Out the Window

September 27, 2013

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

Bob Smietana at USA Today covers the big ARIS-CFI survey on the worldviews of American college students, gets commentary from former CFI intern Stef McGraw, and talks to Mark Forrester, a chaplain at Vanderbilt University:

"[When I started in 1991, students] were either Protestant or Catholic," he said. "The biggest question was, what kind of Protestant are you? "

Now Jewish, Muslim, and other non Christian students are common as are those with no faith.

"All of our assumptions are out the window," he said. 

Don't forget: Michael De Dora is doing an online video chat with persecuted atheists Alber Saber and Kacem El-Ghazzali on Monday! 

Fake psychic Rose Marks is found guilty on 14 counts of fraud, may get 20 years. 

Facinating piece in India's The Hindu on the struggles of atheists in Indonesia

Sam Harris wants to help you achieve mindfulness with some guided audio meditations. I AM TOTALLY GOING TO TRY THESE. 

Huh? Kansas Board of Education gets sued for teaching evolution. No, really. 

Eric J. Lyman on whether Pope Francis gets a free pass for being cuddly:

On matters of doctrine, Francis is not nearly as radical as he appears at first glance. His statements about not judging gay Christians, or stating that the church is “too obsessed” with hot-button issues of sexual morality, did not result in any changes in church doctrine. But the way he talked about it won him many fans. 

Huma Yusuf at NYT on the situation concerning religious violence in Pakistan:

Religious intolerance is no longer the preserve of extremist groups; it is endemic throughout Pakistan. 

Bill Maher says he won't run for office because his atheism would make it impossible. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not his only barrier.

Rupinder Mohan Singh on how "terrorist" is less a term of one's criminality, but a racial epithet

Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker will be makin' 'em swoon with science on Capitol Hill Monday. 

A handy chart from Boing Boing on what kind of atheist or theist you might be

Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports on one of the sessions here at the Religion Newswriters Conference, a powerful panel on sexual abuse crises within churches other than the Catholic Church. 

Also, Bailey speaks to students at Baylor about what she sees as a negative stereotype about the religious in the American media.  

Hey, let's dangle a camera with a balloon over Loch Ness to look for Nessie and, oh never mind. 

Quote of the Day

Nonbelievers tell the Guardian how they offer solace in times of death and grief. This one is from Mark Moore:

I sit with them quietly. Get them something to eat or drink. Take care of things for them. I let them talk. They are wrapped up in what has happened to them. I am not a star player in the situation, I am supporting cast if that. It is not unusual for other people to be eclipsed in great grief or injury. This is a time to put my attention on another person and do my best to intuit what is needed. 

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