What Leviticus Bans

Christian bigots love to quote Leviticus 20:13, which says that gay men should be put to death (but not gay women, of course), but rarely do they cite the enormous list of other things that Leviticus makes illegal and sometimes punishable by death. Here’s a list of 76 things banned in that book of the Bible. If you have any poly-cotton shirts, you might want to take notice.

MO to Vote On ‘Right to Pray’ Amendment

An amendment to the state constitution of Missouri that purports to support a “right to pray” in that state will be on the ballot in August, when the state holds their presidential primary. That amendment would almost certainly pass anyway, but the fact that it’s happening on a day when Republicans have far more reason to vote makes it all but impossible to stop.
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Mormons Believe Constitution Comes From Jesus

Andrew Sullivan points to a very interesting statement from Ezra Taft Benson when he was president of the Mormon church, which makes it official church doctrine. I often joke about the Christian nation crowd believing that the Constitution was delivered to George Washington by Jesus himself while Washington was praying at Mt. Sinai, but it turns out the Mormons actually believe something very close to that:
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Obama Wants to Extend Bill He Promised to Filibuster

This will come as a shock to no one who has been paying attention. Glenn Greenwald reports that the Obama administration is seeking quick and uncontroversial passage of a bill extending the FISA amendments passed in 2008, a bill he originally promised to filibuster and then dutifully voted for.
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Indian Skeptic to Challenge Blasphemy Law

I reported a few weeks ago about Sanal Edamaruku, head of Rationalist International, who is being charged with blasphemy for debunking a Catholic “miracle” — a statue of Jesus with water leaking from its feet. He faces up to three years in prison, but is preparing to challenge the validity of that law in the courts.
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How Citizen Review Boards Get Undermined

Many big city police departments have civilian review boards to look at accusations of police brutality and misconduct, with varying degrees of authority and effectiveness. They are often established in response to high-profile cases as a means of assuaging public concerns. But once they’re created, they are often undermined by a lack of authority and many other problems. The Atlanta Journal Constitution details how this has happened to the board in that city, formed in response to the Kathryn Johnston case in 2006:
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Jackson Delivers Weird, Bigoted Screed

The Family Research Council’s annual Watchmen on the Wall conference was a cavalcade of crazy bigotry. Bishop Harry Jackson, one of the most vitriolic and bigoted voices in the black clergy, delivered this incoherent screed about Obama’s announcement of support for marriage equality and how it dishonored black clergy.
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Why Would Anyone Think This is Appropriate?

There’s been a lot of talk in the atheist/skeptical community lately about the need for harassment policies at conferences, led by some of the bloggers here at FTB. And then this happens and just leaves my jaw on the floor wondering what planet these people are from. Elyse at SkepChick tells the appalling story:
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How To Attract Attention from DHS

The vast network of agencies that collectively form what Glenn Greenwald calls the National Surveillance State, in its Big Brother wisdom, has come up with a list of keywords that they look for while monitoring postings on social media sites. The list is broad enough to make virtually everyone trigger a hit at some point.
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