The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
CFI-Michigan‘s activism in opposition to a religious sign in a public park is covered in two pieces at MLive and at the Holland Sentinel. CFI-Michigan’s Jennifer Beahan hammered home the central point at a meeting of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners: “Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many people want the sign replaced, it is still unconstitutional.” Alas, the board voted in favor of the sign anyway, which quotes Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”
The FDA may finally be taking the problem of homeopathic “medicines” seriously, as they announce public hearings on their use and regulation. CFI has been petitioning the FDA to move in this direction for some time.
Vice President Hamid Ansari of India says that while there is a “principled distance” between religion and state as opposed to a “wall,” he also says:
[Indian secularism] does not, must not, give official status to any religion or accept its hegemonic position. Instead, ‘it is an ethically sensitive negotiated settlement between diverse groups and divergent values’. It is in consonance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 which stipulates that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
That Duck Dynasty guy engages in a rape-murder-torture fantasy of an atheist family on the radio. Because he knows right from wrong, you see.
NYT’s Room for Debate section hosts a discussion on the importance of a political candidate’s religion, with Penn Jillette representing the nonreligious POV.
Kimberly Winston reports on the funny business surrounding We Are Atheism’s financials.
Ted Cruz’s campaign launch at Liberty University was very well attended. Except that students were required to be there, lest they be fined. Liberty!
The ACLU calls out the TSA for the use of “unscientific” behavioral profiling. Cory Doctorow quips, “because they’d acquired the superpower of spotting guilty people through their ‘microexpressions.'”
Ontario requires that doctors with religious objections to certain treatments or services refer patients in need of those services to a physician who can help them. So of course, Christian doctors are fighting this in court to make sure patients don’t get the care they need.
Jess Peacock: Religion is like professional wrestling. You know it’s fake, it has its own internal logic, and it makes meaning.
Roc Morin at VICE chats with a few alien abductees, such as this fellow:
One of the initiations I went through with an Orion Council of Light being was the return of my memories to me. So I have most of my memories of my past lives. In one of my Pleiadian lifetimes, I was a warrior. I had a ship and would go and liberate planets from the Greys and Reptilians.
Oklahoma refuses to let a guy have a pro-LGBT license plate because it’s “sexual in nature.”
The Curiosity rover finds nitrates on Mars, most likely the result of “thermal shock,” but on Earth they come from living things.
Hey, Saudi Arabia, sure everyone thinks you guys are being human rights abusing monsters, but at least Somalia has your back:
To portray the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its judiciary as guardians of medieval practices is an offence to not only the people and Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also to the entire Muslim world.
Quote of the Day:
President Obama is delighted by the kids at the White House Science Fair, and says all the right things:
These young scientists and engineers teach us something beyond the specific topics that they’re exploring. They teach us how to question assumptions; to wonder why something is the way it is, and how we can make it better. And they remind us that there’s always something more to learn, and to try, and to discover, and to imagine — and that it’s never too early, or too late to create or discover something new. That’s why we love science. It’s more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engag
e with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world, and to share this accumulated knowledge. It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems.
Original image by Shutterstock.
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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