A student petition to stop atheist HBO talk show host Bill Maher from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley's fall commencement ceremony has reached over 3,000 signatures. The petition has called Maher a "blatant bigot" and "racist" over his strong opinions about Islam.
"Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for. In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment. Bill Maher's public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities," reads the Change.org petition, started by Khwaja Ahmed, a member of the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition.
"Too many students are marginalized by his remarks and if the university were to bring this individual as a commencement speaker they would not be supporting these historically marginalized communities. It is the responsibility of the University of California to protect all students and uphold a standard of civility." more >>
LOS ANGELES – Having personally attended more than 200 concerts and seen about 150 performers and performing groups, the Hillsong United event was the best I've ever witnessed. From the spectacular sound, lighting and staging, to the crowd participation – the experience was powerfully moving, and a time of corporate worship beyond words. Let's just say it was the largest and loudest "choir" I've ever heard.
More than 17,000 Hillsong fans sang, danced, and worshiped as one during a dynamic concert Thursday in which they were not only treated to one of the best Christian music-producing groups on the planet, but had the opportunity to be a part of a potentially historic film planned for release early next year.
As 12 cameras captured the worship concert, Pastor Brian Houston of the Sydney-based Hillsong Church, stood for much of the time with arms in the air, smiling ear-to-ear just above the floor-level seating from his front row seat. more >>
Scott Carter, a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," said he hopes his play, "The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord," will lead people to seek out God and the spiritual side of life, now, rather than later.
"There were a lot of issues I put to the side … I thought, 'oh well, I'll deal with that when I'm older.' Or a lot of people find themselves asking questions when someone around them dies or has a terminal illness, or when they themselves are diagnosed with a terminal illness, or there's some extreme disappointment in life. And that's when they go to think about spiritual philosophy or religion, and I would like people to be compelled coming out of this play to think, 'Maybe I better be thinking about this now,'" Carter told The Christian Post.
In "Discord," the third president of the United States of America, the English author of "A Christmas Carol," and the Russian writer behind the novel Anna Karenina, are trapped together in a sterile interrogation room as ghosts on a layover from their ultimate destinations. The uniting force between them is that they all rewrote the Bible. Together Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy – played by Larry Cedar, David Melville, and Armin Shimerman, respectively – agonize over their beliefs about God, the teachings of Jesus and the details of His life, death and resurrection. more >>
A conservative legal group has sent a letter to a California hotel arguing that their hosting of an event by an organization that advocates a complete boycott of Israel may violate state law.
The American Center for Law and Justice sent the letter on Monday to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites of Los Angeles regarding their hosting of the American Studies Association's annual meeting.
A Shasta County, California, atheist who charged that his civil rights were violated when he was sent back to prison for protesting a religious drug-treatment program while on parole was recently awarded nearly $2 million in a court settlement for his troubles.
According to a Record Searchlight report, the atheist, Barry Hazle Jr., 46, and his attorney, John G. Heller, announced the settlement during a press conference Tuesday morning.
A newborn baby girl who police say was dumped in a trash receptacle by her 13-year-old mother could soon find herself a new home in the arms of the loving couple who helped rescue her in Merced, California, last Thursday.
Capt. Tom Trinidad told KCRA 3 that the baby girl was discovered by a man who was alerted by rustling and movement while he rummaged through a dumpster for recyclables at the Sunnyside apartment complex at about 5:45 a.m. The man, who was not identified, screamed on seeing the baby and attracted the attention of Jimmy and Annette Alvarez who joined him with a flashlight and called 911 after seeing that the baby was hardly moving.
"There were flies, gnats, all kinds of trash and I said, 'She can't be like that,'" Jimmy Alvarez told KRCA. He said he reached down into the dumpster and scooped up the child and wrapped her in his T-shirt. more >>