Less Canyon Than Itty-Bitty Crack

December 9, 2013

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

CFI-LA's Jim Underdown takes exception to the recent Time magazine assertion that there are "no atheists in the Grand Canyon," and what he has to say is quite lovely:

[O]verwhelmingly, there it was. That mighty, magnificent chasm 6 million years in the making is the physical embodiment of the word awesome. From the first glow of dawn until the long evening shadows engulf all but the rim, this colossal labyrinth of carved rock changes personalities hour-to-hour, season-to-season, eon-to-eon. It never shows the same face twice. 

Bill Nye pens (and records on video) an open letter to the president encouraging NASA's funding be held at $1.5 billion.

Satanists want a monument of their own alongside the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma statehouse, and the ACLU has their back.

At Skeptical Inquirer, Massimo Polidoro looks at the mysteries and legends surrounding Leonardo da Vinci

Bill O'Reilly and friends get all fired up about the War on Christmas, which means some atheist groups see upticks in donations. I'm in this WaPo piece, but not in any important way, initially credited as representing the "Center for Integrity." I mean, we do have that in spades, but, you know.   

Something called the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property is going to protest a production of The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (which is an awesome play about Adam and Steve) in Dallas because it's "blasphemous." Well of course it is, sillies!

NYT Editorial Board is pleased by Pope Francis's creation of a commission to confront clergy sex abuse of children.

A school superintendent in Arizona is going to the state's supreme court to fight for the legality of vouchers

Mark Oppenheimer at NYT looks at animal rights within Christianity.

Neil Steinberg (an agnostic) at the Chicago Sun-TimesAtheists are "zealots" and need to find better things to do. 

Sharon Hill gets into it with Melba "Bigfoot DNA" Ketchum on Twitter. 

Lois's Clark has $10 million to give to whoever finds Bigfoot, which may be why Ketchum is so adamant.  

Because you're all children of one God -- including you Hindus! -- the city council of Clarksburg, WV has installed an "In God We Trust" display in city hall. Thereby saving America. 

Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law uses atheist cases such as that of Jessica Ahlquist's to illustrate the importance of anonymity in lawsuits

Clare Carlisle at The Guardian argues that Bertrand Russell's agnosticism had a "spiritual dimension."

Ben Radford examines the phenomenon of hoax-victimhood, following the anti-gay, non-tipping Christian restaurant patrons-that-weren't.

This will sound insincere, but it's not. I really wonder. When Christopher Hitchens died, did someone (or some-ones) at Salon jump up and say, "He can't hurt us now! Let's get him!" How many more of these are they gonna do?

Giant horse-creatures known as Kelpies do battle with the Loch Ness Monster!!! (For tourism!!!) 

Atheism is becoming that national religion of the United States, says this guy...who...oh, never mind, I just can't. 

Twitter was abuzz last night over a tease from a New York Times editor about an upcoming story she couldn't talk about, and a snarky hashtag erupted, "#nytguesses," with witty attempts to predict the big scoop. My favorite, from Timothy P. Carney:

Three-dimensional Euclidean space is a coping mechanism the animal brain has layered atop the terrifying abyss that is timespace #nytguesses 

Quote of the Day

Frank Bruni is grossly disappointed at the Senate race in Arkansas, an "I'm-more-Christian-than-you" tit for tat:

You can make a successful run for political office in this country without an especially thick résumé, any exceptional talent for expressing yourself, a noteworthy education or, for that matter, a basic grasp of science. But you better have religion. You better be ready to profess your faith in and fealty to God — the Judeo-Christian one, of course. And you better be convincing. A dust-up last week in the 2014 race for a United States Senate seat from Arkansas provided a sad reminder of this, showing once again that our ballyhooed separation of church and state is less canyon than itty-bitty crack. 

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Image is an actual picture of my wife's smashed iPhone

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


#1 Randy (Guest) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 at 4:09am

Allowing anonymous plaintiffs is a problem, and can lead to abuse of defendants.  For the system to work properly, we need to know who is using it, and how. 

The correct response to expected reprisals is swift and strong enforcement of the law.  When that does not occur, the court has (or should have) tools to encourage the police force to comply.

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