An estimated combined total of 5,000 people met to pray at all 29 Cullman County School District campuses in Alabama and participate in a prayer caravan Saturday. Hundreds more gathered for a prayer rally at the county fairgrounds in the evening. Spurred on by the threat of legal action from a Wisconsin-based atheists group citing "separation of church and state" to stop the event, the third annual caravan attracted as many as 1,000 people at one high school.
"The great state of Alabama is blessed to have been targeted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation," rally organizer Brent McDonald told The Christian Post Sunday. "By them doing so, it has sparked an awakening like no other and Christians are coming together and standing as one. Thank you FFRF and may every single one of you see God through this."
What may have become an awakening, started as a controversy when the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group focused on wiping out expressions of religion from the public square in the U.S., threatened Cullman County schools and Superintendent Billy Coleman with a letter from its lawyer. more >>
Professor Richard Dawkins, known as the world's most famous atheist, has risen to rock star status for his attacks on God and religion, in particular, his attacks on the God of the Bible. But when he recently criticized Muslims, he was in for a surprise.
Before looking at Dawkins' rather mild criticism of Muslims, let's remember the depth of his vitriol against Christians and the Bible, most of which has only enhanced Dawkins' reputation.
In an April interview aired on the Qatar-based TV network Al Jazeera, Dawkins railed on the Catholic Church, saying that, as "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was [suffered by some children at the hands of deviant priests], the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place." more >>
Outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins has stirred controversy via Twitter by saying that fewer Muslims have won Nobel Prizes than members of Trinity College in Cambridge, and questioned if they have done anything worthwhile since the Dark Ages.
A selection of Dawkin's Twitter comments over the past couple of days include: "Indeed, where would we be without alchemy? Dark Age achievements undoubted. But since then?" and "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though."
The posts have drawn the ire of commentators on social media, who sought to point out several misleading notions in the biologist's statements. more >>
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said that a Wisconsin-based atheists group opposed to a Cullman County school district-wide prayer caravan prior to the fall semester is misinterpreting the First Amendment. Plans for the caravan beginning Saturday morning and a rally later in the day at a county fairgrounds are still on track.
"I personally believe that one of the problems we have in this country is taking God out of, not only our lives, but out of government. But, we can't force that on someone. That's what the Constitution says. We cannot force that on people. But, people have the right to express their opinions on their beliefs. And I do it all the time. Nobody's put me in jail yet," Bentley told WAFF 48 News in Huntsville.
The controversy began when the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group focused on wiping out expressions of religion from the public square in the U.S., attempted to stop Cullman County Schools from conducting the prayer caravan that includes school officials, teachers, and parents who volunteered to stop to pray at each school with a letter from its lawyer. more >>
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is backing down from its opposition to Ohio building a Holocaust memorial on state capitol grounds, which includes the Star of David, following a petition in support of the memorial signed by thousands of Americans.
"A few weeks ago, FFRF, an angry atheists group with a long record of failed attempts to expunge any relic for our religious heritage from public life, demanded that the state of Ohio scrap its plans to build the first Holocaust memorial on state capitol grounds in the nation," the American Center for Law and Justice wrote on its website.
"FFRF insensitively called the inclusion of the Star of David 'exclusionary' and a 'dishonor.'" more >>
A Sioux City, Iowa, pastor who has been lobbying for the removal of a recently appointed gay activist member of that city's Human Rights Commission, who told him he deserved to "burn in hell" with his family for opposing homosexuality, has accepted an apology from the commissioner, but he still wants him to go.
Last month, the Rev. Cary Gordon, executive pastor of Cornerstone World Outreach church, said new Sioux City Human Rights Commission member Scott Raasch, 49, sent him threatening emails after he launched a successful campaign in 2010 that removed three Iowa state Supreme Court justices over a ruling that legalized gay marriage.
"I made a stupid, emotional comment that in no way was meant as a physical threat but since you don't know me, if you took it that way I want to once again apologize if I caused your family any unintentional stress," wrote Raasch in the apology published in the Sioux City Journal. more >>