The Morning Heresy 9/28/12: Churning

September 28, 2012

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

Ron Lindsay, on the eve of International Blasphemy Rights Day, previews CFI's upcoming Campaign for Free Expression, which will highlight the many cases you've read about here of doubters and dissidents persecuted for thinking for themselves. 

One reason our concern for the freedom of others should not stop at our borders is because the desire of the dogmatists to regulate speech does not stop at their borders. 

We have an exclusive of sorts on the blog, as a supporter gathers up the news from Greece about the blasphemy charges leveled against an atheist for mocking a deceased Greek Orthodox monk on Facebook. Here's the petition on the Greek case. 

The Revealer links Pussy Riot's persecution with the global trend of religion aggressively asserting itself on the secular world. 

Anonymous blogger "Godless Poutine" gets an official response from the Canadian government on the plight of Alexander Aan.

Pramudya A Oktavinanda in the Jakarta Post on the shame of blasphemy laws:

If in the end you are still suggesting people to fight back all bad mouthing using violence, then I'm afraid we have not evolved to be better men during the last 1,500 years. 

Dennis Santiago in HuffPo on the "churning" in the Muslim world over blasphemy: "Islam has met the modern world and it is losing." 

Tom Flynn seizes on a study that posits that the nonreligious are more apt to give to charity out of compassion, rather than obligation, than the religious.

I don't know who Ke$ha is, because I'm old and a dweeb, but apparently she's been in flagrante delicto with some ectoplasmic partners

Moron who attacked two men because he thought they were Muslim sentenced to write reports on Islam and Hinduism. 

SCA plants its flag in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. 

Atheist musician Greydon Square drops singles from his upcoming new album. (Have you heard The Kardeshev Scale? It's really awesome.)

Vatican: The butler did it!

New Jersey's Rep. Rush Holt, a physicist, says more folks in Congress should be fluent in science. Yeah, I'd say so.

Former Tuskegee Airman insists UFOs are real and demand serious study. 

What is your mutual fund's religion? Huh? US News reports:

. . . funds headquartered in counties with large Catholic populations have more volatile returns than funds in counties with large Protestant populations. 

In a preview of the upcoming Skeptical Inquirer, Gary Longsine and Peter Boghossian take on the fallacy of "righteous indignation."

For some, tinfoil hats to block out the government's thought-reading waves isn't enough. You gotta do the whole apartment to keep out the evil WiFi beams

Quote of the Day        

GQ's Michael Idov manages to smuggle an interview with Pussy Riot in prison. Band member Nadya Tolokonnikova:

. . . unlike Putin, we're not chickenshit . . . The church performance was a perfect opportunity for Putin's apparatchiks to claim that our motives were religious intolerance and not political protest. This way our persecution could be framed as a righteous burning of blasphemers, as opposed to just stifling free speech.

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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