National Religious Broadcasters President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright asked members of Congress investigating the IRS over its alleged inappropriate scrutiny of conservative and faith-based groups to focus on First Amendment protection for such organizations.
"As Congress investigates these incidents at the IRS, and others that may surface in the days ahead, I ask that you emphasize the First Amendment rights of non-profit religious organizations and churches, which gives them constitutional authority to operate free from government entanglement," wrote Wright in a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner and other Congressional leaders, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
"Pernicious targeting of faith-based organizations by any state actor must not be tolerated," Wright added. "These IRS cases before the nation today appear to be just such entangling, oppressive, and constitutionally unsound situations that must be protected against." more >>
In order to avoid a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the school district in Muldrow, Okla., will be removing its Ten Commandment displays from all schools after an atheist teen student addressed legal concerns.
In spite of this decision on behalf of the school board, the small community of Muldrow has rallied around its Christian beliefs, urging the district to hold strong to its religious freedom and keep the Ten Commandments in place.
After a meeting held Monday night, the Muldrow School District board members opted to have the Ten Commandments plaques, which sit in each classroom in the school district, removed in order to avoid the threatened lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the separation of church and state. more >>
A sheriff of one of Tennessee's fastest growing counties has recently defended the presence of a display that includes the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the department he oversees.
Robert Arnold, the sheriff of Rutherford County, was given a framed display of the Ten Commandments, along with the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights last year.
According to local media, the framed historical documents reside in the lobby of the sheriff's department, which also includes a jail. more >>
Debate over prayer in school made headlines again, this time in the Riverside School District in Lake City, Ark. Its school board voted on Monday to cancel its sixth grade ceremony rather than to allow prayer to be a part of the ceremony.
Controversy over whether or not prayer would be allowed resulted from an April 15 letter from the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, on behalf of an anonymous "concerned parent." The Foundation's mission is to "promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism."
The Foundation wrote, "As you may be aware, the Supreme Court has continually struck down prayers at school-sponsored events, including public school graduations. A prayer taking place at a 'regularly scheduled school-sponsored function conducted on school property' would lead an objective observer to perceive it as state endorsement of religion ... We request Written assurances that Riverside Public Schools is taking the appropriate steps to ensure that religious rituals are not part of graduation ceremonies or any other school-sponsored events." more >>
Libby Phelps-Alvarez, the granddaughter of the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, recently appeared on Anderson Cooper's "Anderson Live" program to talk about her experience growing up in the church and what it's been like since she left over four years ago. She also apologized for the hurt she had caused others.
The Topeka, Kan.-based church is known for its anti-homosexual stance and commitment to picketing social, cultural, educational, private, and public institutions with which it deems are violating its interpretation of scripture. Its Website, www.godhatesfags.com, quotes Lev. 20:23 "therefore I abhorred them" and states that in 1991 it began to conduct "peaceful demonstrations opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth."
Members picketed funerals of dead service men and women, holding signs that read, "Not Blessed, Just Cursed," and "God Hates Dead Soldiers." more >>
A panel of experts with conservative values is set to discuss their views of the risks involved with a proposed change in the Boy Scouts of America that would allow gay youths to join local troops while continuing to exclude gay leaders. The discussion will be hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.
John Stemberger, Eagle Scout and Founder of OnMyHonor.Net, a coalition of concerned BSA parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders, says the Christian-based organization will not only lose a large number of members and financial sponsorships, but will run the risk of creating an environment where boys will be susceptible to homosexual encounters.
"The most important point is, and the BSA knows this, but they are not talking about it or entered it into their analysis, is that this move will absolutely dramatically increase boy-on-boy sexual contact," Stemberger told The Christian Post on Thursday. more >>