149 votes

Are there officially pronounced "no-go" Islamic zones in France?

TL;DR: Those regions are poor areas considered as priority for public help by the French government to reduce inequalities. It has nothing to do with Islamic law or police patrols. I'm a French ...
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  • 2,945
138 votes
Accepted

Have Islamic prayers been introduced into Ontario public schools while Christian ones have been removed?

Let's break the original claim down into several constituent components. Islamic prayers have now been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario. Toronto Sun, CBC News, and ...
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  • 10.7k
100 votes
Accepted

If American churches paid taxes, how much revenue would that generate?

Summary: The graphic is based on an article from the Council for Secular Humanism which is almost entirely incorrect It seems to be the case that the infographic is based on the report "How Secular ...
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  • 54.2k
84 votes
Accepted

Did a survey of conservative Christians show 85% would disown their child if they turned out to be homo sapiens?

There was no poll. This was intended to be satirical, but appears to have missed its mark in many places. It was originally posted on a Facebook page for the The Atheist Advocate. In response to ...
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  • 132k
71 votes
Accepted

Does the Talmud say, "The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts."?

This is a situation in which inadequate understanding of terminology causes confusion. In the referenced text, the Jews are called Adam, and the Gentiles are not called Adam. The Gentiles are the non-...
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  • 2,150
54 votes
Accepted

Is Easter named after the Canaanite goddess Ishtar?

No, Easter is derived from Eōstre, who was a Germanic divinity, a goddess of the dawn. The word is related to other dawn goddesses, but not to Ishtar, who is goddess of fertility and war. This is ...
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  • 54.2k
53 votes
Accepted

Did Ohio pass a law granting students the right to give scientifically wrong answers consistent with their religious beliefs?

No House Bill 164 or the "Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019" has been passed by the House and awaits on a vote by the Senate. It covers several areas guaranteeing the freedom of religious ...
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  • 6,625
45 votes
Accepted

Can Mormons distinguish Mormons by the texture of their skin?

The question asks: Can Mormons really distinguish other Mormons from non-Mormons based on skin texture? That is a reasonable question given the quoted Digital Universe article says: A study ...
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  • 132k
44 votes
Accepted

Is this 90 year old mummy "not dead, just meditating"?

Dr Kerzin (who reportedly made the claim) might have been misunderstood by the reporter and/or the editor of the article. It might be truer to say that he is dead and meditating (for some suitably ...
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  • 26.2k
43 votes
Accepted

Is Idaho forcing pastors to conduct same-sex weddings or face penalties?

Is Idaho forcing pastors to conduct same-sex weddings or face penalties? Yes and no: Yes: It's a real (albeit recent) story There is a lawsuit, and it is in Idaho The people involved are "ordained ...
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  • 26.2k
42 votes
Accepted

Did all of Germany's Muslim MPs vote in favor of same-sex marriage?

Yes. In 2016, there were 3 members of the Bundestag who officially stated that they are Muslim. However, a number of people did not give their religion. The German newspaper Die Welt says that there ...
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  • 50.5k
39 votes

Did Ohio pass a law granting students the right to give scientifically wrong answers consistent with their religious beliefs?

The Ohio House passed Bill 164 which says: No school district board of education, governing authority of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, governing body ...
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  • 96.4k
38 votes
Accepted

Must churchgoers be registered with the government in Kansas City?

The mayor's 4th order of 30 April 2020 said, in part: Religious gatherings, including but not limited to, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and wakes, of ten (10) persons inside or ten (10) ...
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  • 96.4k
36 votes
Accepted

Did a Jewish rabbi precisely calculate the duration of the full moon cycle 1800 years ago?

Maimonidies (12th Century) puts it at 29.530594. His source is the Talmud (Bavli RH 25a) (~7th century quoting a rabbi from the 2nd century). (For the curious the precise number given is 29 days, 12 ...
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  • 483
30 votes
Accepted

Did fewer Jews die of the Black Plague because of ritual washing?

