Zimbabwean Underpants Gnomes

June 7, 2013

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

Well, this had to happen eventually, didn't it? My hero, Thomas Dolby, performs "She Blinded Me with Science" with a little help from Buzz-Freaking-Aldrin.

Carrie Poppy ventures into a building blueprinted by aliens ("The building is a huge boob. The nipple is open to the sunlight and fresh air.") to take a sleepy sound bath.  

Sally Quinn comes down hard on the Boy Scouts -- despite their new openness to gay youth -- for forcing atheists and gay scouts over 18 to "live a lie." 

Larry Alex Taunton at The Atlantic reveals surprising findings about why and how many young people leave Christianity for atheism -- it's not always about reason and science, but emotion and a rejection of superficiality.

Chris Stedman goes to Mormon country, and learns about outreach efforts of some members of the LDS church to "build bridges" with the LGBTQ community. 

Kimberly Winston reports on the new atheist monument in Florida, in which Charles Haynes of the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Education Project characterizes this strategy as "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." 

GOP Lt. Governor nominee for Virginia, E.W. Jackson, knows that Yoga is a gateway drug to Satanism

Prabhat Singh at Foreign Policy Journal on the blasphemy law crisis:

The omnipotence and vagueness of blasphemy laws makes them anathema to human development. Most blasphemy laws don’t even allow for repetition of allegedly defamatory sentences, since repetition is itself considered blasphemous, thus leading to unfounded convictions.  

Nasir Saeed in the Christian Post wonders why members of Pakistan's parliament are just now feeling reservations about that country's blasphemy laws:

Why is the council only now expressing concern about this? As if it had not noticed all the bloodshed and cries of the religious minorities for help over the last three decades. They need to wake up and take a good look at what is happening across Pakistan on a virtually daily basis. Bloodshed in the name of religion is happening all the time. 

Christian Egyptian school teacher Damiana Ebeid Abdel Nour will hear a verdict on June 11 on charges of "insulting Islam" and "evangelisation."

Debra Chalmers --  a real psychic, guys! -- says not to let Sylvia Browne ruin things for everyone:

[C]onsidering this as evidence that mediums shouldn't be allowed to assist the police goes back to the dreary argument that she is an individual, not a representation of the whole spiritual community. If a doctor is struck off for malpractice we don't cry out for all doctors to cease practicing medicine, do we? 

Rabble-rousing, conspiracy-paranoid, right-wing Texas senator Ted Cruz hits the Iowa Christian conservative circuit, laying groundwork for the 2016 caucuses. 

Leah Libresco brings back her Ideological Turing Test, and wants ideas for this year's theme

Extremists vs. extremists: UK Islamists screw up an attempt to detonate a nail bomb at the headquarters of the right-wing English Defense League in "retaliation" for "blasphemy." 

Rebel valedictorian sticks it to The Man, rips up his pre-approved speech and gets his Jesus on.  

Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels calls school vouchers "the civil rights issue of our times." He needs to get out more. 

John Campbell at the Council on Foreign Relations blog looks at the tension between popular Islamism and secularism in the Sudan government. 

The atheism subreddit is getting new moderators who promise more substance. Hm. 

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Cohen is trying to get a Bible-reading-in-public-schools law off the books 50 years after it's deemed unconstitutional. 

Ohio man is instructed to abandon his car...BY ALIENS. In an invisible airport.

Underpants gnomes in Zimbabwe!!! 

Quote of the Day 

Brian Switek pushes back against Stephen King's recent assertion that nonbelief means a lack of wonder:

There is no need for the supernatural to invoke or appreciate wonder. And rather than reducing nature to equations and graphs, I truly believe that science – our ability to actually understand why bees pollinate flowers, why mountains rise, and how remnants of ancient life became locked in stone – makes the world all the more exquisite by not only giving us clues, but new questions to ask.     

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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