The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Catch up with a fortnight’s worth of CFI activity in one easy-to-read roundup, the latest Cause & Effect newsletter.
The editorial board of The Oklahoman tells its readers to vote to have Article II, Section 5, which forbids funding religious activities with tax dollars, nixed from the state constitution… and we’re one of the reasons:
In other states with constitutional provisions similar to Article II, Section 5, radical secularists have used those provisions to justify similar lawsuits that defy common sense. The Council for Secular Humanism sued to prevent church-affiliated halfway houses in Florida from providing state-funded drug rehab assistance.
Malaysian political cartoonish Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque has been banned from leaving Malaysia as he awaits a trial for “sedition” because of his cartoons and tweets. He responds:
I will file a legal challenge to remove the ban. Talent is not a gift, talent is a responsibility. They can ban my books, they can ban my cartoon, they can ban me from traveling, but they cannot ban my mind, I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink.
If there really is a Planet Nine out there, it’s messing with the entire Solar System, causing the planets’ orbits to tilt. Also, astronomer Michael Brown says, “By the end of next winter there will be enough people looking [for Planet Nine] that I think somebody will track this down.”
Elon Musk takes to Reddit to answer questions about his plan to send folks to Mars.
Hemant Mehta looks right into the camera to explain why as an atheist he can’t vote for Donald Trump, and why he’ll be “proud as hell” to vote for Clinton. What does he think of support for third party candidates? “Your protest vote is adorable.” Hehehehehehe.
Dr. James Powell has a couple of useful YouTube videos in which he addresses the claims of climate change deniers in detail: The “scientists have been wrong before” canard, and claims of a global warming conspiracy.
At Big Think, Jim Gaffigan, a believing Catholic who acknowledges the church’s “monstrous” acts, has a some really interesting reflections on being a “clean comedian” as opposed to the more overtly irreverent or vulgar.
This is no Shakespeare-didn’t-write-Shakespeare conspiracy theory: scholars really do believe based on empirical evidence that Christopher Marlowe co-wrote the Henry VI plays with Shakespeare, and possibly several others. The next Oxford edition of the plays will include Marlowe’s name.
Kate Knibbs at The Ringer talks to Peter Boghossian about the Atheos app, which is supported by the Dawkins Foundation, and also muses as to why atheists haven’t “been too successful” on mobile platforms. I’m not sure how else we’d be expected to.
Bishop McNeill looks at why there aren’t more religiously unaffiliated African Americans.
Adam Krok, a sophomore at Yale, writes in the Yale Daily News why by he thinks studying the liberal arts is incompatible with theism:
Rational skepticism is applied to our studies, in completing problem sets and debating our peers, but an unjustified deference to authority is adhered to in the realm of religion. I am always baffled by physics majors and renowned professors who will only accept theories presented to them on the basis of rigorous evidence, but who still believe in God on the basis of a hunch. Who at Yale would accept physical treatment for cancer from their priest, or just pray their pain away?
Quote of the Day
Pastor Carter Warden, working with the Clergy Project, recently came out as an atheist, and his church responded…with kindness. Lead minister Curtis Booher:
One of the great freedoms given to each person by God is the opportunity to choose to believe or to not believe. I understand that Carter has chosen, in his words, ‘to discard my faith.’ Our choice is to not discard a relationship with Carter. Carter and his family were a part of Crossroads Christian Church for many years and we still consider them family. We love Carter and we want only good things for him.
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