So, the JewishHistory.org website touts the hygiene of the ghettos in this way: The sanitary conditions in the Jewish neighborhood, primitive as it may be by today’s standards, was [sic] always ...
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  • 38.4k
28 votes
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Do atheists commit far fewer crimes?

It depends. The author did publish a peer-reviewed article in 2009 discussing the issue, with sources. I've verified most of the sources and they seem to be reliable and reputable. Criminality and ...
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  • 78k
27 votes
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Muslim couple provocatively pictured on beach — true holiday photo or fake (i.e. staged/set up)?

A Google image search suggests it comes from Villa Next Door: Graduation Show 2017; Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and is part of the portfolio created by an artist, Jaimy Gail. Since it is described ...
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  • 2,149
26 votes
Accepted

Are secular/atheist adults less vengeful, nationalistic, militaristic, authoritarian and more tolerant?

The author published a peer-review article with sources: Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions, Phil Zuckerman, Sociology ...
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  • 78k
26 votes

Does the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights consider Christians a hate group "threat"?

The key word here seems to be "in essence", ie it does not literally say that. Gohmert is probably referencing this report, which points out (see also here) that "religious liberty" is often used as ...
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  • 50.5k
26 votes
Accepted

Is this an old church being destroyed in France?

From the link posted by @SVilcans: Fewer than 300 churches had been demolished between 1905 and 2014, the Catholic newspaper La Croix reported, out of more than 42,000 in total. From the La Croix ...
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  • 18.8k
24 votes

Has the Quran (the recitation) been preserved since Muhammad?

No; during the life of Muhammad, there was no single text, as it was more about understanding the message than how it was told: This page cites hadiths that mention seven different ways of teaching: ...
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23 votes

Is the mustard seed the smallest of seeds?

To repeat Oddthinking's answer, that is a simple NO. The mustard seed is far from the smallest. That distinction belongs to the Orchid. With over 26,000 species, many having seeds no larger than ...
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23 votes

Is the pope's headgear adopted directly from a Mesopotamian hat, symbol of worshipping Dagon, as seen in his fish mouth looking mitre?

Actually the most distinctive papal headgear, the one that popes used to be drawn wearing in political cartoons to distinguish them from ordinary bishops, is what is called the papal tiara, a tall ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Will the new Royal Adelaide Hospital have a Muslim-only prayer room while other religions share?

No, it's not true As reported here, the new hospital does have a prayer room with washing facilities, but the prayer room isn't "exclusive" to Muslims. It merely accommodates Muslims, who ...
21 votes
Accepted

Did Christians burn the Great Library of Alexandria?

The Library of Alexandria was destroyed/heavily damaged at least four times. 48 BC: Julius Caesar accidentally burns the library when he sets fire to his ships and the fire spreads from the docks. (...
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  • 773
20 votes
Accepted

Were beavers once classified as fish for religious reasons?

Yes, according to the 1760 book The natural and civil history of the French dominions in North and South America, vol.1 , page 27 In respect of his [the beaver's] tail, he is a perfect fish, and ...
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  • 96.4k
20 votes
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Did St. Augustine say God was busy preparing hell for people who ask about what was He doing before creation?

This is part of Book 11, Chapter 12 of the Confessions of St Augustine. Augustine said he would not say this, but said that somebody else had. In one translation: Behold, I answer to him who asks,...
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  • 13.3k
20 votes
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Was Glyn Barrett invited to speak at a meeting for an atheist society in Cambridge?

There are two universities in Cambridge England. (My reference is only Wikipedia, but I trust this isn't a controversial fact.) Anglia Ruskin has a list of Clubs and Societies, and there is no ...
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  • 132k
20 votes
Accepted

Do certain religious traditions believe that Eve had sex with the Serpent?

Eve having Sex with the serpent This is also called the serpent seed theory. The idea is that the arch angel Samael was the serpent and used that form to have sex with Eve, which then resulted in the ...
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