Talking about Jesus Christ on French Quarter's Bourbon Street in New Orleans is allowed, at least for the moment, because a federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a year-old city law that prohibits preaching at night in the area famous for its revelry.
Attorneys say that there is a good chance that two separate cases, one involving a group of Christians who were arrested during Southern Decadence, an annual gay lifestyle celebration, and another involving a New Orleans pastor who was threatened with an arrest on a different occasion after 30 years of street preaching, will be consolidated into one case prior to an Oct. 1 hearing by a judge.
Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Pastor Paul Gros of Vieux Carre Assembly of God Church in the French Quarter, filed a lawsuit and a motion for preliminary injunction Thursday against the City of New Orleans for criminalizing religious speech on Bourbon Street. more >>
The University of Tennessee has decided to continue its tradition of opening home football games and other events with prayer despite complaints from a national atheist group, which claims it violates the separation of church and state.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation had written to UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, insisting the offering of prayers violated a 1997 U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision – Chaudhuri vs. State of Tennessee – that struck down sectarian prayers at public universities. However, Cheek announced that "the university will continue to allow prayers before university events."
"Public universities should respect, not squelch, the religious traditions of students. We applaud the University of Tennessee for continuing prayers at events, including football games," Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Staff Travis Barham said in a statement on Friday. more >>
A Washington, D.C.-based church-state watchdog group has filed a complaint to the IRS against a Colorado-based Christian group, saying they violated tax-exemption rules by endorsing a political party.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent the complaint on Wednesday against Ridgway Christian Center, an organization connected to Praise Him Ministries. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, wrote the letter to the IRS in response to a fall 2012 publication of RCC which apparently endorsed the Republican Party for the upcoming elections.
"In this case, Ridgway Christian Center/Praise Him Ministries has endorsed not just one candidate by an entire slate with its command to vote for the Republican Party," wrote Lynn. "I believe this type of brazen disregard for the law cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. I urge you to investigate this matter and fully apply the law." more >>
A high school football team in Texas will no longer run through paper banners that reference the Bible as they take the field after the school district's superintendent banned the use of religious messages on the banners. The school had received a complaint from a national atheist organization.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a national atheist organization based in Madison, Wis., wrote a letter to the Kountze Independent School District in Kountze, Texas, telling the district to stop allowing its high school football team to run through the Scripture-based banners.
"It is our information and understanding that Kountze High School cheerleaders regularly display religious banners that the football team runs through before athletic competitions. We understand that each week a different bible verse is displayed for all to observe ...You must take immediate action to stop these religious banners from being part of school-sponsored events. It is illegal for a public school to organize, sponsor or lead religious messages at school athletic events," FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie A. Schmitt said in her letter to the district. more >>
The City of Nashville is demanding that a church close down its encampment of tents for the homeless on its property, saying that it violates a zoning law.
Nashville officials told Green Street Church of Christ that the placement of about ten tents is a zoning violation, but the church maintains that such an encampment is part of their mission to help the poor.
Tom Cross, an associate director with Nashville's legal division, told The Christian Post that the tent community falls under the zoning laws regarding camping. more >>
An appeals court ruled against a Wisconsin school district over its usage of a church building to hold graduations due to a lack of space in public school facilities.
The full court of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that by holding some graduations at a church full of religious imagery, Elmbrook School District was unlawfully endorsing a religion.
In a statement provided by Elmbrook Schools to The Christian Post, School District Superintendent Mark Hansen expressed disappointment with the decision. more >>