The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Pope Fluffy, not sounding unlike Yoda, goes after fake news. Not Trump’s bizarro version of #fakenews, but actual fake news:
Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth. … We need to unmask what could be called the ‘snake-tactics’ used by those [purveyors of fake news] who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place.
Earlier this month, a man from Michigan called into CNN and said:
Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down. … I’m coming for you CNN. I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours … You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f‑‑‑ing gun every single last one of you. I have a team of people. It’s going to be great, man . . . You gotta get prepared for this one, buddy.
Research by Landon Schnabel and Sean Bock shows that while secularization is on the rise in the U.S., religion won’t necessarily fade, as “intense religion—strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism—is persistent,” and that it’s really moderate religion that’s on the decline.
Daniel Cox at FiveThirtyEight says white evangelicals are in for some losses pretty soon because of their median age, their intractability when it comes to moral stances, and their fixation on nostalgia:
In longing for an American past, white evangelical Protestants may be neglecting their future. As a group, they’re drifting further away — politically and culturally — from the American mainstream.
Sam Brownback was confirmed as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, with Pence having to cast a tie-breaking vote. Great.
Oh hey, there’s a new Cause & Effect newsletter. It’s nice.
Just posted is video fro Jonathan Jarry of the McGill Office for Science and Society interviewing Eugenie Scott at CSICon 2017.
Arthur Wagner, once a leader within the xenophobic-right German political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has converted to Islam. “That’s my private business,” he says.
If you plan on heading out to the TRAPPIST-1 planets (and why wouldn’t you?), here’s a guide to which planets you’ll want to visit.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is getting in shape for Cosmos, and helping to spread the Girther conspiracy theory.
But if you think Trump and his physician are not being totally straight with us about the president’s health, well, this wouldn’t be the first time we have been misled. Monica Hesse at WaPo calls the presidency “a 230-year parade of unwell men.” Wow.
Michaeleen Doucleff at NPR reports that zombie viruses might not be something we have to worry about.
Protests erupt in India as right-wing Hindu groups complain about a movie they have not seen that contains a religious offense the filmmakers say it does not contain.
A homeopathy dispensary in India is suffering from a shortage of workers and actual products. Well. Of course it is. If you had all the people and products you needed, it wouldn’t be diluted, would it?
Quote of the Day
This chart from U.S. News, based on its “Best Countries” survey:
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