The Morning Heresy 5/31/12: As Long as it’s Blue

May 31, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

It's true, a CFI Living without Religion billboard was defaced in Indiana. As far as I know, we don't know who did it or what their motivations were, though I presume the imagination reels.

CFI's Michael De Dora eviscerates the claims to morality made by Rep. Paul Ryan about his budget proposal, and the very notion religiously-motivated legislation    

And you gotta read this: CFI-LA's Jim Underdown continues the saga of his Dr. Phil Show experience:

All my [psychic] reading was meant to show was that a fake could be convincing. Yet, this stunning revelation was completely glossed over on the show. 

Dren Asselmeier recounts CFI on Campus's busy spring   

CFI-NY opens its metaphorical doors for a new group, Muslim-ish:

Whether you pick and choose the things you do/don't believe in, question if Islam is really from the creator of the universe, or reject it completely, come and share your thoughts and ideas with other like minded people.

Must-see Daniel Dennett talk, posted at WaPo, "How to Tell If You're an Atheist" 

The Legion of Doom's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who you may have heard of, authorized paying off child-abusing priests so they'd agree to quit. Classy. 

Leah Libresco's Ideological Turing Test is up and humming, but she needs some atheists to take part -- come on, doubters! You love experiments! What the heck am I even talking about? Leah says:

In a conventional Turing Test, computer programmers try to write a computer program that can pass for human. In the Ideological Turing Test, atheists and Christians test how well they understand each other by trying to talk like each other. All the entries in the atheist round are collected below, and you can click on each link to read the entry to decide whether you think the author is sincere or shamming. 

David Niose: "Ceremonial deism" is a bunch of garbage 

Libertarian candidate for governor of North Carolina scraps her own marriage license in protest over recent anti-gay vote 

Max Nielson gets an assist from FFRF to combat the majority-rules benediction at his high school graduation, prayers are banned at a North Carolina high school, while a valedictorian wins his fight to secularize his own graduation 

Mississippi guv comes out ever-so-bravely for school prayer (hat tip AU

New York's M.T.A. says that religious headgear on employees is okay, as long as it is blue (But what if blue is against your religion! Bigots!)

Religion professor David Webster has a new book inspired by his "aggressive grumpiness" about pop-spirituality, which, in part, he calls:

Stupid—because its open-ended, inclusive and non-judgmental attitude to truth-claims actually becomes an obstacle to the combative, argumentative process whereby we discern sense from nonsense.  

Becket Fund vs. FFRF over Jesus statue 

Sent to me from Rob Boston: Pentecostal snake handler dies of, well, snake 

Hemant: New Hampshire taxes a church bathroom. It makes sense if you read it. 

Tornado mothership thing! 

Philadelphia Weekly: Why beers are names after mythical creatures, unlike wine 

Atheist denominations

AP: SCA plants its flag in Virginia, National Journal covers SCA's plan to invade the rest of the states 

Rebecca Watson recounts her adventures in conference globetrotting, which involves sneezing and crashing iPad apps 

Emily Kreuger at the AU blog takes apart North Dakota's Measure Three, yet another "religious freedom" ballot initiative 

Science and Religion Today has the International Social Survey Program's religion study, which shows "a multinational waxing of atheism and waning of theism" 

Kate Donovan meets secular students at the Air Force Academy 

Greta posts her piece from Free Inquiry on how secularists talk about death:

If we can get our ideas and feelings about death out into the world, these people will find it easier to let go… knowing they’ll have a safe place to land when they do. 

Adam Ruben dissects the tropes of science journalism (hat tip Amanda):

I hereby say to all science reporters: If you ever come to interview me about my research and find any part of it mundane, write it that way.  

Quote of the Day     

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, from their official statement about Cardinal Dolan's payoffs:

In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?
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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