You Bunch of Perverts

September 30, 2013

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

This is a huge day at CFI!

Today we're launching a national outreach campaign declaring that, yes indeed, millions of Americans live happy, meaningful lives without religion. We have ads going up in NYC, DC, Michigan, and Indiana. We have an amazing new website with a fantastic video, testimonials from real people about the benefits of secular humanism, stats, resources, and other great content. In fact, we want you to join in and tell us how you live happily #withoutreligion on Twitter. Here's our official announcement and our press release

But wait! There's more! 

The other big thing is of course that today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. CFI's Michael De Dora will do an online video chat with persecuted atheists Alber Saber and Kacem El-Ghazzali today at 4pm ET. We're also running a Twitter contest about why free expression, particularly in regards to the criticism of religion, is so important. CFI On Campus, meanwhile, tells what student groups are doing to mark the day.

A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that Hispanics in the US are becoming less Catholic, and more Protestant and "unaffiliated." Full report here.

Christian Post covers the ARIS/CFI survey on college students and their trifurcated worldviews. 

CFI joins a coalition of organizations condemning Russia's recent crackdowns on free expression and religious freedom:

The letter, coordinated by the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, urged various U.S. government leaders to “take decisive actions to more effectively press the leaders of the Russian government to reverse course, make good on Russian guarantees of freedom of religion and association for every individual and religious community, and honor Russia’s international human rights obligations and commitments.” 

Oh and look: A Siberian atheist is charged with “offend[ing] the feelings of religious believers” by posting porn on the Internet. 

A New Jersey judge cites the recent SCOTUS cases on marriage equality, and decrees that the state must now allow gay marriage

Nate Phelps joins CFI-Michigan for a lecture on October 9. 

Obamacare seems to give legitimacy to alt-med, says Tarah Kulash at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but it's not that clear-cut:

For example, naturopathic care would not fall under the nondiscriminatory list in Missouri because the state does not recognize it as a licensed practice. And even if a practice is licensed, that doesn’t mean it will receive coverage . . . Insurance companies can still decide not to include acupuncture in their plans. 

No really: Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, a member of the Senior Council of Scholars, says women shouldn't drive because it will damage their ovaries. Science! 

Not only is Iran's new president open to phone calls with our president, but he also doesn't think the apocalypse is nigh. Baby steps!

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown visited Santa Monica College's new skeptics' club

I really love this: The University of North Georgia Skeptics Society has a "graveyard of the gods." 

Susan J. Palmer is a connoisseur of cults

Charles C. Haynes at the First Amendment Center on when a kid can and cannot get all religious in school:

Of course, students attending public schools can’t take over classrooms by delivering sermons or leading classmates in prayer. But if student speech meets the requirements of the assignment . . . then students are free to express their religious or nonreligious views. 

A chiropractor in Australia accidentally breaks a baby's neck, spurring calls for age limits

The team running Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia is making leaps and bounds with a ton of new updates and a new forum. 

GOP tries to cram another "conscience clause" to deny women contraceptive care in the latest spending bill. 

Jonathan Rée reviews Ronald Dworkin's Religion without God (how's that for an ironic title in the context of today), characterizing Dworkin's attitude thusly: "Atheism . . . is uncontroversially true and truly boring, and atheists should find more interesting things to talk about." 

You're all a bunch of perverts. No really, I mean, if I'm talking about you from before the end of the 19th century, because that's what they called atheists, not sexual deviants. 

It's now okay to pop open a beer at Moody Bible Institute. Your relief is palpable.

Quote of the Day

Thus spake the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.

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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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Comments:

#1 Tim P. Farley on Monday September 30, 2013 at 8:49am

About the Obamacare item: there is a bill in Congress right now to repeal section 2706 that creates this situation. It is H.R. 2817: Protect Patient Access to Quality Health Professionals Act of 2013.  It is currently in committee, but you can track its current status via the CFI Bill Tracker page here: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/billtracker.

#2 David (Guest) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 at 9:15am

Anthropogenic? Why couldn’t they just say “man-made”?

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