God is a Crude Graffito

February 12, 2014

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

Happy Darwin Day, heretics. We can help you celebrate. We've got posters, a Facebook cover for your profile, and...what's this? A Galápagos cruise???

CFI-Fort Lauderdale is part of a Darwin Day event this Saturday with Donald Prothero and Michele Williams. Kimberly Winston at RNS has more on other D-Day goings-on.

South Carolina is stopped from adopting K-12 science standards because this one guy doesn't like Darwin.  

No wedding would be complete without the love of bacon. So says the United Church of Bacon, which has just held its first legally-recognized marriage ceremony in Nevada. Oh, and this:

Several other weddings are already in the planning stages by our very own Sunday school teacher Penn Jillette and updates will follow. 

Speaking of Nevada, not only is wedding-by-pork-worshipers okay, but now the governor (a Republican) and attorney general (Democrat) say they will not defend the state's same-sex marriage ban. 

I'm looking forward to this piece: Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker explores the waning of faith through a new book by Peter Watson, The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God. (And here's a New Yorker podcast on same, with James Wood who has written a lot on the subject.)

At Slate, Michael Luciano spots some big contradictions in "accomodationism," which we all used to be really angry about. Remember that? I miss those days. 

CFI's Ben Radford further explores the ethics of selling one's organs (planning something on eBay, Ben?), and focuses on the subject of class:

The rich exploit the bodies of the poor. The direction of benefit always moves up the social strata-that was the case with the pauper bodies in 1800s England, and it remains the case today with the sale of kidneys from residents in poor regions to rich Westerners.

Chris Stedman scores an interview with Morgan Spurlock, newly hosting Sunday Assembly services.

Valerie Tarico has a list of quotes that prove that atheists are not all buzzkills

Dahlia Lithwick on the growing activism of a "religious" left:

Progressives are not used to so much religion in their politics. I met someone who planned to avoid Saturday’s protest because of the God talk, and it’s clear that for many liberals, it’s easier to speak openly about one’s relationship with a sexual partner than a relationship with God or spirituality. But there are a lot of liberals who live on the seam between faith and politics.

Using the example of HIV/AIDS denialists, Steven Novella goes after the "I'm just asking questions" canard:

Denialists are not asking sincere questions with the goal of further exploration and getting closer to the truth. They have an agenda of casting doubt on established science.  

This makes little sense. Rep. Grace Meng wants to make vandalization of cemeteries a violation of religious freedom

Also making little sense is Rep. Chris Smith, who says, "Christians [are] the most persecuted group in the world." 

Same-sex couples in Ohio fight to have both partners' names listed as parents on their children's birth certificates. 

You know what made the Shroud of Turin? "Neutron radiation ... generated by nuclear fusion or fission" from an earthquake. Got it? 

Legislator in Alabama wants kids in public school to pray...for 15 minutes a day

Uh-oh, Australia: "Almost nine out of 10 Australians (88 per cent) surveyed believe that paranormal phenomenon may well exist."

Teenage boys engaged in "devil worship" sexually assault and kill a 15-year-old girl. Sharon Hill says:

We’ve seen other such delusionary beliefs that have been associated with harm and death. Is it the devil? No. It’s humans who need serious help to stop the violence. The devil will always be used as a pathetic excuse. 

Quote of the Day

As a Flying Spaghetti Monster parody of the Sistine Chapel's God-and-Adam painting is censored, Jonathan Jones reminds us that the first person to parody this sacred work was the artist himself:

While [Michelangelo] was working in the Sistine chapel ... he wrote a poem lamenting his lot. He complains about the paint dripping down on his upturned face and beard, about having to twist his body monstrously as he reaches up all day and night. By the manuscript poem, he added a cartoon. A naked artist stretches up to paint God on the ceiling – but God is a crude graffito, an absurd caricature with long spiky hair. Not a million miles from the Spaghetti Monster, in fact. In other words, Michelangelo did not think there was anything inherently sacred about his image: it was a picture of God made by a man; it was not a holy relic.   

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