A Quite Gobsmacking Power

July 6, 2015


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

CFI-Indiana catches wind of the fundamentalist Good News Club’s plan to target Indianapolis kids for proselytizing and generally scaring with hellfire. So they put out a warning today for parents to be ready. 

The editorial board of The Oklahoman is unhappy that the State Supreme Court nixed a Ten Commandments monument, and wants the state constitution’s Blaine Amendment repealed, the one that keeps states from funding religion. It cites our lawsuit in Florida, calling us “radical secularists.” You’re welcome.

At the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell opines against the “weaponization” of religious liberty:

Don’t like same-sex marriage, contraception, HIV testing or even child labor laws? Never you worry: Just say that a higher power has exempted you, even if your exemption means trampling on other people’s rights. 

Go ahead and draw whatever prophet or deity you want while in Iceland, as the country’s Pirate Party pushes through a repeal of the blasphemy law

Last week, the U.S. had its first death by measles in 12 years. Michael Specter warns that more such deaths can be expected if states bow to anti-vaxxers. 

Frank Bruni is avoiding phone calls from anti-vax prophet Robert F. Kennedy, and says of the anti-vaxxers, “They’re the epitome of the sloppy talk, selfishness and disingenuousness too common in our debate and society.”

Aaron Rothstein at The New Atlantis looks at the long and complicated history of vaccine resistance

12 members of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, including two leaders, are reportedly “nabbed” in Bangladesh

Pakistani commentator Zaid Hamid is arrested in Saudi Arabia for criticizing the Saudi government, and like Raif Badawi, is sentenced to 1000 lashes.

Michael De Dora catches us up with CFI’s policy work at home and abroad with the Advocacy Update

The Austin-American Statesman looks to Ben Radford to know a coyote from a chupacabra.  

The entire staff of the Decatur County clerk’s office in Tennessee resigns because they are that afraid of gay people getting married.

CFI-UK’s Stephen Law says, “Religion has a quite gobsmacking power” to convince lots of very smart people that belief in God is reasonable. Except it isn’t

Self-described “coffee advocate” Kristen Murdaugh has advice for college activists at the On Campus blog for keeping a secular group alive over summer break. 

On The Gist, my wife’s favorite podcast, Mike Pesca gets skeptical about acupuncture

Lala Stone at Salon looks at why some children of religious parents wind up rejecting faith

Melissa Joan Hart will apparently play a pErSeCuTeD Christian high school teacher in God’s Not Dead 2

A horrible man claiming to be a “voodoo priest” is arrested for sexually assaulting underage girls. 

Former CFI-er Lauren Becker presents “The Trouble with Robert Ingersoll: Guilt by Association in a Revolutionary World” on our Center Stage podcast.

Andy Marlette, the Pensacola News Journal‘s cartoonist, has some thoughts about what really constitutes a “Southern rebel”:

Maybe, just maybe, a true Southern rebel might simply do exactly what Jesus would do. Wasn’t Jesus the greatest rebel of them all, y’all? Maybe a real Southern rebel — and I mean a really real Southern rebel — would defy the Pharisees at the NRA and renounce the grand farce that to be Southern, one must love, cherish and brandish firearms. A truly committed follower of Soul Brother Number One would never, ever, ever touch a gun. Admit it, that’s the ultimate act of courage and independence, right? Has there ever been a greater act of rebellion than what Jesus pulled off in his 33 years of good, clean, non-violent living?

Quote of the Day:

Bangladeshi secularist blogger Ananya Azad discusses his flight from death threats in Bangladesh with The Diplomat:

The whole premise of our separation from Pakistan was Bengali nationalism and secularism. We rejected Pakistan because it was an Islamist country. But unfortunately, the composition of Bangladesh is also changing today. Our country is not a secular country in the strict sense of the term. Islam is our religion now. This is not good. We should have the liberty to choose our way of life and have the freedom to be critical of religion if it is exploited by vested interests. 

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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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