Libby Phelps-Alvarez, the granddaughter of the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, recently appeared on Anderson Cooper's "Anderson Live" program to talk about her experience growing up in the church and what it's been like since she left over four years ago. She also apologized for the hurt she had caused others.
The Topeka, Kan.-based church is known for its anti-homosexual stance and commitment to picketing social, cultural, educational, private, and public institutions with which it deems are violating its interpretation of scripture. Its Website, www.godhatesfags.com, quotes Lev. 20:23 "therefore I abhorred them" and states that in 1991 it began to conduct "peaceful demonstrations opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth."
Members picketed funerals of dead service men and women, holding signs that read, "Not Blessed, Just Cursed," and "God Hates Dead Soldiers." more >>
Transgender students in California are one step closer to playing on their school's one-sex sports team of choice or have access to a bathroom based on their chosen gender identity, not their physical sex at birth. The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would mandate school districts allow transgender students their choice.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) Assembly Bill 1266 is aimed at prohibiting "discrimination against transgender students" in the state's school districts, Ammiano said.
Several school districts, including in Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have policies that allow students to participate in activities and use facilities for the gender they identify with, according to local news reports. Should the bill also pass in the state's Senate and signed by the governor, it would ensure that all students have equal access, according to Ammiano. more >>
A panel of experts with conservative values is set to discuss their views of the risks involved with a proposed change in the Boy Scouts of America that would allow gay youths to join local troops while continuing to exclude gay leaders. The discussion will be hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.
John Stemberger, Eagle Scout and Founder of OnMyHonor.Net, a coalition of concerned BSA parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders, says the Christian-based organization will not only lose a large number of members and financial sponsorships, but will run the risk of creating an environment where boys will be susceptible to homosexual encounters.
"The most important point is, and the BSA knows this, but they are not talking about it or entered it into their analysis, is that this move will absolutely dramatically increase boy-on-boy sexual contact," Stemberger told The Christian Post on Thursday. more >>
The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"This matter of Muslim persecution of Christians is a humanitarian crisis at this point," said Raymond Ibrahim in a recent interview with Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Ibrahim is the author of the recently released book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.
"It's something that is little known of or heard of or acted upon. In fact, not only is the Obama administration ignoring it, but it is actually exacerbating it, making it worse, a la the Arab Spring and other matters," said Ibrahim, who is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. more >>
Twenty-one years ago Michael Rowe killed Wilfredo Colón. Today, Wilfredo's younger brother, Anthony, who was 15 at the time of the murder, is friends with Wilfredo's killer after forgiving him for the murder.
In 2006, Anthony Colón was visiting a friend who was serving time at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Ulster County, New York, when he recognized Rowe across the room. Colón got up, walked towards Rowe with an outstretched hand and a smile on his face, and said, "brother, I've been praying for you. I forgave you. I've been praying I would see you."
On June 13, 1992, 17-year-old Wilfredo Colón was shot thirteen times by three young men who were fighting over drug dealing turf. The corner on which he was shot was outside his family's apartment located at the East River Projects in Manhattan. Michael Rowe was one of those three men. Wilfredo was Anthony's older brother. more >>
No cemeteries in Massachusetts will bury Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body, according to Peter Stefan of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors of Worcester, Mass.
Tsarnaev's body was released by the medical examiner on Thursday. It's been 17 days since he died after a shoot-out with police in Watertown, Mass., on April 19.
The Associated Press reported that Stefan might ask the city of Cambridge to bury him there, but according to a statement the Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy gave on Sunday, there has been no formal application for a burial permit or purchase of a cemetery plot. Healy urged Stefan not to request a burial permit for the city-owned Cambridge Cemetery, saying that the city "would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment." more >>