Malaysia sentences five men to jail, caning and fines for gay sex
Nov 8, 2019

By Rozanna Latiff A Malaysian religious court sentenced five men on Thursday to jail, caning and fines for attempting gay sex, media and a rights group said. Sodomy and same-sex acts are illegal under Islamic law in Muslim-majority Malaysia, although convictions are rare. The Selangor Shariah High Court, on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, …

How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups
Nov 7, 2019

By Yeganeh Torbati Last November, a top Trump appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development wrote a candid email to colleagues about pressure from the White House to reroute Middle East aid to religious minorities, particularly Christian groups. “Sometimes this decision will be made for us by the White House (see… Iraq! And, increasingly, …

Atheist Wins Re-Election to New Jersey General Assembly (Again)
Nov 6, 2019

By Hemant Mehta Andrew Zwicker is exactly the kind of person you wish were in elected office but almost never is. He’s not only a physicist, he’s the Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Unlike the Republicans who treat science as a four-letter word, Zwicker, a Democrat, is a proud advocate of the STEM fields. In …

The Supreme Court’s Facilitation of White Christian Nationalism
Nov 6, 2019

By Caroline Mala Corbin Doug Jager, a band student of Native American ancestry, complained about the Christian prayers at his Georgia public school’s football games. Rather than address his concerns, the school lectured him on Christianity and proposed an alternative that appeared neutral yet would have still resulted in Christian prayers. In striking down the …

Kentucky GOP Governor Matt Bevin, a Christian Nationalist, Loses Re-election Bid
Nov 6, 2019

By Hemant Mehta After four years in power, Matt Bevin, the governor of Kentucky who never missed an opportunity to promote conservative Christianity while on the clock, has been defeated. A Republican with Donald Trump‘s full endorsement just lost the state of Kentucky. Over the years, Bevin has been one disaster after another on matters of church/state separation …

GOP Candidate for Virginia Senate: The Ten Commandments Will Stop Gun Violence
Nov 5, 2019

By Hemant Mehta One of the many races in Virginia’s elections today is a State Senate race between Democrat Janet Howell, a longtime incumbent who’s held the seat since 1991, and Republican challenger Arthur Purves. Local news site Arlington Now recently asked both candidates to submit a 750-word explanation of why Virginians should vote for them. Howell didn’t respond. …

Trump White House Cranks Religion to 11 As Impeachment Looms
Nov 5, 2019

By Andrew L. Seidel As Trump’s impeachment fears intensify and the House formalizes its impeachment process, the White House has cranked the religion up to eleven. On Tuesday, twenty-five evangelical megachurch leaders prayed for and with Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in a grand spectacle. So much for Jesus’s condemnation of public …

Pete Buttigieg Was Asked to Hire a Secular Outreach Director. (He Didn’t Bite.)
Nov 4, 2019

By Hemant Mehta Atheist activist Justin Scott, the Iowa State Director for American Atheists, wasn’t picked to ask Pete Buttigieg a question during a town hall in Iowa. But while waiting to shake hands with the Democratic presidential candidate, Justin asked if he’d consider hiring a Secular Outreach Director now that he’s already hired a person to connect with people of …

Paula White, Trump’s key spiritual adviser, will join the White House
Nov 4, 2019 · 2 

By Josh Dawsey and Sarah Pulliam Bailey Florida televangelist Paula White, who has served as a spiritual adviser to President Trump, will join his administration in an official capacity, according to a senior administration official and another person familiar with the move. White, who already helps coordinate Trump’s evangelical outreach to key leaders, will be …

Trump admin to allow adoption agencies to refuse placement in LGBT homes
Nov 4, 2019

By Chris Johnson The Trump administration is moving forward with a proposed regulation that will allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse placement to LGBT families over religious objections. The Department of Health & Human Services went public on Friday with the regulation, which will undo an Obama-era policy implemented in December 2016 prohibiting discrimination on the …

Member of ulema council that helps oversee Aceh’s sharia caned for adultery
Nov 1, 2019

By the Jakarta Post A member of the Aceh Ulema Council (MPU), which oversees the implementation of sharia in the province, was publicly caned in Banda Aceh after he was caught alone with a woman who was not his wife. As punishment, the man, Mukhlis bin Muhammad, received 28 lashes with a cane in Banda Aceh’s …

Highlighting the value of Christians: State Department’s first-ever employee faith group underscores Mike Pompeo’s influence
Nov 1, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein All year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made news for efforts that critics worry are crossing church-state separation lines. In July, he launched a Commission on Unalienable Rights, created by religious conservatives who have bemoaned growing LGBTQ equality. Then in October, a private Pompeo speech, “Being a Christian Leader,” was advertised across the top …