Discrimination Against Atheists is Now Officially Illegal in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin just became the first city in the nation to add atheists to the list of protected groups in an expanded anti-discrimination bill. The city council voted unanimously for the addition last night.

While “religion” was already on that list, as you might expect, it wasn’t obvious to everyone whether that category included atheists, so the law now explicitly says so. (***Edit***: The final wording of the law uses the word “nonreligion,” not “atheist” as I suggested earlier. Same result, though. My apologies for referring to an older version of the bill.)



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While Indiana Wants a Fix to “Religious Freedom” Law, Arkansas’ Legislature Sends Similar Bill to Governor’s Desk

Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (below) signed into law a bill ostensibly designed to protect religious freedom. As it happens, this was “religious freedom” in the conservative Christian sense of the word — a sort of Orwellian spin on freedom that posits that all people are free, but some people (namely, believers) are more free and can consequently get out of whichever laws they don’t like, as long as they really believe they should be exempt.

The bill was not-so-secretly intended to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers. Predictably, decent people were outraged, and condemnation poured in — from sources as varied as gay rights activist and celebrity George Takei to the leaders of Apple and Walmart. The list of those opposing the move is pretty substantial, with the list growing longer each day.

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Arizona Senate Resolution Cites Old Testament Land Grant from God to Israel

According to a Gallup poll from February, seven-in-ten Americans have an overall favorable opinion of Israel. The numbers seem to be influenced by party lines and susceptible to variation due to diplomatic tensions, but the consensus is largely pro-Israel. Obviously, as I fall into that grouping, I think there are some pretty strong arguments to be made for American-Israeli friendship (as well as a peaceful, fair and equitable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).

That said, I realize that the issue is not black and white. It’s complex and, unfortunately, increasingly partisan. No matter how persuasive we find our own reasons, well meaning people will disagree, with reasons that seem just as compelling to them.

Wherever you fall on the question, though, I trust your arguments will be more convincing than some of the reasons presented in a resolution that passed in the Arizona Senate last Thursday. The resolution, SCR 1019, lists a number of reasons to thank Israel for the international friendship and affirms the state’s support of that nation.

The highest priority on their list?

Whereas, Israel has been granted her land under and through the oldest recorded deed, as recorded in the Old Testament, scripture that is held sacred and revered by Jews and Christians alike, the acts and words of God; and

Whereas, the claim and presence of the Jewish people in Israel has remained constant throughout the past 4,000 years of history…


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Colorado Republican Loses Committee Assignment After Saying a Pregnant Woman Was Stabbed Because Abortion is Legal

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the fundamentalist Christian and Colorado lawmaker, is finally getting a sort of punishment following his comments last week that the brutal attack of a pregnant woman occurred because we allow legal abortions in this country.

He has now been pulled from one of the two committees on which he served:

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Here You Go, Indiana: Even More People You Can Now Discriminate Against Thanks to the Bible

Following Indiana Governor Mike Pence‘s disastrous interview on ABC’s This Week — as one online commenter noted, “The correct answer to a Yes or No question is not ‘George'” — and Apple CEO Tim Cook‘s powerful op-ed, it might be helpful to remind ourselves what’s really at stake with discriminatory “religious freedom” laws.

Thankfully, there’s a website that shows us exactly what the Bible doesn’t allow:



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