The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Why, what’s this? Could it be??? WHY YES IT IS CSICON 2016. In Las Vegas. Not even kidding. It’s going to have James Randi, Lawrence Krauss, Eugenie Scott, Elizabeth Loftus, Joe Nickell, Richard Dawkins, and a slew of excellent skeptic icons. Go see, go register, go crazy.
State Senator Jamie Raskin of Maryland, running for the U.S. House and a self-described humanist, is making damn sure you know that he is not an atheist. (Like Kyrsten Sinema who is “unaffiliated” or Pete Stark who is “a Unitarian who does not believe in God.”) However, he will be speaking at the Reason Rally.
Speaking of the Reason Rally, you know that really cool executive director who’s kicking butt left and right to get that thing off the ground? Lyz Liddell? Yeah, we hired her. After the rally, she’s working for CFI. BOOYA!
Also speaking of the Reason Rally, the program for the next day’s mini-convention has been posted, and it includes a keynote address by Bonya Ahmed, which is all you need to know.
Back to the Raskin thing. In 2010, there was a candidate for the U.S. House who was (and is) an avowed atheist, Dr. Wynn LeGrow, who ran against the Christian conservative Randy Forbes in Virginia. He didn’t win, alas, but now Dr. LeGrow has a new book about his experience: Last Leper in the Colony: An Atheist Runs for Congress in the Bible Belt.
President Obama will name the Stonewall Inn in New York City the first national monument to honor the American gay rights movement.
So there apparently was in Spain a village called Castrillo Matajudíos, which means “Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers.” Let that settle into your neocortex for a second. Two years ago they changed it to Castrillo Mota de Judíos, or, Little Hill Fort of Jews, which is weird, but, you know, not murderous. Now the village is being vandalized by neo-Nazi-types who, I assume, liked the old name better. What a world.
Republicans sneak an anti-LGBT “religious liberty” amendment into a Defense appropriations bill that could override the president’s executive order barring discrimination by federal contractors.
Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention says that the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation. Wait a minute. Let me read that again, I must have missed something. [checks] Yep, that’s what he says:
[The founders] did not found the country as a Christian nation, which is why there is, for instance, no religious test for office holders and why there is a separation between the responsibilities of the state from the responsibilities of the church or of worshipping communities. … So the idea that we’re living in a Christian nation in that sense, is really a form of theological liberalism. It assumes the person or the nation can be a Christian apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, apart from new birth. That is contrary to the gospel that we have received in Jesus Christ. Instead, we must say that we are Christians who live in a nation among many people who profess to be Christians –some of whom are and some of whom aren’t. And we must be the people to give a faithful gospel witness in those days.
A guy in Kentucky wants his license plate to say “IM GOD,” but the state says that’s “not in good taste,” and forbids it. I thought that God was in all of us, and that we are all God, and whatever else.
Guys, wizards and psychics, man, they just want to help. Not the fake ones. They’re the worst. The real ones. Take, for example, this person called Wolfdreamer. Yes, “Wolfdreamer”:
In a reading with anybody I always tell them, don’t tell me anything, don’t tell me anything, because if I’m really what I proclaim to be, then I should be able to tell you things before you telling me your whole darn story before you sit down.
Yes, you darn well should.
That’s one cool jellyfish. Hydromedusa, the creature that looks like a tendrilly UFO.
Simon Davis at VICE interviews Jules Howard about death, why things die, and how that might change, but it’s really Simon that’s got the zingers:
Simon: If we stopped evolving, would we still be alive?
Howard: Wow, that is a brilliant wrap around. Did you plan that?
Simon: As a matter of fact, I did.
Turkey’s prime minister, who is supposed to be the most powerful political figure in the country, but isn’t, resigns. Why? Clashes with President Recep Tayyip “Eradicate Twitter” Erdogan.
Facebook posts its report on the requests by governments around the world for data on users and for the removal of content.
Every so often, one of these pet
-psychic stories comes up, and I just want to give up, you know? I think it’s because I once had a landlord who wouldn’t fix anything, but did boast of paying a lot of money for a pet psychic to talk to her dog, both during and after the dog’s life.
Quote of the Day:
A man in Israel asks a court to issue a restraining order against God. The Times of Israel reports:
A protocol of the hearing noted that God did not turn up for the session, although it did not specify how the court determined the Omnipresent was not in fact there, as opposed to merely exercising the right to remain silent. … He argued that over a three-year period, God had exhibited a seriously negative attitude toward him, although details of just what divine mischief he had borne the brunt of were not mentioned in the report. … The report did not include a response on the outcome from any of the multitude of available spokespeople on behalf of the Lord.
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Original image by Shutterstock, and possibly messed with by Paul.
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