The Trivialization of Dead Bodies

October 26, 2016

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

This will be the last Morning Heresy of the week, because the rest of my corporeal self will be dedicated solely to CSICon (and my survival of said event). WORRY NOT for I will not be absent from these here internets. INDEED, one need only look once again to CFI Live to see me blog til I can’t blog no more about all the stuff going on at CSICon. AND LO, ye shall behold said weblog at! YEA, dot-live.

Pew releases a report showing that one in five adult Americans were raised in interfaith homes, with remarkably few raised by “unaffiliated” parents in any configuration. 

In Skeptical Inquirer, three scholars discuss their research into the relationship between “subclinical dissociation” (as opposed to psychotic for example) and belief in the paranormal. Relatedly, Business Insider cites Skeptical Inquirer in a piece on why people still believe in ghosts. 

The Vatican says it’s okay to cremate a dead body, but NOT okay to scatter the ashes, because that totally makes sense. CNN explains:

The Vatican’s new guidelines on cremation aren’t really about cremation. The church’s true targets are modern societies’ increasingly secular notions about the afterlife and the trivialization of dead bodies, making the departed into mementos for the living instead of temples made in the image and likeness of God. 

I think Pope Fluffy probably watched Deep Space Nine, and doesn’t want us auctioning off his corpse-dust like they did for the Grand Nagus of Ferenginar.

Jenna Bush Hager joins Rotary International for a video promoting the importance of vaccines for kids, focusing on polio:

Polio can lead to paralysis, a lifetime disability that can be shattering for an entire family. If they knew they had the choice to vaccinate their kids, if they had that opportunity to get that vaccine, I’m pretty sure that in the world’s most vulnerable places, these moms wouldn’t even think twice. 

Tiffany Stanley at Religion & Politics reports on the efforts to get American Muslims registered to vote and mobilized in the election — only about 60 percent of them are registered, at a time when one of the presidential candidates would like to ban any additional Muslims from coming into the country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, irritates Muslim men by opposing the “triple talaq” rule, which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying “I divorce you” three times. Like Beetlejuice.  

The editorial board of The Missoulian urges a vote against Montana Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras, because “her judgment is suspect” in that she has explicitly expressed a desire to rule on “religious freedom” cases, and shows a general lack of impartiality:

“What I covet is prayer. Please pray that during my campaign I would always act in a way that honors God, for His favor, for opportunities, for wisdom in my campaign strategies,” Juras wrote in her email to a colleague. Unfortunately, she left one important group off this list: Montanans. 

PRRI released a big report on the political attitudes of various groups, and Anthea Butler at Religion Dispatches focuses on the decline of white protestants as a force:

The upshot of this survey is that white evangelicals want to go back to Ozzie and Harriet—in time, behavior, and gender roles. This does not bode well for their influence in the future, and their embrace of Donald Trump and his alt-right followers will hurt them far more than they can imagine politically.  

At The Atlantic, Edward Simon explores how the myths about Bigfoot-type creatures has been rather persistent through the ages, going all the way back to Enkidu from Gilgamesh and Caliban from The Tempest.

So, apparently there are important baseball things happening (go team to which you are aligned!), and at Seeker, Ben Radford explains the thinking behind belief in a cursed goat

Atlas Obscura takes us to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, where in the midst of low-rise towers, sits a “monumental realism” sculpture of a crashed UFO, which residents insisted had to stay when renovators wanted it removed. Also, “it no longer allows the human children inside.”

Oh hey the School for Psychic Studies in Massachusetts is holding a big séance event to “help remove the fear that has been created around these practices over time.” GREAT.

Jeffery Jay Lowder posts video of his critique of Christian apologetics: “The VICTIMs of Christian apologetics are things which Christian apologists falsely claim depend on God, but the truth is that God depends on them.” 

Quote of the Day

Here’s one way to excuse your kid for being late to school:

Please excuse [student’s] tardiness.

She found God this morning and it took us forever to get Him out of the car.


[Student’s] Dad   

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