What Did I Just Snort?

February 13, 2018

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

Vouchers! The White House wants to direct $1 billion in public funds into vouchers for private and religious schools! If course they do. Maybe they wouldn’t seem to “acceptable” of instead of calling them vouchers we called them, like, “creationism coupons.” Just a thought. You guys can run with that.

Dana Nuccitelli at The Guardian shows how the EPA’s website refuted all the points made by its own administrator, Scott “Destroyer of Worlds” Pruitt, in a recent interview, and funnily enough, those web pages have been deleted.

Well who cares about global warming, when the Sun is about to get cooler than it’s been in ages? By 2050 we’re going to reach a “solar minimum,” and apparently it’s not supposed to be cause for concern. 

The Fundamentalist Mormon-dominated town of Hildale, Utah elected its first woman mayor, Donia Jessop, and eleven city employees resigned as a result. Why? Well, you can’t expect them to take orders from a LADY PERSON, now can you?  

Massimo Pigliucci, writing for the American Philosophical Association, rakes over what he sees as the problem of “scientism”:

. . . when scientistic thinkers pretend that any human activity that has to do with reasoning about facts is “science” they are attempting a bold move of naked cultural colonization, defining everything else either out of existence or into irrelevance. 

The European Space Agency runs successful tests of its LISA (laser interferometer space antenna) pathfinder, intended to detect gravitational waves with a sensitivity that would be impossible on Earth. As Chris Lee at Ars Technica put it, “The latest report from the pathfinder mission is not just positive, it is what-did-I-just-snort positive.” Wow, Chris. Maybe sit for a bit. 

Patricia Hornbeck at Religion Dispatches warns that the pendulum for LGBTQ rights is swinging back hard, thanks to religion, and whacking some people in the head as it does:

. . . it would be naïve to assume that legal equality for LGBTQ individuals and families is settled, or at least well on its way there. Because much, if not in fact most, opposition to LGBTQ rights has religious roots, arguments about religious freedom, and claims about the exemptions due religious believers in their dealings with their LGBTQ fellow citizens, will continue to figure prominently in our national debates.

Atheist Gayle Jordan lost the Tennessee state senate seat she ran for in 2016 by 50 points. Now that there’s a new vacancy, she’s running again, and the GOP is at least a little bit worried this time, attacking her as a “radical” and “anti-Christian extremist.”

This is depressing: Medicare and Medicaid waste over a half a billion dollars a year on the pseudoscientific practices of chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation. Steven Salzberg reminds us:

Osteopathic manipulation is what Larry Nassar, the now-convicted sexual predator, claimed he was doing to the hundreds of young girls whom he molested over the years when he was a sports doctor at Michigan State University and a doctor for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.  

Australia’s The Age reports on the incredibly lavish spending of the Catholic Church (mansions, beach houses, etc.), which is offering crumbs to the victims of abuse it inflicted on kids. 

David Stephan, who did jail time after he let his son die of meningitis, because he thought it was a better idea to pray away the sickness, was set to appear at the Calgary Wellness Expo, because I guess they mean “wellness” ironically. But Sobey’s, a major food retailer in Canada, pulled its sponsorship as a result of Stephan’s appearance, and now it looks like Mr. Meningitis is out.

Oh hey, look at all the Nazis running for office. In 2018. In America. Cool, cool. No big. No big. 

Also, today is my 6th anniversary as CFI’s communications director. I know other folks who work here also have anniversaries, but I’m the one with the daily blog, so you get to hear about me. 

Quote of the Day

Omarosa Manigault, fallen from the favor of the Trump White House, says if we think we don’t like Trump, hold on to your butts:

As bad as y’all think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence. So everybody that’s wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their lives. We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president. … He’s extreme. I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t saying that.’

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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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