Tired of Trying to Be Moved

September 9, 2013

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

Former W. press secretary Dana Perino, now at Fox (of course), discussing the Massachusetts Pledge case, is sick, sick, sick of atheist pests:

I’m tired of [atheists]. I remember working at the Justice Department years ago when I first started right after 9/11 and a lawsuit like this came through, and before the day had finished, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives had both passed resolutions saying that they were for keeping ‘under God’ in the pledge. If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.

Action alert, y'all: Tell Congress to tell the Family Research Council to back off our laws. 

This is a boatload of awesome: Slate posts a big map of "here be dragons"-type creatures from Renaissance cartography. 

A series of awful news from the weekend:

The four Bangladeshi atheist bloggers for whom CFI and its allies held protests this year are officially indicted for making “derogatory comments about Islam.” 

A six-year-old rape victim in India is forced to marry her 40-year-old rapist's son. GWU's Jonathan Turley rages:

Clearly, this type of unspeakable abuse will continue until panchayat members are held accountable for such acts. Much like the allegations against the Catholic church, their actions enabled and protected a rapist and pedophile. Girls will continue to be abused in the name of religion and tradition until such “elders” are declared to be criminals in their own right.

Sushmita Banerjee, author of a memoir about her escape from the Taliban is brutally murdered, allegedly by the Taliban.

More news of Christians targeted for attack by Islamists, this time in southern Egypt, including an ancient monastery:

The monastery’s 1,600-year-old underground chapel was stripped of ancient icons, and the ground was dug up in the belief that a treasure was buried there. “Even the remains of ancient and revered saints were disturbed and thrown around,” Father Yoannis said.

In other news... 

The comet ISON is not a harbinger of doom, but it might smash into Mars eventually. 

Michelle Syba loses faith, not just because of ye olde reason and rationality, but because of experiences not delivered:

My reasons were more emotional than rational. Instead of some Tractatus-style set of propositions leading to an inexorable win for atheism, I simply got tired of trying to be moved. Growing up in a religious culture that emphasized individual interiority and authentic feeling, I found the pretense too exhausting to sustain for a lifetime. 

A shop owner in Massachusetts places a Virgin Mary statue on a traffic island, which is public property. The mayor lets him keep it there until a court decides one way or the other, but someone goes and smashes it, which is messed up I think. 

Pew notes that the Catholic Church's push for immigration reform might have something to do with the fact that 58% of Hispanics in the US are Catholic.

New Zealand teacher opts not to pray, and a politician punches him

A new documentary purports to show how Pat Robertson set up a scam charity to confront the genocide crisis in Rwanda in the 90s. 

Court documents reveal allegations of harassment and illegal surveillance by Scientology chief David Miscavige. 

Chris Stedman blogs-heads with Laurie Santos. CFI's Michael De Dora is a late addition to an event with Chris and Yale Humanists tomorrow.

Protests and counter-protests in a large London Muslim community results in 160 arrests.

Someone needs to remind Dr. Oz how actual science works

According to a pseudonymous writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, it may be okay for professors to be open atheists, but for senior administrators, not so much

S.E. Cupp, you really don't have to be an atheist if you don't want to be. It's okay.  

Wisconsin fake psychic is arrested after allegedly bilking clients out of $35,000.  

The fake psychic now on trial in Florida (of course), Rose Marks, apparently dictated psychic messages from Brad Pitt and Colin Powell. 

Neuroskeptic arches an eyebrow at two Belgian physicians' paper that seems to support the idea that a little empathy and an alt-med placebo can be a "profoundly rational" treatment.

CNN covers the competition among ghost hunting groupsSharon Hill shrugs:

This is certainly not a new phenomenon. Paranormal teams have been tripping over one another and elbowing for space for many years now.  

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front may want to reconsider its name, or at least rearrange the word order. 

Quote of the Day

Indian atheist Mitali Saran is sick of second-class treatment:

So much of human history is about Believing that atheists are outsiders to, or at best observers of, many traditional cultural practices. But we're not begging to be let in - our motto is 'Suck It Up' (with optional therapeutic interim stages like 'Moan' and 'Wallow'). Just don't feel free to shoot us, you know? Stick with traditional cultural practice and keep shooting each other. 

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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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