August 26, 2016
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
So there's these "nones," right? And you're all, hey, why'd these nones all decide not to be a part of a formal religion? Totally good question. Oh hey! Pew has answers. Half of nones just don't believe in any religions (ahem, but they're not all "atheists," ahem). 20% simply didn't like organized religion for various reasons, and 10% were just non-practicing believers.
Bill Nye recently called out the fact that CNN employed a climate change-denying meteorologist...while on CNN. Well, turns out that said meteorologist, one Chad Myers, has changed his mind because of, that's right, the evidence.
Hillel Aron at L.A. Weekly reports on the Church of Scientology's activities with a movie studio and its larger relationship with the city of Los Angeles.
Alexandro Borgo provides us with another Spanish-language translation of a Skeptical Inquirer piece, Morton Tavel's takedown of the polygraph.
Not only has Prime Minister Justin Trudeu said that Canada won't be banning burkinis, but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has now approved hijabs for Muslim women who wish to join the force.
Amy Littlefield at Rewire reports on how Catholic hospitals are finding reasons to deny women all kinds of care:
Melanie Jones arrived for her doctor’s appointment bleeding and in pain. Jones ... had slipped in her bathroom, and suspected the fall had dislodged her copper intrauterine device (IUD). Her doctor confirmed the IUD was dislodged and had to be removed. But the doctor said she would be unable to remove the IUD, citing Catholic restrictions followed by Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and providers within its system. ... Not only could she not help her, the doctor said, but no one in Jones’ health insurance network could remove the IUD, because all of them followed similar restrictions.
Michael Nugent does a long post detailing his problems with a new report from Demos UK on anti-Muslim Twitter activity, centered on what he says is the misuse of the term "Islamophobia" and misunderstandings of what constitutes actual prejudice.
The Science Post (a satire site) shows how one hospital has figured out the best way to keep costs down:
A large tertiary care center in Sydney, Australia is pulling out all the stops to try and cut their expenses. As of next month, all doctors and nurses currently on staff will be replaced by parents who have done research on the Internet.
“I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am when a patient tells me they have done some research on the internet” said head of neurology, Dr. Eric Sheppard. “It’s only topped by a patient telling me they have a family member who is a nurse.”
Trump, speaking in circles:
I’m going to do a great job for religion and for the evangelicals. I’m going to do a great job. And that’s why we got a standing ovation from pastors, who don’t give much standing ovations because they’ve heard a lot of people speak, so that was a great honor. But I will do a great job, I’ll get the job done and I’ll get it done properly and that will be a great thing for the evangelicals.
Americans United and American Atheists are forming an unholy alliance to CRUSH the Pennsylvania House of Representatives! Okay, not "crush," actually, more like "sue." They're suing over the PA House's rejection of atheists as potential invocation speakers. And the PA House is being pretty blatant in its church-state coziness:
House Rule 17 provides, inter alia, that the first order of business shall be prayer by the chaplain… This same Rule provides that the Chaplain shall be a member of a regularly established church or religious organization or shall be a member of the House. … Accordingly, we cannot approve your request.
So here's this list of 10 celebrities "you probably didn't know were atheists." That's cool, I guess, though some of them seem more squishy on the question than outright atheistic, but whatever, that's cool.
Here we go, more coverage of Maine's alleged Loch Ness Monster equivalent, one "Wessie," the giant snake thing. Can we wait for our governor's term to be up before our state adds additional monsters?
Quote of the Day
Mary Beth Williams has a thread on Twitter about the language we use around cancer and those who suffer from it. Here's some of it:
Cancer winners & losers, battlers & beaters - It creates a class system among patients. It makes cancer a quest instead of disease. ... It amazes me how often reporting on someone who died of cancer won't use the word "died." We don't LOSE. We die. All of us. ... The winner & loser language around cancer is so divisive and so painful. It denies so many things out of our control. Please think. & feel.
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