The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Pew releases a trove of data about religious attitudes in politics, including the warming of Christians to Trump, and the incremental lowering of that “would not vote for an atheist” number, which remains very high.
Muslim scholars will convene in Morocco next week with an aim to emphasize, and hopefully politically codify, the rights of non-Muslims in majority-Islamic countries. Laudable, of course, but while other faiths are specifically cited as having equal rights, no mention at least in the reporting of the rights specifically of nonbelievers.
Fake-psychic Priscilla Kelly Delmaro, who defrauded a guy out of over $500k, is free after eight months behind bars.
Process this through your wetware: The glow from an egg-shaped shadow of a black hole could undermine General Relativity. Yeah I said it.
I wasn’t even going to click on this, let alone share it, but I feel an obligation as author of Earth’s Premier Skepto-Humanist Link Blog™ (an honor I just now bestowed upon this blog all by my lonesome) to include it: At The Atlantic, Lizzie Wade offers up a defense of (I’m sorry in advance) flat-Earthers:
[This] is what makes #FlatEarth fundamentally different from climate change denial, creationism, or the anti-vaxx movement. It’s not really about exposing a supposed scientific “fraud,” it doesn’t have a political or religious agenda, and it’s not out to stop professional scientists from doing their important work and applying what they learn to improve the world. It’s just a bunch of amateur theorists trying their best to feel at home in the universe, in a way many scientists might well recognize if they let themselves.
Marco Rubio is continuing to hammer home just how super-into Jesus he is:
I do think it’s important for our president to be someone who is influenced by their faith, especially if it’s Christianity, because it is a faith that teaches you to care for the less fortunate, to seek peace, to care for one another, even to love your enemy.
WaPo’s Callum Borchers laments that the mainstream press didn’t pay enough attention to Rubio’s encounter with atheist Justin Scott last week:
If the issue isn’t abortion or gay marriage (or red cups), religious beliefs can be difficult to cover. They often require a level of theological familiarity that many journalists and readers don’t possess.
The CIA makes available files related to UFO sightings, and an advisory panel notes, “What [these investigations] did not find was any evidence that related the objects sighted to space travelers.”
A school voucher scheme in Tennessee is predicted to become law, and State Rep. David Alexander, a rare Republican to oppose the measure, says:
I think you’re trying to open up a Pandora’s box. You don’t have any idea where these children are going to end up going to school … what kind of strange ideology might be taught at this school besides reading writing and arithmetic. I’m here to tell you that in a religious private school, the ideas swirling about those young impressionable children will take hold. That really concerns me.
A federal court clears the way for an atheist’s discrimination lawsuit against a Christian-owned company that fired him for covering up a religious mission statement on his ID badge.
Apparently there was a big subscriber drop at the atheism subreddit, and the long and the short is that some internal cleanup at Reddit weeded out a lot of derelict and dormant accounts.
Adam and Eve are quirky!
Quote of the Day:
Jennifer Wadsworth at Metroactive has a must-read profile of the Satanic Temple, where Satanism emerges as a kind of impish atheism-with-a-heart. For example:
During our one-on-one klatch at Flames some weeks earlier, [Satanist Jedidiah] Schadenfreude talks about having the temple encourage more people to foster or adopt shelter animals.
“And what about the companion animals being… killed—they’re being killed,” he says, choking on his words as tears spring up in his eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m… hold on.”
He takes a swig of beer then wipes his eyes with the back of his forearm. Unable to speak, he raises his hand to signal a pause as he fights back emotion.
“I can’t even think about it without getting emotional,” he resumes, apologizing again.
“But people abandon rabbits, Chihuahuas and cats, because they can’t commit to the responsibility. It’s not right.”
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Original image by Shutterstock.
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