Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coalition: 80 Taliban killed

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S.-led coalition forces killed about 80 Taliban fighters during a six-hour battle outside a Taliban-controlled town in southern Afghanistan Saturday, the latest in a series of increasingly bloody engagements in the region, officials said.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bible And Quran Both Bloody, Humanists Say

(Washington, DC) Today Humanists reacted to the news that several Oklahoma lawmakers refused to accept copies of the Quran, which were offered as gifts from the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council. Even though many had welcomed copies of the Bible that had been given them earlier in the year, some were publicly sending back their Qurans.

"When government officials embrace the holy text of one religion and scoff at the holy text of the next, it creates an appearance of religious favoritism that abuses their public role," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

Lawmakers stated qualms about the violence depicted and advocated within the Quran as justification for their disparate treatment; State Rep. Rex Duncan announced that he refused his copy because the Quran advocated "killing innocent women and children." However, when the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma gave copies of the Bible to Oklahoma lawmakers this past spring, Rep. Duncan said of the gift, "It's one of the nicest things I've received in my three years in the Legislature."

"It's remarkable how few holier-than-thou politicians have even read the Bible that they claim to hold such faith in. Rep. Duncan would apparently be surprised to learn that the violence he abhors in the Quran--particularly violence against women and children--also appears throughout the Bible," continued Speckhardt.

Many passages in the Bible contain and advocate violence. For example, Ezekiel 9:5-6 says: "And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and woman..." Several other passages likewise specifically depict the slaughter of innocents. (See for more quotes.)

"It doesn't make sense to reject one text for violence when you embrace another that's similarly bloody," concluded Speckhardt. "Humanists don't take issue with assertions that the Quran contains violence--clearly it does. But there's something dishonest in the rejection of the Quran for violence while implicitly condoning the violence within the Bible. To do this in their capacity as public servants amounts to an inappropriate bias for one religion over another. To avoid this situation, public officials should either accept similar holy texts out of respect for their constituents, or reject them both."

Link HERE.


Lawmakers refuse copies of Quran

Legislators turn down copies of the Quran

The Evangelical Crackup

The hundred-foot white cross atop the Immanuel Baptist Church in downtown Wichita, Kan., casts a shadow over a neighborhood of payday lenders, pawnbrokers and pornographic video stores. To its parishioners, this has long been the front line of the culture war. Immanuel has stood for Southern Baptist traditionalism for more than half a century. Until recently, its pastor, Terry Fox, was the Jerry Falwell of the Sunflower State -- the public face of the conservative Christian political movement in a place where that made him a very big deal.


Preacher Arrested Wearing Miniskirt

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- A Virginia preacher and radio announcer has pleaded guilty in Johnson City to public indecency and drunken driving charges.


School Silence Law Kicks Up A Big Fuss

Two weeks after a new law mandated a moment of silence in Illinois public schools, the debate is anything but quiet.


Church Sues For Right To Run Charter

A Harlem church is suing the state in an attempt to overturn a law that bars religious organizations from running charter schools even if the schools don't teach religion, a move likely to prompt new debate about the separation between church and state.


Lawmakers Change Church Money Language

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Lawmakers tried Thursday to defuse a lawsuit that blocked state payments to two churches in northwest Louisiana by explaining that the money will be used for tutorial and anti-violence programs, not promotion of religion.


Muslims, Christians Clash In Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt - Muslims and Coptic Christians clashed after Friday prayers over a land dispute, leaving 20 injured, security officials said.


Priest Admits Stealing From Parishes

RICHMOND, Va. -- A retired Roman Catholic priest who prosecutors said stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural parishes pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges.


Friday, October 26, 2007

GOP Lawmaker Wants Capitol Visitors To See 'God'

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has introduced a bill that would place on permanent display the Pledge of Allegiance -- with its mention of "one nation under God" -- and the motto "In God We Trust." The bill also would prohibit the Architect of the Capitol from excluding exhibits and materials that contain "a religious reference or Judeo-Christian content."


Plan To Require Evolution To Be Taught In Schools

LAKELAND -- For the first time, standards in science have been written that would require Florida public-school students be taught about evolution.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

One In Three People Believes In Ghosts

WASHINGTON - It was bad enough when the TV and lights inexplicably flicked on at night, Misty Conrad says. When her daughter began talking to an unseen girl named Nicole and neighbors said children had been murdered in the house, it was time to move.

Put Conrad, a homemaker from Hampton, Va., firmly in the camp of the 34 percent of people who say they believe in ghosts, according to a pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos. That's the same proportion who believe in unidentified flying objects -- exceeding the 19 percent who accept the existence of spells or witchcraft.


Neanderthals Described As Red-Haired

The image of Neanderthals may be in need of a makeover: scientists say at least some of these extinct hominids could have had fair skin and red hair.


Suicide Blast Kills 24 In Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- A suicide attacker targeted a police truck Thursday, killing 24 people -- most of them police -- in the Taliban-dominated area of North West Frontier province, police sources said.


St. Bernard Study Casts Doubt On Creationism

The St Bernard dog - named after the 11th century priest Bernard of Menthon - may have ironically challenged the theory of creationism, say scientists.

Biologists at The University of Manchester say that changes to the shape of the breed's head over the years can only be explained through evolution and natural selection.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Police Seize 'World Jihad' Team

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Six suspected Islamic militants were Wednesday arrested in northern Spain on suspicion of using the Internet to recruit for and plot a 'world jihad,' a Ministry of Interior statement said.


Italy's Padre Pio 'Faked His Stigmata'

Padre Pio, Italy's most-loved saint, faked his stigmata by pouring carbolic acid on his hands, according to a new book.


Student Jailed For Terror Propaganda

A would-be suicide bomber was jailed for eight years yesterday after he was found guilty of a series of Islamist terrorism offences including amassing and distributing terrorist propaganda.


