After Kicking Out Atheist for Sitting During Pledge, Florida City Leaders May Change How It Opens Meetings

You may remember that Mayor John Rees, the leader of the Winter Garden City Commissioners (in Florida), kicked atheist Joseph Richardson out of last week’s meeting after he refused to stand for the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance:



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Study Shows That More Religious Places Show Less Scientific Innovation (or When Religion Wins, Science Loses)

According to a recent paper by a Princeton economist and his colleagues, we can attach some numerical data to the battle between science and religion (or, rather, “patents per capita” versus how seriously the people there take religion):

Chris Mooney at Mother Jones explains:

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The Founding Father Who Began the Boston Tea Party Didn’t Believe in the Christian God

We know the Founding Fathers included a mix of Christians (of various stripes) and Deists. Now, a new book by Matthew Stewart, excerpted at Politico, explains that the latter category includes the man behind the Boston Tea Party, Dr. Thomas Young — literally, the original Tea Partier:



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Sally Jones: From Guitar-Wielding Rocker to Head-Sawing Jihadist

She traded in her Flying V for a Kalashnikov:

A middle-aged British mother-of-two and former rock band member has joined jihadists in Syria and wants to behead Christians with a blunt knife, British media reported. The reports identified the woman as Sally Jones, 45, from Kent in southeast England, and said she now goes by the name Sakinah Hussain, or Umm Hussain al-Britani…



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Should the United States Attempt to Kill ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islam’s Self-Proclaimed New Caliph?

In the New Republic, Graeme Wood explains what the Islamic State’s ostensible caliphate means to Muslims the world over:

The word khalifa means “successor” (to Muhammad), and as such, a rightful caliph can demand the allegiance of all Muslims. But historically, an applicant for the job has had to fulfill a few conditions. He (always he) must be Muslim, fully grown, devout, sane, and physically whole.



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