Children of the (Anti-Clerical) Revolution

September 10, 2013

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

Happy twentieth, Bill Nye the Science Guy! In honor of the show turning 20 today, we're posting a classic Point of Inquiry with Bill Nye, a headliner of the CFI Summit.

Speaking of the Summit, I interviewed secular wunderkind, Summit speaker Zack Kopplin about what motivates his tireless activism, which includes a totally unexpected James Carville shout-out. 

Hindu authority in India sends notice that atheists are forbidden from marrying in temples

The latest Course of Reason On Air Session includes Michael De Dora in a discussion about what student freethought leaders can do about blasphemy rights and participate in the Campaign for Free Expression. 

AFP: France moves to enforce its Charter for Secularity in School, feared by many Muslims, which is explained by the government as in keeping with the French Revolution:

[The charter is] an attempt to promote better understanding, and more consistent enforcement, of long-established principles which have their roots in the anti-clericalism of the French revolution and the country's 1905 law enforcing a strict separation of church and state.

A federal judge rules in favor of a Muslim woman in California who says Abercrombie and Fitch wrongly fired her for wearing a head scarf.

Rebecca Goldstein, a huge hit at the last Women in Secularism conference, is coming to CFI-DC for its Seventh Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser

Sharon Hill sifts through the hairy Bigfoot "study" by Melba Ketchum for Skeptical Inquirer

Ken Cuccinelli, GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, gets an F from the Secular Coalition (I know, you're shocked), and Terry McAuliffe gets an A (which actually did surprise me, although McAuliffe has been more of an operative, not so much an office-holder, so who knows). 

A High Court in India is indicating support for the teacher who refused to pray at a school assembly. 

Meanwhile, a High Court in Pakistan suspends a lower courts' blasphemy charge against a columnist for portraying Muhammad in a "secular" and "derogatory" light. 

Richard Dawkins downplays any molestation by clergy he may have suffered as a child (which, by the way, is not new, as he's been public about his opinions on that for many years), and the Internet blows up.

Ferris Jabr is unimpressed by the new anti-GMO documentary, OMG GMO

Humanist activist Matt Skeens is cancer-free after a decade of fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and working his butt off to help others

Reza Aslan and HuffPo's Paul Raushenbush will be talkin' 'bout Jesus at NYU tonight. 

Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero talk to NatGeo about their new book and all manner of cryptids. 

Mississippi Baptist church nixes a plan to get clearance to erect a 110-foot cross, which ran afoul of zoning laws. 

I kind of can't deal with even summarizing this story. Sorry. 

Quote of the Day

Leo Igwe pleads for sanity in Gabon, a hotbed of ritual killings:

Ritual crime is driven by the irrational belief in the potency and efficacy of ritual sacrifice, and in the unchallenged cultural narrative that attributes political and financial success to mythical and occult powers. Most people are outraged by ritual killing and mutilations. But they still believe in the potency of ritual and human sacrifice. The narrative of ritual sacrifice is often used to explain the basis of wealth acquisition, luck and prosperity. The people of Gabon must begin to question and challenge this mistaken notion. Skeptics in Gabon need to come out and openly challenge the peddlers of this cultural dogma.   

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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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