In Snub to Jihadists, Kurdish-Led Province Issues Women’s Rights Decree

In a courageous and welcome rebuke to ISIS, Kurdish officials in a region of Syria have issued a 30-point decree that elaborates on the rights of women — a slap in the face to the Muslim extremists who want nothing of the sort:

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Can a Town Run on Catholic Principles Fall in Line with the Constitution?

We already live in a country where religious groups exert a lot of influence in their respective communities. Red states, obviously. Hasidic enclaves, definitely. Even places like Salt Lake City, where Mormons migrated in droves.

But what would happen if a whole town was basically bought out for one religious group and the people there were expected to follow religious law?

That’s the premise of Ave Maria, Florida, a town that was purchased nearly a decade ago by Domino’s Pizza founder (and hard-core Catholic) Tom Monaghan, who wanted to turn it into a religious haven:

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 28: “Patrick,” an Atheist College Football Player

Our latest podcast guest is “Patrick,” a college football player from one of the top Division 1 programs in the country. He’s not just a guy on the bench; he himself is one of the best players in the country for his position.

And he’s an atheist.

At his request, we’re maintaining his anonymity because he deserves to be recognized for his talent and not his atheism, and we don’t want to ruin that for him. Rest assured, though, we know his real name and we’ve verified that he is who he says he is. We wanted to talk to him about faith, football, and his future.

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Sean Faircloth, Former Head of the Secular Coalition for America, Wins Seat on Bangor (Maine) City Council

At one point, before he became the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America in 2009 (a position he held for two years), Sean Faircloth (below) was a state legislator from Maine, serving five terms in the House (1992-1994; 2002-2008) and Senate (1994-1996).

In the years after leaving the SCA, he worked as Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, where he was frequently the “opening act” for Dawkins’ lectures, and wrote a book called Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All — and What We Can Do about It.

Last week, he stepped back into the political world, earning a seat on the nine-member Bangor City Council.

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A New Book Documents Hate Mail Sent by Christians to Military-Focused Church/State Separation Group

If you live in Los Angeles, keep an eye out for this mobile billboard around town beginning today:

That provocative billboard is part of an advertising campaign for a forthcoming book by Bonnie Weinstein, co-founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, called To the Far Right Christian Hater… You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both (Rare Bird Books, 2014). (The generous subtitle is: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism from the Archives of the Six-Time Nobel Peace Prize-Nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation.)

It’s a compilation of hate mail that has been directed at the group and the author’s husband Mikey Weinstein over the years.

In the excerpt below, Bonnie documents the kinds of letters MRFF receives and how they affect her personally:

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