Flabber, Thoroughly Gasted

May 19, 2016


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

Oh so many things today. Fewer things from now on please?

Except good things. We can have good things. Here’s two good things:

22-year-old Bangladeshi secular blogger Shammi Haque is granted asylum in Germany, and she is one of those helped by CFI through the Freethought Emergency Fund. Now that makes me proud.

Also: We all know that there are a lot of problems with RFRA (Ridiculously Far-Reaching Act), but two congressmonsters have decided to plug some of its holes. CFI is applauding Reps. Scott and Kennedy for the “Do No Harm” Act.

Our legal guru Nick Little writes an opus about how the Supreme Court really, really blew it on Zubik v. Burwell by not fixing Hobby Lobby:

Never before has the Supreme Court, or any other court, to the best of my knowledge, decided that the only people who can decide whether an element of a case has been proven are the plaintiffs themselves. In Zubik, the Court had a chance to redress Alito’s irresponsible act of religious privilege and pandering. … And they flubbed that chance badly. 

Ben Radford has an interview with Shelby Knox, the activist who was the subject of the documentary The Education of Shelby Knox. Knox says:

Feminism is probably a good life philosophy but, more importantly, it’s a movement dedicated to collective organizing. And that means actions, big or small, as long as they’re moving the ball forward on equality, are far more important that labels or thought pieces on the Internet.  

You may not know much about Bob Bennett, a conservative former U.S. Senator from Utah who lost his seat to Tea Partier Mike Lee in a 2010 primary. He died earlier this month, and Tim Mak at the Daily Beast reports that he spent his last days trying to repair the damage he felt Donald Trump is doing, apologizing to Muslims on behalf of his party, and thanking them for being part of this country. It’s quite a moving story.

Samuel Oakford at VICE reports that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (the group of countries at the UN that likes to introduce anti-blasphemy resolutions and whatnot) successfully lobbied to keep LGBT groups out of a major UN meeting on AIDS.  

An Egyptair flight disappears over the Mediterranean Sea, and folks seem to agree that it was terrorism, not a mechanical problem, that brought the plane down.

More on Bangladesh: Sanjeev Miglani at Reuters reports on how Islamist killers are also targeting LGBT activists, and how it looks as though Al Qaeda and ISIS (which are enemies) are using these killings as a way of one-upping each other. 

Harriet Hall goes shopping on Amazon, and finds a product actually called…

…the SweatEvaporating/Sauna/HealthyUrn/NanoAnion/NegativeIon/
Underglaze Pastel And Yellow-glazed—Lotus Out Of Clear Water. I am not making this up.

Later she says, “My flabber was thoroughly gasted.” 

A high school graduate wins a “Bigfoot scholarship.” I think that means that in order to get the money, she has to go searching through the woods and get a blurry photo of something that looks sort of like a check.

Quote of the Day:

James Cason, Republican mayor of Coral Gables, Florida, is scrambling to get his city ready as it is slowly consumed by rising sea levels thanks to climate change. He’s having trouble getting folks to care:

Some [colleagues] say, ‘I don’t believe.’ Some say, ‘Well, tell me what I can do about it, and I’ll get concerned.’ Others say, ‘I’ve got other things I’m worried about now, and I’ll put that off.’ And others say, ‘I’ll leave it to my grandkids to figure it out.’ … History is not going to look kindly on us as elected leaders for not taking a leadership position, even if we don’t have the community seemingly engaged.

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Photo credit: Torbein via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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