The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
We have a new action alert, where we need you to tell Congress to support the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, which will correct the military records of those discharged from the military under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina thinks that disaster relief isn’t nearly as important as his state’s anti-LGBT “bathroom bill,” so $500,000 have been moved from disaster relief to the legal defense of bigotry. Good thing natural disasters never happen in North Carolina.
And the Supreme Court won’t let a transgender boy use the boy’s restroom in a Virginia public school while his case is decided, get this, “as a courtesy.”
Meanwhile in Indonesia, the country’s Constitutional Court is hearing a case that could result in the criminalization of gay sex. And Beena Sarwar at the Boston Globe looks at the struggles of LGBTQ people in South Asia:
Being religious and being gay within Islam are no longer as mutually exclusive as they once were. A forward movement is visible and the struggle continues.
100,000 students in Bangladesh formed human chains to protest the recent attacks by Islamic extremists.
Richard Dawkins glowingly reviews The Girl Who Beat ISIS (titled The Girl Who Escaped ISIS in the U.S.) by Farida Khalaf:
What a wonderfully gallant young woman, what a shining example to all of us spoiled brats fretting about our first world problems. Read the book, although I must warn you it’s highly distressing. But also uplifting. Never to be forgotten.
The latest Richard Dawkins Foundation newsletter has a particular focus on how France has become a target for Islamist attacks.
Fredrik deBoer, an atheist who is not a fan of Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, nonetheless pushes back against the idea that “angry atheists” are “just as bad” the religious right:
That notion simply isn’t true, and it’s destructive. To begin with, not only do the aggressively religious outnumber the aggressively atheistic by huge margins, they are also far more politically organized and influential. For however much the Christian right’s political power has attenuated, they remain a potent force, particularly in state elections, and particularly when it comes to certain issues, such as abortion. If we expand this critique simply to ask whether the influence of atheism has been as high as that of religion, I find the comparison simply absurd. The Catholic Church alone is a vast entity with enormous resources that it uses strategically to alter the world. And many of its goals are contrary to my conception of the public good.
Katherine Ozment at the Boston Globe notes that Nones are relatively inactive in politics, but have the power to spark a “secular groundswell”
Yemisi Adegoke at True Africa reports on how atheists in Nigeria are relying on social media to assert their humanity in one of the world’s most religious countries. Says Mubarak Bala:
Without Twitter I would be a dead man, or a drugged incapacitated dullard. Social media is the ultimate pen, the weapon that reaches far and wide.
New research suggests that life could find a foothold on planets orbiting “low mass stars,” which are much more common than Sun-like stars, but might not be habitable for trillions, with a T, of years.
73% of people who believe in an afterlife for humans also believe in an afterlife for non-human animals. This mostly applied to cats, dogs, and horses, and insects, fish, and reptiles were less likely to be presumed to infest the kingdom of heaven.
Anhvinh Doanvo takes a swipe at the pseudoscience-pandering of the Green Party’s Jill Stein, saying, “Like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Stein is merely interested in pointing to the angriest voice in the crowd and amplifying it, without any regard for the scientific truth.”
Anti-vax guru Andrew Wakefield takes to the steps of the Idaho Statehouse to rally against reality. “This moment in time is the beginning of the end of the first republic of the United States of America.” Okay, dude.
Remember the Alamo, a place where you can hug an atheist.
I suppose if you’re going to get baptized, you could do worse than to do so via water slide. Of course, then you must heed Ben Folds’ song “Not the Same” in which a religious conversion occurs at a time when “someone died on the water slide.” So, you know.
Quote of the Day
The headline from an article in Popular Science:
Maggots Raised On Chicken Blood Could Save Darwin’s Finches
Yep that’s all I’m giving you.
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