The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
A citizen of Afghanistan is granted asylum in the UK because his atheism would mean his persecution or death back home, making this perhaps the first time this kind of religiously-based asylum has been granted for an atheist. Said Sheona York of the University of Kent Law School, “The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position.”
The latest Free Inquiry issue is on newsstands now, and it features a collection of stories from readers as they made their journeys from faith to atheism. It’s really great stuff, guys.
Federal Trade Commission charges four makers of miracle weight-loss products with fraud, extracting customer refunds from Sensa Products, L’Occitane, HCG Diet Direct, and LeanSpa for a total of $34 million.
The man who invented the AK-47, the recently-deceased Mikhail Kalashnikov, wrote to the Russian Orthodox Church about the “spiritual pain” his invention caused him:
One question keeps repeating itself; as my assault rifle killed so many people, does that mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov … an Orthodox Christian, am responsible for people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?
When the Sunday Assembly was hosted by CFI-DC, Vice was there to cover it, which includes a little clarification about the nonbelievers who do and don’t dig congregations. (And for a lot more on those distinctions, you must see the recent Free Inquiry issue that covers the topic in depth.)
CFI-Northeast Ohio is hosting a secular summit and lobby day in Columbus on January 28.
Kimberly Winston looks at the contention of Catholic psychologist Paul C. Vitz that atheism is a result of a crummy relationship with one’s dad. I have a great relationship with mine (and you should listen to his music), and Vitz seems perplexed by these “exceptions.”
Judge in New Mexico rules that patients may seek a doctor’s aid in ending their lives.
American Atheists sues Oklahoma for its statehouse Ten Commandments monument, and goes a step further to point out how the commandments themselves violate the constitution.
An almost-literal goldmine is discovered in a woman’s knee, who, suffering from pain, was discovered to have hundreds of gold acupuncture needles embedded in her knee.
A black hole and a supermassive gas cloud are about to collide.
“Top lieutenant” of convicted fake-psychic scam artist Rose Marks gets 4 years in prison and must pay back $2.2 million.
CFI’s Michael De Dora will be one of the speakers at the Coalition for Liberty & Justice Forum on February 7.
Jon Hyman at the HR publication Workforce considers the Oregon lawsuit where a Christian employee is suing for harassment because of coworkers’ “taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
Did you even know there was a CFI-Argentina? Well there is, and here’s what they’ve been up to.
Chris Stedman profiles Conor Robinson and the Pathfinders Project.
ACLU and others are putting a close eye on a Kansas Corporation Commission employee who used his state email to promote “King Jesus.” What if that’s just the name of a band he likes?
I can’t wait for Dr. Oz to start peddling this so it really takes off: treat all your diseases by drinking cow pee.
Quote of the Day
That silly show Ghost Hunters is about to be distributed worldwide. Sharon Hill reacts:
Dear world: We’re sorry for sending more stupid TV your way. Signed, America.
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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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