It Seems Like I Was Lying

June 30, 2015

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

Happy Asteroid Day. I guess. We're all gonna die. 

Okay but listen. Don't miss this latest Point of Inquiry, recorded at the Reason for Change conference, where Lindsay Beyerstein interviews Asif Mohiuddin, one of my new heroes. Make time for this today, I'm serious. 

The California bill to end personal-belief exemptions for vaccinations is all queued up for the governor to sign it. Californians, go tell Jerry to do the right thing. (Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers are getting angry and desperate.)

Tom Flynn is happy about the SCOTUS marriage equality decision, but harbors a little sadness that the movement for equality didn't just get rid of marriage altogether:

Straights had been losing interest in marriage for years; if the LGBT lobby had succeeded in creating robust civil unions, the rise of an alternative institution without matrimony's considerable baggage might have doomed tired old matrimony. But no, rising activism for same-sex nuptials made matrimony sexy again. 

Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore tells Alabama judges they don't have to issue same-sex marriage licenses if they don't want to, for 25 days. 

SCOTUS also held off the closing of most of Texas's abortion providers while they decide whether to hear an appeal about the case that shut them down. 

Liberty University graduate, religious school voucher supporter, and homeschooling parent Donna Bahorich is tapped to chair the Texas State Board of Education. Same as it ever was.

"Space is hard": Ben Radford says yes it is, and we need to be more honest about that. Loren Grush says that's just an excuse.

Leon Korteweg reports back from the Skepsis Congres in the Netherlands for Skeptical Inquirer

Human rights attorney Waleed Abu Al-Khair, in prison in Saudi Arabia, is awarded the 20th Ludovic-Trarieux Human Rights International Prize.  

"It seems like I was lying!" Wellness blogger and truth-deficiency sufferer Belle Gibson (said she had a brain tumor, but didn't, etc.) is awkwardly confronted on Australian TV by journalist Tara Brown.

David Brooks says something that doesn't make me roll my eyes, saying that the faithful need to abandon the culture war over sex, and wage something else:

The defining face of social conservatism could be this: Those are the people who go into underprivileged areas and form organizations to help nurture stable families. Those are the people who build community institutions in places where they are sparse. Those are the people who can help us think about how economic joblessness and spiritual poverty reinforce each other. Those are the people who converse with us about the transcendent in everyday life. ... The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. 

Razib Khan and Alex Berezow co-write an op-ed in USA Today on the biology of race that will certainly spark thoughts and feelings:

But the history of human evolution, including race, is real, genetically traceable, and cannot be denied. Race, therefore, is a reflection of our history and geography. It is scientifically inaccurate to reduce human populations to mere social constructions and arbitrary crystallizations of power relations. 

Quote of the Day:

You know how we at CFI called the SCOTUS marriage decision a win for secularismMicah Schwartzman, Richard Schragger and Nelson Tebbe get it:

The most significant impact of the Obergefell decision for the relationship between religion and government is that it put an end to lawmaking solely on the basis of religious reasons. From the beginning, the only real basis for excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage was religious. At the oral argument in the Supreme Court, as in lower courts, the states struggled to justify marriage exclusion in terms that all citizens could understand. Their theory that expanding civil marriage would weaken a conception of marriage linked to procreation, and thereby lead opposite-sex couples to remain unmarried, was nonsensical. In the Obergefell opinion, the Court called it “counterintuitive.” So when the Court struck down exclusions of same-sex couples from civil marriage, it implicitly—but clearly—rejected the idea that such a law could be based on religious reasons alone, without understandable secular aims.

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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