September 30, 2015
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Happy International Blasphemy Rights Day, everybody. In honor of this occasion, we're launching a brand-spanking-new website for the Campaign for Free Expression, and it looks really great (big thanks to our web team Matt Licata and Marianna Kreidler). We're also taking the opportunity to talk about the many ways CFI fights for free expression on several fronts, including a new action alert to urge U.S. lawmakers to back the House resolution calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws worldwide. (Get on that one right now.)
WBFO radio in Buffalo marks the day with a 15-minute interview with our own Tom Flynn, discussing the intentions of the special blasphemy edition of Free Inquiry.
At Religion News Service, Brandon Withrow talks to CFI's Michael De Dora and other experts about the necessity of repealing blasphemy laws in order to foster true religious freedom. Michael also writes up CFI's activities at the most recent UN Human Rights Council session, with videos of our statements.
Brian Pellot, also at RNS, rounds up some blasphemous reading material, from Harry Potter to the Bible!
It's being reported that Pope Fluffy met secretly in DC with the one and only Kim Davis. Yeah I dunno. Our boss Ron Lindsay says he's now "Pope Sneaky."
Oh right and we have a new Point of Inquiry! It's got Jeffrey Selman, who wrote the book -- well, a book -- on the battle to get creationism out of public schools, but from a slightly pro-faith perspective. Interesting stuff.
Richard Dawkins talks to the Wall Street Journal about his new book.
Unsurprisingly, anti-vaxxers are going to try and put the new California vaccine bill on the ballot as a referendum. Meanwhile, in Vermont, anti-vaxxers who want to evade the law about vaccines are looking at forming a religion.
The University of Arizona apparently offers all sorts of ways to be a "master" of snake oil medicine, and Britt Marie Hermes and Taylor Hermes argue that this needs to end:
There is nothing “proactive,” let alone safe, about giving patients sugar pills, recommending severe dietary restrictions, prescribing untested plant extracts, discouraging vaccines or injecting a cornucopia of substances from high-dose vitamins to ozone gas into patients’ veins. Naturopathic teachings and practices are so far divorced from reality that they dangerously undermine public health.
12 UN agencies release a joint statement calling for action to end violence against LGBT and intersex people.
Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards endures 5 hours of crap from Congress.
Atheist comedian Jim Jeffries explains why he does the Santa thing with his kids:
I'll just say, as soon as [my son] is of age, 'I lied to you, because I thought it would bring your childhood a little bit of magic,' in the same way I lied to my nieces and nephews when they were little kids about sporting achievements I never achieved, because that's what you do — you bullshit the children, because they enjoy it.
Quote of the Day:
Why aren't we sending the Mars rovers over to explore those newly-discovered sources of liquid water? The Prime Directive. Kyle Hill explains:
Though it’s unlikely, microbes from Earth might still be living in the nooks and crannies of Curiosity, ready to infect the waters of Mars. If any microbes were living on Mars, they may be out-competed or eradicated by invaders from Earth. If that happened, the biosphere would be irrecoverably changed, and the Prime Directive violated.
Original image by Shutterstock.
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