The Morning Heresy 9/7/12: Couldn’t Happen to a Lovelier Bunch

September 7, 2012

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

Rimsha Masih is granted bail

Council on Foreign Relations blog looks at Pakistan's blasphemy laws, hopes the Rimsha case may spur change.

The Economist is aghast:

To judge solely by its high number of blasphemy cases, Pakistan seems to be a nation of wanton profanity where the Koran is routinely desecrated and the prophet Muhammad insulted. Yet given that the crime of blasphemy is punishable by death, that 97% of Pakistanis are Muslim, and that the remainder are an intimidated and largely impoverished sliver, then the country’s many blasphemy cases more obviously represent an abuse of both religion and the law. 

In the wake of Jen McCreight's exit from the blogosphere and a barrage of abuse, Rebecca Watson declares that she's not going anywhere

The always-smug Rod Dreher gloats as atheists squabble, "Couldn’t happen to a lovelier bunch." 

At Friendly Atheist, I highlight some of the more revealing bits from the presidential candidates' responses to ScienceDebates.org

Ben Radford heavily ponders the idea of great burdens -- such as caring for children with profound disabilities -- as blessings for which one should be grateful.

Former CFIer Julia Burke guest posts at Skepchick to make sure we understand what, exactly, was really awful about the Todd "Legitimate" Akin flap:

When Akin used the term “legitimate rape” he implied that there are cases where the rape’s not real. That the woman somehow wanted it, and if she didn’t, she could shut down her ovaries and make sure she doesn’t get pregnant. 

CNN blog looks at how atheists feel politically homeless in the wake of the two conventions. 

Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics protest the Democratic convention, tell the Christian Post, "We got quite wet."  

Dawkins drops of few notches in the eyes of Adam Lee. 

In the meantime, Dawkins does a CNN "Red Chair Interview," makes a pretty clear case against creationism.  

Sharon Hill on the continued persecution and violence against those deemed "witches": "The Dark Ages remain in many parts of the world." 

Blogger at The Right Sphere asks fellow nonbelievers to reconsider conservatism, and conservatives to be more welcoming of nonbelievers. 

CSICon is happening. Nashville. October 25-28. Can you stand it?

Georgetown student says that Hitchens converted him from Catholicism, advises fellow students:

You’ve earned your place at Georgetown, so treat yourself to some cosmological inquiries when you have the time. 

Florida fake psychic barred from defrauding with fake psychic powers, asks to be allowed to defraud people online instead.

SCA begins to plant its flag in 10 more states and DC. 

Family Research Council spox to SCA: "If these guys really want to challenge Christians, bring it on." 

OMG! Is the Baltic UFO rock thing a Nazi?!?!?! 

The Internet has no "off" button, but that doesn't mean it can't be messed with. 

More noise over UK's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, "Minister of Magic." 

Quote of the Day      

Atheist Ethicist on the Atheism+ fraccas:

[Atheists] are not a group of hyper-rational super humans. We have not discovered how to transcend those elements of our psychology that still plagues those who *scoff* believe in a god.

We are humans, subject to human foibles unless we take pains to correct them. Unfortunately, we cannot take pains to correct them as long as we believe that we are some super-human entity that have overcome the failings of mere mortals. . . .  

If religions are misongynist it is because humans tend towards misogyny and, given this trait, humans put these values into their religion. If religions are tribal it is because humans are tribal and we put those values into their religion. The same corruptions that humans can write into their religion they can write into their non-religious belief systems as well. 

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

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