Secular Party Candidate Killed In Pakistan

The people of Pakistan are just weeks away from achieving a historical election — whatever the result. The Pakistani Taliban do not like this, not one bit. If a government is successfully elected in the general election on the 11th of May, it will be first time Pakistan has ever successfully peacefully transitioned between two elected governments. To give you a sense of how momentus this could be, the forthcoming election will be the 11th general election for Pakistan since 1962.

One man who sadly won’t get to see this happen is Fakhrul Islam. A 46-year-old grocer from the southern city of Hyderabad, Kakrul was a candidate for the secular (in this case, meaning “not representing Islam”) Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), part of the outgoing coalition government which has previously been threatened by Pakistan’s Taliban. He is the first candidate to be killed in current election campaign.

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Bill in Congress Would Allow Crosses on Federal War Memorials on Public Land, Giving Church-State Separation the Finger

Imagine the frustration of a conservative Christian member of Congress, sitting idly by while godless jackals attack sacred war memorials with religious symbols on public property with their petty little lawsuits. How could such a person just sit there and do nothing? Can’t these atheists be stopped?

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter of California is trying. Yesterday, he introduced the War Memorial Protection Act, a bill that would enshrine into law the ability for federal war memorials in the public square, like the one in Coos Bay, Oregon, to include religious symbols. It’s a direct response to moves by groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State who make it their business to, well, separate church (the crosses and other religious symbols) from state (the U.S. government’s memorials, existing on public property and paid for with public funds).

The bill would be all the more remarkable if it were a new idea. But it isn’t. Last year, in fact, the U.S. House passed by voice vote the same act, also introduced by Hunter. Here’s how the LA Times reported it then:

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I Suppose Alan Keyes Wants Us to Keep Digging…

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Alan Keyes Equates Church-State Separation with Eating Boogers

Alan Keyes might be the most entertaining man ever to run for president. Always running on the fringes of what is already a very fringe-y GOP, he never ekes out more support than the what could be confused for the margin of error, but he instills a fervency of devotion from those who have gone cuckoo for Keyes.

Ambassador Keyes (and yes, he was Reagan’s Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council) recently spoke at an event at Spring Arbor University in Michigan and did not fail to bring the crazy, saying that the United States was near death, because we are currently violating “the premise of the existence of our country as a political entity.” The premise, of course, is that God Did It.

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Unitarian Pastor: If My Religious Liberty is Protected, Then Don’t Refuse My Right to Marry Same-Sex Couples

As I posted a couple of days ago, Kentucky recently passed House Bill 279, allowing for discrimination in the workplace, housing, and even public facilities if the justification involves “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Governor Steve Beshear vetoed the bill, but the state’s other elected official had the numbers to override the veto.

So discrimination against gays, lesbians, atheists, Muslims, and everyone else who doesn’t believe what the Christian majority does is about to become commonplace in the state.

As tragic as that is, I have to appreciate this letter from a local Unitarian pastor in response to the bill:

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