Contributions

Operation Archangel, Mission Aborted
November 20, 2012


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

Yesterday, Dennis Markuze, aka “Mabus,” the Internet tormentor of atheists, skeptics, and others in the reality-based community, was arrested by Montreal police — again — for violating the terms of his probation by harassing folks over social media. You may have even been a target of his threats or “prophecies” yourself, often appearing on social media services as “Operation Archangel” and raving about atheists, Jesus, and Nostradamus, among other things. More from the Montreal Gazette and fellow Makuze target Ars Technica. (I know! Who would harass Ars Technica for Pete’s sake?)

CFI chief Ron Lindsay laments the recent court decision allowing a publisher of Christian books to claim a religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate of the health reform law:

Score one for the Catholic Church and everyone else who thinks religious liberty implies the right to impose their dogma on others.  

Rimsha Masih is acquitted of blasphemy charges. 

To Serve Man
November 19, 2012


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

Selections from the latest Free Inquiry are up online, which features two special sections: One drawing from and inspired by the Women in Secularism conference (introduced by Melody Hensley here) and the other on blasphemy laws (Tom Flynn’s editorial here).  

At the Rutgers Humanist Chaplaincy website, our own Michael De Dora makes a powerful case for our involvement in the struggle against blasphemy laws around the world…

A Marvelous Conduit in a Timeless Whole
November 16, 2012


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

The Conversation offers guidelines to science journalists who wish to avoid reporting malarkey as fact, in an admittedly baffling environment. 

LiveScience reports on a new study attempting to explain why you think you see Jesus on your toast, or a face on Mars. Spoiler: The religious are more likely to “anthropomorphize.”

George Dvorsky at io9: Mountain pine beetles and mosquitos agree – bring on global warming

The Confusion that Ensues
November 15, 2012


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

Wow, we have a lot of stuff to cover today, folks. Let’s dive in. 

As egotistical as I am, yesterday I neglected to link to Kylie Sturgess interviewing little old me for the Token Skeptic podcast, and what do we talk about? Why, The Morning Heresy of course! 

Speaking of me, myself, and I, at Friendly Atheist I cast a skeptical eye on Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s prescription for conservative success…

What a Smooth Shave!
November 14, 2012


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

CFI’s John Shook shakes his head (no pun intended) at the evasion of the “atheist” label by some, including perhaps some that might be about to become Members of the U.S. House, and terms them “evatheists” — a label which can’t be refused, for in doing so it confirms the label! Ha ha! 

Kimberly Winston reports on the atheist-friendly OKCupid dating service, which may just be, according to them, representative of America’s “secular future.” 

Today, the Climate Reality Project begins its “24 Hours of Reality” campaign with live streaming content and presentations online about the climate crisis. 

Babies, Trees, and Golf Balls
November 13, 2012


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

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard orders a national inquiry into child abuse by the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Dolan admonishes the Legion of Doom to take a long look in the mirror after the conservative drubbing in the election, including a majority of Catholics voting for Obama.

In New Zealand, an anti-vax group is stripped of its tax-exempt status, as “its main purpose was clearly political, not charitable.” 

Stand There Like a Dummy, Waiting to Be Enlightened
November 12, 2012


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

Laurie Goodstein at NYT reports that religious conservatives are “reeling” from their election night loss and the “rejection of their agenda.” Goodstein also quotes Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute who says:

Barack Obama’s coalition was less than 4 in 10 white Christian. He made up for that with not only overwhelming support from the African-American and Latino community, but also with the support of the religiously unaffiliated.

NYT also has a piece on politicians rejecting traditional religious labels, which includes one such rejection that, you know, has some of us in the atheosphere a little taken aback. 

Stephen Prothero lists seven ways religious diversity affected the election

Happy Carl Sagan Day, and Happy 35th, Voyagers!
November 9, 2012

News

Today, on what would have been his 78th birthday, thousands of people around the world are taking time out from their normal routine to pay tribute to Sagan, revisit his meaningful work, and revel in the cosmos he helped us discover and understand.

The Morning Heresy 11/9/12: Darwin for Congress
November 9, 2012


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

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when we celebrate the life of he who was a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan. CFI-Indiana wil mark the occasion with a whole lot of apple pie. Dozens of other groups are celebrating, too. Find an event near you on the Sagan Day Event Calendar.

More election stuff! 

In Athens, GA, Charles Darwin pulls in 4000 write-in votes against Rep. Paul “Lies from the Pit of Hell” Broun.  

Becky Garrison at WaPo wonders if even more progress can be made in unshackling government from Christian entanglements:

What prevents us all from demanding an end to the annual National Prayer Breakfast and other state sanctioned religious events that continue to advance a Christ centered brand of American exceptionalism? 

The Morning Heresy 11/8/12: Behold the New Jerusalem
November 8, 2012


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

We have a lot more election news, now that folks have had a day to digest, think, sleep, and, you know, write their stories. 

Greta Christina: “In this election, secular values won big-time.” Even the less-than-sunny Jacques Berlinerblau says, “Today, secularism should feel just swell.”

Kimberly Winston on the atheist congressional switcheroo: Pete Stark defeated, Kyrsten Sinema is in.