Five Finger Discount on Crosses

March 7, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

The push to privatize public education and send tax dollars to religious schools has reached new heights of late, with a series of new bills in Congress that would privatize nearly all federal funds for K-12 schooling. We have an action alert out so you can help stop it. 

Check out what we've been up to public-policy-wise throughout the past month in our Advocacy Update

Pope Fluffy: Grave robber

After stepping out of the grave, the pope then, as it were, steps in it with unapologetic comments about the sexual assault mega-scandal. 

First of all, Pakistan's Medical Association has an anti-quackery committee, which is cool. Not cool is that someone is trying to kidnap its secretary-general.  

Dawkins Foundation posts interviews with Linda LaScola of the Clergy Project and a new book with Daniel Dennett, Caught in the Pulpit. (If you want to hear an interview with the Clergy Project's executive director Catherine Dunphy, check out my podcast, The Obcast, from September.)

Kentucky child care agency is running out of money because Baptist churches have stopped helping to fund it because they don't like that the agency can hire gays.  

Brian Pellot talks to Google's Ross LaJeunesse about the company's position and efforts regarding free expression:

It’s really about striking a balance. We recognize that our services and properties are platforms for freedom of expression, but some are also community spaces. Google Search is sacrosanct. We’ll only take stuff down there if absolutely legally required to do so. On YouTube and Google+ we’re trying to build a community and to establish a safe space for people to share content and ideas. The community guidelines are there to ensure that as many people can enjoy the community as possible.

Jennifer Michael Hecht goes on The Dish for a series of "ask me anything" videos and is taking questions. Note: She is awesome. 

Legoland theme park in the UK has to shut down for fear of right-wing threats for holding a private family day for the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (also cancelled).

Dark matter maybe killed the dinosaurs. Okay. 

The new Noah film gets a disclaimer appended to it because some religious folks are offended by its 'historical inaccuracies.' What, now?? 

Remember that word salad piece about atheists' "diluted" definition of atheism from Killing the Buddha yesterday? Today it's in the Christian Post. So there you go. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson waxes poetic, like he does, about Cosmos and science on the Today Show

Perdue University reaches a fairly obvious compromise with the donated God-invoking plaque: put the God stuff in a quote from the donor himself. 

Large Hadron Collider....the movie

This Sunday, Anthony Pinn is writing God's obituary with CFI-DC. 

CFI-Tallahassee is hosting a talk from Mr. Atheist Manual, Peter Boghossian, on March 14. 

Dave Silverman bops around at CPAC, gets into it over abortion with an attendee, and promotes what he sees as atheism's compatibility with conservatism. 

Here's a picture of every satellite currently orbiting Earth (not including our real satellite, the Moon), and it's a damn mess.

Quote of the Day

If we absolutely must have religious invocations at government meetings, Arizona State Rep. Mark Cardenas shows us how you open it:

Personally, I’m Catholic and I believe in a loving, healing, saving God spoken of in my religion. But I’m here to represent all Arizonans regardless of whether or not they share my religion or any religion. Today, I’m going to say a personal prayer from my Catholic tradition, but I do not presume to pray for all members in this body or people in this state. And I honor the freedom of religion and conscience of all Arizonans. I take very seriously the obligation to protect the policy-making process… and the Constitutional principles rather than any religious belief. 

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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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#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday March 07, 2014 at 6:06pm

“and it’s a damn mess. ”

Is it?  As the pixel-moon solar system site showed us, things look a lot different when they’re drawn to scale…

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday March 07, 2014 at 6:16pm

“We’ll only take stuff down there if absolutely legally required to do so.”

That’s a cop-out.  Google chooses to reside and operate in places where it can be required to remove or (equivalently) block content.  And it doesn’t even control the removal of much content, outsourcing it to individual complainers, causing significant havoc to smaller creative accounts who find their original content taken offline by less-than-legitimate complaints.  A company this influential could the get laws changed, and could change cultural expectations, but it’s not interested in free speech.

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