An Otherwise Ambiguous Practice

April 17, 2015

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

The FDA is going to hold public hearings on homeopathy and guess who’s been invited to be the voice of reason? Us!

Michael De Dora took part in a discussion on religious freedom at the Newseum last night, and I think it’s supposed to be viewable here, but it’s not loading for me, so I dunno.

Theologian Milt Hankins opines at the Herald-Dispatch about changing moral standards, and cites with some astonishment Ron Lindsay’s book The Necessity of Secularism

But it’s true, atheists fear no consequences for their abysmal actions

Devon Maloney at The Verge profiles Susan Miller, she of the online astrology empire:

She’s quick to stress, in person and at every appearance she makes, that astrology is not fortune telling. In fact, her approach is far more like that of an empathetic life coach than a psychic. One could argue that the practical rationality she brings to an otherwise ambiguous practice is what makes her so successful.

I bet. 

Julia Belluz chronicles Dr. Oz’s spiral into pseudoscience and quackery at Vox, and at the same time, 10 physicians urge Columbia University to take Oz out of their medical school.

CFI-L.A.’s Jim Underdown writes about his trip to South Africa and London as a kind of “skeptical ambassador.” 

Montgomery County in Maryland wants to crack down on some alt-med operations (“reflexology” and “acupressure” and the like) because they might be fronts for human trafficking. Wow. 

Media Matters looks at the mighty influence of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the far-right Christian legal advocacy group behind many of the “religious freedom” measures. 

Jeb Bush wants to prove he can be just as right-wingy as Ted Cruz, and will speak at Liberty University

The late Stéphane Charbonnier, who was editorial director of Charlie Hebdo when he was murdered, has a book he finished just before the attacks coming outOpen Letter to the Fraudsters of Islamophobia Who Play Into Racists’ Hands.  

Paul Marshall of the Media Project wants westerners to understand that the Charlie Hebdo attacks were only a taste of what people in the Muslim world suffer on a regular basis thanks to blasphemy laws:

Yet while political influence is necessary to motivate attacks, the greatest danger is not from governments but from mobs, vigilantes, and terrorists. In Pakistan, which holds the most stringent blasphemy codes in the world, extra-legal violence is the most dangerous. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain says the government is working to prevent “misuse” of the blasphemy law. Of course, the only use of blasphemy laws is misuse. 

Tennessee’s State Senate effectively kills the Bible-as-state-book bill.  

Turns out my state of Maine is not so afraid of Sharia.  

Car repair shop in Michigan would very much like to have your business if you are a gun owner, but not if you’re gay. Religious freedom, everyone! (What about gay gun owners?) 

Quote of the Day:

Every Friday that we hear this, it’s a relief. Raif Badawi‘s wife, the amazing Ensaf Haidaron Twitter

No flogging for today #FreeRaif

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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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