The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
David Smith at The Guardian has a really interesting piece on the response of Jewish Democrats to the DNC staffer’s email suggesting Bernie Sanders be attacked for atheism. The takeaway: For Jews in the party, at least, it would have made no difference:
Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, said on Tuesday: “…If I was running the DNC, no one would say that because I’d kill them. I mean that figuratively.”
Speaking of that email, I never expected Cal Thomas to think of us for one of his columns, but here we are. Thomas cites our condemnation of the anti-atheist suggestion and then says, “Amen!” Well alright now!
Caroline Winter at Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the grand plans of Mormon engineer David Hall, who seeks to build a kind of “mega-utopia” for Mormons…in Vermont (and then around the world):
Hall is a fourth-generation Mormon. “Joseph Smith was just the wildest guy out there,” he says. “Lots of things he did were stupid, but in my view, he was a sage or a seer and didn’t even understand what came to him.”
That’s, I’d say, generous.
Barbara King at NPR says folks need to stop pretending there’s an evolution controversy, and start getting active to protect and advance real science education.
The Dawkins Foundation newsletter has a lot of good stuff on the many attempts to chip away at the Wall of Separation.
India’s 2011 census indicates that there are a mere 33,000 atheists in India, a country of 1.2 billion people. That’s 0.00275% I am, you know, skeptical.
At Newsweek, Jocelyne Cesari explains how France’s laïcité has collided with the culture of French Muslims, like an unstoppable force versus an immovable object:
French Muslims have become internal enemies of the state because they seem to endanger the core value of laïcité. French Muslims are also perceived as external enemies because of the war on terror and the rise of radical Islam. Under these conditions, any expression of Islamic identity or practice, from head covering to dietary rules, is seen as “uncivic” and therefore deemed illegitimate. … All Muslims are affected, even when they are not particularly religious. As my research has shown, this has exacerbated a sense of estrangement caused by other ongoing factors including a lack of socio-economic integration or of political representation.
Julia Sweeney’s really good Reason Rally speech is online. Be charmed all over again.
Commander William T. Riker is concerned about the big plot to control the minds of humans throughout the galaxy:
conspiracy theory warptrails
— Riker Googling (@RikerGoogling) July 22, 2016
Quote of the Day
Cancer researcher Lindsay West wants religion’s skeptics to be more open:
If we’re not vocal about our status, a sea of religious people will drown us out and others won’t feel comfortable shedding their religious façade. Through my experience, I’ve learned that hiding one’s true beliefs from friends and family contributes to an atmosphere of silence and stigma, which prevents atheists, agnostics and so-called nones from establishing a support system. …
Fellow heathens, you are not alone. Being forthright in your beliefs might be difficult, but it is not impossible. We are in dire need of a social network, and if you’re hesitant to come forward, know that that reluctance helps perpetuate our marginalization. There is strength in numbers. Our perspectives deserve to be acknowledged. Someone out there is having an identity crisis related to his or her shifting beliefs, and consolation comes from realizing that a united force exists to offer support.
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