October 1, 2015

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

I have a new op-ed up at CNN on the pope and how he found time for Kim Davis (not persecuted) but never says anything about atheists being killed and jailed for speaking out (persecuted):

Instead of defending those who have lost their basic human rights, he wastes his political capital on those who seek to deny rights to others.

WIVB talked to CFI’s Tom Flynn about International Blasphemy Rights Day and the special issue of Free Inquiry on blasphemy – it was on the tee-vee, but I don’t have online video yet.

David Saperstein, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, tweets in support of IRBD.

Bangladeshi secularist blogger Shammi Haque, a friend of the late Niloy Neel, talks to Deutsche Welle about the threats she and those like her now face, and says, “Religion isn’t so fragile that writing a blog about it could defame it.”

Mark Boslough, the physicist and CSI Fellow who started the whole deniers-aren’t-skeptics thing, does a deep dive on what was good and bad about the AP’s big change in language about climate change deniers. “Two steps forward and one step back is still a step forward.”

50-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq in India is beaten to death by a mob who believed him to have eaten beef. You read that right. It is both outrageous and absurd: 

Ikhlaq’s daughter said they only had mutton in their fridge, a gift from relatives on Eid. The police say they have taken the meat and sent it for forensic testing. 

Because that’s the important part. Finding out if it really was meat from a cow. 

Putin bombs Syria, and the Russian Orthodox Church congratulates him on waging a “holy battle.” 

The Assembly of Anchorage, Alaska passes a measure barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity

Tanzanian albino children, temporarily living in the U.S. for medical care and protection from those who would kill or mutilate them because of witchcraft beliefs, eventually have to go back.

Owen Bowcott at The Guardian reports that the UK and Saudi Arabia engaged in secret vote-trading deals to ensure each others’ seats on the UN Human Rights Council. Gross. 

Thom Patterson at CNN reports on how Warren Jeffs continues to lead the Fundamentalist Mormon church from prison, and some ugly details about sexual abuse and ritualistic impregnation of women. 

Patton Oswalt tweets about the grilling of Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards:

Cecile Richards: Facts facts facts research research research

Republican Congressman: Yes but my FEELINGS 

Quote of the Day:

Jonathan Capehart of WaPo also thinks it “stings” that the pope buddied up with Kim Davis:

Despite protestations to the contrary, many of her supporters see her as a martyr. Well, martyrdom requires sacrifice and Davis has sacrificed nothing.  

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