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4/24/2014

School Officials Find no Evidence of Kindergartener Being Told Not to Pray

In March, a Florida family released a Youtube video stating that their 5-year old daughter had been reprimanded for praying over her lunch in the school cafeteria.

In March, a Florida family released a Youtube video stating that their 5-year old daughter had been reprimanded for praying over her lunch in the school cafeteria. After the alleged incident, the Perez family partnered with the Liberty Institute to push back against what Marcos Perez described as “religious discrimination.” However, Christianity Today reports that an investigation into the episode has shown no evidence that it ever happened. "There's no proof whatsoever," district spokesman Mike Lawrence shared with the Orlando Sentinal. Although the name of the teacher young Gabriella identified as chiding her for praying has not been released publicly, the investigation done by the school has shown "there is no way possible that person was anywhere near the lunchroom," during the time Gabriella was eating lunch that day. Since the initial release of the incriminating video, Carillon Elementary School has received harassing phone calls. Lawrence cites Gabriella’s young age as a major factor in what he believes to be a “miscommunication” between the Perez family and the school. read more
4/23/2014

Second Grader Told Not to Read Bible

A second grade student in Texas was told to put his Bible away when he tried to read it during independent reading time.

A second grade student in Texas was told to put his Bible away when he tried to read it during independent reading time. The child’s parents are now accusing the school of unconstitutionally banning the Bible. The Hamilton Elementary School teacher allegedly told the child to leave the Bible at home. Liberty Institute lawyers are representing the family reports The Blaze. They argue that the teacher’s actions were unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court had ruled in the past that children still have the right to freedom of religion on school premises. Michael Berry, a Liberty Institute attorney said, “We expect [Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District] officials to resolve this unfortunate incident quickly and amicably by informing us that they have addressed this matter with District employees, and by assuring us that this will not happen again.” Hamilton Elementary released a statement explaining its independent reading time policy. “During a student’s independent reading time, students are required to read a book that is ‘Just Right.’ A ‘Just Right’ book is when the student can read most of the words, comprehend the text and that the book is appropriate for the type of text or genre that is being taught.” “If the Bible meets these specifications for students, the it would be considered acceptable,” the statement said. The school has vowed to take “civil liberties” cases seriously. An investigation of the incident is pending.   Publication date: April 23, 2014 read more
4/23/2014

Pews Save Life of a Florida Man

A man believes pews saved his life when a car crashed into his Florida church on Easter Sunday.

A man believes pews saved his life when a car crashed into his Florida church on Easter Sunday. Moise Gourdet was at an Easter concert on Sunday night when a car went through two brick columns in the sanctuary reports Christian Today. Marie Ange Masson, driver of the vehicle reported that the brakes of her 2006 Lexus went out while she attempted to park in the church parking lot. The wreck destroyed much of the sanctuary, but there were no fatalities out of the 200 people in attendance. 18 people were injured, but most were treated and released. The six-year-old child in Masson’s car escaped unscathed. Gourdet praises God for watching over him at the time of the accident. “If not for the pews, I’d be dead,” he said. “God or Jesus Christ made that happen.” Church member Jean Lima agreed. “If God wasn’t there, too many people die. He was watching over us,” she said.   Publication date: April 23, 2014 read more
4/23/2014

Church Explores Other Scouting Groups after Boy Scouts Revoke Charter

The pastor of a United Methodist Church said her congregation is exploring other scouting affiliations now that the Boy Scouts of America revoked the congregation’s charter for refusing to dismiss a gay Scout leader.

The pastor of a United Methodist Church said her congregation is exploring other scouting affiliations now that the Boy Scouts of America revoked the congregation’s charter for refusing to dismiss a gay Scout leader. “We are a Reconciling Congregation, open to all,” said the Rev. Monica Corsaro, pastor of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, referring to the church’s commitment to welcome people of all sexual orientations. “The Boy Scouts say they respect religious beliefs, but in this situation, it does not.” Corsaro said the troop would continue with Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath, 49, who is a gay member of the church. The church, which has 100 members, may decide to affiliate with groups such as Camp Fire or the Baden-Powell Service Association, or it may continue a scouting program independent of other groups. “We may invent our own program, as we have skills and experience,” McGrath said. “Maybe let the kids design their own uniforms.” The Boy Scouts declined an interview, instead offering a written statement saying the church did not agree to terms of the Boy Scouts charter, so “it is no longer authorized to offer the Scouting program.” The statement adds that the Boy Scouts have identified a new chartered group and are contacting parents and leaders to let them know. Last year, the Boy Scouts’ national council voted to allow gay Scouts into troops, saying no youth would be denied membership “based on sexual orientation or preference alone.” But the group maintained its ban on gay leaders. Jesse ... read more
4/23/2014

Nigerian Christians Begin Three-Day Fast after Schoolgirls Kidnapped

Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest.

Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest. The girls were abducted last week while at school in the Chibok area of Borno State. Initial reports said about 200 were kidnapped, but government officials lowered the figure to 130. On Monday (April 21), school officials said 234 were abducted and 40 girls had managed to escape. “We know no religion (that) prescribes abduction or infliction of pain as a way of devotion,” said the Rev. Titus Pona, an official with the Christian Association of Nigeria. “We are calling on them to sheathe their arms and pursue their case in dialogue with the government.” Boko Haram translates to “Western education is forbidden,” in the Hausa language. For five years, the insurgents have unleashed violence in northern Nigeria, but the girls’ abduction is viewed as the most terrifying so far. More than 1,500 people have been killed in the insurgency so far this year, compared with an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013, according to The Associated Press. “This violence continues because the militants have support from powerful people in Nigerian society,” said the Rev. John Bakeni, a Roman Catholic priest in Borno. Nigeria’s top Muslim leader, the sultan of Sokoto, Al-Haji Sa’ad Abubakar III, condemned the abduction. “We sympathize with the victims and their teachers and families,” he said in a statement. “We call on the authorities to put all the ... read more