A thoughtful Religion News Service commentary notes that some conservative Christians are now troubled by the sentiment of "God Bless America" in a time of state imposed same sex marriage. This trend of spiritual ambivalence towards the nation will likely continue and is itself troubling.
Some on the Left have been discomfited by "God Bless America" since almost its start, with left-wing folk singer Woodrie Guthrie composing his riposte, "This Land Is Your Land." More recently, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright urged an alternative sentiment: "God damn America!"
Russian immigrant Irving Berlin originally wrote "God Bless America' in 1918 during WWI but didn't publicize it until the eve of WWII. more >>
A Facebook page that an atheist group had successfully pressurred to remove Christian messages due to confusion over its relationship to a city government is now posting Christian messages again after some minor changes to the page.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation was initially successful in getting an Arkansas city to remove religious postings from the Dispatch Jonesboro Facebook page — a page overseen by a Jonesboro city employee — after it filed an official complaint citing that it was inapproprite for the page to indicate a preference for Christianity and religion. The page has since returned to posting Christian messages.
Jonesboro officials opted to remove several posts about the Bible and God after receiving a letter from the FFRF. However, after an investigation, the page was found not to be directly tied to the city government. more >>
From Creflo Dollar to Kenneth Copeland, late night comedian John Oliver delivered a brutal takedown Sunday of a group of televangelists and related churches known for preaching "the prosperity gospel" on his HBO program "Last Week Tonight" that has now gone viral.
Calling the majority of the roughly 350,000 churches nationwide a "cornerstone of American life" which do good work, Oliver quickly took dead aim at "churches that exploit people's faith for monetary gain," citing televangelist Creflo Dollar who asked his donors this year to help him purchase a $65 million luxury jet among his prime targets.
Also making the list in Oliver's 20-minute takedown was televangelist Mike Murdock who bragged in front of his congregation about purchasing two private jets with cash as well as Kenneth Copeland who calls his private jet a "preaching machine" used only for church activities but was found to be using it for trips to luxury ski resorts and gaming trips to India. more >>
A Kentucky state employee has maintained her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a recently issued court order mandating that her office do so.
Kim Davis of Rowan County has declined to follow a court order issued Wednesday by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
"The Court must … point out that the act of issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple merely signifies that the couple has met the legal requirements to marry. It is not a sign of moral or religious approval," read the order. more >>
Two bills have been introduced for the next Florida legislative session that would protect churches who refuse to perform gay weddings from potential legal action.
Filed earlier this week and scheduled to be considered during the 2016 session, the identical Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 43 offer legal protection for any church or ministry who refuses to perform a same-sex wedding.
"A church or religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a church or religious organization, an individual employed by a church or religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy member or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if such an action would cause the church, organization, or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief," read the bills' text. more >>
Sixteen states have filed an amicus brief in support of three Christian academic institutions that have sued the Health and Human Services Department due to religious objections to the birth control mandate.
The brief was filed Monday on behalf of Houston Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, and Westminster Theological Seminary, who are appealing to the U.S, Supreme Court to get an exemption from the HHS mandate.
Attorneys General listed in the brief represent the states of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. more >>