The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
The GOP nominee for today’s House special election in Pennsylvania, Rick Saccone, knows that if you’re against him or against Trump, you’re against You-Know-Who:
They’re energized for hate for our president. Many of them have a hatred for our country. I’ll [tell] you some more — my wife and I saw it again today, they have a hatred for God.
This is not surprising: Health care workers who get the flu vaccine show a 30% reduction in absenteeism as compared to their unvaccinated colleagues. Another study shows that knights who ride into battle with armor are 95% less likely to die from broadsword attacks as compared to those who ride into battle in sweatpants and a t-shirt.
Now this is unexpected: An official Vatican publication called Women, Church, World has come out against the exploitation of nuns for cheap labor, performing the drudge work of household servants. Not Pope Fluffy, of course:
Unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis lives in a Vatican guest house which is run like a hotel and takes his meals in the main dining room which is staffed by paid waiters.
As the film The Shape of Water is honored with Oscars, Ben Radford takes the opportunity to look at the many incarnations of “merfolk” in legend and popular culture. Somehow he forgot to mention Mer-Man, the henchman of Skeletor who always looks rather surprised and uneasy.
Our super-cool video series Reasonable Talk has had a few new episodes posted since I, er, disappeared, with CSICon 2017 talks from Maria Konnikova on luck, Taner Edis on conspiracy theories, and Massimo Polidoro on “the mind of James Randi.”
A news outlet called OZY, which I’d never heard of but is apparently popular, profiles Pratik Sinha, “the fake news slayer,” an Indian engineer-turned-journalist who has made it his mission to push back on the false claims of the Narendra Modi government with AltNews.in. Good lord I hope he keeps himself safe.
In Pakistan, Krishna Kumari is elected to the Senate, becoming the first woman from the “untouchables” Hindu caste to do so, defeating a cleric linked to the Taliban.
Serenity House, described as a “communal living and healing space” in Philadelphia, has built a program with Swarthmore College to crowdfund solar panel installations throughout the city. What do they call it? Serenity Soular, of course. Tee-hee.
Meanwhile, New York state commits $1.4 billion to 26 renewable energy projects, including solar and wind farms and a hydroelectric project.
Some guy at Newsmax (barf), Anthony something-or-other, wants the Nones to get off his immaculate lawn:
The None worldview is especially popular with today’s youth, who have been seduced by the confident, firebrand styles of atheists like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris, and are attracted by the idea of a hedonistic, self-centered, self-absorbed culture with no moral truths or commandments. (Atheism is perfect for the snowflake generation.)
No, wait, it gets funnier:
With all due respect, Christians need to wake up. The time for being nice and amiable is done. We have to mobilize and engage those who are opposing us in a very bold, aggressive, and fearless way.
Yes, finally, for once, Christians should at long last become aggressive about pushing their beliefs. Thank GOODNESS he said something.
Yesterday saw the debut of The Scientology Network on digital TV platforms. Great.
The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (née the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital) will no longer offer NHS-funded homeopathic treatments. Ha ha!
Here’s a headline for you, from Thailand’s The Nation: “Eating meat may be more damaging than atheism.” I mean, yeah? Probably?
A federal court in Montana has upheld the state’s anti-polygamy laws, in case you were getting any ideas.
Quote of the Day
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in a press release earlier this month:
As the flu continues to make people sick — and even cause deaths — unscrupulous actors may also be taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers by promoting their fraudulent products that have not been reviewed by the FDA to be safe and effective. The FDA is warning consumers to be alert, and try and steer clear of fraudulent flu products, which may be found online or in retail stores. We’re advising consumers on some of the telltale signs to look for when trying to spot flu products that may be fraudulent.
The agency offers some clues as to when a product is fake medicine:
Products sold online are fraudulent if they claim to prevent, treat or cure the flu, and have not been evaluated by the FDA for that intended use.
These flu claims may indicate that an OTC product is fraudulent:
- reduces severity and length of the flu;
- reduces severity and length of the flu;
- boosts your immunity naturally without a flu shot;
- safe and effective alternative to the flu vaccine;
- prevents catching the flu;
- effective treatment for the flu;
- faster recovery from the flu; or
- supports your body’s natural immune defenses to fight off the flu.
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