In the 90s, Long Ago

September 3, 2015

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

Voice of America reports on the attempts of Bangladesh's secularist writers to get the heck out of Dodge as many of them wish to avoid the fates of their fellow bloggers. CFI's Michael De Dora is also quoted. 

The board of the James Randi Educational Foundation announces that the organization will convert into a grant-making foundation, and continue the Million Dollar Challenge.

Bahrain may pass a piece of legislation to protect the most vulnerable among us: God:

A draft law on criminalising contempt of religions, such as insulting divinity, defaming divine books, prophets, Allah's Messengers, as well as their wives or companions, and any hate and sectarian discourse that undermines national unity, differentiates between individuals or groups on the bases of religion, creed or sect and triggers conflict between individuals or groups...

Bangladesh says five Islamists have been arrested for the murder of secularist blogger Washiqur Rahman, including an "organizer" for the Ansarullah Bangla Team.  

Julia Scheers at Pacific Standard reports on the fundamentalist, Puritan throwback sect, the Twelve Tribes, its penchant for corporal punishment of its children, and the recent efforts to expose it.

Speaking of those nutty Puritans, Stacy Schiff at The New Yorker has a lengthy piece on the witch trials in 17th-century Salem, which I'm looking forward (and am slightly horrified) to read. I apparently have some ancestors who were among the burned, or so says my mom's genealogical research. And I played a pretty good Reverend Paris in my college's production of The Crucible. In the 90s. Long ago.

Last night, Ben Radford was the guest on Dead Air Paranormal Radiotalking magical thinking. He also has a new Discovery News piece on a Honduran teenager who was allegedly buried alive after being thought dead.

Two smart people who like to talk on one show: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Charlie Rose

A physician-assisted suicide bill attempts a second go-around in the California senate.

Americans United is raising concerns that Philadelphia might be footing the bill for explicitly religious services during the pope's coming visit. 

Francis X. Clines at NYT reports on the efforts of Satanists, atheists, and other non-Christian groups to win some territory on the Arkansas Capitol grounds, since the approval of the Ten Commandments display. 

Hindus in India drop below the 80% mark for the first time since its independence, Muslims rise to over 14%. 

The Guardian of Nigeria warns against quacks and other fake doctors, telling folks to be wary of certain behaviors, such as if "the doctor promises you a miracle medical care, that is not founded scientifically, or offers you a herbal concoction, that is prepared by his hospital in their facility."  

Crazy lights in the sky over Miami turn out to be a rocket sending up a Navy satellite.

Martians have apparently developed floating spoon technology. Their domination will be swift and ruthless.

Okay, for one thing, I didn't even know that Whose Line Is It Anyway? was still on TV, I'm amazed that (aside from the host) the cast is still the same after like 20 years, and then Bill Nye shows up. (As a theatre major in college, this show was an obsession. In the 90s. Long ago.)

Godzilla, who art in heaven, please don't eat me. 

Quote of the Day:

Kim Davis, the county clerk who won't do her job because of Jesus, tells the Supreme Court to go scratch because of "God's authority," and the L.A. Times says:

If an elected official believes that complying with the law and the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court threatens her with eternal damnation, her choice is obvious: Give up the office.

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