Welcome to a new week, heretics. Time for The Morning Heresy’s roundup-thread of all the weird, disturbing, and bewildering goings-on in the news.

Benjamin Radford looks at how the coverage of mass shootings often begins with a scramble to name the race of the perpetrator, which he says is “counterproductive, can perpetuate racism, and distract from far more salient factors.”
CFI joined with allies in the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination urging White House Faith-Based office director Melissa Rogers to adopt new policies with “more robust protections for religious freedom and civil rights.”

Things are very bad in India. The virus is out of control. Over 300,000 new cases every day. cnn.com/2021/04/26/ind…

@mariamkiparoize reports on the explosion of junk science and conspiracy theories fueling India’s crisis: codastory.com/waronscience/i…
9.1 million people took part in Kumbh Mela for a “holy dip” in the Ganges. Held every 12 years, it was moved up one: "Because the ‘astrological configurations’ of the ‘Sun entering Aries’ and ‘Jupiter entering Aquarius’ were available for 2021 this time" thewire.in/government/kum…
Shuddhabrata Sengupta: The government "need not have let it take place this year at all, simply because this is the 11th, not the 12th year … Instead, they did much worse … because some astrological mumbo-jumbo told them that this was desirable."
All the while, India’s government is succeeding in one thing: Getting social media platforms to comply with its demands to block criticism. @shiringhaffary reports:

26 percent of American adults say they won’t bother to get vaccinated, and that just ain’t gonna cut it, folks.
.@MichaelJStern1: “A quarter of the country is ruining it for all of us.” Therefore, “restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, barbers, airlines and Ubers should require proof of vaccination before providing their services." usatoday.com/story/opinion/…
I can’t believe I’m going to agree 100 percent with this formerly-antivax Instagram (ack)influencer(ack), Heather Simpson: “I’m freaking out. I hate needles. I’m gonna pass out. But I trust the science.” @tarahaelle reports
Some GOP doctors in Congress are trying to convince folks in their party to get vaccinated, saying it’s the best way to “end the government’s restrictions on our freedoms.” Also to not die, but whatever gets the point across I guess. @apwillweissert:
The COVID–19 vaccines do not
* give you shingles
* make you shed spike proteins like a porcupine
* decimate the human population
.@kelsey_dallas takes a look at how various religious groups and interests evaluate Joe Biden’s first 100 days. In office, not of life. He’s much older than that, obviously.

This is disturbing in a number of ways: Jerry Falwell Jr. wants Liberty University graduates to party at his house. “If you’re not a senior but you’re dating one, you can come, too.” Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

by @emmillerwrites & @jackmjenkins
The European Parliament is not impressed with Pakistan’s international tantrum about French cartoons and blasphemy laws, so it called for Pakistan to scrap its blasphemy law and passed a resolution calling for a review of its trade relations with the EU. apnews.com/article/pakist…
A film of military aircraft from 1923 does not, in fact, reveal Gilded Age chemtrails.

Gideon Lewis-Kraus at The New Yorker reports on how the military is handling the whole UFO question: “In throwing up its hands and granting that there are things it simply cannot figure out, it has relaxed its grip on the taboo.” Oh good.
That's plenty to chew on, yeah? Totally. There's more at the blog-proper if you must have more. centerforinquiry.org/blog/virus-por…

Or you can subscribe to The Morning Heresy and never be lonely again. (I cannot actually make that promise.) centerforinquiry.org/newsletter/?ut…

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More from @center4inquiry

25 Mar
One day, CFI's legal director Nick Little was scrolling through Facebook, which he totally doesn't spend too much time doing. He can quit any time. Anyway, he was scrolling and look what he found! An advertisement!

(Oh, this is a thread.)
Facebook is FULL of ads, of course, but this one was special. It was by a company called Modern Allergy Management (or "MAM"), and they offer an AMAZING service: they can tell you what you're allergic or intolerant to by analyzing a sample of your hair! WOWEE WOW WOW.
In fact, they say they can test you for intolerance for up to 750 foodstuffs and environmental items. They can even use hair that isn’t from your head—for bald customers—or diagnose your dog, cat, or horse! (For their own intolerances, not yours. We think.)
Read 20 tweets
25 Mar
The Morning Heresy, parsing the emotional, unpredictable, and completely incomprehensible, usually well before lunchtime.

Let us begin our news roundup thread.

Nick Little, our legal director, saw an ad on Facebook promising to detect his “intolerance” to “GMOs.” This is obviously nonsense, so Nick sent them a letter and warned them as much. And, well, it looks like they backed down. Read all about it.
(Perhaps after seeing Nick on CFI Insider, they were like, we are NOT messing with this guy.)

Read 17 tweets
24 Mar
Before we get to today's Morning Heresy news roundup (titled "Costumed Adventurers"), let me just clear the air. I totally thought yesterday was Wednesday, and it totally was NOT. It was Tuesday. Today is Wednesday.
I was gently corrected on Twitter, I made corrections and mea culpas, and felt pretty dumb, especially since we’re supposed to be the facts-and-reality organization. Getting the day of the week right is table stakes. So, you know, sorry about that.
Okay, now to the Morning Heresy! Let’s start the day with a subject about which I care deeply: superheroes.

Read 17 tweets
23 Mar
Here's a look at why the legal landscape is so bloody treacherous for the secular movement right now. Look who got to pick all the judges (in just one term).
The right is appointing judges who are young and with a particularly extremely Christian nationalist bent. Nick says they frankly don't think nonbelievers even have rights.
Read 30 tweets
2 Mar
Happy Tuesday, heretics. Look upon these links, ye mighty, and despair!!! It’s time for The Morning Heresy news roundup. Today's episode, "Manifesting in My Biofield."



Thread ahead.
We’ll start with what your friendly neighborhood Center for Inquiry is up to. Perhaps most importantly, there’s a lot of news about COVID, the vaccines, and various scams that gets covered over at our Coronavirus Resource Center. Go see. centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus/?u…
On Thursday, you’ll recall, we’ve got @DrPaulOffit coming back to Skeptical Inquirer Presents to answer your questions about the new vaccines. Register now: centerforinquiry.org/news/paul-offi…
Read 14 tweets
1 Mar
Good morning, heretics, and welcome to a the Morning Heresy news roundup for a new week, and yes, a new month, because, no, this is not the same “March” as when all this started. It’s actually one whole year later from *that* March! I KNOW! Thread time. centerforinquiry.org/blog/some-of-m…
.@RichardDawkins has a new piece up at @PenguinUKBooks on how the tragedy of the pandemic may also yield immense progress for science, and a much greater appreciation for it. penguin.co.uk/articles/2021/…
“When the world breathes again, in 2022 if not before, the heroes of the hour will be the scientists: the men and – especially, as it happens – the women who rose to the occasion and developed at least three effective vaccines with astonishing speed.”
Read 21 tweets

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