Whatever it is Humans are Responsible For

January 7, 2013

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

An Indiana state senator introduces a bill to allow prayer in public schools, and Indiana’s WTHR TV news talks to CFI-Indiana’s Reba Boyd Wooden, who calls it “a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

Katherine Ozment pens a long feature in Boston magazine on the choices faced by nonreligious and “none” parents:

[Phil] Zuckerman began by saying that secular parents find themselves in an unusual bind. “When you’re a religious parent, raising your child in the fold is a wonderful, joyful duty,” he said. “It’s fulfilling, and you feel good about yourself.” But most people who’ve walked away from religion did so because they felt religion had been imposed on them, that they’d been brainwashed. “Then they become parents,” Zuckerman said, “and they don’t want to do to their kids what their parents did to them—i.e., foist a worldview on their children that they don’t come to themselves.” This, he continued, creates a paradox that’s unique to Nones: “You’re like, ‘I don’t want to push my secularity on them, because then I’m being just as hypocritical. I don’t want to impose my atheism or my agnosticism or my humanism on my kids.’” 

National Catholic Reporter headline: “Bishops investigating US nuns have poor records on sex abuse cases” 

President Obama casts a skeptical eye on a “conscience provision” contained in a new defense bill, saying in a signing statement:

Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members. The Secretary of Defense will ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. 

FFRF may sue an Ohio middle school over a Jesus portrait (the one over on the right in this post). 

Abul Majeed regrets that the fight against blasphemy laws in Pakistan has not been taken up following the assassination of law opponent Salmaan Taseer:

I was never a big fan of Mr Taseer’s politics but I admire him for his courageous stand on the blasphemy issue. Numerous friends of his state said that he was foolhardy to pursue a hopeless cause. But don’t all worthy causes look like lost ones? 

Church of England: You can be gay and be a bishop, but you have to be celibate and feel bad about being gay. 

New web project 365 Days of Philosophy is up and running! 

Friendly Atheist presents an English translation of a Québécois French-language article on atheism in America from Long Cours

(Hemant is now commissioning other long form articles for his site. Oh, and he submitted himself to the jackals in a Reddit IAmA.) 

Dalai Lama: “India is a symbol of secularism. It shows how different religions coexist in harmony in the country.”  

Ben Radford is looking for more information on the validity of “trigger warnings” that now front many pieces about traumatic topics. 

Religion Dispatches interviews Lesley Hazleton, author of The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad. I’m sure there be no controversy with this book.

Charlie Mahtesian at Politico says, “the thorniest, and testiest, conversations with members [of Congress] or their staffs usually involved attempts to identify their faith as part of their biographical data.”  

Rutgers Humanist Chaplaincy launches the Pathfinders Project, a humanitarian service whirlwind. 

Taiwanese TV news reports on an “alien” caught on tape! And look at the logo in the top right corner. That looks like the CFI logo!!!! 

American Humanist Association gets a new president, Rebecca Hale of EvolveFish.com.  

For the sake of scientific literacy, Eugenie Scott calls for better teaching of evolution, adaptation, and phenotype.  

Pastor calls 911 after being caught up in some sexy times. 

Obviously these are a female Bigfoot’s tracks

2012 was the best year EVER. For whooping cough

Quote of the Day

Susan Jacoby in the
New York Times


We must speak up as atheists in order to take responsibility for whatever it is humans are responsible for — including violence in our streets and schools. We need to demonstrate that atheism is rooted in empathy as well as intellect.


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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta