In the Wake of the Boston Bombings, a Petition to Remind Political Leaders That Healing is for Everyone

Atheists were excluded from last week’s “interfaith” service for the victims of the Boston bombing, as if we had no one to mourn or no stake in the matter, and despite the fact that Boston is home to a large non-religious population.

It’s likely that decision was made without ill intent but it’s not because we didn’t make an effort to be included. Governor Deval Patrick and Melissa Rogers (Director of the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships) need to know that we’re not taking this snub lightly.

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Who Said the Line About Putting a Hand on the Bible and Swearing to Uphold the Constitution…?

Here’s Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims yesterday trying to stop a bill that would allow state-run health insurance exchanges to not cover abortion:

“As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, I do believe this has been forgotten entirely by many of my colleagues today: Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

Awesome line. Very quotable.

But he’s not the first person to have said it.

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Don’t Hang the Ten Commandments in the County Jail When Eight of Them Are Perfectly Legal

In 2010, Robert Arnold was elected Sheriff of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And he’s finally figured out how to lower crime rates, help prisoners, and get re-elected all at the same time: By posting a copy of the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the Rutherford County Jail:

Arnold in 2012 accepted a framed copy showing the Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights from June Griffin, a Rhea County activist.

“Those are documents this country was founded on,” Arnold said during an interview at his office. “Those are documents that all laws are derived from in this country.”

“The job is to enforce the laws of the land, and those are three documents of laws of the land,” said Arnold. “Those are the founding three documents of the laws of this country.”

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Bill from Louie Gohmert is Literally the Opposite of Church-State Separation

Perhaps the most shamelessly dopey Member of Congress, Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas, doesn’t think it’s bad enough that the U.S. Capitol has been (ab)used several times over history as a stand-in for a Christian church. No, he’d actually like to see the government honor the fact. Like, as though we should be proud of it!

Here’s the summary for Gohmert’s HR 1586:

To direct the Architect of the Capitol to acquire and place a historical plaque to be permanently displayed in National Statuary Hall recognizing the seven decades of Christian church services being held in the Capitol from 1800 to 1868, which included attendees James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

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Andrew Sullivan on ‘High-Minded Nonsense’ of Liberals on Tsarnaev Brothers

There has been a swirl of debate around what might or might not have been the motivations behind the Boston bombing attacks allegedly carried out by the Tsarnaev brothers, but one voice has stood out to me in this discussion: that of Andrew Sullivan‘s.

Sullivan began by confronting the garment-rending of Glenn Greenwald, accusing him of “left-liberal self-parody.”

[T]o dismiss the overwhelming evidence that this was also religiously motivated — a trail that now includes a rant against his own imam for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. because he was not a Muslim — is to be blind to an almost text-book case of Jihadist radicalization

To state today that we really still have no idea what motivated him and that rushing toward the word Jihadist is some form of Islamophobia seems completely bizarre to me.

When will some understand how dangerous religious fundamentalism truly is? And when will they grasp that a religion that does not entirely eschew violence (like the Gospels or Buddhism) will likely produce violence when its extremist loners seek meaning in a bewildering multicultural modern world? This was an act of Jihad.

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