The Rockies Get Off Their Knees

Last year the Rockies went public with the news that the organization was looking for players with "character." And according to team management, "character" means players who have chosen Jesus as their personal Lord and manager. "We're nervous, to be honest with you," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said at the time. "It's the first time we ever talked about these issues publicly. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone because of our beliefs."

Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort took it further, saying, "I think character-wise we're stronger than anyone in baseball. Christians, and what they've endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs, and we're seeing those." The team took some heat for its statements, especially when former players spoke of having their lockers searched for dirty magazines and feeling pressure that you had to be down with the God Squad to feel part of the team. It also raised the question of whether the team was discriminating against non-Christian players--would Jewish icon Shawn Green be welcome? What about just straight-up heathens?


See also:

Rockies Place Their Faith in God, and One Another


Faith binds many on Sox

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One In Five Fans Believes In Jinxes

Poll finds superstitious fans will avoid certain colors, avoid watching TV


Bhutto Receives New Death Threat

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Tuesday she had received a new death threat but will start campaigning in Pakistani cities in the next couple days, avoiding mass rallies.

Five days after the suicide bombing that killed at least 136 at her homecoming procession in Karachi, Bhutto said her lawyer received a letter from an unidentified "friend of al-Qaeda" threatening to slaughter her "like a goat."


Purported New Bin Laden Audio Airs

(CNN) -- Al-Jazeera broadcast Monday an audio message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden calling on al Qaeda and other groups in Iraq to unify their forces and speak with one voice, that of the Islamic nation.


22 Charged Over 'Al Qaeda Network'

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge indicted 22 suspected Islamic terrorists Tuesday, charging them with recruiting and sending fighters to Iraq, including one who killed Italian troops there in a suicide attack in 2003, according to a copy of the indictment viewed by CNN.


Alabama Picks A Bible Textbook

Alabama has became the first state in the union to approve a textbook for a course about the Bible in its public schools, and its surprisingly uncontroversial decision may prove to be a model for others.


Revised Motto Proposal May Fail

It doesn't look like "In God We Trust" posters are going to go up in every Kern High School District classroom -- even if they're accompanied by other historical documents.


Evangelicals Lambaste Homosexual Employment Bill

WASHINGTON -- Prominent US evangelical leaders assailed a bill that would give special rights to homosexuals in the workplace, calling it bad policy and denouncing attempts to tie it with the black civil rights movement.


Religious Leaders Call Holy Land Verdict A Relief

After 14 years of investigation, two months of trial, 19 days of deliberations and four more of waiting, the Holy Land case is essentially back where it started. The judge declared a mistrial on nearly all the charges, and prosecutors can retry everyone.


Muslims' Dowry Not Binding

On Raghad Alwattar's wedding day, her groom gave her a gold bracelet, a ring and a promise of a $25,000 payment.

Less than two years later, the marriage is over, the pair aren't speaking, and a Franklin County judge has refused to enforce the dowry because she considers it a religious agreement.


Catholic Condom Ban Helping AIDS Spread In Latam

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The rapid spread in Latin America of the virus that causes AIDS is made worse by the Roman Catholic Church's stand against using condoms, a U.N. official said on Monday.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crisis At Crisis?

Deal Hudson, who was forced to resign from the Bush administration's Catholic Project and editorship of Crisis magazine in 2004, is now handing out advice to the Christian right from his perch at The Morley Institute for Church and Culture.


Obama's Gospel Tour

Senator Barack Obama's campaign announced its latest effort to attract people of faith to the campaign: a gospel concert tour.


The 'Silence' Mandate: One State Senator Fights Back

"This new requirement of a moment of silence adds another unnecessary item to an already lengthy list of curriculum and other administrative requirements faced by the teachers in District 65. It represents undue interference in the ability of these teachers to manage their own classrooms and has nothing whatsoever to do with improving student performance."


Religious Right Divides Its Vote At Summit

WASHINGTON -- After an earnest appeal for acceptance from Rudolph W. Giuliani, Christian conservatives ended their two-day summit here Saturday still divided about which of the Republican presidential candidates to marshal their collective might behind.


Trees And Lights, No Religion In Seattle Airport

SEATAC, Wash. -- Trees, lights and a fake snowbank will be used in a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport winter display designed to be as nonreligious as possible, officials have decided.


City's Funding Of Prayer Breakfast Questioned

Chandler's $1,000 contribution to "A Morning of Prayer" breakfast Nov. 8 at the Chandler/Gilbert YMCA has some questioning the use of taxpayer money for a religious event - and why the prayers will be delivered only by Christians and Jews.


Group Tries To Rid City-Parish Of Blue Laws

The blue laws - which stem from honoring Christian Sabbath - prohibit grocery and liquor stores from selling packaged liquor and wine on Sundays and do not allow packaged beer to be sold before 12:30 p.m.


University Leader Granted Leave Amid Lawsuit

(CNN) -- Richard Roberts said he will step aside temporarily as president of Oral Roberts University as the school fights a wrongful termination lawsuit by three former professors who accuse Roberts and his wife of misconduct.


Man Wins Right To Have Nativity Scene In Capitol Rotunda

An Olympia man has settled his lawsuit enabling him to place a Christian nativity display in the Capitol Rotunda in December, his lawyers say.


C Of E Child Abuse Was Ignored For Decades

Child abuse has gone unchecked in the Church of England for decades amid a cover up by bishops, secret papers have revealed.


Carnage As Suicide Bombers Attack Bhutto Convoy

More than 120 people were feared dead last night and scores more were injured after suspected suicide bombers targeted a convoy carrying former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto following her return from eight years in exile.


Neanderthals May Have Had Gene For Speech

Neanderthals, an archaic human species that dominated Europe until the arrival of modern humans some 45,000 years ago, possessed a critical gene known to underlie speech, according to DNA evidence retrieved from two individuals excavated from El Sidron, a cave in northern Spain.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bush Family Planning Appointee Called Contraceptives Part Of The 'Culture Of Death'

On Monday, President Bush appointed Susan Orr to oversee federal family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Orr, who is currently directing HHS child welfare programs, was touted by the administration as "highly qualified."

