Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges that he used straw donors to exceed campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate in 2012. Meanwhile, the charges against the co-producer of "2016: Obama's America" are being seen by conservatives as evidence that the White House is targeting its critics.
"The Feds have chosen to pursue this alleged minor violation in the same way the IRS targeted conservative Tea Party groups for retribution," Gerald R. (Jerry) Molen, who co-produced "2016" with D'Souza, said in a statement released Friday. "In light of the way the IRS has been used to stifle dissent, this arrest should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Americans."
D'Souza's defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, suggested in New York federal court that the action described in D'Souza's indictment does not rise to the level of a crime, according to Reuters. The contributions connected to D'Souza were for candidate Wendy Long, who was unsuccessful in her bid for the Senate seat of Democratic Kirsten Gillibrand in New York. more >>
"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" has sparked controversy due to the religion of its villain – a Russian Orthodox Christian terrorist with ties to 9/11 who aims to blow up Wall Street. Christian reviewers, however, say they are not insulted by this fact, arguing that "there are bigger fish to fry."
"This is not religious terrorism, it's coming from the Soviet Union," Gary Black Jr., chair of Advanced Studies at Azusa Pacific University, told The Christian Post in an interview on Friday. Black argued that, far from insulting Russian Orthodox Christianity, the film ironically praises it. "It's demonstrating the true values of Orthodox Christianity – the best place to hide and not to be seen as a terrorist is a church." The film is not about wacky Christian terrorists but about Russian spies who think the best place to hide is a church. In one scene, an undercover "family" is activated by the priest preaching on Lamentations 2:2.
"If you want to talk about anti-Christian content in the movie Jack Ryan, talk about the six misuses of Jesus' name as if it were a swear word," Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus on the Family's movie review department "Plugged In," told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. Waliszewski argued that "there's nothing more insensitive that a director can do than misuse the name above every name." more >>
The Commonwealth of Virginia is one step closer to passing a bill meant to protect student prayer in public schools, as the measure has passed the upper house of the state legislature.
In a close vote on Tuesday, the Va. Senate approved Senate Bill 236, which was sponsored Republican Sen. Bill Carrico of Grayson County.
A Catholic priest from Ohio who witnessed the prolonged execution of convicted murderer Dennis McGuire last week described it as "inhumane" and "evil," noting that the felon prayed for forgiveness for his crimes.
"What I saw was inhumane. I don't know how any objective observer could come up with any conclusion other than that injection was an evil way to go," Fr. Lawrence Hummer of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chillicothe, Ohio, wrote in an article for The Guardian on Wednesday, revealing that he attended the execution as McGuire' spiritual adviser.
McGuire's execution last week caused controversy after he was given an untested combination of chemicals that had him gasp for air, snort and choke for 10 of the 14 minutes he took to officially die. The 53-year-old convict is believed to have experienced a rare medical phenomenon known as an "air hunger" after he was administered a dose of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative. more >>
A lawyer who specializes in religious liberty cases has expressed approval of the Defense Department's recently announced new policy on religious grooming for military personnel.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post that the Wednesday announcement by the Pentagon was a "good step."
"We think that it's a very good step in that it incorporates, for instance, much of the language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which applies to the federal government," said Blomberg. more >>
A new campaign calls on evangelicals to affirm that gays, undocumented immigrants, liberals and unbelievers as individuals made in God's image in order to replace uncivil debate with a conversation about God's love instead.
The Imago Dei project (Latin for "the image of God") was launched by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), along with other prominent Christian leaders, earlier this week.
"We should be known not by what we oppose, but rather by what we propose," said Rodriguez, in a statement. "Through this campaign we want to reconcile the message of Jesus as affirmed by Billy Graham's transformative message and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historical march for justice." more >>