas, and even our own, should be doing more to protect people whose are targets of religious extremists. It’s their inaction forcing CFI to throw so many resources at this problem. I’m thrilled CFI is doing it; I just wish they didn’t have to. 

Tom Flynn takes issue with the NYT "theology of atheism" piece, noting that it misrepresents the real distinctions in secular thought:

Secular humanism is the variety of humanism that, among many other things, prefers to avoid communal exercises that borrow too many of the trappings of church or synagogue. Some secular humanists distrust all group ceremony, finding it authoritarian and in tension with individual self-determination.  

The Charleston Gazette's editorial board warns of the dangers of the population explosion, and relies heavily on the latest issue of Free Inquiry

Point of Inquiry interviews author Jeff Rasely, who once studied to be a Presbyterian minister, on living a meaningful life without religion. 

Two obituaries today from CFI programs: Council for Secular Humanism remembers philosopher Michael L. Martin, author of acclaimed books such as Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. And the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has a piece by Harriet Hall on the late Wallace Sampson, a pioneer of science-based medicine advocacy.

I am cited for no particular reason in this op-ed at the Redland Daily Facts on the decline in religious affiliation. I mean, I'm glad I'm in there, but I don't quite get why. 

SCOTUS rules against Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating in hiring against a Muslim woman who wore a hijab. 

There's a puffy piece on the Mars One scheme at the Guardian, and I remind everyone that there's still no there there

Also at my little blog iMortal, I get really excited about cryogenically frozen worms...who remember

A Brazilian TV network is punished by authorities for a host's 2010 jab at atheists, saying after a shooting, "A guy that's atheist, in my humble opinion, has no limits, and that's why we see these crimes happening." 

The Sisi government in Egypt is dispatching moderate Islamic scholars and clerics to counteract the momentum of extremism, but motives are murky. 

North Carolina's state senate approves a 72-hour mandatory waiting period for abortions. 

New Zealand is touched by His noodly appendage. From the sky! 

Quote of the Day:

Joseph Allchin at Foreign Policy on the murders of secularist writers:

The more voices are slain for speaking freely, the fewer dissenting expressions of opinion will be aired. More and more voices go dark and fail to enlighten others, and this young society becomes increasingly indoctrinated by those wielding the machete as opposed to a hunger for knowledge. 

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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

Comments:

#1 Randy on Friday June 05, 2015 at 7:45pm

“SCOTUS rules against Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating in hiring against a Muslim woman who wore a hijab.”

That’s just ridiculous.  A&F has (or had) a vision, and that vision is partially-clothed. 

Perhaps rather than vision, A&F needed a religion.  I recommend Temple of Priapus for this purpose, although I’m sure there are other suitable choices.

#2 Randy on Friday June 05, 2015 at 7:47pm

“I’m thrilled CFI is doing it; I just wish they didn’t have to.”

Agreed.  Thank you for doing it, anyway.

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