The Morning Heresy 9/5/12: What’s with the Bald Knob?

September 5, 2012

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

CNN's Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, talking about how faith will matter at the Democratic National Convention, highlight the party's godless faction:

Atheists want Democrats to show them a little love. Ever since George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, the Democrats have worked to remake the party’s secular image, elevating progressive religious voices and talking about issues as “values.” At the same time, America’s atheists – who skew mostly Democratic – have grown more outspoken about wanting the government to represent their values. . . . look for proudly secular Dems to push back against the party’s piety this week. 

Well, how much more love can we need? After all, people are going crazytown-bonkers over this scoop by David Brody at CBN: The Democrats' platform has had its one mention of God removed. Cue the Outrage Machine™!

Calm down, everyone. CNN points out:

. . . the word "faith" appears 11 times in the document, "religion" or "religious" 9 times, "church" 2 times (one time appearing within a quote), and "clergy" 1 time. 

Chris Mooney may have found a dream guest for Point of Inquiry, as the author of The Republican Brain interviews Peter Ditto, author of a new study on the psychological foundations of political ideology (with emphasis on libertarianism). 

The vile, noxious bottom-dwellers of the atheosphere claim a scalp as Jen McCreight signs off, overwhelmed by the deluge of abuse online. 

Ex-atheist Leah Libresco is fuming:

. . . if anyone tries to shame Jen for not staying on the firing line, I will personally show up at your house and kick your ass with my good foot. 

Sharon Hill rounds up some examples of the growing skepticism around the benefits of "organic" crops. 

In the Association for Psychological Science's Observer, Carol Tavris talks about her battle against pseudo-neuro-science. (Oh guess what! Dr. Tavris will be at CSICon!)

Eugenie Scott getting her Dawkins Award. (She will also be at CSICon!)

UK's health secretary is apparently down with homeopathy, which pretty much contradicts his title. 

Stiefel Freethought Foundation drops $10k on the Black Atheists of America to improve science education where it's really needed. 

Austin Dacey on the more earthly functions of laws against "religious hatred." 

Well I'll be damned. Both presidential candidates answered the questionnaire from ScienceDebate.org! 

Minnesota Daily looks at the rise of secularism among millennials. 

Rob Sherman is trying to get the Supreme Court to deal with his Bald Knob. Cross! The Bald Knob Cross! Whew, that could have gotten ugly. 

Haaaauuuuunted coooooouuuuuch! 

CFI-Northeast Ohio is hosting a conference entitled “On the Barricades: Reason vs. Religion in Public Policy” with speakers including Michael De Dora, Ed Brayton, Sheila Kennedy, and Eddie Tabash. 

In a small clipping regarding Atheism+, Alan Jacobs takes nonbelievers to task

Kylie Sturgess shows a preview an upcoming documentary on science communication. 

CSI's Ben Radford and Karen Stollznow get a Parsec Award for their MonsterTalk podcast! Congrats, y'all!

Also, CSI's Joe Nickell announces his new book, The Science of Ghosts.

Rob Boston reminds us of the tangled web woven between the late Sun Myung Moon and the American religious right. 

How the other half lives: Anglican bishop warning the EU's human rights court about the imminent oppression by "militant secularists."

Sing it with me: We've got staaaaaars directing our fate! And we're praaaaaaying it's not too late! (And we're buying islands to look for UFOs.) 

Stephen Law will host a discussion on the oft-professed healing powers of the mind on October 20 in London. 

CFI's Center Stage podcast features a talk from Susan Jacoby on The Age of American Unreason. 

Quote of the Day      

Shaun Casey of Wesley Theological Seminary says:

If you had told Jerry Falwell back in 1980 that by 2012 that there would not be a white Protestant on the ticket — he would have died right there.

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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