In an effort to prevent what happened last Christmas season to a first grader at a California school who was stopped by his teacher from passing out candy canes with a Christian message to his classmates, religious freedom lawyers have filed a request for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Last year, when Isaiah Martinez brought his Christmas gifts to Merced Elementary in the West Covina Unified School District, his teacher took possession of the candy canes. At the direction of the school principal, the teacher instructed Isaiah that "Jesus is not allowed in school" and she removed the candy cane messages from each candy cane, threw the messages in the trash, and handed the candy canes back to Isaiah for delivery to his classmates, according to Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
Isaiah then "nervously handed the candy canes to his classmates in fear that he was in trouble for trying to bring a little Christmas cheer and 'good tidings' to class," AFF stated. The canes no longer had a message attached that recited the legend of a candy maker who created the candy cane to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. more >>
The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis will set up a panel to help process the "backlog" of appeals from priests who've been accused of committing sexual abuse against minors. The new judicial body, or college, will be overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Hearing the appeals is a very important job, especially those on abuse of minors, and the backlog of cases is at risk of absorbing all the time of the congregation," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told The Tablet, a Catholic news weekly.
"[The accused] shall have his case examined by the whole body of members of the congregation, the ordinary session, which may also examine other specific cases upon papal request, and/or examine cases referred to it by the newly created college," he added. more >>
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon addressed the town of Ferguson on Tuesday and revealed a plan for handling any civil disturbances in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision whether to indict officer Darren Wilson.
"The [National] Guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement," Nixon said at a press conference. "Quite simply, we must and will be fully prepared. As governor, the most important part of my job is keeping the people of Missouri safe."
The town of Ferguson has been preparing for the grand jury's verdict as to whether Officer Darren Wilson will be indicted in the shooting of unarmed teen, Michael Brown. Wilson shot and killed Brown in August, leading to outrage among the citizens of Ferguson. There were several protests, peaceful and not peaceful, that have continued even now. The state has been trying to work with the public to better relations between officials and the public. However, Nixon's press conference upset some people and seemingly made things worse. more >>
A former CBS News investigative reporter is claiming that CBS News executives kept hidden part of a "60 Minutes" interview with President Barack Obama following the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012 that could have hurt the president's reelection campaign.
Sharyl Attkisson, who resigned from CBS News earlier this year due to her frustration with what she claimed was the network's liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting, said in interviews with two news networks on Sunday that CBS News executives "kept secret" an exclusive 60 Minutes interview where Obama refused to label the attacks on the US compound in Benghazi as an "act of terror."
During the 2012 election, Obama had to defend himself when Republican challenger Mitt Romney said during a presidential debate that it had taken Obama 14 days to declare the attacks on Benghazi, which killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens, as an act of terrorism. Obama replied saying that he had declared that the attack was an "act of terror" in his initial remarks the day after the Benghazi attack at a press conference held at the White House Rose Garden. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
NEW YORK — The United States is commonly viewed as a land of opportunity and a place where — with enough hard work and determination — dreams can become reality. But the world's leading superpower has not been very kind to its children, according to data comparing how various countries care for their youngest members. Despite its war on poverty, ongoing for 50 years, nearly 20 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, but continued Gospel movements can put a dent in that figure, according to World Vision executive Romanita Hairston.
Referencing Books of the Bible like Nehemiah and Esther and pulling out analogies based on terms used in discussions of infectious diseases, Hairston, World Vision's vice president of U.S. Programs, grabbed the attention of the estimated 1,500 people seated inside a New York City hotel ballroom last month with her insistence that the longest war in the United States has been the war on poverty.
"If child well-being was a military issue, the red phone would be off the hook," said Hairston at one point in her remarks. more >>