The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Egyptian atheist blogger and activist Alber Saber was convicted yesterday in a Cairo court of blasphemy, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Human Rights Watch’s Heba Morayef tells NYT:
The spike in prosecutions over the past year and a half was due to complaints being filed by Islamist lawyers on a decentralized basis, but the constitution does more than that, it makes it state policy. And the tragic thing is that I think there is nothing anyone can do to stop this from growing in the future.
CFI touts the new IHEU report on the persecution of atheists around the world, to which we contributed significant research. Guess who’s on the cover of that report.
Meanwhile, Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, will seek asylum in Spain.
Whatever you think of American Atheists or Dave Silverman (who I happen to like very much), I am beginning to feel like he is sort of a Pundit Touchstone. You put him on your talking-head show, and see how the host and guests behave toward him, and through this, you will learn who they really are. We certainly learned this with Bill “tide-goes-in-tide-goes-out, and Christianity is not a religion” O’Reilly. And now we learn about Fox host Stuart Varney, who delights in dredging up the painful fact of AA’s founder’s murder. Keep going on TV, Dave. We are learning so much.
Council executive director Tom Flynn has six reasons why you should ditch the Winter Solstice celebrations.
Oliver Sacks takes to The Atlantic to walk us through the reality of out-of-body and near-death experiences.
At CSI’s Skeptical Briefs, Noah Nez looks at the U.S. military’s failure to take advantage of Native Americans’ “mystical powers” which mysteriously failed when recruits were given haircuts.
CFI-Indiana chief Reba Boyd Wooden is a guest on Radio Freethinker.
NCSE: Nebraska school system introduces, finally, climate change into its science curriculum, but still manages to screw it up.
Think Progress: A search for Muslim bias in Texas school district turns up Christian bias.
100 years ago, they though the whole 12/12/12 thing was cool, too.
Dude breaks into a Boston church, lights a bunch of candles, and gets wasted on the sacramental booze.
Don’t be that one pathetic soul who’s unprepared for the coming apocalypse. Let Walt Mosspuppet get you ready for the end.
Sharon Hill counts down to the un-pocalypse, 8 days to go.
All this warring probably makes many Christians miserable rather than joyful at this time of year. Some who proudly don the mantle of a persecuted minority even make up stories to convince themselves. That’s like saying there is a war on white, heterosexual males because previously marginalized groups have fought for and finally gained rights they’ve long deserved.
Penn Jillette: “Happy Holidays” is like the Monkees.
Nina Burleigh in the New York Observer warns of the infiltration of Dominionism into American institutions like the military:
What [Dominionists] need to be reminded of is that separation of the church and the state’s military is the main difference between us and our enemies. If we fight, that is what we fight for. As a culturally Christian American, who grew up hearing about Christ’s message of peace and nonviolence, I am horrified by the braiding together of spirit and sword.
Kylie Sturgess talks to Matt Lowry about Santa!
Atheists want to indoctrinate school children with atheism!!! Hmm? I’m being told that’s not true, according to the American Secular Census.
Hey progressive Mormon ladies, December 16 is “Wear Pants to Church Day”!
This time, really, seriously,
this footage of a small, dark, blurry, pixelated, blobby thing is definitely Bigfoot.
Witnesses claim to have seen a UFO sink off the coast of southern Japan.
Mano Singham on communicating science to believers:
The people I find hard to understand are those who think that science and religion are incompatible but feel that we should not say so publicly because it will turn people away from science. We should not subordinate truth to expediency in order to achieve tactical victories.
Christian clothing line has young ladies excited about their “date with JC,” or “sweet Jesus,” and the “suggestive poses” in the ads are not going over well.
Note: There will be no Morning Heresy tomorrow, as the Morning Heretic is moving to a new house.
Quote of the Day
George Takei, master of Facebook:
If we all carved 12/21/3012 onto walls and caves today, think how many people we’d freak out in 1000 years.
Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
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