The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
This’ll have to be a quick one, folks, because I’m in Amherst, NY today to see my coworkers (imagine that) for something like Team Building Exercise ’99 (not really) at CFI–Transnational Cosmic Headquarters, or as I refer it, the Meatball Mothership™.
There’s a lot to catch up on from the latest Cause & Effect newsletter, so do dip into that.
Rezaul Karim Siddique, a professor at Rajshahi University in Bangladesh, is hacked to death, likely by Islamic extremists, perhaps this time from ISIS as opposed to Al Qaeda. ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing, saying Siddique had been “calling to atheism.”
Former Pennsylvania senator Harris Wofford is 90, and in the New York Times he writes of getting remarried, this time to a man.
The Economist looks at the two millenarian faith identities held by Prince at different times in this life: Seventh-day Adventist and the Jehovah’s Witness:
Both Adventists and Witnesses attach huge importance to winkling out the meaning of God’s written word, and hence they have not been much concerned with pursuing meaning or inspiration in music, art or in literature other than the Bible. That’s what makes Prince an outlier; he dedicated a song to the Jehovah’s Witness belief that Jesus died not on a cross (ie a wooden pole with a crossbeam) but on a single wooden stake.
WaPo looks at how tolerance of transgender Americans has become a “flashpoint” in the GOP race for president:
[Ted Cruz] called Trump’s views on transgender people “political correctness on steroids.”
“Evil!” a woman in the crowd yelled.
Father Joseph Jeyapaul, a priest from India, admitted to raping two teenage girls when he was part of their diocese. Interpol had to catch him. And the Vatican just put him back in a parish, this time in India.
But hey! Pope Fluffy wrote a children’s book, which in this context is not creepy at all. I think it’s called Green Eggs and the Deep Shame I Feel for the Irreparable Damage My Church Has Done to Millions.
Oklahoma voters will now get a chance to repeal the state’s Blaine Amendment on the November ballot. In case you’ve forgotten, states’ Blaine Amendments bar public funds from being used for sectarian or religious purposes.
No surprise, the vast, vast majority of Americans have prayed for healing. A quarter have practiced the “laying on of hands.”
At Jackson State University in Mississippi, Michelle Obama decries the recent pro-discrimination/”religious liberty” laws:
So we’ve got to stand side by side with all our neighbors –- straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, immigrant, Native American — because the march for civil rights isn’t just about African Americans, it’s about all Americans. It’s about making things more just, more equal, more free for all our kids and grandkids. That’s the story you all have the opportunity to write. That’s what this historic university has prepared you to do.
The UN’s Committee against Torture tells Saudi Arabia, hey, enough with the torture. And the amputations.
The North Georgia Skeptics Society has a, um, novel way of advocating for abortion rights. Fetus cookies.
Quote of the Day:
VICE collects personal stories and reflections from African American nonbelievers, including our own Debbie Goddard:
One of my major focuses as the director African Americans for Humanism is to help start local groups in different cities. And as the number is growing, we’re seeing similar things being said: They never met another black atheist before, they thought they were crazy, or that their family thinks they’re acting white. If someone is the first person in their family to go to college, for example, and they’re also non-religious, then their family will accuse them of turning their back on what it means to be part of that family and what it means to be black.
* * *
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.
Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry
Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net!
News items that mention political candidates are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances are to be interpreted as statements of endorsement or opposition to any political candidate. CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit.
The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta