Boston College, a Jesuit, Catholic university located in Chestnut Hill, Mass., is currently working to stop the distribution of condoms and other "safe sex" materials on campus, arguing that the promotion of contraceptive use interferes with the university's religious values.
"The distribution of condoms is not congruent with our values and traditions," Boston College's Dean of Students Paul Chebator and Director of Residence Life George Arey said in a March 15 email to students, according to NBC News.
"We do need to advise you that should we receive any reports that you are, in fact, distributing condoms on campus, the matter would be referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the university," the email continued, adding that the university has a "responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution." more >>
An Alabama elementary school is banning the word Easter from campus activities because the principal said that even secular symbols such as the Easter bunny relate too closely to religion and would not only offend someone but do something even more serious.
"Kids love the bunny and we just try to make sure that we don't say the 'Easter' bunny so that we don't infringe upon the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion," said Principal Lydia Davenport of Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Ala.
Davenport informed teachers on Monday (March 25) that the school's plans to have an "academic egg hunt" for kindergarten and second grade students would have to be cancelled. Instead, teachers are being asked to use something else besides eggs and to not mention the word "Easter," according to local news reports. more >>
A Florida academic institution that had a professor tell his students to write the name Jesus on paper and trample on it has issued a formal apology for the lesson.
"This exercise will not be used again. The University holds dear its core values. We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused," said Florida Atlantic University, a multi-campus institution, in a prepared statement posted on its website.
"Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs." more >>
The United States Commission on Civil Rights held a public briefing Friday in order to take a closer look at how the nation's nondiscrimination principles are coexisting with those of religious liberty.
The half-day meeting between expert panelists and the commission reflected the divided sentiment in the country over such issues as the HHS mandate and college campus access for Christian fellowship groups, InterVarsity National Field Director for the Northeast Greg Jao told The Christian Post.
"It's interesting how partisan and divided both the panel and commission seem to be, which really reflects the conversation we are having in the country about religious liberty," said Jao, who attended the briefing. More than 17 different chapters of InterVarsity have sent in reports to the commission for review and 10 more chapters plan to do the same, he said. more >>
A Florida Atlantic University professor made his students write the name "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then trample on it, as part of a "lesson in debating," a student suspended for refusing to participate in the exercise has revealed.
"I'm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated," student Ryan Rotela, a Mormon, told WPEC. "I truly see this as I'm being punished."
Rotela explained that his Intercultural Communications class was told to write Jesus' name on a piece of paper, then gather together and stomp on it. The student refused, however, and picked up the paper from the floor and put it back on the table. more >>
Editor's Note: There are two parts to this story: an interview with Ryan Shook and an interview with Josh Shook, co-authors of the new book Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own. Below is the interview with Ryan Shook.
Twenty-three-year-old Ryan Shook grew up in church knowing all the "good Christian kid" answers. The son of New York Times best-selling authors Kerry and Chris Shook, founders of Woodlands Church, a megachurch near Houston, says his faith "worked" for him until he entered high school. At that point, he said he was faced with criticism, rejection, isolation, and insecurity.
Earlier this week, Shook and his brother Josh (22) released their book, Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own. The book about breaking free from "secondhand religion" is receiving high marks from well-known Christian leaders. more >>