Indian Politician Claims Massive Flood Damage Was Caused by People Shitting Near a Sacred Shrine

Last year, the Indian state of Uttarakhand was hit was a multi-day downpour. Thousands of people died in the ensuing flood and thousands of villages had to deal with the subsequent damage.

What caused all the destruction?

According to environmentalists, the rain alone didn’t do it:

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Wannabe Jihadis Crave Some of That Beheading-Video Glamour; ISIS Said to Have Signed Up Recruits in Droves

Who knew? Terrorist snuff movies are a great recruiting tool, because previously lukewarm young Islamists go gaga over them. That’s according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London, reports the Guardian.

Barbarous online films, such as the two-and-a half-minute video showing the killing of British aid worker David Haines released on Saturday night, are “turning on” jihadists in countries such as Tunisia and Libya who had previously reacted coolly to the civil war between the Sunni fundamentalists of Isis and the Shia minorities in Syria and Iraq.



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A Fundamentalist Mormon Was Allowed to Keep Silent About Child Labor Violations Due to (Wait For It…) Hobby Lobby

You might remember that a number of atheists, religious progressives, and women’s health advocates had some concerns about allowing an employer’s beliefs about women’s healthcare to determine what kind of coverage they offered, and what that might portend for religious freedom and the law in general.

You might also remember that the Supreme Court did it anyway, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

And don’t forget people insisting that it was not really problematic (and certainly not a blow to women’s rights!) because it was so “limited in scope.” Or the Supreme Court’s decision the very next day that expanded the ruling.

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Denied the Chance to Deliver an Invocation, Atheists in Rowlett (TX) Protested Outside City Hall Last Night

For a while now, atheists in Rowlett, Texas have been wanting to deliver an invocation at a city council meeting. After Greece v. Galloway, that should be a given. However, local leaders refused to change their policy. Mayor Todd Gottel said last week, “As long as I’m mayor, we are going to pray,” meaning to hell with any secular invocations.

Last night, the Metroplex Atheists Rowlett held a protest outside city hall to draw attention to the discrimination they’re facing:



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An Open Letter to the Yale Muslims and Humanists Who Opposed Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Speech

Last night, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of Infidel and Nomad and a critic of Islam, spoke at Yale University. While the event itself went relatively smoothly, her presence wasn’t without conflict. More than 35 groups — including, to my disappointment, the Yale Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics — signed an open letter last week expressing their disappointment in the invitation.

Below is an open letter to the Yale Humanists and Muslim Students Association written by Muhammad Syed, the co-founder and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America, a community-building organization for ex-Muslims across the non-theist spectrum.

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