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Atheist group slams Alabama university over fear-mongering, pro-religion mass email

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The group American Atheists is blasting an Alabama university official for sending out a fear-mongering anti-atheist video to students this week.

American Atheists reported that Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins sent a mass email to faculty and staff on Tuesday containing a link to a YouTube video in which Harvard Business School’s Prof. Clay Christensen disparaged atheists and non-religious people as a menace to American society.

“As we approach a New Year I am reminded of the blessings we enjoy within a democracy which is the envy of the world,” Hawkins wrote in his email.

“For your pleasure — and as a reminder — I am sharing with you a 90 second video which speaks to America’s greatness and its vulnerability,” he said, enclosing a link to the video embedded below.

In the clip, Christensen — a well-known management guru and author of the book The Innovator’s Dilemma — spoke about an encounter with “a Marxist economist from China.”

The economist purportedly told Christensen that the biggest surprise he received in the U.S. was to learn how critically “important religion is to the functioning of democracy.”

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The visiting economist, said Christensen, contended that the reasons American follow the law is because “most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week and they were taught there by people who they respected.”

Americans, Christensen said, follow the law “because they had come to believe that they weren’t just accountable to society, they were accountable to God.”

Christensen went on to say that he is beset by a “vague nagging feeling that as religion loses its influence in the lives of Americans, what will happen to our democracy? Where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they, too, need to voluntarily choose to obey the laws?”

“Because if you take away religion,” Christensen said, “you can’t hire enough police.”

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American Atheists president David Silverman addressed a letter to Hawkins on the topic of the video. Silverman demanded an apology from Hawkins for disseminating the video and sending a message of intolerance to students of Troy University — a publicly funded state college — who follow non-Judeo-Christian or atheist beliefs.

Silverman informed Hawkins that he was contacting the university on behalf of an atheist student who was offended and alarmed to receive the video message.

“Atheists are not a trivial minority,” wrote Silverman. “In Alabama alone, we represent 11 percent of the population, and statistically even higher numbers in universities and among college-aged residents; as many as 32 percent of people under age 30 are not religious.”

Silverman said, “On behalf of the student who contacted us, the Alabama members of American Atheists, the thousands of atheists at Troy University, and the hundreds of millions of atheists worldwide who live productive, law-abiding lives without religion, we demand an apology from you for using the public university email system and your publicly funded position to disparage atheists and minority religious groups as well as perpetuating the discrimination and anti-patriotic sentiment against atheists in the United States.”

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The facts, said Silverman, run directly counter to Christensen’s assertion that less religion means more chaos and the collapse of civil society.

“In fact, in the United States, in states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most-religious states, the murder rate is higher than average,” he said.

“Further, on average and generally speaking, atheists have fewer divorces, abortions, and STDs, and lower poverty rates, homicide rates, overall crime rates, and teen pregnancy rates. As a demographic, atheists have higher IQs, incomes, education rates, and literacy rates, and more Nobel Prizes and university professorships,” Silverman continued.

Silverman ended by saying, “We ask for a public apology to the student, and other atheists whom you have disparaged with the video you included in your email.”

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Cops briefly suspended after video of them beating 16-year-old girl goes viral

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Officers in Lansing, Michigan, were placed on leave after video appeared on social media showing them striking a 16-year-old girl, reports WILX.

The officers approached a home where they suspected the girl and a 14-year-old boy -- wanted on probation violations, escape from custody, and runaway warrants -- were staying, police said.

The teens tried to flee, but were captured soon after. After the girl resisted being put into a police car, video shows an officer beat her on the leg.

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Meghan McCain mystifies co-hosts by defending Trump with a bizarre Ebola rant: ‘It’s my No. 1 fear in life’

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Meghan McCain briefly derailed a conversation on "The View" about President Donald Trump humiliating his chief of staff during a TV interview.

The president ordered White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney out of the Oval Office after he coughed as Trump was speaking to ABC News, and McCain said she couldn't blame him.

"My No. 1 fear in life, in general, above all things, is getting the Ebola virus, above all else," McCain said. "It's my biggest fear in the entire world."

Her comment seemed to amuse co-host Joy Behar, who cracked a grin.

"Ebola virus?" Behar said. "Do they have that here?"

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‘The president’s in major trouble’: CNN polling analyst reveals how Trump dug himself a massive hole for 2020

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President Donald Trump should be coasting to reelection given that unemployment is under four percent -- but poll after poll shows that the president is significantly down compared to prospective Democratic rivals.

In fact, polling data from the president's own reelection campaign leaked last week and showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden significantly in multiple key swing states, which infuriated the president and resulted in the firing of staff pollsters.

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