But a look at Orr's record shows that her strongest qualifications appear to be her right-wing credentials and endorsement of the Bush administration's failed abstinence-only policies. Before joining HHS, Orr served as senior director for marriage and family care at the conservative Family Research Council and was an adjunct professor at Pat Robertson's Regent University.


Regent University Student: Pat Robertson Is 'Crazier' Than I Am

Adam Key, a Regent University law student, has been "indefinitely suspended pending a psychiatric evaluation" for posting on his Facebook page an "unflattering photo" of university founder Pat Robertson.


See also:

Regent suspends student pending psychiatric evaluation

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rice Visits Bethlehem

As she emerged from the Church of the Nativity, she proclaimed the visit "personally for me a reminder the Prince of Peace is still with us, and still with me and still with all of us" and made a religious appeal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Naked Chocolate Jesus Rises Again

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A life-size chocolate sculpture of a naked Jesus will finally be displayed in New York starting in late October, seven months after an outcry by Roman Catholics forced a different gallery to cancel its exhibition.


Cherry Creek Schools Illegally Urging Churchgoing

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against Cherry Creek Schools, saying a project aimed at helping students reach their full potential illegally encourages going to church.


Akron Council Drops Lord's Prayer

''We tried to come to a consensus that makes sense,'' he said. ''There's no need for litigation that we know we will lose.''


A Rabbi Who Doesn't Believe In God

Rabbi Sivan Maas said she believes God is a literary character - and nothing more.


$25M Sought From San Diego Catholics

SAN DIEGO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is asking parishioners to donate $25 million to help pay for its $198.1 million settlement with childhood sex abuse victims.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rare Creatures Found In "Coral Triangle"

(AP) Scientists exploring a deep ocean basin in search of species isolated for millions of years found marine life believed to be previously undiscovered, including a tentacled orange worm and an unusual black jellyfish.


Hatred Of U.S. Drives Al-Qaida Recruiting

The Bush administration rejects the idea that the war in Iraq has driven young Arab men into the arms of al-Qaida. But if you believe the young men themselves, the administration is wrong.

At a Baghdad jail for prisoners who have attacked U.S. forces, everyone - to a man - says it was the U.S. occupation of Iraq that drove them to violence. And they are not alone. Across the Middle East and South Asia, the same story can be heard in Internet cafes, mosques, safe houses and prisons.

"The U.S. says this war is part of the global war on terrorism," Saedi Farhan, an Iraqi engineer who took part in an attack on U.S. forces, said in a weekend interview with NBC News. "But people here say that the war has increased fanaticism and brought terrorism to Iraq."


New Dinosaur Species Unearthed

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- The skeleton of what is believed to be a new dinosaur species -- a 105-foot plant-eater that is among the largest dinosaurs ever found -- has been uncovered in Argentina, scientists said Monday.


Action Figures Face Competition

Standing 30cm (1ft) tall and boasting a chest circumference of 20cm (7.75in), the talking plastic Jesus is bigger than a Spiderman action figure. But it remains to be seen whether the toy has the commercial clout to outsell the webslinger.


Is This Pope John Paul II

This fiery figure is being hailed as Pope John Paul II making an appearance beyond the grave.

The image, said by believers to show the Holy Father with his right hand raised in blessing, was spotted during a ceremony in Poland to mark the second anniversary of his death.

Service director Jarek Cielecki, a Polish priest and close friend of John Paul II, travelled to Poland after hearing an onlooker had photographed the image.

Father Cielecki said he was convinced the picture showed the former pontiff.

"You can see the image of a person in the flames and I think it is the servant of God, Pope John Paul II," he said.

The pictures were being broadcast continuously on Italian TV and also posted on religious websites, some of which crashed as thousands logged on to see for themselves the eerie figure formed by the flames.


Pat Robertson Says Dividing Jerusalem Risks God's Wrath

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia: Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Monday that the United States will risk God's wrath if it forces Israel to surrender part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

"He that touches Jerusalem touches the apple of God's eye," Robertson said on "The 700 Club," the daily religious news-and-talk television program he hosts from his Christian Broadcasting Network.

"And if we decide we're going to wrest East Jerusalem away from the Jews and give it over to the Palestinians, we're risking the wrath of God on this nation, and I think it's very dangerous," Robertson said.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Attacks Aimed At Iraqi Shiite Pilgrims Kill At Least 24

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents in Iraq targeted Shiite Muslims on Sunday -- the second day of the Eid al-Fitr festival -- in separate attacks that left at least 24 dead, Iraqi officials said.


Bomb Kills At Least Six At Movie Theater In Northern India

NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- A bomb ripped through a packed movie theater in northern India on Sunday, killing at least six people and wounding at least 30 others, authorities said.


Faith-Based Prison Programs Multiply Across U.S.

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) -- Killer-turned-artist Manny Hernandez on the prison where he's finishing an eight-year term: "It's a blessing to be here."


Probes Find Improper Use Of Religious Comp Time

When Mark Elengold retired as a top government drug regulator in 2005, he received $18,733 in his final paycheck, on top of his normal salary. The money was not a bonus, overtime pay or compensation for unused vacation hours. Rather, it was for time he had reserved to go to synagogue but had not actually used for that purpose during his three-decade career.


State Erected Signs For AIG Museum

Some of you might have seen the big brown signs on local highways that let you know you're nearing the Creation Museum in Boone County, Ky.


Pint-Size Preachers

Samuel is a Baptist preacher at a church in his home town of Brookhaven, a small town in southwestern Mississippi. He also preaches outside in front of the local Wal-Mart, and has preached on the road in Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Washington D.C., and the streets of New York City.


