There Are a Lot of People

June 14, 2016


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

Michael De Dora is the guest on Point of Inquiry this week, discussing the crisis in Bangladesh and his work with at the UN. 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expresses his concern over the Bangladesh crisis, and the Daily Star notes CFI’s role in bringing attention to the issue. 

And as an interesting segue to the next topic, High Commissioner Zeid also dinged the US for its “insufficient gun control.”

CFI’s Nick Little, fuming over the Orlando shooting, says that those who make the condemnation of LGBT people a core part of their theology are paving the way for these kinds of massacres:

When you dehumanize a group by damning them to never ending pain and torture, you legitimize attacks on them. …  As long as homosexuality is seen as a sin worthy of eternal torture, the LGBT community will be seen as less than human by religious extremists across the spectrum.  

Guess who seems to agree with Nick: Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch:

Sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. 

Samantha Bee on the usefulness of prayer in times of horror: “The biggest, most helpful thing you can do to ensure this never happens again is sit quietly in a room with your eyes closed, talking to nobody?”

Bilal Qureshi, formerly of NPR and writing here for NYT, sees a troubling blind spot for American Muslims when it comes to LGBT rights:

For Muslims, this is … a moment to reflect more deeply on how we feel about living in a country where gay rights are central, where marriage equality is real and coexistence is the only way forward. 

Abby Ohlheiser at WaPo reports on how the Reddit’s r/news was overcome by angry Trump-types who were accusing the moderators of a conspiracy to suppress knowledge of the shooter’s religion. 

Oh, and speaking of Trump and conspiracies, WaPo’s Jenna Johnson examines how Donald himself frequently uses coy insinuation and references to how “a lot of people” say or think something in order to propagate a conspiracy theory:

“Well,” Trump said on the “Today Show” Monday morning, “there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. He doesn’t want to see what’s really happening. And that could be.”

In other words, Trump was not directly saying that he believes the president sympathizes with the terrorist who killed at least 49 people in an Orlando nightclub. He was implying that a lot of people are saying that. 

Sam Haselby at Aeon looks at how America kind of blew it with secularism after its founding, failing to fully lift up public schools and secular society as something that could rival religion’s social grasp. (I haven’t actually read the whole thing yet, but it looks good.) 

Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa separates the ever-loving crap out of church and state, barring any religious figure from participating in politics, which is only the latest addition to an older law saying that politicians can’t bring their religion to policy work. 

Wendy M. Grossman reviews Leah Remini’s memoir on escaping Scientology for Skeptical Inquirer

This LA Times article on a feng shui perfume house gave me vertigo. 

Dude, you’re never going to repopulate the world with shoddy construction like that

Quote of the Day:

I know, I know, we are definitely nonpartisan, but Trump keeps running right into our wheelhouse and trashing the joint. Anyway, Trump revoked the Washington Post‘s press credentials for his campaign, because I dunno they’re so mean to him, and here’s how executive editor Marty Baron responded: 

Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.

But really the best line comes from Jeet Heer on Twitter:

Media outlets: if Trump is not revoking your press credentials, what are you doing wrong? 

* * *

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. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)! 

News items that mention political​ candidates are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances are to be interpreted as statements of endorsement or opposition to any political candidate. CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit.  

The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta