Morally Compromised or Nonexistent

October 19, 2015

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

The Las Vegas Review-Journal seeks the wisdom of our own Joe Nickell in a piece on end-is-nigh prophecies: “Hope springs eternal, but so does fear.”

Oh hey there was a lot of news over the last fortnight, so go ahead and check out Cause & Effect so you can look like you were up to date all along. I won’t tell.

At our Free Thinking blog, Stephen Law dismisses the idea that religion can’t be brushed aside as a root cause of oppression and violence, either hundreds of years ago in the case of Christianity, or now in the case of Islam.

The Economist looks at the State Department’s new religious freedom report, and notes that it’s not always powerful theocracies that do the oppressing, but “the kinds of forces that come into play when the state is weak, morally compromised or non-existent.”     

Authors are returning awards given by India’s National Academy of Letters in protest of government inaction over the murders of rationalists and other dissenters.

Carly Fiorina clears the lowest of all bars by not agreeing with a guy at a campaign event who says Muslims should “take [their] camel and leave.” 

Rep. David Jolly of Florida (of course) may become Sen. David Jolly (R-Scientology), according to Tim Mak at The Daily Beast

Republican candidates appeal to religious conservatives” … also, fire is hot. 

Hey neat! Hemant interviews veteran religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman

Ronny Linder-Ganz and Tali Heruti-Sover at Haaretz report on the phenomenon of alt-med practitioners in Israel being able to, fairly cheaply, buy themselves “degrees” and credentials.

David Gorski illustrates how dietary supplements can be dangerous, and yet are largely unregulated.

There was a big UFO conference in Massachusetts, at which a “researcher” explained how Bigfoot is a space alien. HEY WHY NOT. 

Meanwhile, the Des Moines Register profiles Desmond “Des” Bragg, the 97-year-old military veteran who has a “lifelong obsession” with UFOs. 

Meanwhile-meanwhile, Buddha goes to Mars. (#BringHimHome)

Pope Francis wants to give more autonomy to local bishops. Because the Catholic Church has done so well with individual bishops keeping things to themselves.

Megan Garber at The Atlantic writes on the faithiness of Stephen Colbert.

Fake psychics (the AP’s term this time, not mine) in Vietnam defraud people by moving the dead bodies of unidentified soldiers into fake graves. Classy.

Samuel Freedman profiles nonbelievers and “nones” who nonetheless are drawn to divinity school

Some Muslims are seen praying on a beach, and people in Florida (of course) go completely crazy:

“So much for the beach being beautiful and peaceful,” a female resident wrote. “These fucking Idiots are here now,” said a man from neighboring Franklin County. “You better learn to defend yourself!” Another man added: “Must be where the poop in the water is coming from.” 

Robert Kirby says we are all members of the one true faith, the Church of Human Foolishness:

I offer as proof the entire course of human history. Roughly 200,000 years or so of treating each other exactly the way we wouldn’t want to be treated ourselves, millennia of turning petty differences into worldwide crises. 

Gaze in awe at Cosmic Jesus

Quote of the Day:

Ian McKellan (let’s be honest, the greatest actor ever) on being a gay actor playing straight roles:

Heterosexuality is far too interesting a phenomenon to b
e ignored. 

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Original image by Shutterstock

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