We Love to Exclude You

May 11, 2017

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

My mind is clearer now. At last I can see all too well where we all soon will be. 

CFI and its programs have signed on with other orgs to support the Ex-Muslims of North America calling on Facebook to stop shutting down the pages of secularists and ex-Muslims at the behest of Islamists and other reactionaries. There is a Change.org petition you can sign to chime in yourself.

Pew says that in Eastern Europe, Orthodox Christianity is on the rise (decades after repression by the Soviet Union), but Catholicism is weakening somewhat in Central Europe. The Czech Republic, however, seems to be a nation of “nones.”

Great Big Story, a newish media operation that seems to have some CNN affiliation, does a profile of our own resident investigatorial guru Joe Nickell. It’s pretty great, actually.

Meanwhile, check out Joe’s explanation of “Dr. Bell’s Scientific Mouth Elixir.” I feel rude just typing that. Asks Joe, wisely, “What on earth was that?”

Michael Best reports on the efforts of the CIA in the 1970s to see what was up with Uri Geller’s apparently magic powers

Franklin Graham says Christians are facing “discrimination,” “open hostility,” and even “genocide.” (To be fair, CFI agreed that ISIS’s killings of non-Muslims, including Christians, constituted a genocide, but that’s not what Graham is constraining his remarks to.) Lauren Markoe wisely notes: “It’s not clear what Graham’s numbers are based on.” Indeed.

Indonesia, which just convicted its Jakarta governor of blasphemy, will punish a gay couple with 80 whacks with a cane because they were caught having sex by terrible people trying to catch them on video. 

Ruslan Sokolovsky gets a suspended 3.5-year sentence for playing Pokémon Go in a Russian church. Charizard is awaiting a verdict on arson charges.

In Skeptical Inquirer, Craig A. Foster and Sarenna M. Ortiz so a thorough job picking apart the use of irrelevant research used to promote the false vaccine-autism connection

A children’s clinic in Stockholm is being investigated for dissuading parents from vaccinating their kids, because I guess measles build character.

Julia Belluz interviews Kristen Ehresmann, director for infectious diseases at Minnesota’s Department of Health, about the crisis of measles that’s recently emerged among the Somali population in Minnesota, thanks again to the anti-vaxxers and their evil prince Andrew Wakefield.

Shame on the Albany Times Union for publishing a pseudoscientific, one-sided puff piece on “how homeopathy works” (it doesn’t) by, yes, a homeopath. I’m sorry, a “seasoned homeopathic physician” who knows a lot about this “holistic modality.” I swear why do we even bother. 

Harriet Hall uses “it works, bitches” several times in this Skeptical Inquirer piece about statin denialism, because THAT’S JUST HOW SHE ROLLS. 

It’s always encouraging to see our update for the TIES program open with “We got Alabama!” 

The winner of the Connecticut Lottery’s $3 million jackpot says a psychic predicted her win. I’m thinking, well, isn’t it likely that someone who visits psychics is also probably prone to playing the lottery? 

A blurry thing sticking out of the water a great distance away is obviously the return of the Loch Ness Monster. 

Josh Zepps has Sam Harris on his #WeThePeople Live podcast

Quote of the Day:

I saw comedian John Mulaney last night, my wife and I love him, and he did a bit about his parents asking if his then wife-to-be, who is Jewish, would convert to his religion, Catholicism. Oh yeah, that’d be a great conversation, he said. To paraphrase:

Might I interest you in Roman Catholicism? Don’t Google us!

There’s an older bit of his where he describes experiences in church, and says:

For those of you who aren’t Catholic I don’t mean to exclude you, even though we love to exclude you.

That’s gold. 

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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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