A donor and his wife have won a First Amendment dispute against Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and will be allowed to reference "God" in their donor plaque.
Purdue University received criticism from the local community after telling donors Dr. Michael McCracken and his wife that they could not mention "God" on a dedication plaque because the school, as a public institution receiving state and federal funds, would be violating the U.S. Constitution's Establishment clause. The plaque was dedicated to McCracken as a result of his generous donation in 2012 of $12,500, and the plaque was to grace a conference room at the newly-renovated Herrick Laboratories on campus.
When the university initially denied mentioning God on the plaque, it instead suggested the plaque only include the names of McCracken's parents. McCracken stuck to his values, and with the help of the Liberty Institute and a personal lawyer, the donor was able to successfully convince the university to install the plaque with the original wording. His legal representatives even mentioned last week that their client was prepared to go to court over the issue if it could not be resolved. more >>
An alumnus of Purdue University claims his First Amendment rights were violated after the school refused to inscribe a reference to God on a donation plaque.
In 2012, Dr. Michael McCracken and his wife made a $12,500 pledge to Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering. Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Ind., is McCracken's alma mater. In return for the generous donation, the school allowed McCracken to select the wording for a dedication plaque due to grace a conference room in the school's Herrick Laboratories.
McCracken chose to dedicate the plaque to his father, Dr. William McCracken, and his late mother, Glenda. "To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God's physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William 'Ed' and Glenda McCracken," the original inscription read. more >>
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma rejected a proposal to allow religious groups with state contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
The proposal, which was placed into a property tax bill, S.B. 367, would have allowed religious groups with state contracts to use religion as a basis for employment decisions. A Muslim organization with a state contract, for instance, could decide to only hire Muslims, or a Christian college could decide to only hire Christians.
The provision was intended to address a contract issue with Indiana Wesleyan University. The language was added to the bill by Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero), who thought the measure would be noncontroversial. more >>
A former Planned Parenthood nurse said that employees at the abortion facility in Indianapolis view abortion as a "rite of passage," and described the institution as an "evil and sad place to work," revealing some of the disturbing behavior of its doctors.
Marianne Anderson, who worked at Planned Parenthood from 2010 to 2012, shared in an interview last week with The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, that she began feeling uneasy about her job starting up patients' conscious sedation program when people from the national office in New York came to teach them the process.
"It was disgusting. These two ladies had this chant they would do: 'Abortion all the time!' I thought, 'I've got to get out of here.' That was about six to eight months after I started," Anderson said. more >>
A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday over an Indiana church's plan to display multiple, 6-foot tall crosses along their city's riverfront for a charity fundraiser.
West Side Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., appealed a lower court ban that ruled the crosses would convey an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the city while arguing that the display is a freedom of speech issue.
"No one should single out a faith-based group for censorship. The Constitution protects and does not prohibit religious expression in the public square," said Bryan Beauman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement. "A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be excluded simply because it is in the shape of a cross." more >>
Indiana's Senate unanimously passed a bill last week that would protect the celebration of Christmas in the state's public schools, allowing students to decorate Christmas trees and share traditional holiday greetings such as "Merry Christmas" with their pupils.
Senate Bill 326, if passed into law, would specifically allow teachers and students to say traditional seasonal greetings such as "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," and "Happy Holidays" while at school. Additionally, it would allow classrooms to display "symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah, Christmas tree, Nativity scene or other religious symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations," as long as more than one religion is represented or a secular symbol accompanies a religious one.
The state senate passed the bill unanimously last week, with the legislation's co-author, Sen. Jim Smith, saying the purpose of the bill was to avoid the lawsuits that have taken place in other states regarding religious expression during the holiday season. "Christmas is under attack," Smith said in reference to the bill, according to The Associated Press. "That's just crazy that we even have to move a bill like that, but I think it's very well needed in the state and in every state." more >>