Vatican To Publish New Documents On Trial Of Knights Templar

ROME (AP) -- The Vatican has published secret archive documents about the trial of the Knights Templar, including a long-lost parchment that shows that Pope Clement V initially absolved the medieval Christian order from accusations of heresy, officials said Friday.


Spanish Police Foil Bomb Attack By French Muslim

Spanish police say they have foiled a planned suicide bomb attack by a French Muslim.


Anthropologist Finds Cultural Emphasis On Group Over Individual Might Hinder Democracy

When it comes to establishing democracy, a me-first attitude isn't such a bad thing. In fact, it might be a necessity, according to Northern Illinois University anthropologist Giovanni Bennardo.


Stretching The Search For Signs Of Life

Astronomers in Hat Creek, Calif., are planning today to switch on the first elements of a giant new array of radio telescopes that they say will greatly extend the investigation of natural and unnatural phenomena in the universe.


Vatican Official Insists He's Not Gay

A Vatican official suspended after being caught on hidden camera making advances to a young man said in an interview published Sunday that he is not gay and was only pretending to be gay as part of his work.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Over Air America Radio Freethought Radio Goes National!

"Hello all you godless infidels, out-of-the-closet atheists and happy heathens!"


See and hear:

Federal Fund Provides "Compassion Capital" To Nonprofits For Sixth Year

For the sixth year in a row, the federal government has awarded millions of dollars in grants to increase the capacity of faith-based and community organizations to deliver social services.


Officials Oppose Return Of Nativity

Mayor, majority of City Council say removing display saved taxpayers money.


Ann Coulter Shocks Cable TV Show

Slash-and-burn columnist Ann Coulter shocked a cable TV talk-show audience Monday when she declared that Jews need to be "perfected" by becoming Christians, and that America would be better off if everyone were Christian.


Anti-Gay Movement

Russian-speaking Christian fundamentalists, mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, have formed a ferocious anti-gay movement in the western U.S.


Christian Clown In Perv Bust

An Illinois man who worked as a "Christian clown" named Klutzo was arrested yesterday on child pornography charges for allegedly taking naked photographs of young boys at a Philippines orphanage. According to a federal criminal complaint, Amon Paul Carlock took the illicit photos during a "clowning" trip to the House of Joy orphanage earlier this year.


The Rise Of Mosques Becomes Catalyst For Conflict

From London's docklands to the rolling hills of Tuscany, from southern Austria to Amsterdam and Cologne, the issue of Islamic architecture and its impact on citadels of "western civilisation" is increasingly contentious.


Islamists Damage Giant Rock Buddha

Islamist radicals in Pakistan have attempted to destroy an ancient carving of Buddha by drilling holes in the rock and filling them with dynamite.


Jihad Camps Were Preparation For Murder, Court Told

An alleged organiser of military-style training camps in Britain for jihadis urged his followers to carry out murderous atrocities and "see how many you can take at the same time", Woolwich crown court was told yesterday.


See also:

Suspect 'dubbed himself Osama bin London'

Maid Arrested After Saudi Employer 'Bewitched'

RIYADH (AFP) -- Saudi Arabia's religious police have arrested a domestic worker accused of having put a spell on her employer, the Al-Madina newspaper reported on Sunday.


Anti-Religion Book A Nominee For National Book Award

Provocative author Christopher Hitchens has been nominated for a U.S. National Book Award for his bestselling work, God is Not Great.


Father Christian, The Priest Who Did The Devil's Work

Christian Von Wernich's story is one of the darkest chapters of the 'Dirty War'. He was the priest who heard the confessions of political prisoners, passed them on to the police, and then stood by as the detainees were tortured. David Usborne reports on the day justice was done.


Politics And Religion Lose Out To A Soap Opera

RAMALLAH, West Bank: With its tales of brave men and dutiful women in a simpler, long-vanished Middle East, a Syrian soap opera has become the latest rage in the Arab world during the holy month of Ramadan.


Priest For Trial On 23 Sex Charges

A ROMAN Catholic priest has been ordered to stand trial in Sydney on 23 sex charges involving teenage boys.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FreeThoughtAction Hero Of The Day - 10/10/07

Julia Sweeney (born October 10, 1959 in Spokane, Washington)

According to Wikipedia, Sweeney "is an American actress and comedian who lives in Hollywood, California....

"Sweeney is an atheist, something she brought to light in a one-woman show entitled Letting Go of God. In it, she discusses her Catholic upbringing, early religious ideology, and the life events and internal search that led her to believe that the universe can function on its own without a deity to preside over it....

"In 2006, Sweeney was awarded the Richard Dawkins Award and the American Humanist Association's 'Humanist Pioneer' award, and joined the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America. She also does commercials for the Freedom From Religion Foundation on Air America Radio."

Religious Extremists Killing Women In Basra, Iraq

Basra, Iraq - Women in Basra have become the targets of a violent campaign by religious extremists, who leave more than 15 female bodies scattered around the city each month, police officers say.


Telescope Detects Space Dust

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Astronomers have taken a baby step in trying to answer the cosmic question of where we come from.


Al Qaeda Trying To Boost Efforts In U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda remains the "most serious and dangerous" terrorism threat and is expected to intensify attempts to place agents inside the United States, a White House report said on Tuesday.


Christians United For Israel (CUFI)

John Hagee, along with other Christian Evangelical leaders, created Christians United for Israel (CUFI) less than two years ago, yet it has already grown into one of the largest and most politically influential Christian grassroots organizations in the country.


Pakistani Soldiers Killed As Militants Grow Bolder

Dozens of Pakistani soldiers have been killed in clashes with Islamic militants in the mountainous region along the border with Afghanistan.


Somali Sheikh Wants Jihad

A key Somali Islamist leader on Tuesday called for jihad, or holy war, vowing that a bloody insurgency against the Ethiopian-backed government in Mogadishu would end only with the return of Islamic law.


