The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Today on Capitol Hill, CFI is joining allies to host two congressional briefings on the persecution of secularists around the world. Tomorrow, we focus on Bangladesh.
Point of Inquiry this week takes a sobering look at the phenomenon of anti-abortion terrorism with guest David Cohen.
After Saudi Arabia upholds its sentence against Raif Badawi (no surprise there), our own Michael De Dora offers commentary to pieces at Religion News Service and (cough) The Daily Caller. The U.S. State Department urges the Saudis not to continue Raif’s flogging, but frustratingly refuses to specifically ask the king to pardon him:
QUESTION: …I mean, if you won’t call on the king to issue a pardon, which is what the court says is the only way that the punishment or the case can be dismissed, then I don’t understand what the point of you getting up here and saying that you’re deeply concerned about it is because you’re clearly not going to do anything – do the one thing that – or call on the king to do the one thing that –
[Press Office Director Jeff] RATHKE: …I’m not going to parse the Saudi court’s decision. But the United States Government’s view remains that we believe that the punishment should be canceled and that the case and the sentence should be reviewed.
QUESTION: But if the only way that that can happen is by royal pardon, why wouldn’t you call on the king to issue a royal pardon?
MR RATHKE: I just don’t have anything further to say on that one.
Bangladeshi authorities arrest a press photographer as a suspect in the murder of Ananta Bijoy Das. Hm.
The American Medical Association finally comes out against all non-medical exemptions for vaccinations. Of course, they’re just a front for Big Pharma, that wants you stuffed full of chemicals to make you compliant and more eager to accept your Reptilian Overlords™.
Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers are pushing hard on social media to keep California legislators from voting in favor of its own bill ending exemptions. This Wired piece has, incidentally, the most unintentionally hilarious/sad sentence I’ve read in a long time:
Within two days, autism-vaccine proponents had looped in celebrity sympathizers such as Donald Trump and Rob Schneider to amplify their message.
So that’s what the bottom of a barrel looks like.
Evangelical leader Tony Campolo says he’s cool with gay couples in his church:
As a Christian, my responsibility is not to condemn or reject gay people, but rather to love and embrace them, and to endeavor to draw them into the fellowship of the Church. When we sing the old invitation hymn, ‘Just As I Am’, I want us to mean it, and I want my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to know it is true for them too.
Indianapolis Monthly highlights notable locations on the Canal Walk, including CFI-Indiana.
$20 gets you a ticket to gaze in awe at the Ken Ham Ark thingy that’s not finished.
Sarah Jones lands a piece in BuzzFeed (no I’m not envious why would I be envious you’re the one who’s envious) takes the TLC network to task for dehumanizing the women of shows like 19 Kids and Counting, playing their subjugation off as kitsch.
At VICE, Jackie Hong invents an imaginary dead sister, and many psychics are happy to help her talk to said nonexistent sister. After finding out they were duped, the psychics all make up nonsense reasons why they clearly connected with somebody dead.
Here’s a cool Hubble image of gas clouds billowing. Billow, clouds, billow!
Pope Francis, picking up excitations:
Pray for me, and if some of you can’t pray because you are not believers, send me good vibrations.
(He also said we should not be attached to our computers, which only makes me like him less. No good vibrations from me, no sir.)
Quote of the Day:
An anonymous Capitol Hill staffer, to Bridget Bowman at Roll Call, on the practice of having Christian chaplains in the U.S. House:
It bothers me, not being a Christian, to hear that Jesus is our savior or we should be thankful to be here because of Jesus. It bothers me more as an American.
Original image by Shutterstock.
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.
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