The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Holy moly there’s a lot of news this morning. Ill-timed, too, because the snowstorm “Nemo” is descending upon my plucky state of Maine with a vengeance — and even getting a jump on things! We’re already buried in snow, when it wasn’t supposed to get blizzard-y until later this afternoon. And they say the real snowmageddon hasn’t even started yet. So, as you can imagine, the wife, the kids, and I are all eyeing each other to see which of us we’re all going to eat first.
To the news!
Even science funded by the Templeton Foundation finds that prayer has no effect on the recovery of heart bypass surgery patients. (Update: Oops. Looks like that’s old. I shouldn’t start drinking before I do the Heresy.)
Religion Dispatches highlights atheist activism on college campuses, and looks to our own Sarah Kaiser and Cody Hashman for insight.
Bill Cooke, CFI’s director of international programs, visits CFI-Kenya and by all accounts it was an enlightening trip for all.
Bob Smietana: Tennessee maintenance worker quits his job after seeing 666 on a tax form. No really.
DC city council member Tommy Wells introduces bill to allow DC couples to pick the officiant of their choice for weddings, and that includes seculars.
The Legion of Doom comes down against the HHS contraceptive coverage compromise:
It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities. HHS offers what it calls an ‘accommodation’ rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.
NYT’s Frank Bruni comes down harder on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church.
More than 1000 clergy from a multitude of faiths sign an open letter in support of contraceptive access.
CNN’s Carol Costello seems perplexed that, gasp, there are atheists among us! “But why???”
The president throws atheists a bone at the National Prayer Breakfast, and Hemant isn’t impressed:
If Obama really wants to make an effort to reach out to secular Americans, he doesn’t have to offer us second-rate lip service at a religious event. I would much rather he avoid participating in events like these completely — tradition be damned — and keep his faith to himself.
Daniel Cox of the Public Religion Research Institute talks up data showing how the Christian right is becoming an albatross for the GOP.
Jann Bellamy launches a website to combat government licensing of naturopaths.
More on the exit of faith-based initiative chief Josh DuBois.
Douglas Murphy of The Spectator, an atheist, finds less common cause with Richard Dawkins following a debate:
We should concede that, when it comes to discussions of ideas, morality and meaning, religion does have a place. Rather than dismissing it as some mere relict of our past, we should acknowledge that religion has an important contribution to our present and future discussion. We may not agree with the foundational claims, but we might at least agree not always and only to deride, laugh at and dismiss as meaningless something which searches sincerely for meaning.
CFI is building an army of interns for the purpose of reeducation and genetic enhancement. Wait, that’s not right. But we are looking for interns.
Just in case this snow storm gets really bad, this Doomsday Preppers website has the DVDs to keep you prepared for the end. Assuming there’s power for those DVD players. Oh, and that the machines have not risen up against us.
Susan Gerbic is working overtime to get Wikipedia up to date and fully suffused with the skepto-atheist movement.
Android and iOS game allows you to play the role of “apprentice deity.”
Idaho legislator considers requiring kids to read Ayn Rand, neglects to remember that she said “Faith is a short-circuit destroying the mind.”
Hole in the dirt in Florida = Bigfoot tracks.
Iowa bill would consider a zygote a person, and term any abortion as murder.
Mississippi senate passes a bill allowing for prayer at school events.
Emily Willingham at Forbes takes Fox News to task for credulous reporting on autism and citing a “chiropractic neurologist” as an authority.
The Asian Human Rights Commission says that Islamic mi
litants in Pakistan have been trying to start mob violence against five men accused of blasphemy.
So there’s, like, a mysterious hunk of metal on Mars. Like, what is that?
This keeps happening: More polio vaccine workers killed, this time in Nigeria.
And this keeps happening: Woman accused of sorcery is burned alive in Papua New Guinea.
Police in Los Angeles warn folks of a psychic fraud ring.
The Taliban uses the 72-virgins-in-heaven lie to recruit horny young men.
According to a HuffPo poll, 45% of Americans believe in ghosts.
Opponent of genetically modified foods becomes a believer in its promise when he “looked at the science.” Hmph.
Lynn Stuart Parramore recounts rejection by the Girl Scouts in the 1970s for being an atheist.
University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance is our CFI On Campus affiliate of the week.
Oh good. A creationist science fair.
This rat thing might be our great-great-great-great-(etc.)-grand ancestor.
Quote of the Day
Be united by God’s unquenchable wrath with WestboroMingle.com:
I finally found someone who hates everything I hate! Blacks, gays, Jews, Mexicans, Jamaicans. Anything West of America, music, dancing, vacations, dinosaurs, space travel, modern art, books.
(And I found this at The Blaze, no less.)
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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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