August 12, 2016

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

The Center for Inquiry thinks the idea that the U.S. would start banning particular religions from the country is a crap idea. There's a new bill that seeks to put the breaks on this bananapants idea, the 2016 Freedom of Religion Act, and we want you to tell your congressmonster to support it

The entirety of this week's New York Times Magazine is one big story: How the Arab world has shattered since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.  

The Secular Student Alliance announces that August Brunsman is transitioning out of his job as its executive director, and yesterday was also Sarah Jones' last day at Americans United. I salute you both! Good luck on your coming endeavors.

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces upholds a lower court ruling saying that a Marine did not have her religious freedom violated when she was ordered to take down biblical signs.

Prepare to widen your eyes in disbelief, blinking only periodically to keep your eyeballs from drying out, as you read about the people who really actually for-serious believe that the Earth is flat

There's some groovy Reason Rally memorabilia to be had at eBay: A signed and framed photo of the speakers, and one with members of Wu-Tang.

Kimberly Winston explores the effect religious belief has on Olympic athletes:

For some, it is the feeling of not being alone on the field of competition. For others, it is a sense that the outcome — whatever it is — is for the best. And once in a while, someone says God “wants” them to win. 

Tim Kaine lays the religion on thick, which I guess is a big reason he's on the ticket. 

Betsy Davis, a California woman suffering from ALS, held a big goodbye party, and under California's new right-to-die law, ended her life. "Just one rule: No crying in front of her."

Bangladesh arrests five people said to be planning a suicide attack in Dhaka. There's also a report on social media, not confirmed, that a high court judge was arrested in his home and taken away for no stated reason.

These sharks live to 400. I can't even deal with that. That's like Yoda-old.

"Hail Satan." Delivered at the end of a Satanic invocation at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Big hit, big hit. 

Quote of the Day

Fun facts for which one reads The New Yorker:

When you eat a dried fig, you’re probably chewing fig-wasp mummies, too. 

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Photo credit: pikawil100 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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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#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday August 12, 2016 at 3:12pm

“Betsy Davis”

I’m glad she had some choice in how to die.  A person in my family had ALS,  Unless maybe you’re used to being in your head all the time anyway, like say a physicist, it’s very hard to be fully aware but able only to move less each day.  I don’t know how the end was for my family member, as they were not immediate family, but I hope some help was provided, regardless of legality.

#2 Mario (Guest) on Friday August 12, 2016 at 3:14pm

What??  Kaine mentioned religion in a talk before the Progressive National Baptist Convention??  Tell me it’s not true!!! 

I am shocked.  Shocked, I tell you.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Friday August 12, 2016 at 3:20pm

“Earth is flat.”

Perhaps they can explain how modern airlines and ocean freighters are in a conspiracy to travel along the great circles, to pretend to be saving fuel, so to con everyone into thinking the planet is roughly spherical.

#4 Randy (Guest) on Friday August 12, 2016 at 3:25pm

“what follows is one of the most clear-eyed, powerful and human explanations of what has gone wrong in this region that you will ever read.”

Well, no.  What I need them to do is make this into a podcast.

Failing that, a TL;DR.

#5 Randy (Guest) on Friday August 12, 2016 at 3:42pm

What is stopping anyone from creating a religion today, whose core goal is to enact terrorist attacks against free and democratic peoples, for the holy duplity: Russell and his Teapot?

TeapotTerrorism has great teapot architecture, great tea-paired cuisine, great tea-stained art, great tea stories, and it makes its membership feel good in times of spilt tea.

If Teamaster Bob down the road is a TeapotTerrorist, and claims that his holy texts are (a) holy, and (b) true above all other texts, and (c) plainly demand terrorist attacks against free and democratic people in the name of Russell and his Teapot, are you seriously telling me that this is not a sufficient reason to ban Teamaster Bob from the USA?

It doesn’t matter that TeapotTerrorism isn’t a religion (but go ahead, Google it… it’s brewing).  There’s a close enough match in a major world religion.

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