Establishment Claus is Coming to Town

September 27, 2016


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

Well, that was exciting! Now this isn’t a roundup of general politics news of course, but I can tell you that Donald Trump denied that he denied the reality of climate change, and there was confusion as to whether his staff was deleting tweets in which he denied it (they weren’t), and then later said that global warming was not a major crisis. He also continued to spin his ever-evolving tale of his role in birtherism conspiracy mongering, but nothing new there, other than perhaps being notable for its brazenness. Really not much else of specific relevance to skepto-humanism came up that I can immediately recall, other than the general notion of facts not being facts, but again, nothing new there.

(Speaking of Trump and global warming, he also just picked climate change denier Myron Ebell to head his EPA transition.) 

On to our week leading up to International Blasphemy Rights Day! Today, your action item is to get educated about the impacts of blasphemy laws: What they are, how they’re used, who they hurt. Watch our Twitter feed for some gorgeous and powerful memes. The Christian Post wrote about our efforts today, which is great, because this isn’t just an issue for seculars, not by a long shot. 

An example of the problem: This week, Bangladesh authorities blocked access to the Istishon secularist blog platform

Also, protestors in Jordan demand the government resign after the murder of Christian writer Nahed Hattar for his “blasphemy,” and a court-ordered media blackout on the crime.

Point of Inquiry is all new this week with the return of psychological scientist Julia Shaw on memory and how they are not nearly as reliable as we’d like to think. Or at least that’s what I remember they talked about, but who can say. 

Susan Gerbic never stops never-stopping, with a fresh new interview for CSICon: CSU-Fresno science professors Katie Dyer and Ray Hall, veterans of TAM bringing their skills to CSICon. 

Religion Dispatches is thinking about the rise of the nones: Kaya Oakes says religion has grown “deeply unappealing” to young people, meaning that the trend will not reverse. And Patricia Miller says it might be less about there being more nones than it is about there being fewer Catholics.

Speaking of Catholics, there is a serious push in very-Catholic Poland to ban all abortions.  

Brandon Withrow at The Daily Beast explores the “growing rift in the evangelical continuum” between the young and the old:

With the evangelical public reputation now seemingly wedded to Donald Trump’s Gospel of the Wall and Alt-Right talking points, why would anyone, especially progressive Millennials—a minority that could find a new home on the mainline—remain in the movement? 

David Koespell at the CFI blog notes the contradictions inherent in the project of “liberalizing” old faith traditions. But! “In so doing, they may tend toward humanism.” 

Scientists are studying what might be an important connection between gene sequences known as “human accelerated regions” in the brain and autism.

Phil Torres expands upon the idea that New Atheism has a role to play in encouraging the secularizing the Muslim world, if for no other reason than the dire implications of not promoting secularism.

Chris Lamb of Garner, N.C. petitions the city council to stop opening public sessions with prayers, and it falls on deaf ears. Lamb says:

Any claims of religion’s relevance to city business – building permits, ordinances, zoning, and the like – are ludicrous. How critical is divine guidance, after all, when deciding whether to issue a building permit for Panera Bread?

The organization Atheists in Kenya holds a workshop in Nairobi for “godless parenting.”

Contrary to this video’s title, “In Two Minutes Sean Carroll Nails Everything,” it is in fact safe for work.  

Linda Valdez at the Arizona Republic mocks the FFRF’s moves to get Bibles out of a tax-subsidized hotel’s rooms, and informs us (very much sic), “Make no mistake: The Establishment Claus is under attack.” Is that Santa’s Wall Street banker older brother? And he’s in danger? Make. No. Mistake. 

Some group called “Abolish Abortion Florida” (of course it’s Florida) is gathering signatures for a ballot measure to make providing or getting an abortion punishabl
e by death

Quote of the Day

Deepak Chopra…DEEPAK CHOPRA…hits Donald Trump for rejecting a “fact-based view of reality.” DEEPAK CHOPRA. And says: 

Collective consciousness holds up a mirror to the truth, and in the end there is no arguing against reality, wherever it takes us.

DEEPAK! CHOPRA!!! Says there’s no arguing against reality.


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Photo credit: istolethetv via / CC BY

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