The Morning Heresy 7/17/12: Gesundheit!

July 17, 2012

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

This is important: Today the Center for Inquiry submitted a petition to the White House to ask the president and the administration to publicly address the plight of jailed Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, as well as that of religious dissidents and nonbelievers in Indonesia.  

Of course we very much want you to add your name to this petition, but that's not nearly enough. In order to guarantee a response from the Obama administration, we need to get 25,000 signatures in 30 days, starting today. So once you've signed it, it's crucial that you share it with everyone in your networks, online and offline. We know that Alexander is aware of, and takes comfort from, our efforts on his behalf. Now's our chance to take it to the next level. Here's the petition, and here's our message sent to supporters today.

Let's get this done, okay? 

(We're not asking anything from the president that he has not done for others in similar situations: The State Department has just rightly spoken out against the Iranian imprisonment of a Christian pastor.)  

In the latest Point of Inquiry podcast, Chris Mooney talks to David Niose about his new book Nonbeliever Nation

Jonathan Turley: Saudi Arabia is expanding its definition of criminal blasphemy to dissing of clerics, and targeting social networks. 

Gallup: Trust in institutional religion is dropping like a rock

Tickets for CFI-DC's Salman Rushdie event are now available!

Stephen Shashoua of the Three Faiths Forum takes to the New Humanist to encourage the involvement of atheists in "interfaith" initiatives.

CSI's Joe Nickell does a slideshow on HuffPo on haunted houses and ghost stories from his new book The Science of Ghosts.  

An effort is underway in Louisiana to undo the new school voucher program, highlighting its public subsidization of 19 creationism-teaching schools. 

From The Atlantic: Reliiiiiigioooonnnnnn innnnnn spaaaaaaaaaace:

For reasons both straightforward and opaque, the secular, scientific work of space exploration cannot shake religion, and over the last few decades of human space travel, astronauts of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith have taken their religious beliefs into orbit, praying out of duty, in awe, and for their safe return. 

I think this is where Ron Paul supporters go after election seasons: The Shadow Biosphere

Terry Fisk, who calls himself a paranormal investigator, purports to have scientific evidence for the afterlife. Ahem. 

Hemant excerpts a piece on why atheists value life from CFI founder Paul Kurtz's new collection of writings. 

Massimo Pigliucci tries to take a step back from the consternation over misogyny among skeptoatheists, asks for a toning-down of self-righteousness from all sides. 

Adam Lee, meanwhile, uses the fracas to note our movement's ties to larger social justice movements.  

You can detect when someone is telling a lie by watching their eyes. Was I just lying right there?!?!?! (Yes.)

Dave Silverman gives a statement to Hemant on the threatened Koran desecration by the Pennsylvania state director of AA. 

Alom Shaha speaks to the Commentator about his new book, The Young Atheist's Handbook

A humble offering from Kylie Sturgess to help you rediscover some hope: "The Future is Ours" by Michael Marantz. 

Quote of the Day     

Has there been an alien attack on a man in the Philippines? Says this Examiner report:

According to Thirdphaseofmoon, the attacker was a manananggal.

Err, gesundheit? 

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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