The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Michael De Dora spoke up in support of free expression and freedom of belief at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, and the video is up!
Twitter releases a big transparency report on government requests to pull content, and how often it complies. Briefly, in the U.S. it gets a few requests, but doesn’t take anything down, but in countries like Turkey, over 20% of requests are complied with. Russia has lately ramped up its requests to take down content, and Twitter has only complied about 5% of the time.
At Mukto-Mona, the website once run by Avijit Roy, Raihan Abir corrects some of the reporting on Bangladesh’s review of whether it should consider itself an officially Islamic country. In short, it has nothing to do with the recent explosion of attacks on secularists and religious minorities.
This is interesting. A Change.org petition is launched to urge the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK to blacklist homeopathy on animals.
Donald Trump, mind-reader of all Muslims:
I think Islam hates us. There’s a tremendous hatred there, there’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us. … it’s radical, but it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.
Natalie Jacewicz at Scientific American looks at what might be the fate of science under a Trump administration.
Trump is the alpha and the omega or something. Marcia Pally writes about the apocalyptic feelings surrounding his candidacy, and how Trump himself kind of sounds, well, biblical:
His jeremiad is that all the other candidates are not just poor choices on policy but false gods who are leading we, the chosen people of America, to ruin. He is the one true God, valuing himself at $3 billion, giving it the mysterious power of the Tetragrammaton. Echoing Genesis, he declares that which has his name on it will “be good.”
Afghanistan’s Supreme Court reduces the sentences of those convicted in the mob-beating death of Farkhunda, attacked because she was falsely accused of burning a Quran. NYT:
Of 49 men originally arrested in Farkhunda’s killing, only 13 have so far been given serious penalties — nearly all of them greatly reduced on appeal. All the death sentences were vacated. In addition, many activists claim that some of those most responsible — and identified in cellphone video of the killing — have still not been arrested.
“S3RC” is not l33tspeak, it’s short for the Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference. Sam Farooqui fill us in at the Course of Reason blog.
Emily Willingham looks at a study that was reported to show a link between sucralose (Splenda) and cancer in mice, but really shows that if anything there is an associated decrease in cancers.
Grapefruit seed extract: the alt-med supplement that’s so sketchy, even alt-med peddlers are wary of it.
Hey let’s go see what it’s like in some of Toronto’s psychics’ places of business. Ho boy. You’d be forgiven for mistaking them for a green room for a Ren faire.
Some dudes wanted a place to keep their arcade games. So they bought a church, but they were told they actually had to be a church because of zoning laws. So they became one: The Jedi Alliance. The RLUIPA Defense blog reports:
The city said if you want to use that building for anything other than a house, it has to be a church, and we went ‘Yeah, we can make that work.’” So, they registered as a church and have been using the property ever since. “Is it a church? Well, it’s a church in the sense that we took over a church building. Are we here congregating? Yes, we’re here congregating getting together,” Tyler explained. “We can use all of this pop culture stuff to bring people together, to get people to have a reason to come together in a social setting,” said Tim.
A federal court in Puerto Rico determines that the territory is not bound by the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling.
Quote of the Day:
It’s more about this video, about which I am in full agreement with Geoff LaTulippe:
OH GOD I CAN’T HANDLE THIS NEITHER OF THEM ARE ALLOWED TO DIE EVER EVER EVER.
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