The Morning Heresy 9/19/12: Fret and Vex at Folly

September 19, 2012

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

To all you one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed, parrot-shouldered Pastafarians out there, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

In response to several calls from international leaders for binding international anti-blasphemy laws, CFI released a statement warning against the folly of such a course. 

Our statement specifically calls out Turkey's prime minister, and NYRB's Hugh Eakin looks at Turkey's focus on religious "mega-projects" as a sign of its turn away from the West and toward Islam.  

Fox News' Todd Starnes wonders why the heck the federal government isn't investigating South Park for anti-Christian blasphemy.

A scratch of papyrus from many hundreds of years ago implies that Jesus Christ had, as it were, put a ring on it.  

Atheists and Muslims are now more popular than the Tea Party. Hallelujah. 

While a lot of us are arguing over what it means to be "Atheism+," Lois Lee in the Guardian is still trying to nail down what "new atheism" is.

David Gibson on the Catholic Church's moves toward -- and occasional conflict with -- the GOP. 

Obama pushes is religious outreach efforts, and in a video pitch, slobbers love all over faith, but also emphasizes freedom of conscience and pluralism. 

Elephants are being illegally slaughtered for their ivory for the purposes of religious trinkets, and the Vatican isn't helping. 

Texas high school cheerleaders defiant in the face of calls to stop wielding giant signage about Jesus at football games. 

Leah Libresco, knowing how hard the ethical "trolley problem" is, wants you to wear it on a shirt

Someone's ear is getting cut off in the latest edition of CFI's podcast The Human Bible!!! <thundercrash> 

Gordon Haber at Religion Dispatches reviews two books that explore ways of dealing with death, psychologically and scientifically. 

Two viruses thought to cause chronic fatigue syndrome actually don't. That doesn't mean, however, that there is not any viral cause at all.

Quote of the Day        

As we skepto-atheists rend our garments and gnash our teeth over people being wrong on the Internet, a sympathetic Montaigne reminds us:

Folly is a bad quality; but not to be able to endure it, to fret and vex at it, as I do, is another sort of disease little less troublesome than folly itself. 

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