Number Of Radical Dutch Muslims Growing

Amsterdam -- The Dutch intelligence and security service AIVD published a report on Tuesday indicating the number of radical Dutch Muslims is on the rise.


Argentina 'Dirty War' Priest Jailed

The first Roman Catholic priest charged for crimes committed under Argentina's past military government has been sentenced to life in prison.


Bible Belt College Head Faces 'Luxury Life' Claim

The president of a Bible Belt university faces a string of allegations by former staff who claim that he and his family have squandered funds on a lavish lifestyle.


Monk Who Abused Boys Loses Court Appeal

A FORMER monk jailed for abusing boys at a residential school for troubled youngsters in the 1960s yesterday lost his bid to have his conviction overturned.


Catholic Priest Accused Of Abusing Teen Boys

A Catholic priest sexually abused a number of teenagers at a boy's home in southern Sydney in the late 1980s, a court has been told.


Migrations Influenced Immune Evolution

Human innate immunity differs between Africans and others, perhaps due to different infectious environments.


How Baboons Think (Yes, Think)

Although the baboon and human lines of descent split apart some 30 million years ago, the species have much in common. Both are primates whose ancestors came down from the trees and learned to survive on the ground in large social groups. The baboon mind may therefore shed considerable light on the early stages of the evolution of the human mind.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

FreeThoughtAction Hero Of The Day - 10/09/07


John Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980)

According to Wikipeida, Lennon "was an English songwriter, singer, musician, graphic artist, author and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founders of The Beatles. Lennon and Paul McCartney formed a critically acclaimed and commercially successful partnership writing songs for The Beatles and other artists.

"In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Lennon number 38 on their list of 'The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time' and ranked The Beatles at number 1."

Also in 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Lennon's song "Imagine" the third greatest song of all time.


Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one


Report: Pentagon Facilitating Christian Evangelism

The Defense Department (DOD) allegedly provided two fundamentalist Christian organizations exclusive access to several military bases around the country. This access became official sanction for these groups to proselytize amid the ranks, despite the fact that such activities were in violation of federal law. The evangelical Christian groups have posted detailed instruction guides on their web site that advises its members about tactics to use to win over soldiers, or 'pre-Christians,' to evangelical Christianity when visiting military installations around the country.


Two Car Bombs Kill 14 In North Iraqi Town

BAGHDAD -- Two car bombs killed 14 people and wounded 30 in the northern Iraqi town of Baiji on Tuesday, police said, marking an increase in attacks as the holy Muslim month of Ramadan draws to an end.



Dozens dead along Pakistan border

Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except In A Popular Video Game At Church

Across the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Religiosity Related To Economic Development: Study

NEW DELHI: Is there a strong connection between the religiosity of a country and its level of development? The latest Pew Global Attitudes study seems to suggest there is one. It reveals there is a connection between how religious a country is and its economic status.

For example, in the poorer nations of Africa and Asia, religion remains central to the lives of the people while secular perspectives are more common in richer nations of Europe. This pattern is consistent across most regions and countries.


Support For Secularism Declines In Turkey, Rises In Pakistan

According to a recent PEW Global Attitudes survey, support for secularism in Turkey has dropped over the past five years.


Insurgents Step Up Fight

Gun battles raged in Pakistan's tribal belt yesterday as the political system was thrust into limbo after President Pervez Musharraf's controversial election victory on Saturday.


War On Terror Has Been A 'Disaster'

The report claims the present fight against international terrorism has failed and has instead played into the hands of al Qaida.


Turkish Hackers Target Swedish Web Sites

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Hackers in Turkey have attacked more than 5,000 Swedish Web sites in the past week, and at least some of the sabotage appears linked to Muslim anger over a Swedish newspaper drawing that depicted the Prophet Muhammad's head on a dog's body.


The Shock Film That All Pakistan Wants To See

Hit movies in Pakistan follow the tried and tested Bollywood recipe of glittering saris, extravagant song-and-dance routines and exotic locations, but a new film has broken the mould. Director Shoaib Mansoor has replaced the typical love stories with warring families, in a harrowing tale of terrorism, racism and the battle for Islam that has proved so controversial there were fears suicide bombers would attack the premiere.


Gaza's Christian Bookseller Killed

The manager of Gaza's only Christian bookshop, who was abducted on Saturday by suspected Muslim extremists, was found dead yesterday. Medical officials said Rami Ayyad, 31, had been shot and stabbed. He was the father of two small children and his wife is pregnant with their third.


'Depleted' Taliban Steps Up Suicide Bombings

Newly published United Nations figures show that 103 suicide bombings were carried out in Afghanistan in the first eight months of this year -- a 69 per cent increase over the same period last year. Six attacks in the past seven days across the country, including three in the capital, Kabul, led to 46 deaths. The latest casualty was an American aid worker who died at the weekend in Ghazni.


Muslim Medical Students Get Picky

Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.


Book Says Bush Just Using Christians

More than five years after President Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the former second-in-command of that office is going public with an insider's tell-all account that portrays an office used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities.


Again! 10 Christians Slaughtered Over Alleged Muhammad cartoon

Rampaging Muslims have killed 10 Christians, injured 61 others, destroyed nine churches and displaced more than 500 people in northern Nigeria, according to eyewitnesses -- all because Muslim high school students claimed a Christian student had drawn a cartoon of Islam's prophet, Muhammad, on the wall of the school's mosque.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

FreeThoughtAction Hero Of The Day - 10/07/07

Sir Harold Walter Kroto (born October 7, 1939)

According to Wikipedia, Kroto "is an English chemist and one of the winners of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry....

"He now claims to have four 'religions': humanism, atheism, amnesty-internationalism and humourism."

Also born today was Charles Bradley Templeton (October 7, 1915 - June 7, 2001).

According to Wikipedia, Templeton "was successively a Canadian cartoonist, evangelist, agnostic, politician, newspaper editor, broadcaster and author....

"In 1957, after a long struggle with doubt, Templeton declared himself an agnostic. His public pronouncement of his loss of faith caused a deep backlash from the evangelical community."

