The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
I’ve been practicing rolling my eyes and making indignant, above-it-all faces just to get through today, April Fools’ Day, when the whole Internet thinks every absurd lie is hilarious and totally worth your time. I’m ready!! But here’s a promise: This is an April Fools’-free Morning Heresy.
Kimberly Winston reports on the reaction to the murder of yet another Bangladeshi atheist blogger, Washiqur Rahman, including our statement and response from Asif Mohiuddin, who knew Rahman personally.
Ellen Barry at NYT looks at the terrorizing effect of the recent killings on other freethinkers. Says Bangladeshi supreme court lawyer Sara Hossain:
People who have lived in conflict zones will describe how you move from being a society where you attack people verbally and try to invoke the law against them. Now our society is increasingly going toward one where you murder your enemies.
The Dhaka Tribune has more detail on the apprehension of two of the assailants (and makes a point of highlighting the fact that those who did the apprehending were two “hermaphrodites” or “Hijras“).
Indianapolis’s GOP mayor Greg Ballard issues an executive order to protect his city’s LGBTQ citizens from discrimination stemming from the new RFRA law.
Arkansas’ legislature passes a RFRA right-to-discriminate bill of its own. It’s not known if the GOP governor will sign it.
Thanks to Indiana’s efforts to cripple and shut down Planned Parenthood facilities, there are fewer ways to get tested for HIV, and there is now an HIV outbreak in Scott County.
Oh, and gays get no pizza from these Hoosiers. Thanks, RFRA!
It’s a story at VICE about a chocolate death mask for Easter, and it’s not written by Simon Davis, which threw me for a loop.
A Uighur Muslim man in China is sentenced to six years in prison, apparently for wearing a beard, and his wife gets two years for wearing a burka. A spokesman for the World Uighur Congress says, “China’s goal is to use judicial means to force Uighurs to accept Chinese people’s traditions and give up their own way of life.”
The Grand Mufti of Egypt pens an editorial for Reuters (which itself seems like a thing), decrying religion’s attachment to violence:
Murder and terror can never be the outcome of any proper understanding of religion. Rather, they are a manifestation of the immorality of people with cruel hearts, arrogant souls and warped logic.
A new study shows what you already knew to be true: The Moon does not have an effect on human births or illness or anything like that, but it also shows a lot about confirmation bias.
SCOTUS declines to hear a case on NYC’s ban on religious services held in public schools, thereby keeping the ban intact.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali gets another op-ed in WSJ, this time calling out the U.S. Justice Department for employing an imam for prison outreach that had once called for her death, as well as others who have preached violence and praise of terrorism.
The uncomfortable scrutiny the Church of Scientology is getting has prompted them to launch this oddly Soviet-looking “truth-telling” Twitter account and website.
Scientists go through a trove of data from Icelanders’ DNA, and find that humanity’s “father,” the most recent common male ancestor, lived between 174,000 and 321,000 years ago.
Here’s an embarrassingly credulous piece from KSAT touting homeopathy’s ability to cure allergies with exactly zero skepticism.
Fish oil: It doesn’t do anything.
Living with a significant other you’re not married to may soon be legal in Florida. Yes, I said, “may soon be legal.” Meaning, it’s not legal now. Progress.
Quote of the Day:
Marcus Chown on Twitter:
Nothing is as good as homeopathy.
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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