Atheist Politician, Among Others, Speaks Out Against Chapel Hill Murders During Press Conference

Yesterday, in response to the senseless killing of three innocent Muslims by an atheist, the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix in Arizona held a press conference to express condolences for the victims and denounce the actions of someone who (even though his motivation is still unknown) was clearly a vocal atheist.

Among the speakers were atheist State Rep. Juan Mendez (below) and Johnny Martin, a Muslim leader of an interfaith group at Arizona State University:

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Tennessee Legislator Wants to Make the Holy Bible the Official State Book

Following the lead of Republicans in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, Tennessee State Rep. Jerry Sexton (below) has filed a bill to make the Holy Bible the official state book:

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Todd Starnes Flips Out After Student Told Not to Say “God Bless America” During Morning Announcements

For several weeks, the student-led morning announcements at Yulee High School in Florida ended with the words “God Bless America.” (As if the Pledge wasn’t enough?)

So the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center wrote a letter to school officials explaining the problem:

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Gov. Scott Walker on Evolution: “That’s a Question a Politician Shouldn’t Be Involved In”

There are plenty of reasons to criticize Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (below, left), a possible Republican presidential candidate, but he gave us a new one during an interview at London’s Chatham House today.

Moderator Justin Webb asked him a question he said he often poses to Republican politicians from the United States: Did Walker accept evolution?

And Walker did what Republicans so often do on science-related questions: He embarrassed himself:

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How the First Crusade Was Fought, What Obama Didn’t Say, and How the Crusades Helped Spawn Modern-Day Jihad

Since last week, Christian critics have been pounding President Obama for his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, where he had the temerity to reference religious violence with a passing mention of the Crusades.

Angry reactions included that Obama’s words were “a blunder in thought,” “the most offensive comments I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” and “verbal rape.”

How about we listen to some facts, rather than partisan bluster?

What set off the First Crusade, and what the Christian participants did in order to gain access to paradise, is the subject of an interview at Bloomberg View with historian Jay Rubenstein, a Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Fellow who teaches at the University of Tennessee.

Below are the most fascinating passages.

On the religious lead-up to the crusades:

[T]here was a real sense of prophetic mission among a lot of people who answered this call for Crusade. You can’t have a normal war for Jerusalem. That seems to me as true today as it would have been in the 11th century. Jerusalem, from the medieval Christian perspective, was both a city on earth and a city of heaven, and these two places were linked. The idea that the Jerusalem on earth was being dominated by an unbelieving, infidel — in their terminology “pagan” — group was unacceptable.

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