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Weekend Coffee: November 3

• The big news, of course, is that the U.S. presidential election is on Tuesday. Take heart, progressives: although the media and the Republicans are straining mightily to pretend that the race is a dead heat, the state-by-state polls make Obama a clear favorite for reelection.

Skepticon 5, the amazing free conference for atheists and skeptics of all stripes, is coming up next weekend – but they haven’t raised enough money to cover all their costs yet, and they need your help to finish in the black. If you’re going and you can afford it, please consider chipping in! If every attendee donated even $5 or $10, it would more than suffice.

A Catholic bishop has ordered an anti-Obama letter to be read at every Catholic Mass in his diocese this weekend, a letter which says quite bluntly that voting for Democrats endangers one’s eternal salvation.

This letter is just the latest example of something that’s been obvious for a while now: as this column by Jay Bookman says, “the ban on politics from the pulpit [is] all but gone now”. So why isn’t the IRS doing anything about it?

• The religious right is now using harassment tactics pioneered outside family-planning clinics to intimidate voters at polling places in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods. (HT: Amanda Marcotte)

• Do you remember when Christian evangelicals were pro-choice? You should: it was only forty years ago. In a must-read column, Jonathan Dudley tells the story of how interfering with women’s reproductive choices evolved from a fringe “Catholic issue” to the dominant and overwhelming concern of right-wing Christians of all sects. (HT: Slacktivist)

Daylight Atheism: The Book is now available! Click here for reviews and ordering information.


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