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I got back from Iceland yesterday and I’m still catching up on news that happened while I was away. Here are a few of the stories from my backlog:

• More to come on this, but for now I’ll just mention it briefly: a very welcome joint statement by Richard Dawkins and Ophelia Benson denouncing all forms of harassment, sexist and otherwise. I’m not prepared just yet to say this wipes the slate clean, but I’m cautiously optimistic!

• Anti-abortion fanatics disrupt a Unitarian Universalist church service in New Orleans.

• In 2010, I wrote about the strange and curious sect of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a Hasidic rabbi who’s believed to be the messiah by a large sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews, notwithstanding the fact that he’s been dead for twenty years. Here’s an update on that story, showing that ultra-Orthodox “mesichism” is still going strong.

• Good for President Obama for issuing a strong executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees, snubbing preachers who demanded a religious exemption.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wins a landmark victory, getting the IRS to agree that it will enforce the law regarding partisan activity by churches. Previously, the IRS was blatantly ignoring preachers who were flagrantly breaking the law by telling their congregants who to vote for, violating the bargain that requires churches to refrain from endorsing candidates in exchange for the privilege of tax exemption.

• But the awful Hobby Lobby decision continues to wreak havoc, as an anti-choicer applies for a job at a family planning clinic, states that she won’t give out birth control, and when she’s predictably not hired, sues the clinic for violating her “religious freedom”. The fantasy scenario I’ve repeatedly referred to, of a Christian Scientist applying for a job as a pharmacist and then refusing to fill any prescription at all while still demanding to be paid, is coming ever closer to reality.

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...