Thomas Jefferson’s Struggle with Islamic Brutality

On September 11, 2001, the United States was given a taste of what Europe and the Middle East has been suffering, in one form or another, for the past thousand years: the unbending wrath of religious extremists. Religious conflict is what drove settlers to New World in the first place, and up until 9/11, America managed to leave the overseas religious disputes and violence behind. The U.S. does have its own soiled background of anti-Catholicism during the influx of Irish immigrants in the 1800s, as well as a history of less-than-welcoming attitudes toward Jewish newcomers. More recently, the assassinations and clinic-bombings committed by anti-abortion activists have been carried out in the name of religious extremism. But otherwise, America’s pre-9/11 mindset has been that religious violence generally happened “over there.” So when planes piloted by hijackers with a seventh-century ideology came crashing into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the world got a little smaller and America entered into the conflict that today shows no signs of stopping.



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El Dorado (Arkansas) Officials Are Posting Bible Verses on City Facebook Pages

The leaders in El Dorado, Arkansas have a nasty habit of posting Bible verses on the Facebook walls of the city’s official page and the police department:



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Satanist Sues Florida County for Rejecting Him as an Invocation Speaker

Chaz Stevens is the atheist-turned Satanist who has been trying to deliver invocations at city councils across the state of Florida.

Rather than let him speak, though, many city councils have dropped invocations entirely.

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Source Says Floggings Will Continue for Raif Badawi, Saudi Blogger Punished for “Insulting Islam”

Well, this is disturbing.

It appears that Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi will continue getting flogged. We last heard the Saudi Supreme Court had upheld his sentence over the summer, but there was still hope the lashes would stop since they hadn’t been administered since the very first set earlier this year.

In case you don’t remember, Badawi was punished in 2013 for starting a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights. That was insulting to Islam, his critics said, and he received the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes punishment back in January. That was in addition to 10 years in jail and a 1,000,000 Saudi riyal fine (about $266,000).

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What I Said to Bernie Sanders About His Appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live

On Friday night, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph a presidential hopeful and represent atheists at the same time. Bernie Sanders was making an appearance at the historic Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa for an event called “Rockin the Bern” and I had the chance to photograph him.

How did that happen? A friend of mine is running for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 1st District and was invited to introduce Mr. Sanders, so I acquired a media pass to photograph my friend and the event. (I wasn’t representing any media outlet and — full disclosure — I’m making my images available to both my friend’s campaign and the Sanders campaign.)

​As I drove the two hours from my house to Davenport, I began thinking about what I would say or ask Sanders if I had the opportunity at some point in the night. My mind immediately went to religion.

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