Man Who Killed Three Muslim Students in Chapel Hill Could Face Death Penalty

It was only a few weeks ago when 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks went to an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and killed three MuslimsDeah Shaddy Barakat (23), his wife of just over a month Yusor Mohammad (21), and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) — before turning himself in to the police.

We still don’t know if this was an anti-Muslim hate crime, as many want to claim, or a dispute over parking (as Hicks’ wife said), but prosecutors know what result they want to see:

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Westboro Baptist Church Wanted to Picket Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral… but They Couldn’t Find the Location

You’d think these people would’ve figured out by now to find the location of a funeral before saying they’re going to be there… but after Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek, died a few days ago, they said they would be picketing his funeral.

That plan fell through, though, when they couldn’t find the location of the event:



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After County Votes to Put Up “In God We Trust” Sign, Atheist Petitions to Put Up “In Dissenters We Believe” Sign

For weeks now, I’ve been writing about how Clark County (Washington) officials have gone back and forth over a plan to put up an “In God We Trust” sign in city hall. A few days ago, they decided to vote in favor of the sign, much to the chagrin of church/state separation advocates.

George Thomas left last week’s meeting before the vote took place, but he has since written up a petition to put up a second sign on the wall (emphases his):

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 44: Daniel Genis, Former Atheist Prisoner

Our latest podcast guest is Daniel Genis, a former atheist prisoner.

Genis (rhymes with “tennis”) grew up in New York City, where he attended Stuyvesant High School and New York University, graduating with a degree in history and French. In 2003, however, he committed five armed robberies, which led to a decade behind bars. During that time, he wrote a novel called Narcotica. Now that he’s out, he’s been writing about the intersection of religion and incarceration for publications like Vice, Deadspin, the Washington Post. New York Daily News, and Newsweek.

We spoke with Daniel about the soul exchange that got him in trouble, why we should feel any sympathy for him, and what he hopes to do now that he’s a free man.

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Atheist Billboard with the Words “Easter” and “Church” Rejected in Nashville for Being Too “Aggressive”

American Atheists has its annual convention this Easter weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. As has been the group’s custom in recent years, they decided to purchase a couple of billboards to advertise the gathering. And this is what they wanted to put up:

Cute billboard! (You may remember that little girl from such previous billboards as this one.) As far as “aggressive” goes, this is pretty tame for American Atheists. They’re not attacking Christians, unless you consider disagreement with Christian beliefs an “attack.” Indeed, the billboard was approved in Memphis — you can see it on the road today.

But it was denied in Nashville, a few hours away. The company said AA couldn’t use the words “Easter” or “church” because they were somehow attacking Christianity.

So American Atheists tried again with this passive-aggressive adjustment:

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