Everybody Should Watch Out

March 23, 2016


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

After the Brussels attack, Ted Cruz wants to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” He means in the United States. I’m sure a constant, threatening police presence will prevent any radicalization that would otherwise have occurred. Trump, meanwhile, says, “Everybody should watch out.” He may as well have just said, “BOO!”

It’s Zubik day at SCOTUS. (Hehe that’s a funny sounding sentence. I could have said “It’s Flarping day at BLURPUS.” I’m tired.) Check out our amicus brief urging the Court to reject the “ludicrous” suit brought by religious orgs who think signing a paper to opt out of contraceptive coverage violates their delicate religious sensibilities.  

Herb Silverman laments the absence of atheist presidential candidates (including Bernie Sanders who Herb wants to “out”), looks for ways to open the door to such a candidate. 

At Skeptical Inquirer, William London eulogizes Bill Jarvis, a pioneer of skeptical, anti-quackery activism.

Islamic State thugs stab a Christian man in Bangladesh to death and explode some bombs “as a lesson to others.” Meanwhile, a law is drafted in Bangladesh that would criminalize “defamation” of the 1971 Liberation War.

Canada will be shuttering its Office of Religious Freedoms, an office created by the previous PM and viewed with skepticism by liberals. But CFI has had excellent and productive dealings with the office and its ambassador Andrew Bennett.

Pew looks at the gender gap in religious observance by country and faith. Broadly speaking, women dominate Christian observance, Islam has more observance from men.

David Koepsell is cautiously optimistic about things getting better in terms of peace and equality. While we might not achieve “peace in our time,” he says, “We will continue to follow that slope if we can avoid the trap of fear and authoritarianism, isolationism, and militarism that feeds off of it.” 

Clayton, NJ says in its motto it’s a great place to “work and pray,” and it’s totally secular because something about history.

Charlotte, NC passed an ordinance adding transgender folks to the list of protected classes in the city, and the state government will now bravely revoke that nondiscrimination ordinance in order to protect bathrooms or something. 

Quote of the Day: 

A group of countries is trying to ruin a UN resolution to protect human rights defenders by, for example, removing references to human rights defenders. CFI is one of the organizations pushing back. The joint letter from about 100 groups says:

The amendments being advocated by the Russian Federation, China, Egypt, Cuba and Pakistan should be seen in the context of the systematic efforts currently underway in several of these States to restrict and criminalise the important and legitimate work of human rights defenders and independent civil society organisations in violation of international human rights law. The proposal to weaken language on reprisals should similarly be understood in the context of several of the proposing States being the subject of allegations of intimidation or reprisals in both the Secretary-General’s report and the joint communications report of Special Procedures. 

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