An incident in suburban Maryland occurred this week that should serve as a wake-up call to all concerned mothers (and dads). An Anne Arundel County, Maryland, school bus was stolen by two drunken pranksters who said they were looking for cigarette money. Bus 874 was trashed and smashed up and left in the woods in Davidsonville. Local moms are incensed—and they should be. How can we know that these people would not have driven around picking up special needs kids? For them the bus would have seemed a safe and welcoming sight. How could anyone gain access to a school bus parking lot under cover of darkness and make off with a bright yellow vehicle without being stopped at locked gates?
We should remember that our open society and our free press give ample coverage to such capers. They seem to us a one-day story. But to terrorists who have crossed our porous borders, these stories give ideas. Let's not forget that the 1971 airline hijacking by "D.B. Cooper" gained worldwide publicity. Soon, Yasser Arafat's PLO guerillas and their subcontractors were hijacking commercial jets and taking their passengers hostage to advance his political agenda.
We should use this drunken joy ride on an unoccupied school bus in Maryland to prepare ourselves. How secure are our schoolyards and bus parking lots from just this kind of event? What assurance do we have that we will not see a school massacre like the one that occurred in 2004 in Beslan, Russia? There, some 350 people, most of them little children, died when Chechen Islamists seized the school and held the children and their teachers hostage for three days. Russian President Vladimir Putin's bungling, brutal rescue mission was largely responsible for the high casualty figures. more >>
Advocates for prison inmates and their families are speaking out against a growing network of state prisons across the U.S. that they say are passing on prison revenue costs to the inmates' innocent families and friends. The families are forced to use high-cost, third-party prison banking companies and high-cost phone vendors that share a cut of their profits with state corrections agencies.
An investigation by The Center for Public Integrity reveals that in order to transfer money to their incarcerated loved-ones, family members of 70 percent of the inmates in American prisons are required use certain online prison banking companies, like JPay, Inc., which charge unreasonable percentage fees to use their service on top of access charges. These companies, in turn, give a cut of the profit back to the prisons and corrections agencies.
A prime anecdotal example, the report highlights, is the case of one mother of a Virginia inmate, who is serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery. Before, Pat Taylor would send money orders to her son with no problem with a cost of about $2 per money order. But when Virginia stopped accepting money orders and forced her to place money into an online account through JPay, she noticed that it cost her much more to send her son some extra spending cash. more >>
A Montgomery, Alabama, Baptist congregation is reeling after their longtime pastor confessed at the pulpit a few Sundays ago that he has AIDS, knowingly slept with church members inside the building without revealing his status, and abused drugs and mishandled the congregation's money.
The shocking revelation was confirmed by a WSFA 12 news report which noted that church leaders at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church relieved the offending pastor, Juan Demetrius McFarland, of his duties on Sunday. McFarland is also moderator of the Alabama Middle District Missionary Baptist Association, which includes 34 churches across the state. Association leaders told WSFA 12 that there were no discussions to remove him from that post.
McFarland, who has served at the church for 21 years according to the church's website, told congregants on Sept. 14 that in 2003 he contracted HIV which developed into AIDS in 2008. more >>
A Muslim inmate is expected to prevail in his lawsuit for the right to grow a beard, an expert told The Christian Post after hearing arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The arguments were heard Tuesday regarding Gregory Holt, an inmate serving life in an Arkansas prison, who was denied permission by correctional officials to grow grow a short beard in accordance with his strict Muslim beliefs.
Also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, Holt had legal representation from Professor Doug Laycock at the University of Virginia Law School and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which recently prevailed in another religious freedom case involving Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain owned by an Evangelical Christian family. more >>
The Jehovah's Witnesses have a silent epidemic of child abuse that was recently brought to public attention again after four alleged victims filed lawsuits against the organization.
There are over 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses across the globe, according to the group's website. However, there have been numerous accusations and cases brought against elders and leaders of the organization, alleging child abuse of both young men and women, dating back at least 30 years. Four reported victims brought a lawsuit against the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Organization in Connecticut.
"This is an insidious problem, an epidemic problem with child sex abuse within this organization that so far seems more concerned about protecting its reputation from scandal than about the children," attorney Irwin Zalkin said at a press conference in Connecticut. more >>
A New York pastor launched an "I Am a Snitch" campaign Sunday aimed at encouraging his Buffalo community members to report crimes to police despite the stigma attached to individuals who "snitch."
The campaign is a response to the Sept. 28 murder of 19-year-old Marquis Scott in Niagara Falls, New York, which police are still trying to investigate. Pastor Craig Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church reportedly began the campaign with hopes of creating awareness that cooperating with police investigations should not be seen negatively.
The Christian Post contacted Pastor Cary Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church but no response was received by press time. more >>