The Morning Heresy 11/7/12: The Smell of a Socialist Utopia

November 7, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

Four more years it is. Beyond all the enormous political implications of last night's remarkable victory for the president, it's also important to note for our constituency that it was math, not wishful thinking or conspiracies, that most accurately reflected the actual outcome. 

Pete Stark, the only avowed nontheist in Congress, is defeated by his fellow-Democratic challenger. 

Meanwhile, there remains the prospect that Congress will not be entirely atheist-free, as Kyrsten Sinema holds on to a slim lead in Arizona. 

Florida's Amendment 8, an initiative inspired by opposition to the Council for Secular Humanism's lawsuit, and which would have opened the door to state funding of religious institutions (and which was opined against by our own Tom Flynn) is, much to my surprise, soundly rejected

Marriage equality, for the first time, approved by the voters in Maryland, my adopted home state of Maine, and possibly Washington state. Minnesota may yet reject has rejected an amendment banning same-sex marriage. 

Sarah Posner on last night's results: "The religious right made a huge mistake of hyping their clout." 

Dan Gilgoff, similarly:

On multiple levels, Tuesday’s election results seemed to mark a dramatic rejection of the Christian right’s agenda, eight years after the movement helped sweep President George W. Bush into a second term and opened the era of state bans on same-sex marriage. 

Kathryn Lofton said Mitt should have let his Mormonism shine through: "Romney’s mistake has been to avoid explaining the most open secret of his leadership, namely just how Mormon he is." 

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) charges the Legion of Doom with violating their tax-exempt status by campaigning for Mitt Romney. Which, as you may have heard, didn't work out. 

NPQ: IRS didn't go after electioneering preachers because they simply don't have the personnel

Kylie Sturgess talks to Chris Stedman on the occasion of the release of his new book Faitheist -- it's a great interview.

Here's the big Buffalo News story on local hero, former CFIer Julia Burke, after her "makeshift marathon" to help those affected by the hurricane.

Infamous "Mojave Cross" about to get its new home on "clearly-delineated" private land in California. 

Now we are six: CFI-DC is getting set to celebrate its 6th anniversary. 

Leo Igwe pens a tribute to the late Paul Kurtz

Sharon Hill breaks my poorly-nourished heart with this:

Multivitamins are attractive to people because they are a cheap, easy and painless way to feel like looking after your health. The evidence is in people, it’s not really worth it. Taking vitamins is not a substitute for having a healthy diet and getting plenty of excersise 

Daniel Norero at relates the problems of pseudoscience and paranormal belief in Chile. 

What the heck are those mystery grids in China? 

Quote(s) of the Day         

Apple blogger John Gruber, on Twitter: 

I love the smell of a socialist utopia in the morning.

and later...

Patience, everyone. You’ll be assigned your new Muslim name when the Feds come to your home to collect your guns. 

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 

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The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta


#1 amandatheatheist on Wednesday November 07, 2012 at 8:20am

“Minnesota may yet reject an amendment banning same-sex marriage.”

We DID reject it. In order to pass it needed 60% of registered voters (not just voters that turned out) to vote yes. Nowhere near that voted in favor. The possibility of marriage equality in the future remains more intact for my home state.

You might want to correct that in your post…

#2 Griff on Wednesday November 07, 2012 at 3:23pm

“ was math, not wishful thinking or conspiracies, that most accurately reflected the actual outcome.”

?  Sorry, but that was very unclearly written—to wit, I don’t know how a conspiracy can accurately (or otherwise) reflect an outcome—i.e. what that would actually mean, word-wise.  However, we just witnessed one massive, front and center GOP conspiracy to suppress the vote, and I’d bet the farm that, had the GOP not tossed out provisional ballots, created long lines in Ohio and Fla. and elsewhere, and erected threatening signs in black neighborhoods, Obama’s victory margin would have been significantly higher.  I can’t prove that, but it seems to be the overwhelming probability.  Therefore, I find your essay a little puzzling, given the major conspiracy that was carried out in full view of the public and press.  So, no, “math” did not accurately reflect the outcome, since few fully rational people would argue that all the votes were either cast or counted.

Consider joining the rest of us progressives in cheering this extraordinary victory of the people, even if that means ignoring, for a moment, such tremendously vital issues as nontheists in (or out of) office or Sarah Posner’s latest hair-splitting dig at evangelicals.

#3 amandatheatheist on Thursday November 08, 2012 at 7:08am

Huh, I read some misinformation. So what I posted before isn’t quite right. Nevertheless, the amendment would have needed 50% of voters casting ballots to vote yes, not just a majority.

Sorry about that.

“With more than 90 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, just over 47 percent of voters backed the amendment. More than half of voters opposed it and another 1 percent left the question unmarked on the ballot. To win, the amendment needed at least 50 percent of all votes cast in the election.”

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