Secular Coalition’s Morning Read for Wednesday March 27

The Secular Coalition’s morning round up of movement and related news stories.

Same Sex Marriage Morning read_tablet
Who is on God’s side of the marriage debate?
As the Supreme Court considers two major same-sex marriage cases that could change marriage in the United States, religious leaders on both sides of the debate believe they are on God’s side of the contentious issue.

How the Court Could Rule on Same-Sex Marriage (Chart)
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday in two cases about same-sex marriage. While the rulings will probably not come until the end of the term in June, the justices’ questions could offer hints about which way they are leaning.

Americans OK Benefits for Federal Worker Same-Sex Spouses
By 54% to 39%, Americans say they would vote for a law giving marriage benefits, such as those for insurance, taxes, or Social Security, to spouses of federal employees in same-sex marriages. Support is predictably higher among Democrats than it is among Republicans.

Science/Of Interest
The Ironic Success Of Experimental Philosophy
What is experimental philosophy? And why this unprecedented public success? Practitioners of experimental philosophy (“X-Philes”) are a heterogeneous bunch, but most believe that there are important limitations to philosophy’s dominant “armchair” methods of reflection and argumentation, prompting the adoption of a burning armchair as a logo (you can hear the accompanying anthem, sung by Alina Simone, on YouTube). To explore and remedy these limitations, they have turned to psychological research on people’s judgments, feelings and behaviors. Some of them conduct this research themselves; others collaborate with social scientists or draw upon their work.

Movement & Related
The Washington Post Captures Movement Folks in Support of Same Sex Marriage
Gay marriage supporter Ed Beck (policy analyst for the Center for Inquiry), discusses the issue with Carl Boyd Jr. who is against the same-sex unions, outside the Supreme Court. CFI’s Michael DeDora also pictured. (Image 11)

A year after losing faith, atheist pastor finds a new calling
This Easter, Teresa MacBain will mark an anniversary that’s uncommon for an ordained  minister — her first year as an atheist.

Atheists need to run an Alpha course of their own
he problem of creationism can be tackled with dialogue. But Dawkins says atheists seem unwilling to move beyond scorn.

Latino Atheists Search for Community in Chicago
We talk about the importance of reaching out to minority atheists all the time, but more often than not, “minority” as we use it just means “black.” Latino atheists are usually ignored in that context. WBEZ’s Aurora Aguilar spoke with some Latino atheists in Chicago about their transitions into atheism and what they’re searching for.

In defense of Florida university’s ‘Jesus stomping’ exercise
Florida Atlantic University is in crisis after a student was instructed to write the word “Jesus” on a piece of paper and stomp on it. One Mormon student refused to participate in the classroom activity, citing his Christian faith, and now he is rallying opposition nationwide. On Monday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly told Mary Katherine Ham and me he sees this case as part of an ongoing hostility to Christianity and conservatives on college campuses. I disagree.

States
(IA) Iowa GOP Rep against marriage equality says same-sex marriage should be regulated like alcohol and haircuts
Republican Iowa State Representative Steve King made a statement on 26 March 2013, saying that same-sex marriage should be prohibited because he believes the government has a right to regulate human behavior.

(ND) North Dakota Gears up for Legal Dispute on New Abortion Laws
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said his decision to sign strict new abortion laws, including the nation’s toughest restriction on the procedure, was not based on “any religious belief or personal experience” and that he believes legislators have a right to ask such questions about abortion restrictions.

Religion
The Bible Gained Six Million New ‘Antagonists’ Last Year (Infographic)
More than 3 in 4 Americans say the country is in a state of moral decline—and almost 1 in 3 attribute the cause to a “lack of Bible reading” (narrowly beating out “negative influence of media”). But that doesn’t mean Americans are willing to read the Bible themselves. Although 66 percent of survey respondents agreed that “the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life,” the majority (58 percent) said they “don’t personally want wisdom and advice from the Bible.”

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