Should Crimes That Take Place in Houses of Worship be Subject to Harsher Penalties?

New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein has re-introduced legislation that would impose harsher penalties for crimes that take place at houses of worship or cemeteries.

Senate Bill 2368 passed through the Senate last May, but didn’t go anywhere, so Klein’s trying it again now.

You can understand his reasoning for the bill. A break-in or burglary (or worse) that takes place at, say, a synagogue is arguably no different from a hate crime: it sends a message to the wider community and should be treated the same way.

But Sarah Kaiser of the Center for Inquiry explains why, despite the good intentions, she opposes the bill:

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Fight Church: A Movie About How Beating the Crap Out of Each Other Will Lead You to Christ

What do you get when you cross beating the shit out of each other to prove your manliness… with Jesus? (Besides one of Pastor Mark Driscoll‘s dreams, I mean.)

Fight church! (No, really. That’s the name of the upcoming movie.)



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GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert: Separation of Church and State Always Meant ‘Church Would… Play a Role in the State’

A walking punchline already, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) did himself no favors by working on a World Net Daily-sponsored promotion for an upcoming Christian TV event. During his lengthy monologue, Gohmert stretched the definition of church-state separation so far back that he broke it beyond repair (at the 2:35 mark):



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Sen. Ted Cruz Repeats Lie About How He ‘Won’ the Case to Keep ‘Under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance

It was only a couple of weeks ago when Senator Ted Cruz told the audience at a Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators conference that he played a significant role in keeping “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

That was a lie. After Justice Antonin Scalia recused himself from the case, 5 of the 8 remaining justices dismissed the case altogether saying that Newdow didn’t have proper standing to bring the case to court. There was no official ruling on the case’s merits. Cruz didn’t “win” anything.

Yet, he’s still repeating the lie, most recently, during a speech yesterday at Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University:

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Should Atheist Candidates Be Forthcoming About Their Religious Views?

If you were running for political office, would it makes sense to open up about your atheism?

Former Secular Coalition for America Director Sean Faircloth and philosopher Peter Boghossian offered differing answers to that question at a recent event. Faircloth, while not suggesting candidates disavow their atheism, said that pragmatism was key. Boghossian, on the other hand, suggested putting it all out there:



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