The First Amendment does not mean what these people think it means

Ok folks, let’s get one thing clear. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech does not mean that you can say anything to anyone at any time in any place in any capacity. That this need to be clarified at all is astounding but clearly some people just do not get it, as when a state trooper Brian Hamilton started questioning Ellen Bogan after he pulled her over.
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A common journey to unbelief

I was interested in this story about Bart Campolo, the son of Tony Campolo. The father is described as an “influential evangelical leader and author who is famous for having been a spiritual adviser to former President Bill Clinton” but the son now says that he is an agnostic humanist. I suspect that Bart’s deconversion story is mirrored in many people who were once believers, even devout ones, but then lost the faith.
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Stunning animals does not affect blood loss

Many countries adopt the policy of stunning cattle before killing them as it is supposedly more humane. But Muslims and Jews have religious prohibitions against consuming the blood of animals and so they oppose stunning and instead require that in order for the food to be certified as kosher or halal, that the animals must not be stunned and their blood must run freely when killed, presumable to drain the meat of all blood.
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Must have been a really slow news day

Astrology is taken very seriously in Sri Lanka with many people, including politicians and businesspeople, not taking major decisions without first getting advice from astrologers as to what the decision should be and the proper time to take action. When my daughter was born in the US, we refused to tell people back in Sri Lanka what time she was born in order to thwart some relatives there who asked for that information because we knew that they would use to create a horoscope for her and we did not want her to be saddled with this nonsense.
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The strange opposition by some to the Sunday Assembly movement

I read through the first couple hundred of the nearly 500 comments on the Guardian website responding to the video of the Cleveland Sunday Assembly, part of the big worldwide rollout of such assemblies around the globe last Sunday that more than doubled the existing number. I was surprised at the number of commenters who were outright hostile to the idea. These were people who said they were nonbelievers themselves but felt this was the wrong thing to do.
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Reflections on the Cleveland Sunday Assembly

Yesterday saw the kickoff around the globe of 35 new Sunday Assembly programs to add to the 28 existing ones and I attended the Cleveland one. The event was a lot of fun. Special credit must go to organizers Layla Nelson and Eric Tawney who rounded up an impressive array of volunteers to put together the whole thing and did an excellent job. There must have been close to 100 people present. They had a nice array of refreshments for people to help themselves before, during, and after the event, and when it was finally over about 40 people went to an adjacent Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had an enjoyable conversation with people and an enlightening discussion with a philosophy teacher whom I happened to sit next to.
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Harry Potter, Christian warrior

The Harry Potter series of books captivated many people young and old, but especially the young. As I discussed back in 2005, the students at Hogwarts seemed to be well and truly heathens because the books had zero references to god and religion, with only a passing reference to Christmas (a pagan holiday anyway) and the name of a Christmas carol, while filled with stories of sorcery and witches and wizards and spells.
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