SCA’s Morning Read 2.18.2014

SCA in the News Morning Read
Groundhog Day and Darwin Day: My Favorite Holidays (Huffington Post)
Several years ago, the math department at the College of Charleston, where I was a professor, hired a new administrative specialist in January. On February 2, Groundhog Day, I excitedly told her that Punxsutawney Phil had seen his shadow, which meant six more weeks of winter. When she laughed, I feigned surprise and said, “It’s not nice to make fun of someone’s religious beliefs. I’m from Pennsylvania, where some of us consider Groundhog Day the holiest day of the year.” She then apologized profusely. Now that she knows me better, we annually joke about my “holy” day. This year, she even presented me with an autographed (paw print) picture of Phil on February 2.

Atheism, Movement & Related
Celebrating The Diverse Spirituality And Religion Of African-Americans (Huffington Post)
There are times when I’ve felt straight-up rejected by the black community because I’m an atheist. When I tried to start a secular club in college, my closest black friends told me that humanism and atheism are harmful Eurocentric ideologies and implied that if I’m an atheist, I’m turning my back on my race. Atheism is [seen as] not just a threat to religious beliefs and tradition, but also a threat to black identity and black history.

Science & Religion
Science group, evangelicals push new collaboration (RNS)
Scientists and Christian evangelicals can collaborate for the good of society but it will take some serious effort, experts said as they launched a new campaign to change perceptions between the two groups.

States 
Iowa State removing Bibles from hotel guest rooms (KCCI)
Bibles will be removed from guest rooms at Iowa State University’s Hotel Memorial Union in Ames.

Petition
To Enforce a Federal Injunction Against the State of Kansas to End the Segregationesque Treatment of Homosexuals.

Military 
Old Testament Armed Forces (The American Conservative)
Religious zealotry runs rampant in the U.S. military, and among those wishing to deploy it. The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking. Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes.

Religion 
Reality show snake handler dies from snakebite (USA Today)
A Kentucky pastor who co-starred in the TV show Snake Salvation has died of a snakebite.

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