July 26, 2013
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
The Student Leadership Conference is in full swing, and the metaphorical vibe is very good. Susan Gerbic is giving her talk right now as I type (sorry, Susan!), and she had a technical glitch in which her presenation screen went blank except for an arrow cursor. Brilliantly, she gestured to the screen and said, "Homeopathy, ladies and gentlemen!"
Let's take a look at a couple of fun diseases that are making an exciting comeback!
Let's hear it for measles! Writes Margaret Wente at The Globe and Mail:
Some anti-vaxxers belong to fringe religious groups. But some are highly educated, hyper-vigilant, holistically minded parents who believe the environment is full of toxic substances that are potential threats to their children. Some think the medical establishment has no right to tell them what to do.
No doubt Jenny McCarthy will soon be on The View speaking out against city sewer systems, septic tanks and washing your hands.
Yuck. Here's what happens when you're dying. Of the plague, for example.
Our boss Ron Lindsay discussed a global decline in religious belief on WCPN's The Sound of Ideas.
First, there exists a person named "Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh," second, this person is the president of the Public Service Commission in Alabama, third, she has a Tea Party preacher come to a meeting to pray against gay marriage, and forth, it's at a regulatory meeting on Alabama Power rates.
If you want to help bring marriage equality to Oregon, check this out.
*That's not true, but he will be there.
Nancy K. Kaufman of the National Council of Jewish Women warns against the march backward to using religion as an excuse to refuse service.
For Skeptical Inquirer, Wendy M. Grossman reviews three books on the mysteries and weirdness around the Church of Scientology.
Atheist activists in the Czech Republic lobby the government to respond to an Islamic group's calls to "hate unbelievers."
Do you practice science, but not really respect it or believe in it? Creationism may have a job for you.
What happens if Russell's teapot and Dawkins' teacup collide in space?
Mermaid or octopus? YOU DECIDE. No wait, it's an octopus.
How bloodthirsty is Yahweh? There's a new book that tallies up the body count.
Daniel Schultz responds to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's contention that the GOP believes in "only one sovereign God":
It couldn't be clearer . . . exactly nobody should fall for the idea that they're going to moderate on social policy any time soon.
SCA says 'good on ya' to the House reps who voted against the amendment that nixed the possibility of humanist chaplains in the military.
British currency will be swapping Darwin for Austen.
Prepare to have your heart broken, as an 11-year-old Yemeni girl pleads for rescue from forced child marriages.
Chris Stedman rebuts Tony Perkins on chaplains:
“Atheist chaplains are like vegetarian carnivores. They don’t exist!” Perkins writes. He’s likely just trying to be clever, but allow me to clarify: we do in fact exist, Tony, and we’re here if you’d like to talk.
ACLU steps in to stop prayers at Rowan County, NC government meetings.
There's another comeback to mention along with measles and the plague: Swastikas! Why? Because they're really all about aliens.
Phil Plait on the attacks by climate science deniers on Michael Mann:
It’s astonishing just how mean-spirited and vitriolic these attacks on reality can be. But perhaps it shouldn't be unexpected. When you don’t have facts, evidence, or science on your side, what’s left?
Quote of the Day
Roy Speckhardt wants UUs to "come home to humanism":
* * *
[W]hat has been happening over the past 10-20 years to the [Unitarian Universalist Association] is a failure to maintain reason as a guiding principle. Instead, the often laudable effort to be "all-inclusive" has become so dominant that in some congregations Unitarian Universalist identity has become so vague as to be insubstantial.
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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