My Gast Was Flabbered

April 2, 2014

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

The two big Skeptical Inquirer pieces on the “cancer quack” Stanislaw Burzynski are now online: David Gorski gives us the full background on Burzynski, and Robert Blaskiewicz writes about skeptics’ activism to rein Burzynski in and protect patients.

Investigation by John Burnett at NPR reveals how religious TV networks are getting themselves classified as “churches” by the IRS, which means there’s no way for donors to know how their money is spent.

In Pakistan, an Ahmadi man is attacked by a mob and arrested for blasphemy (these things almost go without saying now) for allegedly throwing a child’s copy of the Koran. 

Meanwhile, Sawan Masih, sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy, appeals his conviction, claiming the charges are “fabricated.” 

Noah Smith at The Atlantic says secular liberals have already won the culture wars (if so, it’s hard to tell sometimes), and now it’s time for liberals and conservatives to focus on what they both agree on: investment in two-parent households.

The Eighth Circuit Court rules in favor of a Missouri atheist denied parole for not attending a religious substance abuse program, saying such a requirement violates the First Amendment, which it does.

Mississippi passes a bill similar to the anti-gay Arizona “religious freedom” bill vetoed by its governor, though reportedly somewhat diluted. It also includes the addition of “In God We Trust” to the state seal, because that’s also important. 

CFI’s Office of Public Policy reports on a very busy March with its latest Advocacy Update.

Not only are lawmakers in Florida (of course) trying to funnel public funds to a kind of stealth-voucher program, they’ve even faked the public demand for it

The Economist on homeopathy:

Americans spend some $3 billion a year on homeopathic medicines. What are they thinking?  

Anthony Pinn argues that freethought organizations should expand their scope, telling Chris Stedman, “For humanists a full range of social concerns ought to mark our efforts: anything related to the flourishing of life should be within our wheelhouse.”

Secular Coalition for America issues its congressional report card, and yeah, there’s a lot of work to do. The only avowed “none” in the House, Kyrsten Sinema, only got a B. Most flunked.

Speaking of failures, Rep. Louie Gohmert, the clown prince of the House, does not seem to understand the concept of a “wall,” saying that church-state separation was meant as a “one-way wall.” I just…Louie. Come on. 

Ryan Lode of the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers & Inquirers (a CFI On Campus affiliate) reports back on the group’s successful Darwin Week events

Molly Redden at Mother Jones exposes Hobby Lobby hypocrisy:

[W]hile it was suing the government, Hobby Lobby spent millions of dollars on an employee retirement plan that invested in the manufacturers of the same contraceptive products the firm’s owners cite in their lawsuit. 

At The Federalist, we hear from Robert Tracinski who reminds us that being an atheist and a humanist means different things to different people, as he argues in favor of Hobby Lobby’s case and implies that the left is going to put climate deniers in jail.

Quote of the Day

AC Grayling on his reaction to his first exposure to the Creation Museum:

My gast was flabbered the minute that I set my foot across the threshold of that place. They have these sort of electronic vegetarian Tyrannosaurus rex playing with the children of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I mean, the really dismaying thing about it was the troops and troops and troops of small schoolchildren being taken through and presented with all this as fact. That seems to me to be a human rights crime.

* * *  

Today’s image is that of my daughter Phoebe’s gast being flabbered by Olivia the pig making a big mess by attempting to recreate a Jackson Pollack painting in the living room. 

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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