The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Every member of the U.S. Senate unanimously signs on to a letter urging Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director James Comey to help bring to justice those responsible for threatening and vandalizing Jewish Community Centers.
Alex Nichols at The Outline says the time has come for Twitter to just start booting the trolls off its service for good. Here’s a thing:
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was shielded from the brutal invective of user “fartbutt69” — he called her “really dumb.”
So there’s that.
Speaking of DeVos, Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone digs deep into ther political past, and reaches a conclusion that won’t be unfamiliar to you: that she is part of an effort to dismantle public education in favor of winning a new Christian sphere of influence over public life.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN’s human rights chief, says, “I am dismayed at attempts by the [U.S.] president to intimidate or undermine journalists and judges.”
Wyoming state judge Ruth Neely is censured by the state’s supreme court for refusing to perform same-sex marriages.
Ryan Broderick at BuzzFeed invented a Facebook profile for the purpose of ‘liking’ right-wing content, and it wasn’t long before the algorithm was presenting him with Illuminati conspiracies and “what I can best describe as right-wing softcore pornography memes.”
Atheists in Mumbai will hold a conference in which they demand an end to blasphemy-type laws, and remove other incursions of religion into government.
Christopher C. French, in Skeptical Inquirer, celebrates the thriving UK skeptic movement.
Crook psychic Becky Ann Lee is convicted of stealing more than $200,000 from a client, and is sentenced to 10 years probation and repayment of what’s been stolen.
Nöel Wise at Time considers gender laws and the court cases surrounding them:
In the United States, judges are obligated to see the world through a secular lens. They must apply the law without the influence of any religious construct or political agenda. If modern science recognizes that sex has countless natural permutations, and if birth certificates, physical observation and even chromosomal testing cannot reliably categorize every individual as either male or female, then our judiciary cannot be required to make gender findings antithetical to that reality.
S. Brent Plate at Religion Dispatches looks back on the remarkable life of abolitionist and suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage.
Check this out: Every week we’re now posting new updates for the goings-on of the most excellent TIES program (the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science).
When the Mennonites are on the streets protesting you, you know you’ve blown it.
George W. Bush will NOT tell us what the government knows about UFOs. Which is TOTALLY fishy. I mean, it’s more like “George W.F.O. Bush,” amirite?
Here’s one of those things I always intend to look up and then forget about. BUT NOW IT CAN BE TOLD. Tuvan throat-singing, where they sing two notes at once, sort of. How does that work?
Quote of the Day:
Welcoming the new guy:
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