The Morning Heresy 11/8/12: Behold the New Jerusalem

November 8, 2012

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

We have a lot more election news, now that folks have had a day to digest, think, sleep, and, you know, write their stories. 

Greta Christina: "In this election, secular values won big-time." Even the less-than-sunny Jacques Berlinerblau says, "Today, secularism should feel just swell."

Kimberly Winston on the atheist congressional switcheroo: Pete Stark defeated, Kyrsten Sinema is in. 

That may not be all. Lauren Anderson Youngblood at SCA tallies up the wins and losses for the skepto-atheist community, and notes that Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin does not seem to have declared a religious affiliation of any kind. Whether or not she's an atheist is unknown, but it looks like she may at least be a "none." 

Sarah Posner looks at the nones' growing influence within the Democratic coalition, and says of the Obama campaign's faith outreach, "...it was obvious neither the president’s nor the campaign’s hearts were in it." 

Paul Rausenbusch at HuffPo: "The big religious loser last night was the spiritual abuse of power that seeks to diminish the rights and dignity of others."  

The state of Hawaii is sending two firsts to Congress: Mazie Hirono will be the US Senate's first Buddhist (as well as first Asian American woman) and going to the US House will be Congress's first Hindu, Tulsi Gabbard. 

Dave Weigel ticks off the gay-marriage victories from Election Day, and there are more than you even think. "I'm at a loss to think of any recent rout this decisive for any issue group." 

It wasn't all good news. The Stubborn He of the Enormous Ten Commandments Monument, Roy Moore, fired from the Alabama Supreme Court for his refusal to comply with orders to remove said monument, is back. And not just back, but he is returning to his position as Chief Justice.

David Gibson examines the tidal wave of soul-searching that is in store for the utterly-shellacked Christian right. 

Sikivu Hutchinson is less impressed with Obama's record thus far, and warns him against "squandering" the energy of his electoral coalition. 

RNS has a roundup of the wishlists of several religious leaders for the next four years (and no, no skepto-atheist leaders are included).

David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (and a genuinely good reporter) on the overall election results for the GOP: "COLOSSAL DISASTER."

Cardinal Dolan sends President Obama a congratulatory letter in which he says he will pray that Obama will be granted wisdom from God, which seems kind of crummy, as it seems to presume that he has none to begin with.  

Tom Flynn celebrates the defeat of Florida's Amendment 8, adding that this result "buoys" the Council's lawsuit combatting the state funding of religious institutions in the state. 

In other news... 

Mark Bassely Youssef, the apparent writer of and "cultural adviser" to "The Innocence of Muslims" Internet video is sentenced to prison for unrelated probation violations. Of course it went weirdly. Via the AP:

Shortly after Youssef left the courtroom, his lawyer, Steven Seiden, came to the front steps of the courthouse and told reporters his client wanted to send a message.

"The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is President Obama may have gotten Osama bin Laden, but he didn't kill the ideology," Seiden said.

Asked what that meant, Seiden said, "I didn't ask him, and I don't know." 

Kylie Sturgess interviews Andy Lewis of Quackometer for CSI on the cult-like Waldorf/Steiner schools. 

The world is probably not ending any time soon, but just in case, you should get registered for CFI-Canada's Eschaton 2012 conference. Hurry, now. 

In a guest post at Skepchick, Laura Stone writes on a subject very close to my heart, bullying in school, of which her atheist gay son is a victim:

How can a mother’s kiss soothe when there’s a gash on his cheek from someone’s boot? How can his father’s “atta boy!” override a teacher at his school telling him to just shut up, already? (Or be heard over the ringing derisive laughter of his classmates?) He can’t remember his sister laughing at a joke earlier when his head is underwater in a toilet and a group of four boys are pulling his clothes off to toss down the hallway. 

Ben Radford reviews the new film Lincoln, and he is pleased. 

Vlad Chituc, discussing negative reactions to the work of Chris Stedman, wonders if we are less than fair when we presume disagreement:

. . . it’s too easy to read and fight a caricature while filling in the space between the lines with something that no one had ever said. 

Ethicist Art Caplan denounces the waste of $30 million on NIH research on chelation therapy for heart disease.  

Quote of the Day         

The Wire and Homicide scribe David Simon pens a great essay on how the election heralds in a new era in which the old white male power structure is crumbling:

Change is a motherfucker when you run from it. And right now, the conservative movement in America is fleeing from dramatic change that is certain and immutable. A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point.  

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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