The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Here is a mild example of what happens when religious service providers, like child care facilities, aren’t subject to the same rules as everyone else. A 4-year-old girl at the Zion Lutheran Learning Center was hog-tied by her caretakers. Sarah Fenske at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis reports:
The little girl had been running around when she was supposed to be napping, and so Mr. Josh had bound her legs together with duct tape. She would be untied, another teacher told her, once she behaved.
And it gets weirder!
Bizarrely, the Days learned that after the teacher supervising Reeves encountered their daughter hog-tied, she decided the best way to downplay the situation was to tape up the other kids, too, and have them all hop down the hallway to make a game of it.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is trying to recover from its own scandals involving kickback schemes for attorneys and what is perceived by some as an emphasis on media and donations over actually helping victims. Lilly Fowler at Religion & Politics reports.
Howard Friedman explains how the Trump administration as rescinded Obama’s explicit protections for transgender students, yet the Department of Education emphasizes that it considers hostility toward transgender students to be subject to DOE investigations. Right-wingers are not satisfied, such as the Liberty Council, who are upset about the HORRORS of “false pronoun usage.”
THAT’S IT! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! ….. Pronoun trouble…
I didn’t know this was even a thing in New York, but at least it isn’t anymore: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs a law banning child marriage in the state, raising the age of consent from 14 (holy crap!) to 18. I know I was not capable of rationally making lifetime commitments at age 18, let alone 14. I probably would have married the first girl that kissed me.
Japan passes a troubling new law ostensibly for the purpose of tackling terrorism and organized crime, but is being decried as draconian in the limits it places on protest, the expansion of police power, and even a focus on those copying music.
The government of India is providing a booklet to pregnant women that is full of “unscientific and irrational advice” according to gynecologist Arun Gadre. Nirmala George at the AP reports:
India’s government is advising pregnant women to avoid all meat, eggs and lusty thoughts, but doctors say the advice is preposterous, and even dangerous, considering India’s already-poor record with maternal health. … The government booklet, titled “Mother and Child Care,” smacks of religious dogma and ignores widely accepted medical evidence that pregnant women benefit from eating protein-rich meats and can safely engage in sex, doctors said.
It says pregnant women should also shun “impure thoughts” and look at pictures of beautiful babies to benefit the fetus.
Sandra Fluke, writing at Vox, attacks the Trump administration’s position on religious exemptions to the contraceptive mandate for, well, anyone:
There are legitimate religious liberty claims under our Constitution. People practicing a variety of religions in America have real reasons to be concerned about their constitutional rights and whether this administration will protect them (see: the Muslim travel ban). Allowing Citibank or Nike or Sprint to deny birth control coverage to employees is not a valid religious liberty concern. Treating that claim as legitimate and worthy of protection cheapens our nation’s commitment to true religious liberty.
A 34-foot cross in Florida’s Bayview Park is ruled by a federal judge to be a First Amendment violation, and must come down.
Selena Gomez, who I am told is a famous person, is apparently a “none”:
I don’t know if it’s necessarily that I believe in religion as much as I believe in faith and a relationship with, you know, God, to me. … That word [religion] freaks me out sometimes, you know?
Vitamin D: Meh, not so big a deal maybe.
Now, Goop’s jade eggs are one thing. But here’s a headline with advice from Inquisitr that one would THINK and HOPE would not be necessary:
Don’t Put A Wasps Nest In Your Vagina
Quote of the Day:
More shade for Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop, as Barbara Ellen at The Guardian calls out the flaunting of entitled elitism that goes along with Goop’s pseudoscience:
Does it ever occur to Paltrow and any of the other self-styled Yoga-Mat Messiahs that they’re a self-selecting group of people (solvent, health-aware, maybe to a neurotic degree) who are always going to have a good chance of staying well and that much of the rest is just holistic window dressing – a series of lifestyle placebos?
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