Louisiana's legislature may soon decide to make a copy of the Holy Bible their official state book, should a proposed bill be passed this session.
Known as House Bill 503, the proposed legislation looks to a specific copy of the Good Book to bestow the honor of being the 'state book' of Louisiana.
"The official state book shall be the Holy Bible, published by Johannes Prevel, (Prevel, Jean, active 1510-1528, printer. & Petit, Jean, fl. 1492-1530.), which is the oldest edition of the Holy Bible in the Louisiana State Museum system," reads HB 503. more >>
In efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, conservatives often argue that money going to Planned Parenthood pays for abortions, even if the money is not directly for abortions, because money is fungible. Conservatives should avoid making this argument because the same argument could be used to negatively impact religious freedom.
On Feb. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that banned Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood. The legal issue before the Court dealt with federalism. Medicaid is a federal government program that is run by the states. Medicaid costs are shared by the federal government and state governments. Federal law was unclear as to which level of government should decide which healthcare providers in a state are qualified for Medicaid reimbursements. The Court decided it was the federal government.
The impetus for passing the law in the first place, though, came from a "fungible funds" argument, which goes like this: Every dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood subsidizes abortions because money is fungible. Money that is reimbursed for a breast cancer screening, for instance, is interchangable with money that pays for an abortion. While Planned Parenthood accountants may keep the funds separate in their ledgers, this only amounts to an "accounting gimmick," they say. more >>
Prayer and scripture are powerful tools of encouragement for struggling individuals, but the church fails when it presents them as the sole cure for mental disorders, writes a college student whose friend suffers from clinical depression.
In an article for Azusa Pacific University's student publication, Alec Bleher reports that his friend reflects a concern many have when it comes to how the Christian community responds to the issues surrounding mental illness.
"One of the things that bothered me was being told I just needed to pray more or that I needed to spend more time in the word," Bleher's friend and fellow Azusa University student, Nathan Robe, was quoted as saying. "…It was their way of saying, 'Well, you're doing this wrong and this is happening to you for a reason. It's because you don't do these things.' When you start [trying to be more 'Christian-like'] and things continue to go the way they have been, you begin to wonder, 'Am I not doing it right?'" more >>
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 >>
A Southern California mother has agreed to remove the roadside cross memorializing her dead son after receiving pressure from an atheist organization.
Ann Marie Devaney placed a white Christian cross near an on-ramp to Highway 15 inLake Elsinore, Calif., after her 19-year-old son Anthony was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street there in May 2012. After two years, Devaney has agreed to remove the cross after the American Humanist Association pressured the city of Lake Elsinore, reportedly on behalf of an atheist resident who argues the cross' presence on government-owned highway is unconstitutional.
As NBC Los Angeles reports, Devaney showed up to the site of the cross Thursday to pay her last respects to her son before removing the small memorial. The mother of the teen who struck Devaney's son with his car also showed up to grieve and express that she too did not think the cross should be removed. more >>
Emerging trends for the multisite church movement, which now includes at least 8,000 sites throughout the U.S., include the findings that churches with multiple locations grow faster, have more lay-person participation, and reach more new believers than single-site churches, according to a study by the Leadership Network.
"More churches will continue to explore multisites, not as a tool for growth but as a means of taking the church to more people and taking a healthy church and reproducing it in other places," said Warren Bird, Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development for Leadership Network, during a web seminar Wednesday.
By definition, a multisite congregation is one church meeting in two or more locations under one overall leadership and budget. more >>