The Morning Heresy 5/3/12: Secular Coalition of Dubstep

May 3, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

Happy National Day of Reason! In celebration, I will do some algebra problems. Kidding! I kid! 

Herb Silverman in WaPo on the big day:

Here’s one final difference between the National Day of Prayer and a National Day of Reason. Many secular groups plan to observe the National Day of Reason by advocating and performing community service projects or other good works.  

Oh, and there's something going on with Herb's organization today, but I can't remember what it is. Oh right!

The Secular Coalition for America just hired a new executive director. And she's a Republican. No, really.

She's Edwina Rogers, and SCA has a ton of material to talk about who she is and where she comes from. (Council for Secular Humanism, an affiliate organization of CFI, is a member organization of SCA. I know, it's confusing to me too.)

Rogers introduces herself in an SCA video: "Secular values are American values, and secular issues are nonpartisan." 

In an Q&A posted at the SCA website, Rogers says:

I am a nontheist, but tend to shy away from labels, because I think they have a way of creating division within the movement. I have always been a firm secularist and an ardent supporter of the separation of religion and government. I am passionate about increasing the respect for nontheists in the United States and protecting the secular character of our government. I think that America is a place where there should be no religious test for participation in political life. I certainly feel that theists should be fully able to participate in public life—but no more than nontheists. I am not here to end religion.    

Oh, and she says she's into dubstep, which I had to look up on Wikipedia a couple weeks ago 'cause I didn't know what it was, because I am not cool. 

Kylie endorses the Heresy! Calls it "a must-read every morning." In other words, you literally should not even try to go on with your life until you read the Morning Heresy. The Morning Heretic thanks you. 

CFI's John Shook challenges Sam Harris's position on Muslim profiling, Chris Stedman invites Harris on a date to a mosque

1500 Woonsocketans (Woonsocketites? Woonsockis?) rally to keep the memorial cross on government property, some claim FFRF wants to attack veterans 

And Jessica Ahlquist still has nothing to do with Woonsocket-gate-palooza-expialidocious 

The Guardian interviews imprisoned Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, who CFI asks you to support

"The truth is way too dangerous," says Aan quietly, his hands clasped together over his prison-issue blue jeans and button-down shirt. "I'm really worried about my future. And I'm only just now starting to think about how I'm going to deal with it." 

Jon Stewart, in an interview with evangelical author David Barton, says of atheist groups, "You know nobody listens to them." Thanks, Jon. 

Leah Libresco is restarting her Ideological Turing Test project! She needs your feedback.

Writing about the coming-out of atheist former pastor Theresa MacBain, Candace Chellew-Hodge recounts part of the problem:

Once, in a classroom full of future clergypersons, I found myself excited by the new and eye-opening things we had been learning about Christian history and theology.

“So,” I asked my classmates. “When you get into the pulpit, will you be teaching your congregation all the great things we’ve learned here?”

There was a collective gasp. The stared at me and crinkled their noses like I had just let out a huge, smelly fart.

“No!” one gasped as she held a hand to her chest, clutching her cross-shaped necklace. 

Irish cardinal who failed to deal with over a decade of abuse of children by a serial pedophile priest remains defiant 

Via Hemant, a new article in Psychology Today on atheists who don't blog, rally, make YouTube videos, etc., about their nonbelief

Dallas CBS: Metroplex atheists challenge the power of prayer 

Reporters without Borders: Pakistan court declares government may not censor the Internet 

Scammy Hingham, Mass. psychics may have many more victims

Dr. Gilbert Ross and George Lundberg of the American Council on Science and Health, on federal support of "CAM":

There is no such thing as 'alternative' medicine — it's either evidence-based medicine, or it's faith, magic, or charlatanry. 

Steven Novella elaborates:

CAM research, therefore, is like playing the lottery – the chance of winning is so small it is not significantly different from zero, but if you get really lucky perhaps you may hit upon something. As a society we have to decide if this is a worthy investment of our limited research dollars. To continue this analogy, financial advisers often recommend a range of investments from conservative to risky, but I don’t think they would consider buying lottery tickets part of a sound financial plan. 

Paul Offit on same:

There's no reason to believe that magnets would make your migraine headache better. Or that prayer would treat AIDS. I think it's money wasted. 

The Moderate Voice: To win marriage equality, preserve secularism, the state should get out of the marriage business 

WSJ on what the book of Matthew says about investing 

Quote of the Day   

KCET's Chris Clarke on the theists' victory in the Mojave cross case:

That secular cross will be going back up, the VFW will continue its secular Easter services at which they secularly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and across the country ultraconservative Christian activists are already celebrating their completely nonreligious victory over the heathens. 

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

Comments:

#1 Kevin Rusnak (Guest) on Thursday May 03, 2012 at 8:17am

Don’t be surprised that there are Republican non-theists. We exist. I don’t need a god to point out the obvious hypocrisies regarding the current administration. Remember Obama calling a $4 trillion debt unpatriotic? He’s added $6 trillion to that debt. There’s no god required to see the flagrant obvious hypocrisy there.

#2 Ophelia Benson on Thursday May 03, 2012 at 12:03pm

“a new article in Psychology Today on atheists who don’t blog, rally, make YouTube videos, etc., about their nonbelief”

Gasp! Are they crazy?

Hahahahaha

#3 Paul the Morning Heretic on Thursday May 03, 2012 at 1:15pm

I know! What do they do all day?!?!?

#4 Randy (Guest) on Thursday May 03, 2012 at 6:55pm

Regarding TheModerate Voice’s article on marriage:

Marriage is not a religious thing.  At its core, certainly throughout our lifetimes and earlier, it’s been a civil thing with an optional religious component.  Yes, atheists get married too.  My husband and I had a secular humanist officiant at our wedding.  No church, no prayers, just a marriage, recognized and protected by the government.

So, how is it moderate to abolish civil marriage?  How will handing marriage over to religious control freaks help gay people, and atheist people, and particularly atheist gay people, get married?  How will removing government recognition help gay people protect themselves against those who would seek to discriminate against their marriage?

Importantly, how many gay people really want to be known for making the lies against us real, and actually destroying all state support for straight marriages across the country?  Great PR that would be.  No thanks.

I think libertarianism has a lot in common with intelligent design, in that they are both in disguise.  Libertarianism is a form of conservatism, repackaged as freedom.

We should be aware that public opinion that has shifted favorably in one direction, could as easily shift back.  It did in California, in the span of a few months in 2008, apparently out of a combination of spite and prejudice.  I don’t see why I should prefer being discriminated against by the people directly, rather than by their elected government.

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