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September 15, 2012

How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions

Rev. Emily C. Heath: How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions
1. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing. B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing. 2. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage. B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse. 3. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am being forced to use birth control. B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control. 4. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to pray privately. B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly. 5. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse. B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity. 6. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material. B) Others are allowed to have access books, movies and websites that I do not like. 7. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause. B) My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like. 8. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country. B) My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country. 9. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community. B) A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community. 10. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home. B) Public school science classes are teaching science.

September 14, 2012

Here's an interactive map of Muslim protests around the world

Spoiler: There are a LOT of them. A Map of Muslim Protests Around the World - Global - The Atlantic Wire

September 13, 2012

FBI identifies the maker of the anti-Muslim film

He is likely a Chaldean immigrant living in Los Angeles who clearly has a big grudge against Islam. APNewsBreak: US identifies anti-Muslim filmmaker - A&E - Boston.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities have identified a Coptic Christian in southern California who is on probation after his conviction for financial crimes as the key figure behind the anti-Muslim film that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the Mideast, a U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday. The official said authorities had concluded that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was behind ‘‘Innocence of Muslims,’’ a film that denigrated Islam and the prophet Muhammad and sparked protests earlier this week in Egypt, Libya and most recently in Yemen. It was not immediately clear whether Nakoula was the target of a criminal investigation or part of the broader investigation into the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya during a terrorist attack. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed Thursday that Justice Department officials were investigating the deaths, which occurred during an attack on the American mission in Benghazi. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Nakoula was connected to the persona of Sam Bacile, a man who initially told the AP he was the film’s writer and director. But Bacile turned out to be a false identity, and the AP traced a cellphone number Bacile used to a southern California house where it located and interviewed Nakoula. Bacile initially told AP he was Jewish and Israeli, although Israeli officials said they had no records of such a citizen. Others involved in the film said his statements were contrived, as evidence mounted that the film’s key player was a Coptic Christian with a checkered past. . . . Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers; then, checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines. It was ‘‘basically a check-kiting scheme,’’ the prosecutor told the AP. ‘‘You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money.’’ . . .