Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) on Atheist Chaplains in the Military: ‘That Was a Dumb Idea’

Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) — the guy who believes fetuses can masturbate — is one of the representatives who voted (twice) to deny non-religious people like Jason Heap from joining the military chaplaincy.

Daniel Moran attended a town hall event with Burgess yesterday and asked him about those votes.

Instead of offering a rational explanation as to why he voted that way, Burgess essentially dismissed the idea of non-religious chaplains, showing in the process a complete lack of understanding as to why they’re needed:

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Romania’s Economy Is Suffering Because of All the Churches

The country of Romania has some serious financial problems — they already received a multi-billion dollar bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2009.

Romania also has a lot of state-supported churches — approximately “10 new places of worship completed every month” — with more on the way.

You do the math.

Some residents already have and they’re not happy at all:

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Only 17% of Georgia Republicans Accept Evolution

A new poll just released by Public Policy Polling shows that only 17% of Republicans in Georgia accept evolution — including, I presume, theistic evolution. 70% of Republicans, unfortunately, embrace Creationism.

Stop smiling, Democrats. Only 29% of you accept evolution while Creation fans hover at 53%.

Independents can quit smirking, too. Nearly half of them are Creationists.

So, really, it’s just a problem with the state. What the hell, Georgia?! You can see the full results here (PDF):

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Is the Government’s New ‘Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives’ a Constitutional Concern?

Nearly a year ago, a “Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group” made a recommendation (PDF) to Secretary of State John Kerry to establish some sort of “institutionalized mechanism” with which to advise the State Department on religious engagement:

Yesterday, Kerry formally announced that he was taking that advice and creating the State Department’s Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives:

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Marine Corps Training Document Suggests That Atheists Are Suicide Risks

The United States Marine Corps’ training manual for commanders (PDF) has a very interesting section regarding how to recognize when soldiers are at risk for suicide. They should look out for soldiers who recently suffered a breakup, soldiers whose family history includes members who committed suicide, soldiers who have serious financial concerns, soldiers who have lost their spiritual faith, soldiers who have a past or current substance abuse problem, soldiers who—-wait, what?!

The manual cited “lack or loss of spiritual faith” as a subset of one of the 11 factors that could increase the risk of suicide. Specifically it was a subset of the “Guidance/Moral Compass” category, a detail that’s equally problematic.

The factor would put all atheist soldiers on The List; that sort of stigma could eventually prevent them from getting promotions or certain assignments:

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