Purpose Of Appendix Believed Found

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.


Minister Charged In Wedding Gift Theft

A minister working the wedding of a Portland, Oregon couple was arrested Tuesday for stealing thousands of dollars in wedding gifts.


For A Trusty Voting Bloc, A Faith Shaken

Scholars who study the role of religion in politics now say it is possible that the Bush years were an anomaly and that evangelicals, of whom religious conservatives are only a subset, could find themselves back where they were before -- divided among themselves and just one of many interest groups vying for attention.


The Positive Side Of Atheism

Freedom to decide for oneself and keeping church and state separate are democratic values.


Dentist Guilty On Federal Tax Counts

A Slidell dentist who claimed to be an "ambassador of heaven" with diplomatic immunity from paying taxes was found guilty this week on three counts of failure to file income tax returns.


New Radio Show Targets Nonreligious Audience

The first national broadcast of a Freethought Radio program will be aired over Air America Radio out of Madison, Wis., with such guests as Christopher Hitchens, author of the best-selling book "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."


Be Good Now, Or Else

Neuroscientists have taken a step closer to a physiological explanation of why some people work and play well with others. Two areas in the brain appear to have key roles in how people conform with social norms. These parts of the brain mature slowly, which may help explain why adolescents are less easily cowed by the threat of punishment than are adults.


A Nation Of Christians Is Not A Christian Nation

John McCain was not on the campus of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last year for very long - the senator, who once referred to Mr. Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance," was there to receive an honorary degree - but he seems to have picked up some theology along with his academic hood. In an interview with last weekend, Mr. McCain repeated what is an article of faith among many American evangelicals: "the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."


Saturday, October 06, 2007

A New Generation Expresses Its Skepticism And Frustration With Christianity

(Ventura, CA) - As the nation's culture changes in diverse ways, one of the most significant shifts is the declining reputation of Christianity, especially among young Americans. A new study by The Barna Group conducted among 16- to 29-year-olds shows that a new generation is more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago.


Woman Claims She Was Sexually Assaulted By Devil

DETROIT -- The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to review a sex assault case involving allegations against a local pastor, and the devil.

The case surrounded Gennaro Piscopo, the 55-year-old pastor of Evangel Christian Church in Roseville.

In 2003, Piscopo was convicted of sexually assaulting a female church member during a deliverance ceremony in which Piscopo said he expelled the devil from the woman's body.

Michigan's high court has agreed to hear the case because a key piece of testimony, about the devil, was not allowed. According to court records, the woman indicated she "had been raped by a demon" and sexually assaulted by Satan himself, who she claimed was living in her attic at the time of the exorcism.


Lawmaker Protests Censorship Of 'God'

WASHINGTON - An Ohio lawmaker on Thursday demanded that Capitol officials change a policy that resulted in the word "God" being removed from a certificate accompanying a flag being sent to one of his constituents.


I Am Creating Artificial Life, Declares US Gene Pioneer

Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Are US Troops Being Force-Fed Christianity?

"There's an eschatologically obsessed version of Christianity that ... is trying to make American foreign and domestic policy conterminous with their biblical worldview," Weinstein charges. And "there's improper pressure within the military command structure to make members join them."


New Survey In Early GOP Primary States

A new survey of the five states that will hold caucuses or primaries prior to February's "Tsunami Tuesday" indicates that the so-called "religious right" is a shrinking force among Republicans who say they will vote in their states' presidential primaries.


'Flying Spaghetti Monster' Religious Group Turning Heads At MSU

The national "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" has a local chapter at MSU, and it's sending a strong message to students on campus.

It's the second-largest religious group on Missouri State's campus, with more than 200 members, including MSU staff.


Teachers 'Fear Evolution Lessons'

The teaching of evolution is becoming increasingly difficult in UK schools because of the rise of creationism, a leading scientist is warning.


Scandal Brewing At Oral Roberts U.

[President] Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."


Thursday, October 04, 2007

FreeThoughtAction Hero Of The Day - 10/04/07

Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg

According to Wikipedia, Ginzburg "is a Russian (formerly Soviet) theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the successor to Igor Tamm as head of the Department of Theoretical Physics of Academy's physics institute (FIAN), and an outspoken atheist.

"Among his achievements are a partially phenomenological theory of superconductivity (Ginzburg-Landau theory), developed with Landau in 1950, the theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in plasmas such as the ionosphere, and a theory of the origin of cosmic radiation."

The Religious Right's New Tactics For Invading Public Schools

As the school year gets under way, public schools around the nation are under siege from Religious Right pressure groups determined to turn them into instruments of evangelism.


Planned Parenthood Clinic Opens Peacefully

AURORA -- After weeks of controversy and legal wrangling, Planned Parenthood's new health center on East New York Street opened peacefully Tuesday morning.


Christians For Israel

Bill Moyers Journal reports on the politically powerful group Christians United for Israel, whose leader, Pastor John Hagee, advocates for a preemptive strike against Iran.

Airdate: Friday, October 5, 2007, at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS.

(Check local listings at

Researchers Devise Way To Calculate Rates Of Evolution

"Survival of the fittest" has popularly described evolution for more than a century, but a new study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters provides further evidence that random genetic mutations over millions of years may also play a powerful role.


Are Mega-Preachers Scandal-Prone?

Some suggest that the risk of high-profile meltdowns may be in the very nature of Pentecostal leadership roles.


Dobson To GOP: I'm Not Bluffing

After attendees to the Council for National Policy's meeting dished about their willingness to abandon the GOP if Rudy Giuliani gets the Republican presidential nomination, there was some talk that the religious right leaders were bluffing. There's simply no way, the theory goes, that these far-right leaders would help elect a Democrat by withholding support from the GOP nominee.


See also:

The Values Test

Convent Closed After Nuns In Fist-Fight

A CONVENT in southern Italy is being shut down after a quarrel among its last three remaining nuns ended in blows.


