State Rep and Christian Preschool Owner Gave His Adopted Daughters Away — To a Rapist Now Serving 40 Years

Suffer the little children.

On March 6, 2013, Arkansas State Representative Justin Harris posted pictures of two young girls, 3 and 6, to his social-media accounts. They were now his daughters, he explained – siblings that he and his wife Marsha had adopted after the usual extensive vetting process and a six-month in-home trial period.

But today, when you view the short biographical video that’s posted on Harris’ page at the Arkansas House of Representatives website, and you fast-forward to the 1:51 mark where he talks about his family, those girls, unlike his three biological sons, are neither mentioned nor shown. The girls’ photos have been scrubbed from Harris’ social-media profiles, and the posts about them removed.

What happened to the siblings?

That’s the subject of an investigative piece in the Arkansas Times. It’s a long and convoluted story, and some pivotal facts remain unknown, but the gist of it is this:

Harris (below, right) and his wife “rehomed” the girls – gave them away and abandoned them — to a man named Eric Cameron Francis (at left) and his wife Stacey. Francis, a former youth pastor, had worked as head teacher at Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool, which happens to be owned by Harris. Those godly credentials didn’t prevent Francis from forcing himself on the oldest girl. He is now serving a 40-year prison term for her rape.

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Sam Harris and ISIS Expert Graeme Wood Discuss “the True Believers” of Islamism

Sam Harris doesn’t do short. Even his blog posts often run the length of many, many screens, and his latest piece is no exception. Posted last night, it’s a 12,000-word meeting of the minds between Harris and Graeme Wood, the author of the excellent March cover story in the Atlantic titled “What ISIS Really Wants.”

I’d recommend reading the Atlantic piece first. But even if you don’t, the following extract from the Harris-Wood conversation should stand on its own, and it’ll give you a good idea of the ground that Wood covers in his report. The quotes are from various places in the Harris blog post, and, as presented here, are not necessarily contiguous.


One could certainly say that as a vocal atheist, I’m an enemy of all religion. So, in that sense, I’m an enemy of Islam too. But for the purposes of a conversation like this, I’m actually an enemy of “Islamism,” not Islam per se. Islamism, as you know, is the desire on the part of a minority of Muslims to impose their religion on the rest of society (and jihadis are the minority of Islamists who attempt to do so by force).


As anyone who watches the Islamic State closely knows, it manufactures propaganda at an industrial pace, and its members are eager to explain themselves. They publish fatwas in Arabic and many other languages represented among the foreign fighters. And they take great pains to describe why they do what they do.

These fatwas and religious edicts are produced by a council of scholars. ISIS has learned men working on these issues and putting out judgments using texts within the discourse and traditions of Islam. They’re not discussing whether something is right in a vague, secular sense. They are using the language of Islam and drawing, indisputably, upon its traditions of religious discourse, especially the Qur’an and the hadīth (the sayings of the Prophet) and the lives of Muhammad’s first followers.

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Google’s Digital Truth Serum: Could a New Algorithm Cut Down on Internet Lies, Disinformation, and Woo?

It’s almost impossible to spend an hour traversing the Internet without coming across a hoax, a half-truth, or a bit of satire that others (never we, of course!) think is real. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spend hundreds of hours checking out and refuting such fare (Dutch boy, dike, you get the picture).

What if the bullshit sank to the bottom, floating way down the Google page ranking to a spot where we could still find it if if we wanted to, but where few would likely just chance upon it?

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Leonard Nimoy Redux: Mr. Spock Is Now Shown On Canadian Currency (via Pens and Sharpies Only)

Canadian Star Trek fans are not about to pass up an opportunity to honor Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr. Spock, who died on Friday.

His death sparked various memes worldwide including a group of Canadians who began “spocking” their five dollar bills. “Spocking” [means] drawing over the official image of former Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. The Laurier image is being defaced with Spock’s signature bowl hairstyle, pointed Vulcan ears, and upslanted eyebrows.


And after:

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No, Time Magazine Did Not Publish a Cover Calling Craig Stephen Hicks “The Face of American Terror”

I’ve seen an image doing the rounds on social media that is not what it seems. Some of the commenters at Friendly Atheist were also more or less snookered by it, following its inclusion in a YouTube video by the abominable Gordon Klingenschmitt that Hemant featured in a post yesterday. So let’s set the record straight.

No, Time magazine did not come out with a cover that calls Craig Stephen Hicks, the killer of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, “The Face of American Terror.”

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