After years of discussion, the University of Miami has accepted a $2.2 million gift from a wealthy atheist to endow what it says is America's first academic chair "for the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics."
According to The New York Times, the gift was also the largest of the many Louis J. Appignani, a retired businessman and former president and chairman of the modeling school Barbizon International, has ever given to humanist and secular causes. The university has not yet publicly announced the new chair but is expected to conduct a search for a scholar to fill the position.
"I'm trying to eliminate discrimination against atheists," Appignani, who is 83 and lives in Florida, told the Times. "So this is a step in that direction, to make atheism legitimate." more >>
On Wednesday, news and photos of Josh Duggar emerged after he was spotted and captured on cam for the first time with his family at church, and later on at a college in Florida where the famous Duggars celebrated Mother's Day.
In pictures posted by The Daily Mail, the 28-year-old reality TV star seemed happy as he held on to his son, Marcus. Jessa and Ben Seewald, as well as his sisters Jinger and Joy Anna, were seen attending the church with Josh. Elders Jim Bob and Michelle were present too.
Though the images showed a happy Josh, many fans noticed that he lost weight. The photos are the first that emerged where he is seen spending time with the Duggar clan ever since he left a faith-based rehabilitation facility earlier this year. Though some reports earlier in the year suggested that he had been stepping out in public with some of his relatives ever since his rehab stint, the images have proven that he is definitely back with his family. more >>
A local leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA) is concerned about a recently released report that finds nearly 1 in 5 members are disappointed with the direction of the denomination.
Titled "When We Gather at the Table: A PC(USA) Snapshot," the non-scientific survey of about 3,000 members of the denomination classified 19 percent of respondents as "disappointed and discerning," which meant they did not like the direction of the Church and were seriously considering leaving.
MIAMI BEACH — Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump use overly-simplistic rhetoric about Islamic extremism that is harmful, Imam Abdullah Antepli argued at Faith Angle Forum.
"There are two very unhelpful, extremely reductionist, simplistic forces dominating this conversation about Muslim terrorism [from which] I ... invite us to distance ourselves," Antepli began his remarks to 20 journalists plus other attendees at the March 14 Faith Angle Forum.
Those two positions, at opposite extremes, argue either that 1) Islam is a religion of peace and Islamic extremism has nothing to do with Islam (Obama's position), or 2) Islamic extremists represent the truest form of Islam (Trump's position). more >>
The senior pastor of a Florida church is now grieving with the families of two men in his congregation who drowned Saturday during a men's retreat.
Rev. Jose "Jessie" Perez of Rio de Vida Ministries, which meets at Bayshore Gardens Community Church in Bradenton, Florida, told the Bradenton Herald that he watched helplessly as evangelist Julian Palma, 44, and Ivan Torres, 29, drowned in Lake Manatee.
Perez said he and the now deceased along with 11 other men were fellowshipping at Lake Manatee State Park for the weekend starting Friday. On Saturday, they fanned out on the lake in four boats after a morning period of worship. more >>
Students living in one Florida school district are now required to use the bathrooms that align with their birth sex, not the bathrooms of the gender in which the choose to identify on any given day.
The Marion County School Board voted 4-1 on Tuesday in favor of the resolution that requires students to use the restroom of their birth sex.
According to local news station WUFT, hundreds attended Tuesday's board meeting, with a large crowd favoring the resolution's passage. "About 250 people cheered, sang Christian songs and waved banners that read, 'God Belongs in My City," the station reported. more >>