Watchdog Group Calls On School District Over Faith-based Event

The Kimberly School District continues to take heat for its decision to host a faith-based event.


Atheists Arise

Dawkins spreads the A-word among America's unbelievers.


Folsom Street "Last Supper Ad" Sparks Controversy

SAN FRANCISCO -- An advertisement for San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair featuring a leather-clad twist on Da Vinci's Last Supper sparked a national controversy Friday with a major Catholic group calling for a national boycott of one of the event's sponsors and House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi defending its use.


Christianity's Image Problem

Not only has the decline in non-Christians' regard for Christianity been severe, but Barna results also show a rapid increase in the number of people describing themselves as non-Christian. One reason may be that the study used a stricter definition of "Christian" that applied to only 73% of Americans. Still, Kinnaman claims that however defined, the number of non-Christians is growing with each succeeding generation: His study found that 23% of Americans over 61 were non-Christians; 27% among people ages 42-60; and 40% among 16-29 year olds. Younger Christians, he concludes, are therefore likely to live in an environment where two out of every five of their peers is not a Christian.


Inmate Loses Bid To Build Fire In Pit

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A federal appeals court has rejected an Alabama inmate's bid to build a fire in a pit at a state prison as part of his religious worship. Tony Lee Smith, 38, wanted to build a fire at St. Clair Correctional Facility to practice an ancient polytheistic Nordic religion called Odinism, according to his lawsuit.


Sam Harris: We Should Not Call Ourselves Atheists

"I'd like to try to make the case that our use of this label is a mistake -- and a mistake of some consequence," Harris said Friday night, Sept. 28 to a crowd of more than 300 at the Atheist Alliance International conference in Washington D.C.


See also:

Ellen Johnson Responds to "The End of Atheism"

Brad Rejects Religion

In a telling interview with US magazine Parade, Brad Pitt reveals how he has rejected his Southern Baptist roots, after becoming disillusioned with the values of the church.


Bishop Would Deny Communion To Giuliani

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke, who made headlines last presidential season by saying he'd refuse Holy Communion to John Kerry, has his eye on Rudy Giuliani this year. Giuliani's response: "Archbishops have a right to their opinion."


Militants Kill 3 Pakistani Soldiers

Some 260 soldiers were seized Aug. 30 in South Waziristan, a tribal region near Afghanistan where Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are believed to be hiding. Fighting between the militants and security forces there has since left scores of people dead.


Violence In Afghanistan Has Soared By 30%

Analysts say the Taliban have a two-pronged strategy: to re-establish their authority over the southern provinces around their former headquarters in Kandahar and to destabilise a ring of provinces around Kabul.


Terror Defendant Talks Of 'Islamic Army'

MIAMI -- The leader of a group accused of plotting terrorist attacks in the U.S. said on an FBI videotape played at trial Wednesday that he sought to raise an "Islamic army" to fight a guerrilla war.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

AAI Convention

Dawkins I'm just now catching up from my trip to the AAI Convention in DC.

I took several pictures at the event, but none of them came out very well. I've got a cheap camera and I was having trouble with the lighting inside. I found that using a flash in a large room tends to highlight the people closest and make the rest of the room look too dark. When I turned the flash off, I got a brighter picture, but because the shutter had to stay open longer, those pictures turned out a little blurry.

It was an interesting event.... I was able to briefly speak with Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris (but not Hitchens). I spoke with Margaret Downey (the president of AAI) a few times very briefly (she was very busy with the convention but very nice), twice briefly with Julia Sweeney, and had a good conversation with Brights founder Paul Geisert about whether or not some people are hard-wired to believe.

I met Lori Lipman Brown (the lobbyist for the Secular Coalition of America) and spoke with the President of the American Humanists, Mel Lipman, and their Executive Director, Roy Speckhardt. I also spoke with Ellen Johnson (the president of American Atheists), had several conversations with Gary (the owner of EvolveFISH), and had a beer with "Pastor Deacon Fred" of Landover Baptist Church (the parody pastor and church) as well as some members of the Rational Response Squad.

I also talked to people from England, Holland, Canada, Australia, and all across the US. It was encouraging how many people came and how far some of them traveled to be there. There were over 500 people at the convention with over 600 on a waiting list. The AAI people were fairly overwhelmed with the response and would have gotten a larger place if they had anticipated it was going to be this big (Margaret Downey said it was over twice the size of last year's convention). There was also some media coverage from ABC and CBS, who were doing interviews.

Here is a shot of the fund-raiser Thursday night:

Fund-Raiser Event

Dawkins [center] at the fund-raiser:


The crowd gathered in the main ballroom Friday to hear Dawkins and Harris:


Dawkins' presentation:



Sam Harris challenged the audience with some comments about the problem with using "atheist" as a self-identifying term.

See an edited transcript HERE.

Pastor Deacon Fred

Pastor Deacon Fred struggles with the demon alcohol...

Dawkins about to present Dennett with the Dawkins Award at the Awards Banquet Saturday night (transcript HERE):

Awards Banquet

Nicaragua's Abortion Ban Killing Women

Managua - An outright ban on abortion in Nicaragua has caused the deaths of at least 80 women since it was imposed 11 months ago, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.


Under the law, pushed by the previous conservative government and Nicaragua's powerful Roman Catholic Church, women who abort or doctors who help them risk three years or more in prison.


Sinking In A Swamp Full Of Blackwater

Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex.


Hirsi Ali Returns To The Netherlands After Losing Body Guards

Former Dutch legislator and Islam critic Hirsi Ali has been under state-funded protection since extremists began threatening her life in 2004. Now the Dutch government has said it won't pay for her protection if she continues to live and work in the United States.


Patriarch Alexy Of Russia Assails Gays

Russia's senior religious leader assailed homosexuality as a sin and an illness Tuesday and urged Europe to rediscover its Christian values.


