Sam Harris Calls Out President Obama on the Falsehood in Last Night’s Speech That Islam Is Fundamentally Good

Last week, I riffed a little on the disingenuous ways in which U.S. presidents advance the idea that, despite reams of evidence to the contrary, religion is necessarily a force for good. This compulsion is especially great when it comes to Islam, the so-called religion of peace.

George W. Bush tried to make us believe that Islam is fundamentally kind, and Barack Obama has repeated the falsehood a hundred times. To hear the current president tell it, literally no religion desires anything but a world full of love and puppy dogs and pretty rainbows. At all cost, apparently, we must pretend that there is no elephant in the room. At the very least we should refrain from mentioning its presence.

Last night, in Obama’s ISIL speech on the eve of 9/11 (wasn’t the Twin Towers madness just about the best proof that religion is often anything but benign?), the president again went out of his way to deny the completely obvious link between Islam and violence.

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Proposed Texas Social Studies Textbooks Are Full of Bias and Revisionist History, Say Outside Reviewers

What’s more important when it comes to writing history textbooks: Succumbing to political pressure or accuracy?

If you said accuracy, then you’re not a member of the Texas State Board of Education.

Politico’s Stephanie Simon explains:

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Bill Maher Discusses the Problem with Islam on Charlie Rose

Bill Maher appeared on Charlie Rose Tuesday night to discuss his upcoming comedy special and, as expected, the conversation eventually steered to religion. Maher made the point that people like Sam Harris have been making for a while: Criticism of what the Koran says seems off-limits these days and moderate Muslims are not doing enough to denounce the extremists.

The segment begins at the 31:15 mark, though the religion part begins around 39:39:

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Missouri State Rep. Sues Obama Administration Because His Insurance Covers His Daughters’ Birth Control

A Missouri lawmaker and his wife are suing the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage requirements for contraception. State Representative Paul Wieland (care to guess his party affiliation?) and wife Theresa Wieland argue that no-cost access to birth control for their daughters (two of whom are adults, ages 18 and 19) violates their religious beliefs. As it further violates their beliefs to drop their children from their plan, they are seeking a judgment to intervene on their behalf.

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Atheist Politicians in Arizona Speak Out Against Governor Jan Brewer’s “Office of Faith and Community Partnerships”

Two weeks ago, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an Executive Order to create the “Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Partnerships.” She did something similar in 2010, but this newer order includes some changes:

The role is described similarly, including the appointment of people from faith-based groups, but her new order allows the office to accept and spend money, including the ability to get local, state, or federal government funding.

For that reason, groups like the Secular Coalition for Arizona, atheist State Representative Juan Mendez, atheist Congressional candidate James Woods, and a host of other allies gathered outside the state capitol this morning to speak out against this breakdown of church/state separation and deliver a letter to the Governor:

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