Another Georgia County Approves Display of “Historically Significant Documents”… Including the Ten Commandments

The Newton County Board of Commissioners in Georgia just approved a display of nine “historically significant documents” to be placed in the local courthouse.

And, as alert readers know by now, that’s really just a code for Let’s get the Ten Commandments up in city buildings… and we’ll just surround it with other shit so no one can sue us.

In fact, the Ten Commandments display, along with another about the phrase “In God We Trust,” are really the only two that have no historical significance at all. It’s not like our laws derive from them. Hell, only two of the Commandments are legally forbidden — and it’s not like that’s the case because they were written in the Bible.



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Two Republican Congressional Candidates Agreed to Meet with Our Atheist Group, but One Was Invisible and Inaudible

As an unfortunate result of California’s Proposition 14, the so-called “top-two primary law,” California Congressional District 25, where I live, can only choose this November between two Republican candidates for our new U.S. Congressperson. No other parties are on the final ballot. They are former State Senator Tony Strickland and current State Senator Steve Knight. This is what they look like:

Our district used to be more Republican-leaning, but it has recently become slightly more Democratic. This means that neither candidate can win unless they court both Republican and Democratic voters.

Rick Wiggins, a member of my local atheist group, the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers, somewhat whimsically invited both candidates to come to speak to us separately at two of our monthly meetings.

To our astonishment, they both accepted!

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Blogger Kaveh Mousavi — Now on Patheos — Describes First-Hand What’s It’s Like To Be an Atheist in Iran

Kaveh Mousavi (a pseudonym) is, according to his online bio,

an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies… He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.

While he was getting his brand new Patheos blog set up, Kaveh wrote a guest post over at Dan Fincke‘s place, in which he describes what it’s like to be an atheist in Iran. As you can imagine, “picnic” and “walk in the park” aren’t in Kaveh’s lexicon.

It shapes your life maybe more than any other thing about you. If you are not a 12-Imam Shiite, you lose most of the opportunities in life. And if you are not a practicing member of one of the four “official” religions, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, you officially don’t exist. In the forms you have to fill out to get jobs or register for anything, these options are the only four options. According to the Islamic Republic, you have no right to have jobs, study in universities, open a bank account, or live, unless you belong to one of these four religions.



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North Carolina Magistrate Refuses to Perform Gay Wedding Because of His “Religious Beliefs”

Yesterday was the first day of legal gay marriage in North Carolina, which means you knew this was going to happen:

William Locklear and his partner showed up at the county courthouse Monday expecting to get married after 31 years together.

The couple didn’t get the chance.

A magistrate turned them away.

“He said, ‘I won’t be performing your marriage because of my religious beliefs,'” Locklear said.

The article never mentions the faith of the magistrate, but would anyone like to take a wild guess…?

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Catholic Church In Kenya Opposes Tetanus Vaccinations, Suspecting a Secret Plan to Sterilize Women

As we’ve seen, Muslim fundies are often anti-vaxxers. In places like Pakistan and Afghanistan, they’ve gotten it into their heads that polio-fighting programs are really Western-led campaigns to make Muslims infertile. As a result, terrorist groups have waged a long intimidation campaign against medical teams.

Minus the violence, that same mindset has now taken root in Kenya — courtesy of the Catholic Church, which wants Kenyans to stay away from government-led efforts to eradicate tetanus:

The Catholic Church has opposed a tetanus vaccination campaign scheduled to start next week that targets women between the ages of 19-49 years, claiming it is a secret government plan to sterilize women and control population growth.



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