WASHINGTON — Best-selling author and intellectual Eric Metaxas believes that happiness is not an emotional state Christians should pursue.
"I want to be the skunk of the garden party and say that I think the whole idea of happiness is stupid," Metaxas asserted at the American Enterprise Institute's Evangelical Leadership Summit on Wednesday.
Arkansas State University says it will be removing the Christian cross from football players' helmets after a complaint was filed claiming that it violates separation of church and state laws.
The Red Wolves football team's helmets feature a white cross along with the initials of deceased ASU teammate Markel Owens, who was murdered during a home invasion in January, and equipment manager Barry Weyer, who died in a car accident earlier this year.
Football players at Arkansas State University were ordered to either remove a Christian cross decal from their helmets or modify it into a mathematical sign after a Jonesboro attorney complained that the image violated the U.S. Constitution.
The cross decal was meant to memorialize former player Markel Owens and former equipment manager Barry Weyer, said athletic director Terry Mohajir. Weyer was killed in a June car crash. Owens was gunned down in Tennessee in January.
Barry Weyer, Sr., told me that the players and coaches voluntarily decided to memorialize his son and Owens. more >>
My question may sound socialistic to some of my fellow conservatives; nonetheless it is a question that must be addressed. American high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, but the education gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Noble and expensive attempts to close this gap—including subsidized preschool and the controversial implementation of the Common Core State Standards—have largely failed. In the case of Common Core, where wealthy and middle class parents are hiring tutors to compensate for its weaknesses, the "reform" aimed at equalizing the playing field may actually be making the problem worse.
Why is it so difficult to elevate the academic performance of low-income children? A growing body of research indicates that part of the answer may lie in the tremendous amount of brain development that takes place during the first three years of life. Babies are born to learn, and we now know many neural networks in the brain are significantly strengthened or weakened long before a child has entered formal schooling.
According to a 1995 University of Kansas study (Hart and Risley), children of educated parents hear 2,100 words an hour. In contrast, those with working class parents hear 1,200 words, and children whose parents are on public assistance hear only 600. The vocabulary and attentiveness of the primary caregiver—whether it is a parent, a nanny or a daycare worker—plays a central role in the cognitive skills children will demonstrate later in life. more >>
A newly enforced nondiscrimination policy issued by the California State University system that requires InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to allow non-Christians to be chapter leaders has forced the nationwide organization to develop a new style of campus ministry, IVCF officials said Tuesday.
"InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is now developing a new style of campus ministry on CSU campuses where we have been banned from participating in campus life as a recognized student organization," IVCF stated. "In order to maintain a ministry presence with 23 chapters on 19 CSU campuses, InterVarsity is introducing creative new ways to connect with students and share the gospel message — though doing so as an 'unrecognized' student group will prove considerably more costly."
IVCF officials added that because it is no longer allowed to participate in campus organization fairs, InterVarsity will make contact with students by deploying new tools such as mobile banner stands, interactive displays, social media, and other techniques that don't rely on established campus structures. more >>
Millions of children in the Middle East region are at risk of missing the school year in the wake of extreme turmoil in the region in the past several months, most notably the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas and the attacks from terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"The problem concerns not only minors who are displaced or refugees in these countries, but also the numerous young people living in the areas where people in flight have sought safety. Very often schools, which are not destroyed or damaged or used as headquarters for armed groups, are occupied by communities of displaced persons," a report by the Italian Red Cross and the AGIRE network read.
"In many cases there is no other option: refugee camps are often overcrowded or in precarious conditions and the only possible shelters for those not staying in private homes, are parks, abandoned buildings and schools." more >>