Just Won the Superb Owl, But Definitely Not Going to Disneyland

February 2, 2015

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

The story this weekend, other than superb owls, was vaccines and their discontents. I guess now that the measles virus has breached Disneyland, folks are finally starting to wake up. Sarah Kliff at Vox (which has been really good on this issue) makes the case for vaccinations being a social obligation because of the realities of herd immunity. Even the president is having to tell people to get their heads out of their posteriors. 

This piece on anti-vax parents at NYT tells you all you need to know about where these people’s heads are:

Here in California, anti-vaccine parents whose children have endured bouts of whooping cough and chickenpox largely defended their choice to raise their children on natural foods, essential oils and no vaccinations. “There is absolutely no reason to get the shot,” said [parent] Crystal McDonald …

After researching the issue and reading information from a national anti-vaccine group, Ms. McDonald said she and her husband, a chiropractor, decided to raise their four children without vaccines.  

I mean come on.

As @kkjordan says on Twitter, “If my kid can’t bring peanut butter to school, yours shouldn’t be able to bring preventable diseases.” 

The National Post notes our allies at CFI-Canada for their work against blasphemy laws, and quotes our own non-Canadian Michael De Dora.

Raif Badawi is reportedly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but don’t get your hopes up too much, it’s not that hard to get nominated, and oddball candidates get nominated all the time. But it’s still nice if true. 

The folks at Charlie Hebdo need some time. Brian Pellot has a big-picture look at how the Hebdo story is playing out around the world. 

USA Today: “In Egypt, there is seemingly no place where atheists or those thought to be non-believers are safe.” 

Jen Osborne at VICE spends a weekend hanging with and photographing this very serious Pastafarian, Obi Canuel. “Obi wears a huge broken watch as a symbol that Pastafarians are not constrained by the construct of time.”

Fare la Volpe at Wonkette marks James Randi’s retirement with a tribute, along with some facepalming over pseudoscience news. 

Huckabee: Jews and bacon, Muslims and dogs, Christians and gay marriage, all the same thing.  

Simon Singh posts an op-ed intended for (and then rejected by) the Hindustan Times which begins, “Whenever I return to India, I am always unpleasantly surprised at the popularity of homeopathy.”  

Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica reviews Neil Young’s expensive “high-res audio” Pono player, and calls it “a tall, refreshing drink of snake oil.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on the nonreligious Sunday Assembly phenomenon, and looks to CFI board member Barry Kosmin for insight.

That blurry figure walking through the snow amongst the trees in Prospect Park is obviously Bigfoot

Jesus goes Trainspotting

Vatican: Shave and a haircut: No bits. 

Quote of the Day

Valerie Tarico lists the reasons Christian heaven would be more like hell, and the one that resonated most with me:

Ninety eight percent of Heaven’s occupants are embryos and toddlers. 

As the parent of two small children during a time of many snow days, I say, “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” 


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