Contributions

Placate the Barbarians
September 20, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Lots of commentary and news today regarding blasphemy, freedom of speech, and the protests around the Muslim world. 

Sam Harris on the response of the U.S. government, and secular liberals generally, to the violence and rage over The Innocence of Muslims:

Either our government is unwilling to address the problem at hand, or the problem is so vast and terrifying that we have decided to placate the barbarians at the gate. . . . The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. No apologies necessary. 

Fret and Vex at Folly
September 19, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

To all you one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed, parrot-shouldered Pastafarians out there, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

In response to several calls from international leaders for binding international anti-blasphemy laws, CFI released a statement warning against the folly of such a course.

UN Must Reject Criminalization of Religious Expression, Declares International Secular Group
September 18, 2012

Press Releases

Calls for the UN to enact binding resolutions to protect religious feelings now coming from prominent world leaders and religious figures are dangerous and misguided, warned the Center for Inquiry.

Cupcake Rage
September 18, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Rebecca Watson begins a petition on behalf of Alber Saber, the Egyptian atheist blogger arrested for running an atheist Facebook page, and recalls the drive for Alexander Aan:

A few months back, freethinkers campaigned to free Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, resulting in a failed petition and a lot of soul-searching from secular organizations trying to figure out how to do better next time. If you read the comments on that last link, you’ll see a whole bunch of atheists who were very angry that someone was pointing out that the atheist community completely failed to help someone in great need. I’m hoping those folks have as much energy to devote to getting angry over the arrest of yet another young atheist 

Now go sign and share the damn thing

The Vast Chasm
September 17, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

 

Most of the news today, folks, is about the protests and mob violence ostensibly in reaction to hurt religious feelings. A lot of the commentary is rather surprising, and much of it disappointing. 

Reacting to the spreading violence and unrest across the Muslim world, UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay says the right thing, and then the wrong thing, decrying violence as a response to religious offense, and then reminding us that those giving offense could be in legal trouble.

Fatuous and Smug
September 14, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Businessweek looks at the prospects for atheist merchandising, and how business around the movement is evolving beyond tchotchkes.  

I interview friend-of-the-Heresy Sharon Hill on the topic of her CSICon presentation, and she offers me (and all of us) some very useful advice about conversing with the less-than-skeptical…

More Pills Than There are Atoms in the Universe
September 13, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Things remain ugly amid the violence, protests, confusion, and absurd statements surrounding the events in Egypt, Libya, and now Yemen (oh, and Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia).

Foreign Policy has the background on the infamous tweet that made everyone think (including me) that the US government was beginning its response to the attacks with a condemnation of free speech. (It wasn’t – the tweet from the US embassy in Egypt was written before the attacks and was meant as a diplomatic “cool your jets” message of sensitivity.) 

Violence over Blasphemy in Egypt and Libya
September 12, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Our big story is the country’s big story: Anger in Egypt over an American-made film by an Israeli-American real estate developer that purportedly “insults” Islam and the prophet Muhammed has erupted into violence and protests at the US Embassy in Egypt. This violence then spread to the US mission in Libya, where the ambassador there, J. Christopher Stevens, and three of his staffers were killed. This is the first death of a US envoy abroad in more than 20 years.

Typically Ridiculous
September 11, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.  

CFI’s Debbie Goddard tells a heartfelt personal story to illustrate the need to take part in the Light the Night effort to fight cancer. 

At CSI, LaRae Meadows scores an interview with SETI founder Frank Drake, of the alien-life-predicting “Drake Equation” fame. 

Michael Nugent reports that Alexander Aan’s prison sentence has been upheld despite appeals. 

Crommunist on the Atheism+ fracas, so well put in this small sentence fragment:

The fallout has been typically ridiculous. 

An Indistinct Heat Signature
September 10, 2012


Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

With Pat Robertson on hand, Mitt Romney falsely implies that President Obama wants to take the word “God” out of the Pledge and off the currency. If only! 

Hemant has a good post on where atheists ought to concentrate their electoral efforts

Sarah Posner highlights CFI boss Ron Lindsay’s take on the religious kerfuffles of the party conventions.