A Lived-in Face

March 31, 2015


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

Today the U.S. and Iran are expected to announce a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Just in time, Point of Inquiry has a guest with deep expertise on the U.S.’s 30-year conflict with Iran: Senior Historian for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, David Crist. Don’t miss it. 

The Indiana right-to-discriminate fallout continues. For example, Wilco cancels its tour in Indiana. Garrett Epps at The Atlantic spells out why this particular version of RFRA is so problematic, as opposed to the federal counterpart. Some lawmakers begin to scramble to “clarify” the law (good luck). Arkansas and North Carolina are perhaps the next to adopt this kind of measure.

Religion scholar Stephen Prothero opines in USA Today that despite his own progressive politics, he sees merit in the Indiana law, and says the arguments over it are really just manifestations of a poisoned culture war. There may be some follow-up on this from us. Calvin, meanwhile, understood the usefulness of the religious-freedom card back in 1986.

Yesterday we released our official statement on the murder of atheist blogger Washiqur Rahman in Bangladesh:

At the Center for Inquiry, we will continue to stand for these freedoms and lend our support to those in all parts of the world who fight for the freedom to speak, question, and believe — or not believe — as they choose. We, and our friends and allies, will not be terrorized into silence. 

Rory Fenton at The Independent says liberal and atheist bloggers in Bangladesh are terrified:

Far from just being two random murders, these attacks are the methodical work of vigilante extremists working through a list of atheist bloggers.  

AT CFI-Canada, board member Pat O’Brien considers the impact of the murder of Avijit Roy:

I mourn for the loss of a man I never met, but to whom I am removed by one degree of separation. I mourn for the loss of a brave man who fought for the values I hold, and I mourn for the loss of security for writers who are at risk merely for having an opinion or for telling uncomfortable truths. 

CFI-Los Angeles director Jim Underdown gets quite the flattering introduction in a profile by South Africa’s Times Live: “He is a powerfully built man with kind eyes set in a lived-in face like a worn wallet.” Woo, my heart is all a-flutter!

Speaking of South Africa, Trevor Noah is chosen to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and what popped up moments after the announcement but this tweet of Noah’s from 2011: “Without God, atheists wouldn’t exist.” Um, what? 

Brian Bethune and Genna Buck at Maclean’s report on research that indicates that teens who are religiously or spiritually “connected” are much less likely to be sad or abuse substances. There is no doubt much to be learned here, and the article does cite the difficulty with correlation versus causation, but the headline is deeply unfortunate: “God is the Answer.” 

André Picard at The Globe and Mail takes Health Canada to task for lending the “veneer of legitimacy to homeopathy.” 

Kevin M. Kruse, author of the book One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America, is interviewed by Terry Gross

Larry Schwartz at AlterNet rounds up the seven biggest quacks and snake oil peddlers in U.S. history. 

Let’s get ready to pander! Chris Christie backs an abortion ban after 20 weeks. 

Quote of the Day:

This is kind of a (please forgive my language here) “no shit, Sherlock” kind of quote, the lede from an AP story:

An apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away. That’s according to proverb-busting research that found daily apple eaters had just as many doctor visits as those who ate fewer or no apples.  
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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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