Two Heffernans in One Heresy

July 12, 2013

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

Malala Yousafzai will address the UN today, and moments ago she was greeted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Michelle Boorstein explores how the very word “religion” has become problematic, even to believers. 

The CFI Hammer of Reason™ is not done with you yet, Google! Go see our action alert and tell the folks in Mountain View to check their consciences and stop funding climate change deniers. 

Ireland now allows some access to abortion

In the latest Reductio ad Absurdum at, Kyle Hill wonders what it would be like if we were all psychic, and lord, what a mess it would be. 

District Court for DC puts a stop to groin searches for Guantanamo detainees for being “religiously and culturally abhorrent” to Muslims. 

Russia is criminalizing “hurting religious feelings,” but that might also mean it’s a crime to hurt an atheist’s feelings

The Economist knows that for the Vatican, man, it’s hard out there for a sovereign quasi-state. 

CSI’s Ben Radford talks about Nessie hunting on CBC radio. 

Appeals court says Liberty University (Jerry Falwell’s “learning institution”) can’t get out of Obamacare

Sanal Edamaruku, the Indian skeptic leader facing charges of blasphemy for debuning a miracle, meets his hero, James Randi, who calls Edamaruku his hero. 

California psychic claims credit for the discovery of the remains of an 11-year-old murder victim. 

The Church of England is about to be given authority over thousands of public secular schools. Says the education secretary:

I know the Church does a wonderful job helping to raise educational standards and in providing a safe and loving environment for hundreds of thousands of children. However, there is much more we can do together. I want the Church to recover the spirit which infused its educational mission in Victorian times and support more new schools – especially academies and free schools – to bring educational excellence to the nation’s poorest children.

University of Arkansas professor Jay Greene says research shows that attending religious schools makes kids more tolerant, positing that “religion can teach important lessons about human equality and dignity that inspire tolerance.” 

Columnist Virginia Heffernan comes out as a creationist, sort of, mostly.   

Cool coincidence! Star of King of Queens, Leah Remini — whose character was named Carrie Heffernan — leaves Scientology over unpleasant things like “thought modification.” Two Heffernans (Hefferni?) in one Heresy!

Kylie interviews Australian senator Richard Di Natale on the promotion of vaccines for Token Skeptic.

An Arizona Buddhist cult (yes that exists) takes pills made of poop. Speaking of which, Scott Gavura says there is “no plausible justification to undergo” a coffee enema. Unless you’re taking Buddhist poop pills, though, right?  

Buddhists in Myanmar (sans poop pills) are sentenced to 15 years in prison for violence and rioting earlier this year against Muslims. 

Pretty cats = religion checkmate

A guy from Vanderbilt University says the Bible was super-important in launching the war for American independence. (This piece uses Susan Jacoby as an overly-brief counterpoint, and says she works for CFI. She doesn’t, but she used to.)  

Apparently, according to something called “Digital First Media,” in the new Lone Ranger movie, “Christians are portrayed as unattractive, ineffectual, hateful or flat-out hypocritically evil.” 

“Alien body” in South Africa is really just a dead baboon

Someone who was on Baywatch takes to Kickstarter to fund a Noah’s Ark documentary.  

AHA’s Twitter account posts this great 1890 freethought cartoon

Chiropractor to duck: Here, let me quack your back.  

Quote of the Day 

CSI Fellow Mark Boslough knows what Paul Revere would have had to say in today’s political climate:

“The weight of evidence suggests that it is ‘very likely’ (probability greater than 90%) that the British are coming. I am not advocating any specific mitigation or adaptation response.” (Paul Revere, if he had been a climate scientist)
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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul, Ed, Lauren, anyone who can fire them, or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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