Natural Born Zodiac Killer

February 26, 2016

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

I'm still reeling from that GOP debate last night. I mean, holy buhjeezus what a spectacle. I just. I just don't even know. 

Oh wait, yes I do. Right after the debate, Trump speculated that the IRS was auditing him because "I'm a strong Christian." He really said that! Relatedly, Ben Radford is about to release a new book, Bad Clowns. SEE WHAT I DID THERE

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A Cascade of Computations

February 25, 2016

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

The coming of the Depp to the Reason Rally is making news. Our evil plan is working.

Matthew Sheffield created NewsBusters, so I'm not exactly a fan, but at The American Conservative, he gets something very right: The right will have to contend with the fact that "nones" are the future:

In 2016 and beyond, Christian conservatives face a choice. They can embrace identity politics and become a small group of frustrated Christian nationalists who grow ever more resentful toward their fellow Americans, or they can embrace reality 

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Clarifying the Anti-Christ

February 24, 2016

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

So, no kidding, Johnny Depp is going to be at the Reason Rally. If he doesn't sing some Sweeney Todd selections I will be sad.

Larissa MacFarquhar is the guest on Point of Inquiry, talking to Lindsay Beyerstein about attitudes toward those who throw themselves into charity and volunteerism

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We Do Violence to Reality

February 23, 2016

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

Tamar Wilner at Newsweek reports on the ongoing, often maddening attempts to shut down "cancer quack" Stanislaw Burzynski, who compares his critics to Nazis who will face something akin to "Nuremberg trial."  

Ted Cruz's campaign falsely accuses Marco Rubio of saying that the Bible has "not many answers" in a video, which is quickly proven to be untrue. In the ensuing hubbub, Cruz's communications director Rick Tyler apologizes profusely to Rubio, and Cruz fires Tyler. The irony, of course, is that Rubio had said there were not a lot of answers in the Bible, he'd have been right.

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Cockfighting for Jesus

February 22, 2016

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

Ron Lindsay considers the benefits of meditation, and rebuts some of the positions of Sam Harris about the utility of the practice. 

We recently got a report from CFI–Uganda about the great work they're doing to celebrate reason, debunk superstitions, and educate on diseases such as HIV/AIDS.  

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Moral Fuzziness

February 19, 2016

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

More more more. More exemptions, cry religious employers, horrified not only by the idea of offering legally mandated contraceptive coverage, but even aghast at having to declare their opposition to doing so! That in itself is a violation of their Religious Freedom™! We say no. Along with our friends at American Atheists, we've submitted an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Zubik v. Burwell to argue that these claims of religious exemption -- exemptions from even having to exempt oneself! -- have gone too far:

“This ludicrous case is a transparent attempt to legislate from the pulpit,” said Nick Little, CFI’s Vice-President and General Counsel. “It showcases the intolerable consequences of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], a bad law that has predictably been twisted into a scattershot weapon used by those who want to see their narrow religious beliefs imposed on everyone else. It is religious privilege at its worst.”  

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Heal the Bern

February 18, 2016

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

Today's top story: God, taking a cue from Stephen Fry, has left Twitter

While they can't claim a straight line of causation, scientists are warning that outbreaks such as the Zika virus could be greatly accelerated by global warming.

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People Shriek Their Secularism

February 17, 2016

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

Bangladesh police shut down a stall at a Dhaka book fair because it is reported that some of the books "hurt religious feelings." Police also arrest three people for the publication of the book Islam Debate. One year after his murder, Avijit Roy's works are no longer being sold at the book fair as sellers and publishers fear meeting the same fate. The U.S.'s ambassador in Dhaka expresses optimism for a "breakthrough" in the year-old case.

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Sheen of Plausibility

February 16, 2016

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

CFI president Ron Lindsay takes to HuffPo, not to praise Scalia, but to bury him. More specifically, to bury his supposedly "rational" originalism:

The more fundamental flaw [in Scalia's thinking] is to assume that the Founders wanted us to use detailed historical research, or perhaps necromancy, to discern the specific things they were thinking of at the time they wrote the Constitution. 

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Odin is Judging You

February 15, 2016

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

Richard Dawkins records a message to update everyone on his condition after a minor stroke last week. Even as he works to recover, he's still displaying wit and insight. David Gibson at RNS looks at the discussion about whether believers should pray for Dawkins' health. Some are apparently upset that folks would dare to do, and Hemant says, "To suggest [the prayers] were anything but an honest plea for his quick recovery suggests a bitterness that just isn’t there."

As you are no doubt already aware, Justice Antonin Scalia is dead. There will be a great disturbance in the Force as a result.

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