By the Light of the Fluorescent Pig

December 27, 2013

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

On his day off no less, CFI chief Ron Lindsay considers whether Catholic judges ought to recuse themselves from contraceptive mandate cases:

If simply filling out a form objecting to contraception makes one an accomplice to evil, what about rendering a judicial decision upholding the contraceptive mandate? This would appear to be a much more affirmative and consequential act than the completion of a form. But if that is the case, how can a judge who is a good Catholic by Church standards possibly render a decision upholding the mandate?

Have you heard this crazy story from Oklahoma about the church volunteers who got all weird about a woman’s baby, insisting they take hold of the kid when they came for a toy drive, and then atheists totally saved their Christmas??? It’s crazy. 

Matt Novak at Paleofuture rounds up a bunch of photos that are fakey-fake-fakerson, or at least not what people say they are. And then does it again.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania overturns a conviction against Monsignor William Lynn for covering up child sex abuse by priests. 

Blasphemy charges are reportedly leveled against a woman in Pakistan for refusing an arranged marriage to a rich guy. 

Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, manages to get an atheist response to the BBC’s religious “Thought for the Day,” without actually getting into the official TFTD slot. 

Even Hindus are happy about the Pope’s mentioning of atheists in the quest for peace:

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a release in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was heartwarming to learn that largest religious leader of the world Pope was coming out of his Roman Catholic shell to reach out to non-believers in pursuit of peace.  

Speaking of Pope Fluffy, Cathy Grossman tracks his pattern of inclusive rhetoric, and gets this quote from the culture editor of America magazine (a Catholic publication):

[Francis] realizes that atheists and agnostics are people of good intentions and good morals with whom we want to work closely. Jesus came into a world filled with believers and unbelievers and the pope lives in that same world. 

“Token Skeptic” and Skeptical Inquirer contributor Kylie Sturgess does a podcasting pitch on Patreon.

Quebec authorities consider placing children in a Jewish sect into foster care after finding evidence of “neglect, psychological abuse, poor health care and an education curriculum that fell below the province’s standards.” 

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston showcases the work of women photographers in the Islamic world.

On January 5, CFI-Los Angeles hosts a talk about death! It’s “Death Rituals for the Secular” with Caitlin Doughty. 

Small study shows that in cancer treatments, acupuncture is no more than a placebo

Michigan news outlet gives “pet psychics” totally uncritical treatment, reporting on them as though there’s no reason to think they’re full of crap.

Come buy this Pennsylvania house. It’s only slightly haunted.  

Escaped convict and giant purple monster wish Jesus a happy birthday

Pterosaurs are freaky. 

Red rain, coming down. Red rain. Red rain is pouring down, pouring down all over Texas

Wilbur, move over. Now this is some pig!  

Quote of the Day

Jerry Coyne brings the cold wind of brutal reality to Ross “cracks in secularism” Douthat:

The cracks are not in the edifice of secularism, but in the temples of faith. As he should know if he reads his own newspaper, secularism is not cracking up but growing in the U.S. He and his fellow religionists are on the way out, and his columns are his swan song. It may take years, but one fine day our grandchildren will look back on people like Douthat, shake their heads, and wonder why some people couldn’t put away their childish things. 

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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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