August 6, 2015
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
The Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships releases its reform proposals, something with which CFI's public policy office has been intimately involved. Director of the program, Melissa Rogers, writes in a blog post:
The proposed rules clarify the principle that organizations offering explicitly religious activities may not subsidize those activities with direct federal financial assistance and must separate such activities in time or location from programs supported with direct federal financial assistance. For example, if a faith-based provider offers a Bible study as well as a federally supported job training program, the Bible study must be privately funded and separated in time or location from the job training program.
Brian Pellot gathers experts to consider the question as to whether the violence of ISIS constitutes genocide, and includes our own Michael De Dora, who says in part:
While ISIS’ actions against Christian minorities — including intimidation, oppression, coercion, and in some cases murder — are not necessarily aimed at outright extermination, they cause grave harm to Christian minorities and in the long-term are likely intended to effectively destroy their groups, which would qualify as genocide under the U.N.’s definition.
Today marks 70 years since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the people of Hiroshima. The New Yorker posts its original 1946 piece on bombing, written by John Hersey (not "Heresy" but "Hersey"):
Many citizens of Hiroshima ... continued to feel a hatred for Americans which nothing could possibly erase. “I see,” Dr. [Terufumi] Sasaki once said, “that they are holding a trial for war criminals in Tokyo just now. I think they ought to try the men who decided to use the bomb and they should hang them all.”
As a huge fan of aspertame, I was very glad to see this debunking of an anti-Diet Coke infographic. (Perhaps "misinfographic?")
Someone does some jiggery-pokery to stabilize the famous 1960s Bigfoot footage (perhaps "bigfootage?"), and yep, it's a guy in a costume.
Islamist preacher and frequent talking head on UK television, Anjem Choudary, is arrested for encouraging support of ISIS.
Astronomers find a really freaking huge cosmic structure, a 5 billion-light-year ring of galaxies that, according to the Cosmological Principle, shouldn't be able to exist.
Harriet Hall ponders whether homeopathy is an ethical practice. Where do you think she comes down?
It will shock you to know that Donald Trump is very much misinformed about vaccines and autism.
Katha Pollitt at NYT on defending abortion:
Women aren’t the only ones who need to speak up. Where are the men grateful not to be forced into fatherhood? Where are the doctors who object to the way anti-abortion lawmakers are interfering with the practice of medicine?
On the issue of fetal-tissue research, we need to hear loud and clear from the scientific community. Anti-abortion activists are calling for a ban on this research, which ironically is used primarily to find treatments for sick babies. Will scientists let that happen?
Bernie Sanders will speak at Liberty University. Should be fun.
Iowa is about to see a lot of anti-marriage-equality billboards, but they're not hateful, you see. They're biblical. Big difference.
Pope Fluffy gets fluffy about divorced and remarried Catholics.
The Freethought Equality Fund PAC endorses humanist Jamie Raskin for Congress.
Ben Radford, an expert on mysteries in New Mexico, eagerly reviews a book about mysteries in New Mexico, and in some sections finds "errors on nearly every page."
Hindu nationalists in Nepal protest the appearance of the word "secular" in a draft constitution.
A meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu faces major protests by Hawaiians angry about a big telescope being built on the "sacred" Mauna Kea.
Check out the Moon transiting in front of Earth. SO COOL.
That whole "ritual killing" thing in Florida (of course) looks to have been wildly mischaracterized.
Quote of the Day:
My daughter, Phoebe, who is 3 years old, was asked at daycare what she wants to be when she grows up. Her answer:
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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