The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
“Veni, dixi, vici.” – Comey, probably.
“Conati, perdidi, victi.” May, probably.
And more interesting news from across the pond, as Republic of Ireland footballer (you know, a soccer player) Eunan O’Kane and model Laura Lacole win a court battle to have an officially recognized humanist wedding (a struggle we know something about), which now changes Northern Irish law:
[The couple] told the court they wanted a ceremony that reflected their beliefs, but the only legal options available to them were a religious or civil service.
In a ruling delivered on Friday, the court permitted the couple a legally valid humanist wedding ceremony. Reacting to the ruling, Lacole said: “We’re delighted to have won our case today. It means that in two weeks’ time we can legally marry in a way that reflects our beliefs.
“Our humanist ceremony will speak to our values and the love Eunan and I have for each other in a way no other marriage ceremony could. We’re thrilled that our action has extended the same choice to thousands of other couples.”
While Comey talked to the Senate committee, Trump told the Faith and Freedom Coalition (right wing theocracy group of course) that he and they are “under siege” and promised, “We will end the discrimination against people of faith. Our government will once again celebrate and protect religious freedom.”
Remarking on the event, Sarah Jones muses on evangelicals’ acquiescence to Trump:
You don’t have to rewrite the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in order to destroy the separation of church and state. You can pick away at it instead, brick by dusty brick. You can lie. And your enemies will be so busy laughing at you, they won’t even realize what you’ve done.
Bernie Sanders questions Russ Vought, Trump’s nominee for Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on the tenets of his faith, and whether he thinks all non-Christians are condemned to damnation. Hemant says “not cool, Bernie”:
The question Sanders should’ve asked is whether Vought’s beliefs about non-Christian people would ever influence his treatment of them under the law. Would he treat Muslims (or LGBT people, for that matter) the same way he treats Christians? … Sanders said he would vote no to Vought because he’s a Bible-believing Christian, not because he said he would put the Bible over the Constitution while on the clock. That’s religious discrimination. That’s a violation of Article 6 of the Constitution (the part that says there should be no religious test for public office).
It’s the very thing church/state separation advocates ought to condemn.
Dr. Jen Gunter comes out swinging against Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop pseudoscience, prepared to, as Paltrow demands, bring her ‘A’ game.
Atheists in Italy are engaged in a long legal battle with the mayor of a small town who ordered crucifixes be displayed in all of the town’s public buildings. Crux reports:
The atheists’ union said it plans to challenge the Sardinian ruling, with an appeal to higher Italian courts and potentially even the European Court of Human Rights
An atheist dad in Perth, Australia has his case rejected by the Equal Opportunity Commission when he asserts that invocations of God at school assemblies is discriminatory to his daughter.
If you were a user of the Think Atheist mini-social network, you might be interested to know that they’ve moved platforms and are now known as “Atheist Zone.”
Volunteers coordinated by the American Museum of Natural History were pooling efforts to seek out “Planet 9,” but while doing so they found something else that’s pretty cool (literally): a nearby brown dwarf star, about 100 light-years away. Nola Taylor Redd at Space.com explains:
Often called failed stars, brown dwarfs fall between the definitions of star and planet. Although they aren’t massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion at their core — a requirement for stars — they glow in the infrared, whereas planets don’t emit their own light except immediately after their birth.
Just found out about this: There’s a new podcast on women leaving religion behind called Women Beyond Belief:
For women who felt trapped, brainwashed and oppressed by fundamentalist religions and started the de-conversion process, this podcast can help. It is a non-judgmental environment and can give women dignity, self-worth and a voice.
Sam Homola, himself a chiropractor, writes at Science-Based Medicine about the damage done by those chiropractors who practice pseudoscience, specifically “subluxation”:
At the end of the day and at the end of life, unethical chiropractors must deal with the guilt that occurs as a result of knowingly mistreating children or misleading patients who are allowed to suffer needlessly in order to complete a course of subluxat
ion treatment “guaranteed to remove the cause of the problem.” Chiropractors with a conscience who take advantage of the suffering and the ignorance of patients who seek their help may have difficulty sleeping at night or may feel a sense of remorse at the end of life when memories replay the details of a selfish purpose that contributed little or nothing to society or to the welfare of mankind.
Gov. Scott Walker avoids a question about the age of Earth, after a legislator in his own party declares it a “fact” that the world is 6000 years old.
I don’t know anything about this video game Blasphemous, but the dude has a crown of thorns and a bloody sword, so it can’t be all bad.
Quote of the Day:
On stage with Theresa May last night after the UK election were her several opponents for her seat in Parliament. Among them was one Lord Buckethead. Our quote of the day, however, is a correction from BuzzFeed from back in May (the month, not the person):
This post has been updated to remove all references to Lord Buckethead being a man. Any person of any gender is capable of sticking a bucket on their head and standing for election under the name Lord Buckethead, despite what the title implies.
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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