Share the Meat

May 14, 2012

Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo

CFI’s suit to allow secular celebrants to solemnize marriages in Indiana is sparking more attention.

Indy Star columnist Erika Smith looks at the state of marriage equality in Indiana, and says:

What Obama said was inspiring and what the Center for Inquiry is doing is amazing.

CFI-Indiana’s chief Reba Boyd Wooden interviews on WHFB radio, around the 14:30 mark, for a “feature exclusive”  

Reporter Carrie Ritchie at the Star clarifies the point of the suit, coming on the heals of Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage:

Coincidentally, the suit was filed Wednesday, the same day President Barack Obama said he supports gay marriage. But the suit focuses on those who officiate marriage ceremonies, not on the people getting married. 

Noting the coincidence, WSJ ledes with: “This must be the week to challenge traditional perceptions of marriage.”

Constitutional Law Prof Blog seems to get why just doing a normal civil ceremony doesn’t cut the mustard:

. . . ceremonies by state officials may not be desirable for some secular humanists: it would have “political overtones” and the official may not know the couple personally or share their values. 

A blog on rituals wonders why CFI doesn’t fight a bigger battle:

Why not argue that current practices vis-a-vis allowing clergy to act as representative of the state while performing their religious duties are themselves unconstitutional? In other words, why not challenge religious exceptionalism head on?  

Predictably, Obama’s support of gay marriage has black preachers angry and befuddled 

Posner on Obama’s new situation:

Here’s the corner Obama painted himself into: in a 2008 effort to appeal to evangelicals, he reached out to and surrounded himself with anti-gay, anti-abortion ministers who nonetheless touted their concerns with other issues such as poverty, the economy, and the environment. . . . Now Obama apparently risks alienating those figures with whom he worked so hard to cultivate relationships.  

Hey look! Someone posted video of Ron Lindsay and Richard Dawkins from CFI’s pre-Reason Rally reception in DC 

This could get seriously ugly. Ezra Klein: GOP’s Rep. Jeff Flake wants to decide for the National Science Foundation what is and is not science (and he can do it

New badge of honor: Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis calls me out for my quote in the Washington Post about how the National Day of Reason is about doing good works. Why? Because doing good works that help those who are “weaker” fights against evolution. Got it? 

Greta makes up her mind on Edwina Rogers at SCA: “I have come to the conclusion that this is a disaster.” 

USC publication looks at African Americans who leave religion behind, notes CFI’s African Americans for Humanism 

Hemant, on the giant-ass cross planned for Branson, MO:

It’s a good thing this is going up. I was beginning to think Missouri was going to suffer from a complete lack of crosses.  

The Legion of Doom is not satisfied simply with attacking nuns. Now it’s going after Girl Scouts

BaltSun: Commissioner
for Carroll Country, MD invites 850 government employees to weekly prayer sessions in government building 

A new hypothesis on the origins of the conscience centers around the unwillingness of hyper-aggressive alpha males to share meat 

NYT editorializes against the religious privilege protecting ultra-Orthodox Jewish authorities for child sexual abuse cover-ups  

Martin S. Pribble claims “E Pluribus Unum” for atheists 

AFP: Burundi woman accused of witchcraft and family hacked to death  

WebMD columnist on alt-med cancer treatments: “It seems to be part of human condition: When we’re scared, we’ll believe all kinds of crazy stuff.” 

Boorstein: Once wary of Romney the Mormon, Evangelicals predictably fall in line

WashTimes op-ed says Obama’s is “the most anti-religion presidency of our time,” evidenced by his “gutting” of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Umm…  

Kate Donovan at Friendly Atheist talks to the Secular Coalition for Arizona’s Seráh Blain about more anti-woman legislation just passed in her state

Egyptian presidential election seems to be centering around the role of Islam

Mustafa Akyol says that it is in Islamists’ interests to maintain a semblance of religious freedom: “Those who hope to nurture genuine religiosity should first establish liberty.” 

Get yourself counted, and chime in on the Atheist Census (it’s really quick) 

Quote of the Day    

Roberto Blancarte, professor at Colegio de México, on the Vatican’s investigation of child sexual abuse by the Legionaries of Christ:

As with everything in the Vatican, it comes many years too late. 

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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