The Morning Heresy 10/15/12: Some of Us Were Blushing
October 15, 2012
As Election Day approaches, it's not the presidential race that has the exclusive attention of the Florida political class. It's "Amendment 8," a proposed change to the state constitution to allow taxpayer funds to flow to religious institutions -- and a reaction to a lawsuit brought by the Council for Secular Humanism concerning a proselytizing prison ministry.
A piece by Robyn Blumner in the Tampa Bay Times quotes CFI legal guru Steven Fox on the implications of the amendment, and Blumner concludes that its passage would mean:
. . . proselytizing by the likes of the Lamb of God Ministries, the local mosque or Scientology center, and, heck, even the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster could become just another government-funded program, with all of us compelled to foot the bill.
John Kennedy at the Palm Beach Post looks at the underlying politics, as well as the idea that Amendment 8 is a stalking horse for the voucherization of schools.
Pakistan is sending Malala Yousufzai to the UK for medical care.
CFI's Debbie Goddard looks at the ways student groups celebrated International Blasphemy Rights Day.
Lewis-Clark State College embarrasses itself with a credulous class on psychic power taught by a "clairvoyant."
Secular Coalition has about a bazillion new posts on the political implications of the "rise of the Nones," so just go there and browse.
David Sessions at the Daily Beast says the uptick in nones might have a lot to do with the radicalism of the GOP base.
Hemant is fuming over the American Family Association's attempts to curtail an anti-bullying initiative in schools, writing, "Lying is what the conservative Christian groups do."
Transgender Malaysians battle Shariah-based discrimination.
Atheist in the Harvard Political Review urges fellow nonbelievers to support a right to endorse candidates for preachers.
Here's a nice, clear headline: Healthcare Cures That Don't Work.
My former stomping grounds of South Jersey (meaning, where I was stomped on) is a hotbed of ghost hunting activity. Sharon Hill notes that all these groups haven't gotten any closer to, you know, finding ghosts.
Freed Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich: "I want to continue the actions of Pussy Riot, but that means you have to be more careful and you have to be more cunning."
io9 has some ideas of the theological questions that science fiction should take a stab at.
Quote of the Day
Sam Harris vs. that "Heaven is Real" Newsweek story:
Whether you read it online or hold the physical object in your hands, this issue of Newsweek is best viewed as an archaeological artifact that is certain to embarrass us in the eyes of future generations. Its existence surely says more about our time than the editors at the magazine meant to say—for the cover alone reveals the abasement and desperation of our journalism, the intellectual bankruptcy and resultant tenacity of faith-based religion, and our ubiquitous confusion about the nature of scientific authority. The article is the modern equivalent of a 14th-century woodcut depicting the work of alchemists, inquisitors, Crusaders, and fortune-tellers. I hope our descendants understand that at least some of us were blushing.
Note: I looked very hard for a picture of Sam Harris doing a facepalm, and came up with nothing. This is a problem, Internet.
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.
Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry
Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net!
The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta