The Morning Heresy 10/8/12: Not a Complete Loser
October 8, 2012


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

I spent the weekend representing CFI at the Religion Newswriters Conference in Bethesda, MD, and I met a lot of very interesting people (journos and otherwise) and made some really valuable connections. (Some of those connections are now new readers of the Heresy, so to all those new eyeballs, welcome!) The pic in this post shows the folks from the “atheist corner” of the exhibitor hall, an unholy alliance of nontheist PR flaks: Myself, American Atheists’ Teresa MacBain, SSA’s Jesse Galef, SCA’s Lauren Anderson Youngblood, and AHA’s Brian Magee (photo taken by the charming Kimberly Winston). What a neat and utterly-damned bunch. 

Here’s a little bit of the reportage from the conference that might interest all you heathens…

The Morning Heresy 10/5/12: Have Your Newborn Stuck with Needles
October 5, 2012


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

We’re doing another short Heresy today, folks, as I’m stationed here at the Religion Newswriters Conference in Bethesda, and I really should be, you know, representin’. Squeezed into my little corner of the exhibitor room are some of my heathen allies, Teresa MacBain from American Atheists, Jesse Galef from SSA, and Brian Magee from American Humanist Association. We’re talking shop and shooting the breeze about the gadgets we brought. Now you know. On to the news!

The Morning Heresy 10/4/12: Off the Record
October 4, 2012


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

It’s is a quick one today, as your Morning Heretic is going to catch a plane to go see a bunch of reporters in a big hotel.

Tim Farley, jealous of the riches and glory that The Morning Heresy brings me, has begun his own daily product focused on news and tools of use to skeptics. Here’s the Morning Toolbox.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty at NPR sees the 2012 campaign as less focused on candidates out-Godding each other

Jacob Sollum in Reason says Obama “pandered” to radical Muslims in his UN speech. I could not agree less

The Morning Heresy 10/3/12: Not Significant Enough to Mention
October 3, 2012


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

CFI’s Michael De Dora joins the panel on HuffPost Live to talk about the uproar over blasphemy

Washington Post chats with Mark Hatcher, a big part of our own African Americans for Humanism.  

CSM: Greek atheist arrested for blasphemy for his “Elder Pastitsios” Facebook page had his information provided to authorities by Facebook itself

The Morning Heresy 10/2/12: Look on in Horror
October 2, 2012


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

The Campaign for Free Expression is on. See the website, watch the goosebump-inducing video, follow @CFICFE, and get involved. Here’s the press release announcing the launch.

Well, this surprises me. Supermajority of Danes support the country’s blasphemy law. 

Jonathan Zimmerman opines at the Philadelphia Inquirer that as Americans “look on in horror” at reactions to blasphemy around the world, “we should also confess the sins of our own past.”

The Morning Heresy 10/1/12: Cause the Greatest Offense
October 1, 2012


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

Today, CFI is launching the Campaign for Free Expression, aimed at awakening the world to the assault on free speech being waged in the name of religious sensitivity, and on behalf of those who have been and are being persecuted for speaking their minds about religion, timed to begin following yesterday’s International Blasphemy Rights Day (See CFI president Ron Lindsay’s post on IBRD here).

Churning
September 28, 2012


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

Ron Lindsay, on the eve of International Blasphemy Rights Day, previews CFI’s upcoming Campaign for Free Expression, which will highlight the many cases you’ve read about here of doubters and dissidents persecuted for thinking for themselves. 

One reason our concern for the freedom of others should not stop at our borders is because the desire of the dogmatists to regulate speech does not stop at their borders. 

We have an exclusive of sorts on the blog, as a supporter gathers up the news from Greece about the blasphemy charges leveled against an atheist for mocking a deceased Greek Orthodox monk on Facebook. Here’s the Change.org petition on the Greek case.

“Elder Pastitsios” Arrest Rekindles Debate on Blasphemy Laws in Greece
September 28, 2012


The following post comes to us from CFI supporter Simon, who grew up in Greece and has been following a new case of persecution for blasphemy — a case which has been largely ignored by the English-speaking media.  

*  *  * 

On Friday September 21 in the village of Psahna in the Evia Prefecture of Greece, the Police Electronic Crimes Unit arrested* a 27 year old male atheist Greek citizen on charges of malicious blasphemy and offense of religion. His name has not been made available publicly due to to the country’s privacy laws.

Fragile, Easily Bruised Feelings
September 27, 2012


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

The big story remains the issue of blasphemy and the fate of free expression. 

Al Jazeera has a TV piece on the relentless calls from Muslim nations to criminalize blasphemy. 

At Friendly Atheist, I highlight President Obama’s speech to the UN yesterday, and laud his unabashed defense of free speech and opposition to blasphemy laws. 

Homegrown Blasphemy Laws
September 26, 2012


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

Did you catch the president’s address to the UN yesterday? You should. In it, he came down hard on the side of free expression and against using hurt religious feelings as an excuse for violence. Here’s the complete text. Lauren Markoe at RNS rounds up some of the bigger points.

A survey from a state-run pollster says that 80% of Russians want a new law that inflicts harsher penalties for blasphemy. Take this with a heavy grain of salt.