Bottomless Chum Bucket

May 11, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

CFI-Indiana director Reba Boyd Wooden and member John Kiel do a great job being interviewed on WSBT television on CFI’s efforts to end religious privilege in solemnizing marriages in Indiana. Reba says, “We shouldn’t be forced to portray ourselves as religious. We should be able to [solemnize marriages] under a secular certification.”

The AP picks up the story, along with Indiana Public Media, and WCSH (Eagle Country!) 

The American Family Association isn’t happy with us, or with the president for his comments on marriage, and is issuing talking points to combat our collective evil. They recommend their talking heads cling to the “judicial activism” canard:

This incident should remind Hoosiers that the opponents of traditional marriage want to change our marriage laws through the fall of a gavel rather than through a vote of the people or our elected representatives.  

As Obama embraces gay marriage equality, Council for Secular Humanism chief Tom Flynn applauds the progress, but grieves for a lost opportunity to remove religion’s monopoly over traditional matrimony 

Meanwhile, I take a look at the political angle and Obama’s careful federal-versus-state framing of the issue  

Rob Boston warns that the culture war is back with a vengeance, and it’ll be brutal 

Example: House GOP scrambles to find ways to stick it to the gays after Obama’s announcement 

Hemant points out that surveys show definitively what you probably already presumed: the nonreligious are way more accepting of gay marriage equality than the religious 

David Gibson notes the power of the Golden Rule as a somewhat universal notion among religions that allows some wiggle room for compassion for believers 

CFI’s Debbie Goddard blogs on a college secular group’s office being vandalized, and the group’s unwillingness to let it stand

Minnesota Public Radio takes an in-depth look at atheism in America, with guests Teresa MacBain and Greta Christina

Greta writes in AlterNet on the growing movement:

Atheists are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Atheists are gaining clout. Atheists are becoming a powerful ally when we’re inspired to take action — and a powerful opponent when we get treated like dirt. 

Check out this Sunday’s Atheists Talk radio show featuring CFI boss Ron Lindsay  

CSI’s Bed Radford at Discovery News tries to figure out what species a mysterious underwater blob monster is, one scientist hones in on its sex organs (you’re welcome)

Edwinagate: Via Hemant, the first leader of the SCA has advice for the third 

Again, I refuse to provide links to the Daily Caller on principle, but you should know there’s an op-ed there that wonders why seculars are at all bothered about conservatives in our ranks. Kersti Kennedy writes:

So the paradox is — if secularists do not believe that an omniscient intelligent being designed the universe and created life, how can they believe that a government made of men can order our social and economic lives to our mutual benefit?`

Kate Blanchard struggles with how to label her nonbelief, and chooses a word without asking my permission:

I . . . like “heretic” because it is different, at least in my mind, than secularism, atheism, or “none.” Heresy implies not rejection of or indifference toward religion and its objects, but rather curiosity and engagement. 

Ms. Blanchard will be hearing from my lawyers. 

That whole Colorado gubernatorial proclamation of a day of prayer thing? Unconstitutional! Sha-pow! 

James Hansen warns in the NYT that the jig is essentially up for global warming 

US News blogger and oil industry flak wields the names of skepticism, Skeptical Inquirer, and Michael Shermer to make a point about how g
reen technology is a waste of time 

NYT hosts a written debate on whether church’s should get tax benefits 

Rod Watson in the Buffalo News notes the decline in churchgoing in Western New York:

But the trend doesn’t worry me one bit, considering the wars, racial strife, poverty and income gaps we sanctioned when we were worshipping ever so faithfully every Sunday.

If I recall correctly, Jesus didn’t spend that much time in church, either — except to chase out the money-changers. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets autotuned by Symphony of Science, and it’s a good one (h/t Hemant)

My 2-year-old son, by the way, is obsessed with the SoS song about dinosaurs 

Religious privilege at its worst; NYT reports on special rules on reporting sexual abuse of children for ultra-orthodox rabbis

Letter to the editor in Minnesota paper pushes back against notion of atheists as less than American 

Woonsocket has gone cuckoo for crosses, and the Rhode Island legislature might declare the cross to be “secular”

Happily, “most ghosts on the [University of Alabama] campus are benevolent, or at least non-threatening.” Whew. 

A look at why Millennials are leaving religion from Robert Jones:

. . . strong majorities also agree that modern-day Christianity is “hypocritical” (58 percent), “judgmental” (62 percent) and “anti-gay” (64 percent). 

Kansas City Jewish Chronicle looks at the sectarian nature of the National Day of Prayer 

Have you seen the new Time Magazine cover? It looks something like this.

The Honest Atheist on the “compass of belief”:

“It takes as much faith to not believe in God and it does to believe,” [religionists] constantly repeat.

But no, it doesn’t, just as it takes no faith to not believe that cats are an invading alien species whose mission is to pacify us with their cute YouTube videos before conquering our feeble planet.

Borneo news outlet prints a pretty big claim without backing it up:

To everyone’s surprise, the percentage rate of patients recovering from a stroke using acupuncture are very encouraging.

Quote of the Day    

Ben Switek blogging for the Smithsonian on a particular pseudoscience-loving History Channel show:

Ancient Aliens is the sludge on the bottom of television’s bottomless chum bucket.    

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI . Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

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