Talk Show Comments Anger Muslims

The Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ohio chapter Tuesday called for WLW-AM to reprimand talk show host Bill Cunningham for anti-Islamic remarks he made on the air Monday.


Nine Christians Killed Following Accusations Of Blasphemy

Over the weekend at least nine Christians were killed, churches were set on fire and businesses and homes destroyed in the Tundun Wada area of Kano State, Nigeria.


Death To The Unchaste

Europe's Muslim women -- and the men who murder them. Two Islam-themed plays at St. Ann's Warehouse.


McCain Under Fire For Presidential Faith Opinion

Jewish groups take issue with Republican candidate's remarks on religion.


Sex Abuse By Nuns

In Portland, Oregon, there are six new lawsuits against the Catholic Church. Two are in relation to accusations made against nuns.


Asteroid Renamed For 'Star Trek' Actor

NEW YORK (AP) -- A piece of outer space named for George Takei is in kind of a rough neighborhood for somebody who steers a starship: an asteroid belt.


Religious Related Violence 10/03/07

Some of the religious-related violence stories today:

5 Iraqis killed in violence

Polish ambassador to Iraq wounded in convoy strike in Baghdad; 3 dead

Israeli forces kill armed Palestinian in Gaza


Money, Guns, & God

Inside the apocalyptic -- and profitable -- gun empire of Justin Moon, the C.E.O. who may someday lead the Unification Church.


The Religious Right's Political Power Ebbs

Today, their nearly three-decade-long ascendance in the Republican Party is over. Their loyalties and priorities are in flux, the organizations that gave them political muscle are in disarray, the high-profile preachers who led them to influence through the 1980s and 1990s are being replaced by a new generation that's less interested in their agenda and their hold on politics and the 2008 Republican presidential nomination is in doubt.


See also:

Giuliani may generate conservative third-party campaign

Giuliani Cites Bible On Personal Life

Giuliani Compares Scrutiny of His Family to New Testament Story About Adulterous Woman.


McCain: No Muslim President

GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn't want a Muslim in the Oval Office.


See also:

McCain: Constitution establishes a 'Christian nation'

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

High Court Says No To New Rights For Church Groups

Justices rebuff a quest for services in a library, along with a Catholic group's effort to avoid paying for employees' birth control.


Justices Turn Away Challenge To Ala. Sex-Toy Ban

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear a challenge to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys, ending a 9-year legal battle and prompting a warning to store owners to be prepared to clean off their shelves.


St. Brendan Disavows Virgin Mary Apparition

It has definitively been demonstrated that the images seen on the altar cloth in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Saint Brendan Parish were shadows naturally caused by the sanctuary lamp (a burning candle in the chapel to indicate the presence of the Holy Eucharist). The images were not miraculous.


Saudi Divorces Wife For Watching Male TV Host

RIYADH (AFP) - A Saudi man divorced his wife for watching alone a television programme presented by a male, an act he deemed immoral, the Al Shams newspaper reported on Saturday.


Six Arkansas Nuns Excommunicated For Heresy

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) -- Six Catholic nuns have been excommunicated for heresy after refusing to give up membership in a Canadian sect whose founder claims to be possessed by the Virgin Mary, the Diocese of Little Rock announced.


Pace Repeats Views On Gays

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he repeated his view that gay sex is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.


Polygamist Leader In Utah Convicted

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Jurors rejected a defense attorney's argument that the prosecution of a polygamous sect leader was religious persecution, convicting him as an accomplice to rape for forcing a 14-year-old follower to marry her 19-year-old cousin.


Lawyer Admits Destroying Church Porn Evidence

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A lawyer admitted Thursday that he destroyed a computer containing child pornography that was evidence in an investigation at a prominent church.


Bluetooth Hit By Islamic Edict

Riyadh (AKI) -- Saudi Arabia's top Muslim body has issued a fatwa or religious edict banning the use of wireless Bluetooth technology for sending photographs, video and audio on cellular telephones.


Boulder High Students Walk Out During Pledge

BOULDER, Colo. -- About 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class Thursday to protest the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their own version, omitting "one nation, under God."


Indiana Takes Chaplain Off Payroll

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 -- Indiana has ended a program that put a chaplain position on the payroll of the state's Family and Social Services Administration.


Atheists Still More Hated

Americans dislike Islam somewhat more than Mormonism, and they think Mormonism is a pretty weird religion (and on the whole, barely Christian). And of course atheists are the gold-standard in terms of being disliked.


Resurgent Al-Qaida Plotting Attacks On West

Violence flares in Waziristan as President Musharraf battles to retain power.


HIV-Infected Condoms Sent To Kill Africans, Claims Archbishop

Mozambique's Roman Catholic archbishop has accused European condom manufacturers of deliberately infecting their products with HIV "in order to finish quickly the African people".


Egypt Jails Two Christian Activists

Cairo -- An Egyptian court has extended the jail term of two Christian human right activists who were arrested and imprisoned on charges of defamimg Islam last month, a member of a Christian group said on Wednesday.


Religious Related Violence 10/02/07

Some of the religious-related violence stories in the last 6 of days:

12 dead in Gaza attacks

2 Danish soldiers killed, 1 wounded in southern Afghanistan

Spate of fighting between coalition, insurgents leave scores dead in Afghanistan's south


Kabul suicide bomber targets army bus

13 dead in Gaza attacks

Humanitarian worker killed in Basra earlier this week


More than 290 bodies found so far this month in Baghdad

2 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

At least 5 killed in violence across Iraq

Army bus bombing kills 27, hurts 29 in Kabul


2-day body count in Baghdad hits 20

At least 10 casualties in Kabul bus bombing

Suicide car bomber kills university professor, wounds students near Mosul

5 wounded in two Baghdad bombings

More than 20 militants killed in southern Afghanistan fighting

Suicide bombing kills 10 in Pakistan

Coalition soldier killed in Afghan combat