Not So Fast, Nones

April 3, 2015

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

The U.S. and Iran reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Catch up on the background of this decades-long conflict with our Point of Inquiry episode with David Crist.  

Bill Nye and Bon Jovi will be doing Rutgers commencements, and I just like that this piece associates Nye with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry right up front. Bon Jovi, please return my calls.

Militants of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab murder 147 people at Kenya’s Garissa University College, specifically targeting non-Muslims. 

Tahmima Anam writes at NYT for the need for Bangladesh’s religious mainstream to stand against the violence and threats against secularists. Mark Hay at VICE asks the question blutly, “Why Do Bangladeshi Writers Keep Getting Murdered?” 

Saudi Arabia gives Canada the stink-eye over its criticism of the Kingdom’s treatment of Raif Badawi and other dissidents. GO CANADA! I feel weirdly protective of Canada, like, you do NOT mess with our buddy.

We have an action alert for folks in California: Tell your state reps to support removing “belief” exemptions from required vaccinations. 

Remember how the number of Nones and nonbelievers were growing so fast that soon we’d be number one? Not so fast. Pew has a new report showing that the unaffiliated are tapering off, and it’s Muslims that are poised for a boom.  

Asa Hutchinson signs Arkansas’ RFRA bill into law after it was tinkered with. He says an executive order explicitly protecting LGBTQ Arkansans from discrimination remains an option. 

CFI-Indiana’s director Reba Boyd Wooden calls upon the businesses and individuals unhappy with RFRA to stay and fight for a better Indiana rather than up and leave it. 

On Wednesday, CFI-Indiana will host an event with Josh Wilson, a survivor of Indiana’s Faith Assembly faith-healing cult whose story is also being told in this crowdfunded documentary

Speaking of Kickstarters, my friend and former castmate in my Shakespeare troubadour days, Claire Christie, is looking for funding for an awesome new series, Kickass Animal Encounters. 

Those aren’t ghosts, they’re mould-induced hallucinations.

Psychic GPS for rats because why not. 

There are some weird radio bursts coming from another galaxy that scientists can’t quite figure out. One idea: It’s aliens. 

If it is aliens, the Raelian cult is asking the White House to let them build an embassy to welcome them

I kind of feel like a headline like this is dangerous: “Snake venom can cure AIDS, Ebola” 

Remember when Jesus went to Hell? That was crazy. 

Quote of the Day:

The Onion:

“It’s important that any gays who come into our stores and blow money on some horribly constructed ironing board do so knowing that we stand with them in solidarity,” said Walmart spokesman John Kear, adding that the company would not stop pressuring politicians throughout the nation to recognize the rights of people of any sexual orientation who purchase a bunch of their flimsy tupperware that will be completely warped within a month. “If you’re gay and rummage around our $5 DVD bin, or just walk up and down our aisles looking for a pair of $10 unisex clogs, we support you. Respect and equality for those who spend an afternoon shopping for an uneven particle-board coffee table are fundamental values of all of us at Walmart.”   

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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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