Brexit, Pursued by a Bear

June 24, 2016

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

A slim majority of the British people vote to leave the European Union and David Cameron says he will step down, for as a supporter of remaining in the EU, he does not believe he is the person to “captain the ship” at this point. Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t too keen on this whole idea, and we may have a Not-So-United Kingdom shortly. The British pound quickly devalues, and the Dow plunges almost 500 points. Oh, and Trump is over there right now. 

A couple of days ago, the Libertarian presidential ticket did a town hall special on CNN, and Gov. Gary Johnson answered some questions about religion. Why doesn’t he go to church if he believes in God? “I’m one of those that just — the God that I speak to is not — doesn’t have a particular religion.” 

Communications lecturer Ade Armando of the University of Indonesia may be charged with blasphemy for a Facebook post that says, “Allah is not an Arab. Allah will be happy if His verses are being recited with Minang, Ambon, Chinese, Hip hop, Blues style.” Ask Alexander Aan how forgiving the Indonesian system is to blasphemers.

William B. Parsons of Rice University discusses the rise of those who are “spiritual but not religious” (SBNRers), writing that their mindset is “like a train without tracks that will go where the cultural soil leads.” Me, I’m just “irritable but not religious.”

Harriet Hall unpacks the claims made about “Genius Java” which promises to boost one’s memory powers:

In one sense it might actually make you smarter: if you can understand why its claims are questionable and can apply those lessons to other marketing claims. 

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie at the Boston Globe explores the ups and downs of belief in alien abduction over the decades, and how despite outward appearances, the believers still thrive in their own echo chambers. 

David French, whom William Kristol pointlessly hyped as an independent non-Trump presidential candidate, urges Christians not to fall for Trump:

Evangelical leaders: If you back Trump, for the rest of your days, you will be forced to live with having had a hand in fracturing our nation on the basis of race, discarding the sanctity of marriage, and scorning honesty itself — all for the chance, the remote chance, that Trump will make one or two decent Supreme Court picks. You will be selling your integrity for the most meager of returns. … Christians have had to take tougher stands in darker times before. They do so in other nations today. This decision, by contrast, should be easy. Trump is not worth your consideration or even one moment of your time. Let others bend the knee. 

The head of a Sunni university in Egypt is upset with atheists because they “spread their ideas with simple and comprehensible explanations for the youth.” Bastards. 

Americans United tracks how many pastors have been forced by last year’s same-sex marriage ruling to perform same-sex marriages. (My response.) 

Cupping therapy. WOW DO NOT DO THIS. 

That pixelated point captured by a crummy webcam from a huge distance away is obviously definitive proof of the Loch Ness Monster.

Lawrence Krauss and Ray Comfort, together at last. Sort of.

Wilma Flintstone, immortalized on the Moon

Quote of the Day:

Matthew Lee Anderson at Mere Orthodoxy shakes his head at the Christian leaders who are in line behind Trump, and whatever you think of Trump, you will have trouble arguing with the last sentence here, emphasis mine:

There’s an Anglican prayer that asks for the wisdom to know the peace we ought preserve, and the false peace we ought relinquish. No peace can be made with Trump without the sharp rebuke of the Gospel with its call to repentance … The capitulation of the Religious Right is now complete. It is a tragically comic ending to a movement that has done far, far more harm than good. 

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