A second public school has ended ties with Franklin Graham's Operation Christmas Child after an atheist group threatened a lawsuit. However, angered by the developments, parents at the Colorado-area school have stated their commitment to continue raising funds for Operation Christmas Child independently of the school, and they also held a "Religious Rights Rally" outside of school on the public sidewalk on Wednesday afternoon.
SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colorado, announced last week that it will be ending its participation with Operation Christmas Child, a program of Franklin Graham's evangelical relief organization Samaritan's Purse that provides needy children around the world with Christmas presents during the holidays. Students at SkyView had been participating in the program for the past two years as part of their community service project, and their efforts included raising donations for the program and assembling shoe boxes to hold the gifts for each needy child.
Both Skyview Academy and East Point Academy in West Columbia, South Carolina recently received letters from the American Humanist Association threatening lawsuits if the schools continued to participate in the program. more >>
An interview Pope Francis made with an Italian publication that garnered international headlines for remarks that may have been perceived as counter to Catholic tradition has been removed from the Vatican website over issues surrounding its accuracy, according to an official spokesman.
The announcement about the interview, conducted by atheist Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, being removed from the Vatican City website was made recently by the Holy See. The entity is the governing arm of the Roman Catholic Church and is based in the Vatican City State. The Pope is the head of both the Vatican and the Holy See.
There's an old joke that says: How do you describe an atheist at his funeral? "All dressed up with no place to go."
Now, all jokes aside, there is a place atheists can go on Sundays. There's a new type of "atheist church" that has been founded by a couple from England, and apparently it's taking off.
Writing for the Associated Press, Gillian Flaccus penned an article called, "Atheist 'mega-churches' are now a thing in the U.S as popularity spreads from U.K." These groups, write Flaccus, are "people bound by their belief in non-belief." They have had large gatherings in Los Angeles, "San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities." more >>
A new documentary that reveals legendary Christian author C.S. Lewis' personal journey to find "evidence of intelligent design in nature despite natural evil" was released today in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Lewis' death.
The 17-minute documentary that premiered on YouTube is one of three short films based on the book The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, by author John G. West. Throughout his life, Lewis struggled with what he called the "argument from undesign" – the reality that nature exhibits cruelty and imperfection as well as purpose and beauty – which the film documents. It also features each of his arguments supporting intelligent design – the belief that life was created not by chance but by a higher being, including nature's beauty, morality and functional complexity.
"C.S. Lewis is well-known for defending the existence of God, but he actually struggled for much of his life to see purpose in a universe that often seemed cold and heartless," says West, according to a press release. "In 'C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design,' we explore the fascinating story of how Lewis became persuaded that design in nature was real." more >>
The debate over the U.S. Air Force Academy's recent removal of the words "So help me God" from oaths and making the phrase instead optional for cadets has intensified as a chaplains religious liberty group is calling for the military branch to explain why the action was taken, and activists have stepped up their campaign against expressions of Christian faith within the academy located in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said in a statement received by The Christian Post on Tuesday that it is receiving calls from concerned parents of Air Force Academy cadets about the Academy's removal of the phrase based on its decision made last month from the Cadet Oath, the Officer Oath, and the Enlisted Oath in the Academy Contrails Cadet Handbook.
"The removal of this phrase is a disservice to the countless men and women who wish to include it as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and their country," said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. "This phrase is a deeply rooted American tradition which George Washington began as the first president of the United States, and many who take an oath of service to our country still state it." more >>
A small town in upstate New York has rallied together to continue funding its local community's Christmas celebration, even though an atheist's complaint forced the local government to stop supporting the event.
The town of Spencerport, N.Y., a small village located just outside of Rochester, has been celebrating its annual "Christmas on the Canal" event for 17 years until this year, when Elaine Spaziano, the event's founder and organizer, announced that the tradition had to be canceled after an atheist complained about First Amendment rights and the separation of church and state to the local government.
The event features an array of holiday-themed activities, such as a tree lighting ceremony, carols, a nativity, a blessing by a local clergy member, and other festive events. The celebration was funded partially by Spencerport and the neighboring village of Ogden, and both villages were forced to pull their funds and support for the celebration this year after an atheist activist complained that the event used taxpayer dollars to support Christianity. The activist reportedly had a petition and threatened to take the cities to court if they continued donating to "Christmas on the Canal." more >>