An atheist group is threatening to sue a California town for hosting a 12-hour prayer rally on the steps of city hall the day after a 6-year-old girl was shot last week and for planning to host a town hall meeting at a church facility.
The American Humanist Association, a Washington D.C.-based legal group, sent a warning letter to Stockton, California, Mayor Anthony Silva last Thursday on behalf of the Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers informing him that he violated the Constitution by holding and organizing a prayer rally last Monday on city property.
Before the 6-year-old girl was shot and wounded during a senseless drive-by shooting last Sunday, Silva had already been organizing a "Prayer Rally for Stockton" in hopes of uniting the community, promoting peace and ending homicidal violence that has claimed at least 40 lives in the city this year. more >>
On the morning Amanda Blackburn, the pregnant wife of Resonate Church pastor, Davey Blackburn in Indiana, was killed, a neighbor said she heard two gunshots and what sounded like a woman scream.
A copy of the affidavit of probable cause against her suspected killer, Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and his accomplice, Jalen Watson, 21, released Monday by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, painted an agonizing picture of why that scream was most likely Amanda's.
The autopsy conducted on Amanda Blackburn on Nov. 12 revealed: "(She) sustained a gunshot wound to the back of her head. She also had a gunshot wound to the lower left arm which traveled up to her biceps. She also had a through and through gunshot wound which entered and exited her upper back." more >>
Megachurch Pastor Perry Noble called on Fox News, Megyn Kelly and former Westchester County, New York, District Attorney Jeanine Pirro to apologize Monday for casting doubt on the innocence of Resonate Church Pastor Davey Blackburn in the murder of his pregnant wife, Amanda.
The call comes just hours after the Indianapolis Metro Police Department announced the arrest of 18-year-old Larry Taylor of Indianapolis for Amanda's death.
Noble, who is senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina where Blackburn worked as a campus pastor before starting resonate church, says the grieving widower suffered "venomous" attacks against his character after a segment on Fox News' "The Kelly File" questioned his innocence. more >>
Reacting to an announcement Monday that a teenager has been arrested for the rape and murder of his late wife Amanda, Resonate Church Pastor Davey Blackburn said he was "extremely relieved" to hear the news.
"Though it does not undo the pain we are feeling, I was extremely relieved to get the news of the arrest made last night of Amanda's killer. The investigators have assured me they have a solidly-built case to ensure justice is levied and the process is expedited. The family and I couldn't be more thankful for the level of compassion and professionalism the IMPD and investigators have shown us through the last couple of weeks," said Blackburn in a statement posted on the Resonate Church's Facebook page.
He noted that he hoped in the months to come, the court system would use wisdom in prosecuting the teenager and that he would also repent of his actions. He also hoped that "Jesus would give me and our family a heart of forgiveness." more >>
Police in Indianapolis, Indiana, announced Monday that they have arrested a teenager for the murder of Amanda Blackburn, the pregnant 28-year-old wife of Resonate Church Pastor Davey Blackburn, who was raped then shot during a recent home invasion.
A statement from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department said the teenager, identified as Larry Taylor of Indianapolis was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder.
On Monday afternoon Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced formal against Taylor and Jalen Watson also of Indianapolis. They were charged with multiple felonies including Amanda's murder. more >>
Only a few weeks ago the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which represents nearly 40 denominations and over 45,000 congregations, stepped back from its pro-death penalty stance of over 40 years.
On the one hand, it is embarrassing to admit that this news comes so late. On the other hand, as the old adage puts it, "a bad wind never changes."
Thankfully, on the issue of capital punishment, a new day in Evangelical religious history is on the horizon. Since 1973, the NAE has claimed that Christians should support the death penalty. The NAE's new position shows growing concerns with the death penalty among a constituency that historically has been among its strongest supporters. more >>