Found to Contain Toxins

July 14, 2014

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

Tomorrow, atheist Dan Courtney delivers his invocation before a meeting of the Town Board of Greece, NY, and CFI will be there to represent our movement. previews the event

Michael De Dora explains why CFI is suspending its support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

We cannot and must not accept broad religious exemptions from prohibitions of discrimination in federal law simply to receive a sliver of equality. Indeed, such broad religious exemptions are a direct threat to true equality and a secular, constitutional government....As the debate on ENDA continues, the Center for Inquiry will settle for nothing less than a strong federal law that protects from employment discrimination all LGBT individuals. 

A former Member of Congress, Kathy Dahlkemper, expresses her regret for supporting a religious exemption for non-discrimination in a coming executive order. 

The last couple of weeks have been packed with news and events. Good thing there's Cause & Effect, the CFI newsletter, to catch you up. 

More conservative ire at our boss Ron Lindsay over his HuffPost piece about the Catholic nature of the Hobby Lobby decision, this time from the very-right-wing Townhall. Ron's piece is critiqued, but not attacked, in an op-ed by Tom Deignan in the Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, Samuel J. Freedman at NYT is asking similar questions to Ron about the religious makeup of the Court:

Did nine individuals just coincidentally disagree based on their legal reasoning, or have American Catholics and American Jews arrived at different communal positions about where to properly draw the line between church and state? 

In Pakistan, a man is reportedly sentenced to death for "writing blasphemous remarks." 

The Texas Medical Board is acting where the FDA has shirked, as it makes some efforts against Stanlislaw Burzynski. We're still working on the FDA

IHEU informs us that the Humanist Association for Leadership, Equality and Accountability (HALEA) of Uganda has had its offices robbed, and needs some help.

LA Times offers a primer on Ayurvedic medicines, and only at the end warns that they "have been found to contain toxins." But back off because, as one practitioner says, "Ayurveda is not an instantaneous medicine. It's a lifestyle." Ah.

Desmond Tutu on assisted dying: "I see no sanctity in suffering, nothing holy about agony." 

The Archbishop of Canterbury hopes that the Church of England will approve women bishops.

Adam Frank at 13.7 argues that the science vs. religion debate doesn't make sense unless you look at each religion individually

Veteran political poll expert Bill Schneider says the 2014 midterms are all about women's rights vs. "religious rights":

The question that best predicts a person’s politics today is not about income or education. It’s religion: How often do you go to church? Regular churchgoers — including fundamentalist Protestants, observant Catholics, even many Orthodox Jews — vote Republican. Voters who rarely or never go to church vote Democratic. ... Democrats draw strong support from the unchurched: The steadily increasing minority of Americans — now about 20 percent — who are unaffiliated with any organized religion. They’re the people who, when asked if they are Protestant, Catholic or Jewish, say “I’m nothing.”  Democrats dare not claim them, however, because they would run the risk of being labeled “the godless party.”  

A Unitarian Sunday school teaches evolution, and this is somehow a surprise to Ken Ham. Ken. They're unitarians.

The Huntsville city council, in refusing to let a Wiccan offer an invocation, is not rejecting diversity...look, they invited a Methodist! It's crazy! 

This sky-jellyfish is really a jet plume. Meaning it's really CHEMTRAILS. 

Louisiana Supreme Court rules that a young girl's confession to her priest can be used as testimony in a child abuse case, and the Church is not pleased. 

I am not a scientist, nor an engineer, so I don't know if this is accurate, but it seems funny. 

Here's a stretch: Cole Ellenbogen at The Blaze says that removing "In God We Trust" from currency and "Under God" from the Pledge would be violations of the Establishment Clause "by striking down the concept of irrefutable religious liberty." 

There will soon be more emojis, and among them will be religious symbols

Quote of the Day

Janet D. Stemwedel urges us to consider the full picture of our science heroes, and weighing any harmful behavior, before holding them up as examples:

One take-home message of all this is that making positive contributions to science doesn’t magically cancel out harmful things you may do — including things that may have the effect of harming other scientists or the cooperative knowledge-building effort in which they’re engaged. If you’re a living scientist, this means you should endeavor not to do harm, regardless of what kinds of positive contributions you’ve amassed so far. 

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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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