A Whole Lot of Open Rebellion

July 1, 2013

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

In what might be the largest political demonstration in human history, millions and millions of Egyptians take to the streets to protest President Mohamed Morsi and the power wielded by the Muslim Brotherhood. 

CFI-NYC was out in force for the NYC Pride Parade! This post's image is of the branch's fearless leader, Syd LeRoy, brandishing the Big Blue Meatball in joyful support of the event.

IHEU has an update on persecuted Bangladeshi atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin (part of our Campaign for Free Expression):

The court decided yesterday that Asif could be released on health grounds, his lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua confirmed, after suffering deteriorating health during nearly three months of incarceration. Formal charges and a possible trial are still pending for later in the year. 

Also from our Campaign, Asia Bibi, a young Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy, is reportedly safe in Canada

Openly-gay Pennsylvania legislator Brian Sims is prevented from making remarks on the Supreme Court DOMA decision by fellow representative Daryl Metcalfe, who gives the Anti-Quote of the Day:

I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law. 

Sims calls for censure of Metcalfe. 

Hoping no one noticed by dumping the news on a Friday in a press release with at least one typo (like I can judge), the HHS finalizes its rules on contraceptive mandate exceptions. CFI's Michael De Dora will have more on this later today.

Her Majesty's scouts (the Scouting Association of the UK) will offer a new version of their oath for atheist scouts

I love this story: Police in Flushing, NY pass out tote bags to combat a "blessing scam" used by crooks to trick superstitious Chinese women. 

There's going to be a massive document dump today as the Archdiocese of Milwaukee releases thousands of pages on sex abuse by clergy, including depositions by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. 

News & Observer quotes our own Joe Nickell for perspective on an upcoming UFO conference in Greensboro, NC. 

Sarah Posner says pro-choice activists may have a hero in Wendy Davis, but in Texas, "religion is big," and the hill is steep. 

Archeologists unearth amazing remains of a 2500-year-old Kazakhstan chieftain ("Golden Man"), which must be re-buried because the locals fear a curse. 

Both houses of the New Jersey legislature approve grants for higher ed construction projects, but does put a slight brake on money marked for two religious schools. 

Wisconsin is poised to enact a big statewide voucher program, despite gutted budgets for public schools. 

That is one big mess of crosses on public land. FFRF says that if the Evansville, Ind. crosses aren't nixed, they'll do their own atheist display

In The Guardian, Matthew Engelke praises UK's parliamentary prayer breakfasts:

Those of us with no faith have a lot to learn about the value of halting the normal rhythms of life and stopping to reflect. We could all benefit from prayer breakfasts, or at least something akin to such a metaphysical break. 

NYT editorial board notices that, hey, religiously-based animosities are really screwing things up in the Muslim world. 

Particularly for nonbelievers who take no solace in a non-existent afterlife, some are turning to "Death Cafés" to be able to have a normal, human conversation about the end.`

Yahweh may be short of recognizable human virtue, but he does make it easy to get a loan.  

Ben Radford at Discovery News: There's nothing mystical about the connections between twins. 

Alien snot or a sea monster sperm? Unfortunately, neither. Squid eggs.

Quote of the Day 

John Michael at HuffPo, an atheist, thinks the Bible is great literature, and not the quickest route to atheism we often believe. But before now?:

I had read the Bible when I was much younger, and while it didn't kill my faith, I do remember being blindsided by its content. It's thick with misogyny and xenophobia, exaltations of seriously immoral behavior, and still it manages to be boring. 

* * *  

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul, Ed, Lauren, anyone who can fire them, or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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Comments:

#1 Darcy Cowan (Guest) on Monday July 01, 2013 at 4:37pm

Curious quote in the Death Cafe article:

“My own religious perspective on death and dying is that secular atheism is proving to be a very expensive and a terrible burden on the NHS. When we come to value life simply in terms of itself and “the amount of self-referential advancement obtained in it”, as one commentator has put it, then death is seen as doubly frightening because it strikes not just at life itself, which is bad enough, but at the very core of our value system. Medicine thus shoulders the unreasonable burden of justifying our existence. So we charge the medics to do everything they can to keep us alive. And the bills pile up.”

Seemingly oblivious of the fact that it is the most religious among us who (fundamentalist Catholics and Protestants) are most likely to opt for “Heroic” life saving measures and to have the “bills pile up”...

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