Rome is Built Over It

August 28, 2015


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

I’m at the Religion Newswriters Association Conference as I type, meeting and catching up with a lot of genuinely cool and smart people. I’m going to try and get the Heresy done today in rapid fashion, so let’s see what happens.

I’ve got two statements from the UN human rights folks: One on how the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief will be visiting Bangladesh next week, which is a big deal, given the horrors being visited upon secularists there. The other is a condemnation of Sudan for the public lashing of a woman the government considered indecently dressed.

The videos that (falsely) show Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies (which they didn’t) weren’t just selectively edited; even the “unedited” versions are discovered to have been manipulated. For example:

The subtitles in the videos do not correspond to the actual dialogue, and that the [anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress] may have simply invented parts of the conversation when the recordings were too low-quality to determine what was really being said.  

Looks like a lot of psychological experiments published in top academic journals are turning out to be irreproducible. That’s a problem. 

The Islamic Society of North America, the continent’s largest Sunni organization, is urging mosques to be more inclusive of women

Stephen Hawking gets some skepticism from physicists for recent claims about what’s happening on the other side of black holes  

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse gives bad marks to the late Pope John Paul II for his handling of the crisis. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson said, “If I am honest, he handled abuse poorly.” 

Folks got spooked by these ridiculous photos of a cloaked person being weird and dropping meat. It was just a student film

At the CFI On Campus blog, Ned Borninski says, “it is the duty of Humanists to oppose the Confederate Flag’s official display.”  

Joe Nickell looks into the history of “bitters” as remedies, “a window into an earlier era of quackery.” 

The Mormon church will continue to work with the Boy Scouts, despite its growing acceptance of gays. How big of them. 

CFI’s David Koepsell reminds us that not all humanists are left-wing, and that we have a lot to gain by acknowledging and welcoming humanism from various political perspectives. 

Scott Gavura looks at the claims of a “natural” tinnitus remedy, showing as an example of alt-med targeting/exploiting the things that are a`lways really difficult to treat.

Parents in Massachusetts sue their school because they think the Wi-Fi in the school made their kid sick

This is odd – This Spectator piece by Douglas Murray was originally titled “An Atheist Case Against Assisted Dying,” but has been changed to “A licence to kill – the slippery slope of ‘assisted dying'”. The gist: 

There’s the slippery slope, the uncertain old who may feel pressured, the pathetic cases of depressed teenagers choosing death, and the shift in meaning it brings to life as well as death. 

Bill O’Reilly says the murder of the WDBJ journalists was due to a decline in religiousness, and says this crazy thing:

Every single murderer over 40 years that I have covered in these circumstances has been either atheistic, agnostic, no religious basis at all.

Maybe related, I dunno, possibly, the murderer himself said in his manifesto that Jehovah commanded him to do it

Trump loves his Bible, not so sure about what parts he likes

CJ Werleman is…troubled

Ireland, not so Catholic anymore

Quote of the Day:

All is forgiven, I guess, as the Vatican approves the naming of a square in Rome after Martin Luther, reports RNS’s Rosie Scammell. The quote of the day is a 500-year-old one, from Luther:

If there is a hell, Rome is built over it.

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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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