Kim Dae Jin recalls the day when, as a prisoner in a North Korean labor camp, an informant betrayed a small group of prisoners who were Christian, which to be was forbidden.
"I watched as they (prison officials) grabbed hold of my friend's arm so tightly that it died and had to be amputated," he said. "After that, he and the other Christians were sent to an even stricter camp. You do not get out of a camp like that alive."
Sadly, Kim's tale is all too common in North Korea's brutal regime. In its newly released annual report on Christian persecution, Open Doors notes that up to 70,000 Christians are being held in horrific conditions in the North Korean prison "gulag." In them, everyone, from small children to the elderly, is subject to sub-human treatment, often for simply believing in Jesus. more >>
The parents of a six-year-old girl said their daughter was humiliated when a teacher interrupted the child's one-minute speech and told her to sit down because she's "not allowed to talk about the Bible in school," attorneys for the California family allege.
The incident occurred Dec. 19 inside a first grade classroom at Helen Hunt-Jackson Elementary School in Temecula, Calif. The previous day the teacher instructed boys and girls to find something at home that represented a family Christmas tradition. They were supposed to bring the item to school and share the item in a classroom presentation.
Brynn Williams decided to bring the Star of Bethlehem that adorned the top of her family's Christmas tree. She also worked on a one-minute presentation to explain that her family's tradition is to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time. more >>
With today's "anything goes" mentality, what's wrong with using profanity and expletives for emphasis in a movie? Even PG-13 movies for families like "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and mischievous television cartoons are spicing things up with f-bombs.
Let me ask you something, "Are you paying attention to the frequency of f-word foul mouthery in the media today?" What was once prohibited in television and film is now promoted in ways unthinkable just a short time ago.
When I was growing up, Hollywood upheld a code of ethics for what they produced, entitled the "Hays Code." These moral guidelines were agreed upon by the major motion picture studios in order to honor marriage, family and common decency. more >>
Teacher and atheist blogger Hemant Mehta finally found a home for his rejected $3,000 donation this week when the Niles Township Food Pantry agreed to accept the money. The donation was previously rejected by the Morton Grove Park District and the Morton Grove Library.
Charles Levy, clerk of the Niles Township, a suburb near Chicago, Ill., confirmed this week that the Niles Township Food Pantry had cashed Mehta's check for $3,000. "It went through like any other donation," Levy said on Jan. 7, according to the Morton Grove Champion. "It was labeled as a contribution to the food pantry, so there was no reason to treat it differently. We deposited it a few days ago."
Before this week, Mehta's $3,000 donation was rejected by two other groups over the course of two months. Mehta first raised the money as a donation for the Morton Grove Park District, after the local chapter of the American Legion cut its annual $2,600 funding to the department because one of its commissioners, Dan Ashta, refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The park district rejected Mehta's donation, which he had raised from donors online, saying that it did not want to accept the money and possibly become involved in a "First Amendment dispute." more >>
A California elementary school is facing a possible lawsuit after ateacher allegedly confiscated a six-year-old child's Christmas candy canes and told him "Jesus is not allowed in school."
Last December, Isaiah Martinez brought his first grade classmates at Merced Elementary School candy canes. Attached to each treat was a message explaining the religious legend surround the candies. The legend references a candy maker who created the candy cane to symbolize the life of Christ.
When the six-year-old boy arrived at school, his teacher noticed the religious message and immediately confiscated the gifts, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom. more >>
Those concerned with the preservation of religious liberty in America are keeping a keen eye on the Supreme Court in 2014. The august body of jurists that comprise America's highest court will be reviewing some cases that speak to the very heart of our nation's political and civil heritage. Namely, are a person's religious beliefs a fundamental liberty protected under the First Amendment, or does government have the authority to abridge religious conscience in order to advance an ideologically-motivated policy agenda?
According to the judgment of some, religious liberty has no standing in the realm of public conduct. You can believe what you want, but you must not allow these beliefs to influence your behavior as a citizen. Apparently this is part of America's social contract: "As a New Mexico Supreme Court justice wrote this past summer, for religious believers, compromising 'the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives' and '[channeling] their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different' is the 'price of citizenship.'"
It is true that there are legitimate reasons why the obligations of citizenship might trump a person's religious conscience. America's constitutional commitment to equal protection under the law, for example, does not allow discrimination based on factors like race or gender. A business owner might have a "religious conviction" that whites are superior to blacks, but they cannot allow those beliefs to influence their hiring and firing practices because to do so fundamentally undermines the basic constitutional rights of African Americans. Everyone should have a right to compete in the workforce. more >>