An Ounce of Adulteration

September 11, 2013

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

Quebec seeks to enact rules for public servants, prohibiting them from wearing all manner of religious symbols and accessories, in a purported effort to "help create a distinct identity" for the province. 

After Ball State University insists it will not hawk "intelligent design" in science courses, the Discovery Institute (referred to as a "think tank" in what I assume is a very loose definition of the term) lashes out at the school for "promoting atheism and bashing intelligent design." 

The Dawkins foundation and MAAF are working together on care packages for U.S. military personnel

Tonight, she of the stunningly awesome voice, Shelley Segal, will perform for CFI-Michigan in Grand Rapids, and again tomorrow in Ann Arbor.

One of many complications of the Syria crisis: Islamist rebels targeting Christians, reasserting the belief that Assad is Christians' only hope of protection. 

At NPR's 13.7 blog, Tania Lombrozo laments that theists and atheists cannot find a way to meaningful discussion and debate:

You know, respectful conversations, ones in which we interpret each other charitably and don't simply assume that those who disagree with us are foolish, immoral or just plain stupid. 

No, can't say that rings a bell. Ahem. 

Grieving mother of a fallen 9/11 first responder fights to get her son recognized on the official NYPD memorial, and is confronted instead with many excuses. Her theory? "If his name had been anything but Mohammad, it would have been a different story."

Jeff Sharlet returns for another exploration of The Family/Fellowship, "spiritually abusive" movements, and a weird conception of Jesus:

Jesus without Christ. It haunted me more than Jesus plus nothing. It positively buzzed, or maybe that was the wind—I couldn’t say. Whatever the noise that phrase generated in my skull was, it scared me. Scared me stupid, literally.  

NJ governor Chris Christie on the security-liberty balance:

As a former U.S. Attorney appointed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I strongly believe we need to do everything in our power to prevent terrorist attacks on our country and keep our people safe. I also believe we must protect and maintain civil liberties, especially those of the citizens in New Jersey's Muslim community.  

Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network starts a blog

Carrie Poppy goes looking for love, or, really, an explanation of what the hell it is, and how it improves your complexion.   

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have Diana Nyad truthers.  

Neil Cavuto of Fox News devotes an entire segment of his show to discussing the very serious question of whether an attack on Syria heralds the End Times and the return of Jesus. 

A "sorcerer" in Israel tricks a woman into having sex with him to magically help her get over her breakup. And charged her for it.  

Who be killing elk in New Mexico? Ben Radford cops to it still being "a genuine mystery." 

UFO buzzes by a minor league baseball game. 

Alabama ghost hunters want to raise funds in a DAR house they say is haunted. THE MARBLES MOVED, GUYS. 

Quote of the Day

This is interesting: Jana Reiss meditates on the acceptance of doubt within faith, and how religious authorities ought to respond to it:

[L]et’s say for the sake of argument that . . . some of our more anxiety-ridden general authorities are correct that doubt only leads to people leaving the Church. If leaving is people’s most honest response to doubt then I say it is the Church’s fault and not the defectors’ own. Let me say that again. It is the Church’s fault, because of the zero-sum game it has too often made of religious truth. We set up a house of cards in which we tell our young people that either ALL of it is true or NONE of it is true, and then we are astonished when they depart because they have found an ounce of adulteration in the total purity they have been indoctrinated to expect. 

* * *  

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta