We Admit That We’re Killers

September 9, 2016

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

Donald Trump releases a "school choice" plan, meaning millions in tax dollars going to private and religious schools. Caitlin Emma at Politico notes that the plan resembles Lamar Alexander's 2014 bill which we helped to defeat. 

This is rather cool: At the CFI blog, Ben Radford hosts another blog-symposium, this time on the subject of being offended, specifically on behalf of others: "offense by proxy." Joining him are skeptic comedian Ian Harris and cartoonish Celestia Ward (whose response is an actual cartoon).

A second Los Angeles date has been added for Richard Dawkins' U.S. tour, so go get your tickets. Info on the whole tour is here.

David Voas and Mark Chaves at the London School of Economics look at the long decline of religion in the U.S.:

The overall level of belief is being eroded as people born early in the 20th century are replaced by members of subsequent generations with weaker religious convictions. Children are raised by parents who are less religious than their parents were, and the culture is reshaped with the passing of each generation. These declines in traditional religiosity aren’t offset by increasing vitality elsewhere.  

President Obama tells the New York Times what he sees as the most important thing he's done in his time in office:

More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency. 

I mentioned a while back how Ohio governor John Kasich recently belittled Daniel Radcliffe for being an atheist ("What the hell's wrong with him?"), and now we have video of this weird and rather offensive moment, and it only feels weirder and more offensive seeing and hearing it rather than just reading about it. Kasich says that Radcliffe hasn't really "taken off" as a star (uh, okay), which leads one to ask: How'd that presidential campaign go for you, governor?

Alas, Hillary Clinton tells the National Baptist Convention that America needs "a president who will pray with you and for you." I am certain that we do not. 

Dig this: Three incumbent state legislators have come out as nontheist

Rev. Gretta Vosper of the United Church of Canada is an avowed atheist, and a church committee thinks she should be defrocked:

She does not recognize the primacy of scripture, she will not conduct the sacraments, and she is no longer in essential agreement with the statement of doctrine of The United Church of Canada. 

Joe Nickell shows off a comb from around 1911 that was advertised as "magnetic," and purported to cure hair loss and headaches. I know what I want for my birthday!  

After doing a great job for us as CFI interns, London Sneden and Sam Farooqui reflect on their time with us. London says:

After this internship, I feel more integrated into the secular community, and more set and confident in the career path that I want than I ever have before.

Sam says:

I consider this experience to have had a tremendous healing effect on me. For the first time, I was able to find spaces which, as a brown ex-Muslim femme, are very rarely available to me but also which are very difficult to create on my own as well, despite past great effort on my part 

They grow up so fast, don't they? 

Quote of the Day

More Star Trek celebrating, this time Brandon Fibbs' video on the humanism of Star Trek ("We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today."):  

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday September 09, 2016 at 3:16pm

Why do we pretend that our civil rights laws in Canada and the US protect religious belief?  They don’t.  Rather, it’s an elaborate system of state-supported segregation, and in some cases (e.g. Ontario schools) blatant religious bias. 

If we really believe in civil rights, then we MUST not allow religious groups to fire people from roles in the church, which they are performing well, solely on the basis of contrary belief, whatever that belief may be.  If the best person to lead your Catholic mass is Hindu, deal with it.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday September 09, 2016 at 3:19pm

Hillary ALSO said (in another article on the same event): “Yes, we need a President who will ... walk humbly with our God.”  The humblebrag is never attractive.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Friday September 09, 2016 at 3:25pm

“These declines in traditional religiosity aren’t offset by increasing vitality elsewhere”

That sounds ominous…  ideally we’d like to be seeing decreases in crime, increases in compassion, and increases in scientific understanding.

I don’t think this section of the article was well-written.

#4 Mario (Guest) on Friday September 09, 2016 at 5:29pm

Hillary’s got to stop with that religion stuff, because nones.

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