Atheist groups in the Middle East and North Africa region are demanding that Facebook, which has deleted numerous pages with more than 100,000 members for criticizing Islam, change the way it addresses violation claims so that members' freedom of speech is preserved.
In April, Facebook removed more than six Arabic-speaking atheist pages due to "violations" of Community Standards, after deactivating 10 of the largest Arabic-speaking atheist groups with a total of about 100,000 members, in February, according to The News Hub.
The censorship is a result of organized efforts by "cyber jihadist" groups to get anti-Islamic groups or pages removed, atheist groups say. more >>
The Pentagon has launched an investigation to review the Air Force's actions against 33-year veteran Oscar Rodriguez, who was forcibly dragged away for giving a speech that included the word "God" at California's Travis Air Force base in April.
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James ordered the Air Force Inspector General to review the Air Force's actions against Rodriguez, two days after the group First Liberty, which defends religious freedom of all Americans, sent a demand letter to the Air Force on behalf of the veteran.
"We view the Pentagon's action today as a positive first step towards not only acknowledging that religious scripts may be used at retirement ceremonies, but also ensuring these kinds of situations are not repeated," Mike Berry, director of Military Affairs for First Liberty Institute, says in a statement. more >>
The film "Free State of Jones," opening this Friday, gives viewers a look into the life and faith of Mississippi farmer Newt Knight, played by Matthew McConaughey, who through his role was able to openly share the faith and passion of his revolutionary character.
The epic action drama is based on Oscar-nominated writer/director Gary Ross' original screenplay that tells the extraordinary story of Newt Knight, a Southern farmer who becomes a leader that inspires a rebellion. The film explores the issues of class inequality and race relations that permeated the South during the Civil War. It also tells the story of men and women during this tenuous time who have strong faith in God and who are dealing with the moral struggle of inequality and the laws they are forced to follow.
"Free State of Jones" shows Knight rallying those who believe that "…no man ought to tell another man what he's got to live for – or what he's got to die for." He and his men fought for freedom, equality, and the ideal that "…no one can own a child of God." more >>
Four of the six men arrested last year for heckling a worship service led by Pastor Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, were found not guilty.
Last June six men from a fundamentalist Christian group called the Church of Wells interrupted a worship service headed by Joel Osteen, calling him a "liar."
Four of the six men arrested, Kevin Fessler, Matthew Martinez, Randall Valdez, and Mark DeRouville, were cleared of all charges Wednesday at a trial held at Harris County Courthouse. more >>
Progressive-minded Americans were "totally sure," according to a 2010 poll, that their viewpoints would not be considered bigoted "five years from now."
The recently declassified survey found that 87 percent of liberal respondents answered that they were "totally sure" that their views will remain equality-friendly five to ten years into the future.
The remaining 13 percent responded with either "absolutely sure", "completely sure", "surer than sure", "very sure", "Pauly sure", "Jersey sure", or "are you serious, bro?" more >>
An elected school board member in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, who publicly expressed outrage over a church's sign wishing Muslims a "blessed Ramadan" will remain in office, despite calls for his resignation.
Spring Grove Area School District board member Matt Jansen offered an apology Monday for his social media comments criticizing the pastor of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Dallastown for posting a message in front of the church that reads: "Wishing a blessed Ramadan to our Muslim neighbors."
St. Paul's UCC Pastor Christopher Rodkey told The Christian Post that, speaking for himself, if Jansen was a school board member in his district, "I would be doing everything I could as a private citizen to demand his resignation." more >>