The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Day four of our “blasphemy week” action items is here, and it’s time to take action. See what you can do to make a difference.
I was delighted yesterday by two, yes two, Christian news outlets for two very different reasons. First, Rev. Mark Woods of Christian Today wrote in strong support of blasphemy rights and International Blasphemy Rights Day:
Forget for a moment that it was started by an atheist organisation. Forget that blasphemy and mockery directed against the God in whom we believe hurts and stings. This is something all Christians should support … God does not need us to be angry on his behalf. All too often, that’s just a sign of our our insecurity. Instead, he needs us to witness to his loving grace. We need to be confident enough not to care about blasphemy. God can look after himself.
Love it! And even better, at CNS, we were attacked by the forever-aggrieved Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who not only calls Blasphemy Rights Day a “farce,” but makes up a bunch of tales about CFI’s history and internal workings, and even implies ever so subtly that Paul Kurtz died as a result of evil machinations. You cannot buy this kind of coverage. (Also, Catholic League PR made sure to send me the piece personally, so I guess I’m inadvertently doing exactly what they want me to do, and so the cycle continues.)
Donald Trump in Iowa yesterday, says to the crowd, “Raise your hand if you’re not a Christian conservative. There is a couple of people. Should we keep them in the room? I think so.” Aw, thanks, Donald!
His running mate, meanwhile, demurs on climate change being a hoax, and even cops to human involvement, which is a huge deal for this guy:
There’s no question that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate.
The UN’s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent reveals its findings, and drops this big recommendation: Reparations for American slavery, the “persistence of a de facto residential segregation in many of the metropolitan areas in the United States,” and “contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynching in the past.”
Wow, dig this: The Americas are now measles-free, so says the Pan American Health Organization. Writes Kate Samuelson at Time, “The main reasons the Americas are now measles-free is due to a strict vaccination program.”
Joe Nickell looks into the mystery of the “Paulding Lights” in Michigan, which some think is the result of “a ghost with a lantern endlessly looking for someone who is lost.” Probably it’s cars, though.
Satanists are cleared to run an after-school program for Sacramento Elementary School in Portland, OR, started as a response to the creepy infiltration of the Good News Club.
Tracy Wolf at the Center for American Progress reports on the religious opposition to the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment.
Peter Berger explores the “de-secularization” of countries like India:
Scholars from South- or East-Asian traditions have proposed that violence and intolerance are the products of West-Asian monotheism, as against the peaceful, tolerant faiths of Hinduism and Buddhism: Could they be right? Unlikely, I think.
The show Black-ish explores the issue of atheism in the black community.
Jay M. Pasachoff, a fellow of CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, wins a Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers.
An inmate in Missouri’s prison system loses a court case in which he tried to get “atheist” listed as an official “religious preference” on the prison intake form, and enabling him to find a secular alternative to religiously-centered substance abuse programs.
Getting a divorce could turn your kid into an atheist! (So that’s how we should do it…)
It’s not Trump who will save us from ISIS, nor will Ted Cruz get his chance to make sand glow in the dark. Our saviors from the terror of the Islamic State? Aliens.
The next disaster, atrocity, or mass killing just got easier…for you: the new “Thoughts & Prayers” app!
Quote of the Day
Sarcastic Rover, presumably welcoming Elon Musk’s imminent Mars colonists:
Come to Mars! Our atmosphere will make your face boil while you freeze to death.
Musk himself seems to agree with the rover.
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