I’m Gonna Have to Scare the Pope

August 20, 2015

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

The Patheos blog network hosts a Public Square discussion on humanism, and features a piece by our boss Ron Lindsay, looking at the rise of "nones" as not an atheistic phenomenon, but a boon for inquiry:

[These surveys] indicate Americans are increasingly rejecting religious dogma, and with it the notion that there is a particular, rigid creed they need to abide by. 

It's just so perfect. I mean, come on, it's just...I don't know. Of course this happened: Josh Duggar -- Christian fundamentalist, religious right hero and confessed child molester -- was a paid subscriber to Ashley Madison, the cheat-on-your-spouse online service...twice over! Of course he was! Of course he was.

Guys. Hold on to your apple pies. There's going to be a Carl Sagan biopic. I really, really want to play Carl. 

In Skeptical Briefs, Felipe Nogueira knocks out some myths about nutrition, such as "detoxes" and gluten-free benefits. 

Uh, did you know that two people and a bunch of squirrels have been infected with the plague in California? Not a plague, but the plague? What the hell is happening? Is this Jenny McCarthy's fault? 

Kimberly Winston looks at the hubbub over Arian Foster's outing himself as an atheist, and whether such a hubbub is warranted. 

Trump wants to tell the pope, "ISIS wants to get you. ... I'm gonna have to scare the pope." And then something-something Dodd-Frank.

Michael Specter at The New Yorker makes what ought to be an obvious case that injuring Planned Parenthood will only lead to a rise in abortions: "This is not only madness but expensive madness." 

Idiots "patrol" the infamous "Muslim-free" gun shop in Oklahoma in order to, I dunno, protect it from jihad, and one of them shoots himself in the arm.

Why does Creflo Dollar need a $65-million jet? Creflo works in mysterious ways:

What does a preacher need with an airplane?’ They don’t know. They’ll never know because they’re not looking through the Word. They will never know, never never know.

New Jersey priest Rev. Manuel Gallo Espinoza admits to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy (he's not using the word "abuse" but I am), but blames the kid because, you see, “He had something evil in his mind." You see, the child, who was sexually abused by a priest, is the evil one.  

Here's a good reason to colonize Mars ASAP: Turns out Earth has skydiving spiders. NO THANKS. 

Quote of the Day:

Garrett Epps at The Atlantic on why clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples should definitely resign, recalling a Marine he knew in Officer Candidate School who suffered a crisis on conscience:

Here’s what didn’t happen: Nobody suggested that dropping him from OCS was a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of “the free exercise” of religion. He did not say, “I think that in recognition of my sincere religious opposition to war, you should let me stay in the Corps and get my pilot’s wings. I will do the job, except for one thing: I won’t drop bombs or shoot guns.” 


Government in particular has an obligation to dismiss any employee who claims a right to discriminate against citizens.      

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Original image by Shutterstock.

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 Nadine (Guest) on Thursday August 20, 2015 at 7:16am

“Uh, did you know that two people and a bunch of squirrels have been infected with the plague in California?”

I saw that movie! (Kate Jackson & David Hewlett)

#2 Tim (Guest) on Thursday August 20, 2015 at 8:49am

Great job as always. I was hoping to see, and hoping still, some outrage over Carly Fiorina’s comments yesterday. I saw a tweet from CFI, but I am beside myself that there has not been more of a fuss made over what she implied by saying people of genuine faith are better leaders because they have empathy and humility, etc. If she had implied what she did about any other group of people, she would be “crucified” in the press. Please tell me we will raise a ruckus.

#3 Randy on Thursday August 20, 2015 at 9:02am


I thought the interesting part of that interview was that (a) Trump repeatedly lied to the interviewer, who he thought was a family friend, (b) the interviewer noticed, and (c) the interviewer called him on it big time ... AFTER the interview.  There won’t be another.

#4 Randy on Thursday August 20, 2015 at 9:07am

“Is this Jenny McCarthy’s fault?”

Oh come on.  This is obviously my fault, as a gay person.  Don’t you listen to Pat Robertson?  We’re—I’m—pretty much the cause of everything. So be nice, or it won’t just be squirrels (and chipmunks… I didn’t leave them out) and a couple of nature-botherers.  We could go national with this.

#5 Randy on Thursday August 20, 2015 at 9:21am

“I don’t know.”  Correct.

“Of course he was! Of course he was.”

Possibly.  Or someone on the “dark web” wanted it to appear that way.  They certainly had the time and motivation.  Had he ever had his credit card info stolen, by shopping at Target for example?  It would be trivial to add someone to the list.

Even if the doctoring wasn’t done by the group releasing the data, if reports are to be believed (they aren’t) then we know that people signed up to the site with other people’s identities.

C. F. I.  GAWKER?!

Seriously?  It the power of gloat THAT strong?

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