Friday 31 July 2009

Burnee Links for Friday

Burnee!The Case for God: What Religion Really Means by Karen Armstrong review | Non-fiction book reviews - Times Online

Torchwood’s John Barrowman bashes bishop over homophobic remarks - Freethinker

State of Protest - Rational Activism at Work
Congress, on Monday July 13, 2009, passed what’s been nicknamed the “Critique Bill.” It’s currently before President Obama, and there is no indication that he will veto the controversial bill. The bill, officially titled the “Artistic Expression Protection Act,” would make it illegal to criticize works of art…
That's pretty scary, but it gets worse:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of England, on the other hand, expressed dismay that the bill was not inclusive enough to be effective. “Generations from now,” he said, “they will look back upon this day not as a positive precedent, but, instead, as an embarrassment. Imagine having to pass a new law each and every time one can imagine a particular person’s point of view could be offended. That’s incredibly inefficient and a waste of resources, and England would have no such thing.”

When asked what he meant by that, the Prime Minister shrugged and responded, “Our government will be foregoing the tedium and needling of individual, overly-specific instances of offense, and will be, instead, covering all potential offenses with a blanket law protecting everyone’s right not to be offended, not just artists.”3 His statement substantiated recent rumors that Britain was on the verge of passing yet another set of surveillance-style laws meant to protect its citizens from themselves.

BHA - Humanists welcome new hope for 'Thought for the Day'
I'll believe it when I see it. The BBC would have to perform a complete about face to allow a non-religious viewpoint on TftD (see this post for more).

New hope for an end to religious monopoly on Thought for the Day | National Secular Society (As above, see this post for more.)

Discovery Space: Twisted Physics: In Praise of Insignificance
Jennifer Ouelette blogs about her TAM 7 experience

Sam Harris on Collins' appointment : Pharyngula

Camp faithless: Is Britain's first atheist summer camp harmless fun or should we be worried? | Mail Online (Yes, it's harmless fun. No, we shouldn't be worried.)

The Huffington Post is crazy about your health | Salon

“We are more possible than you can powerfully imagine” – Bad Science

Why You Should Lie To Your Children | Friendly Atheist by Hemant Mehta