You Can Never Leave

August 22, 2017

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

Did you see the eclipse? I didn't. Hoax. Fake news. Alt-clipse.

Bigfoot and Lizardman were apparently excited about the eclipse, and I have to assume they weren't smart enough not to stare directly at it. Like some others.

Trump, who let's remember is still the same guy who says there are a lot of fine people among those Nazis, declares Afghanistan to be something like Dante's Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but he who best discerns the worth of time is most distressed whenever time is lost, and you can never leave.

Speaking of Trump, you'll be glad to know that a mere 9 percent of Americans find Nazi and white supremacist views "acceptable." The bad news is that I never look at a group of ten or so people again and not think, "One of you is cool with Nazis." (I know that's not really how it works, please don't bug me in the comments.)

Brandon Shulleeta at Poynter reports on the journalists on the ground in Charlottesville who were themselves attacked by the white supremacists, and the growing problem of reporters being targeted for violence.

The anti-vax zealots are sounding more and more like Jonestown cultists. As measles gets out of control in Minnesota, anti-vaxxers are encouraging "measles parties" for kids to infect each other, and folks who think vaccines have harmed their kid are being ushered to baptism I mean consultation with the keeper of this particular Kool-Aid, Andrew Wakefield. 

In Indonesia, learning center proprietor Siti Aisyah is convicted of blasphemy for teaching that the Quran does not compel one to pray, and that Mohammad's words are not a religious guideline. She'll be in prison for 6 months.

In Pakistan, a 16-year-old Christian boy is almost beaten to death when he is accused of burning a Quran, and then arrested for blasphemy. 

The Interior Department says to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to stop with all the research into the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining. 

Hey, Thomas J. Main, what is the essence of the alt-right?

The essence of the alt-right can be distilled to this catchphrase: All people are not created equal. That’s even more extreme than it may sound. Prominent alt-right thinkers don’t only believe that some are naturally taller, stronger or smarter than others, but also that some groups are more deserving of political status than others. They reject the concept of equality before the law. 

Richard Dawkins is the guest on the Big Think podcast Think Again, in which he discusses pescatarianism, Christopher Hitchens, nationalism, and much more.

Andy Ngo, interning with CFI this summer, has an article up at INTO in which he profiles the struggles of gay Muslims, as well as those of Muslim families and communities trying to adapt to life in the West.

Idaho State Representative Bryan Zollinger posts, and endorses the "plausibility" of, a conspiracy theory alleging that the Charlottesville violence was orchestrated by, you guessed it, OBAMA.

 "Honey, I shrunk the fish." - Humanity. 

Quote of the Day

Selin Girit at BBC reports on the coming ejection of Darwin and evolution from Turkish schools, about which Orhan Yildirim says:

This curriculum is a coup d'etat targeting education in Turkey. You don't have to have guns to make a coup. If you strike a country's education as such, then it will be impossible for it to catch up with prosperous nations.


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