It is Thanksgiving, one of the major holidays in the United States. Below are four points of interest regarding the development of the observance, on the last Thursday in November, and the practices therein.
Thanksgiving Used to Happen Any Time
The modern concept of Thanksgiving dates back centuries, deriving from religious traditions in Europe. more >>
A New York school district has decided to approve a student's proposal to start a Christian club at her high school called "Dare to Believe" after she was initially told that her student organization would be a possible violation of the U.S. constitution.
In September, student Liz Loverde met with Wantagh Principal Carolyn Breivogel about the possibility of starting a Christian club called Dare to Believe. Reportedly, Breivogel rejected the student club idea under the assumption that having a Christian student organization recognized would violate the U.S. Constitution.
In response to the rejection from Wantagh High School of the Wantagh Union Free School District, Loverde and her family contacted the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute, which sent a letter to the principal last Monday, as well as to other school district officials alerting them that they were violating the Equal Access Act of 1984 for denying her request. more >>
MIAMI BEACH — For multiple and complex reasons, professors in American college and university social science departments are much less religious than the population, sociologist Christian Smith explained Monday.
Religious people are both less likely to become social scientists and religious social scientists are more likely to be kept out of academia, he said at the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Faith Angle Forum in response to a question from The Christian Post.
Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, was delivering a talk called "Why Social Scientists (and Some Journalists) Don't 'Get' Religion." (Audio of the full conference is available on the EPPC website.) more >>
A Pennsylvania parent upset that his child was being exposed to religion through the Star of David necklace being worn by a teacher filed a complaint but learned that the school board supported the teacher's freedom.
"They are there to learn about education, not to learn about religious points of view," Ernest Perce, the man responsible for the complaint, told ABC 27 news. "If a child is subjected to a teacher where a symbol of Judaism is allowed to skirt the law, I believe that a Muslim should be allowed to cover her head as well as a Christian to cover her head like the Bible commands."
Perce was once the state director of the Pennsylvania chapter of American Atheists and led a protest against politicians supporting a resolution calling 2012 the "Year of the Bible." Even though he received a great deal of blowback for a billboard featuring a person in a yoke, with the words: "Slaves, obey your masters. Colossians 3:22," Perce was determined to stand firm. more >>
Events sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, which takes place on Saturday, include the release of the organization's new documentary and Saddleback Church co-founder Kay Warren sharing her testimony, both available during webcasts.
"International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day can change your life," says AFSP. "It's the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope."
For many loss survivors, attending a Survivor Day event is the first time they realize they are not alone, say organizers. "Just hearing the stories—from people at all stages of healing—can be helpful," AFSP states. "The gathering also provides participants with a chance to share their own stories with those who understand firsthand the challenges of living in the aftermath of a suicide loss." more >>
About 120 international Christian students attending a Bible college in Ohio could possibly face deportation after their school was recently denied recertification with the U.S. immigration exchange student program.
Although President Barack Obama plans to announce Thursday night an immigration overhaul that could allow nearly 5 million illegal immigrants to remain in the country, the 120 foreign Christian students at Marietta Bible College are in a bind after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to issue the school recertification into the the agency's Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
In doing so, the school's international students must either find a new school to transfer to or they will face deportation starting in February 2015. Additionally, the college may no longer accept international students. more >>