They Would See Us as Bacteria

May 7, 2014

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

Terrible news: Raid Badawi, the persecuted Saudi dissident, facing a horrific penalty for "insulting Islam" and perhaps even death for apostasy, has had his sentence made even harsher: 10 years in prison (from 7), 1000 lashes (from 600), and a fine equal to about $267,000 US. We'll have more on this soon. CFI and allies held a protest outside the Saudi embassy for him this past Saturday, in concert with other protests around the world.

CFI is urging lawmakers in Ohio to nix a resolution that would endorse the work of religion and ideology-driven "Crisis Pregnancy Centers":

[C]ertainly you can see that the Ohio state government should not endorse or financially support CPCs, which mislead the public, spread dangerous anti-scientific views, and advance sectarian religious beliefs. 

The U.S. government's major report on climate change comes down, and it's a doozie. The upshot: Global warming is screwing things up right now in literally every part of the country. And in every article about it, the word "dire" comes up over and over again.

We're seeing more reactions to, and fallout from, the abysmal Supreme Court decision clearing the way for sectarian prayer at public meetings. and the Christian Post picked up on our own response

A Roanoke county supervisor is taking the Court's ruling and running with it, looking to enact a policy of excluding non-Christian prayers. Because, you know, Satanists! 

And of course Todd Starnes runs even farther:

Let’s say the atheists are successful in removing creator out of that sentence ["endowed by our creator"], alright? Who do we put in there? I mean, look, the Germans tried it with Hitler. It didn’t work out very well with them. Look at what happened in Italy [with Mussolini].  

I can't think of anything wrong about that sentence. Pardon me now while I repeatedly jab a fork into my eye socket.    

Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun sees the decision as devoid of compassion for non-Christians, writing that "there's something ... offensively in-your-face about the whole thing."

Mike Lee at The Conversation explains any hypothetical encounter with aliens would mean:

...they will almost certainly either be at the bacterial level, or so advanced that they would see us as bacteria. 

[Update: It has been brought to my attention that this article is a year old. To which I say: So? The aliens sure don't care.] 

Major world figures in economics and policy sign on to a UN report calling for an end to the global war on drugs, a instead recommend governments "massively redirect resources toward effective evidence-based policies underpinned by rigorous economic analysis." Evidence-based. Imagine that. 

The Guerrilla Skeptics are unstoppable as they update on a massive list of new work improving Wikipedia. 

The late Fred Phelps' grandson, Zach Phelps-Roper, leaves the Westboro Baptist Church:

I still believe I’m being led by my creator here. I’m just not sure what his name is. I am sure he is one who has unconditional love for his creatures. 

Islamabad's Red Mosque names its new library after Osama bin Laden

Orion Day of the CFI On Campus affiliate the Secular Alliance at Indiana University talks about how his group put on a big panel discussion event on the compatibility of religion and science, and there's video! 

The Vatican tells a UN panel that over the past decade, they have fired 848 priests and disciplined 2,572 more sexual abuse. They then proceed to heartily pat themselves on the back for being so great.

Craig Malisow at the Houston Press comes down hard on a local station for a puff piece on "cancer quack" Stanislaw Burzynski.

This is kind of odd: A Texas landowner has a Ten Commandments sign on her private property, but must pay a fine to the DOT because it violates the "highway beautification transportation code." I mean, it certainly violates my beautification code, but still.

Cracked does a "listicle" of the horrible things nonbelievers face in "fundamentalist" countries. Yeah, Cracked.

What's up with telepathy between twins? Nothing

Jordan's former foreign minister Marwan Muasher says Arab countries need to emphasize national identity over sectarianism in order to stabilize.

BuzzFeed says don't look at this ghost face thing.

Just because you see Jesus in your toast (I see Steve Jobs, for the record), it doesn't mean you're nuts. What you believe about it after you see it, well...  

Quote of the Day

The Onion's person-on-the-street knows what's up when it comes to the Supreme Court prayer ruling:

I’m sure beginning public meetings with a reminder that all who do not accept the blood of Christ are consigned to eternal damnation will not have a chilling effect on anyone who doesn’t share those beliefs. 

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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 Susan Gerbic (Guest) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 at 7:19pm

Thanks Paul!

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