Blessing Weapons

June 27, 2016


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

CFI’s Michael De Dora appears in this new documentary, Defending Shia Rights: Mission to the UN, around the 22-minute mark, speaking specifically about Saudi Arabia. 

Make sure you catch up on the previous fortnight of CFI activity with the latest issue of Cause & Effect

Pew Research releases new info showing that religious restriction around the world is actually going down, even though religion-related terrorism has gone up. 

Marissa Fessenden at Smithsonian recounts the outbreak of “dancing mania” or choreomania in Germany in 1374, with a nod to Skeptical Inquirer.

Joe Nickell reconstructs the murder of Rep. William Preston Taulbee in the U.S. Capitol in 1890, and examines the claims of Taulbee’s ghost haunting the building. I’m sure he’s sick of the place by now, though. 

Brandon Withrow at The Daily Beast explores how even in 2016 America, leaving one’s religion still can have huge costs:

Many reiterate that departing a faith is not something they take lightly, but they often have to choose between being honest about who they are and losing family, friends, a job, or all of the above. As more deconversions happen, it may produce less of a social shock for these unaffiliated expats. 

Steven Paulikas at NYT looks at how the modern concept of evil “exerts an almost mystical power over society’s impulse to make order out of chaos and despair.”

Pope Fluffy says the Catholic Church should apologize for how un-fluffy it has been to LGBT folks (and yes he said this on a plane, where he says everything these days), saying, “They should be respected, accompanied pastorally,” and that the church “must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.” 

Laurie Goodstein at NYT reports on the long voyage to Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, and talks to Bill Nye for some reality: “Humans and ancient dinosaurs did not live at the same time. It’s completely unreasonable. … We’re going to raise a generation of kids who are scientifically illiterate.”  

I knew there were folks who really did this, and I know it was soundly mocked on Review, but Tony Robbins for some reason I thought was above it. Anyway, emergency rescue workers are called in to a Tony Robbins motivational event to treat burns from people walking on hot coals. TURN FEAR INTO POWER. 

President Obama formally designates the Stonewall Inn as a national monument (it gets its own park rangers!), as London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, marches in the city’s Pride parade

The bad news: About a third of Americans age 18-29 think the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. The good news: That’s the lowest of any age group. The bad news: 43% of almost every age group thinks the U.S. was a Christian nation, but now isn’t (which could mean all kinds of things). I don’t have another good news item. 

Pastor Rick Tyler, independent candidate for the U.S. House from Texas, has a slogan: “Make America white again.” I sense his appeal will be limited.

So here’s a thing, The Guardian has a kind of teacher’s guide for education on UFOs and extraterrestrial life

Wired previews the documentary Phenomenaprofiling deep believers in alien visitation

400 iPads are stolen from the Best Buy in Amherst, NY, home of the Center for Inquiry. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but what’s Tom Flynn been up to? I’m just asking questions. 

Malware that could threaten Android devices, rooting them without the user’s knowledge. The name? “Godless.” HEY THANKS A LOT. 

Quote of the Day:

James Thomas at Science-Based Medicine does a kind of history-manifesto for the site’s cause:

Medicine without science is the medicine of Galen. It is the medicine of bleedings and herbs and colonics and prayer. Science-based medicine is the germ theory of disease, it is antibiotics and antivirals, it is kidney dialysis and cardiac pacemakers. Science is the flashlight that reveals the wires and the gears and the pushrods of human biology. Alternative medicine is the opposite of a flashlight. It is a flashdark that substitutes fear for knowledge, superstition for understanding, ignorance for insight.

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ks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.

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