A Minneapolis school district will pay hefty settlement fees following the decision of a federal appeals court, which ruled that the district committed viewpoint discrimination by not allowing a Christian club to remain a part of an elementary school's after-school activities program.
The board for the Minneapolis Special School District No. 1 approved a settlement on Tuesday that will cost the district $100,000 in legal fees, the Star Tribune reports, and could open the door for similar clubs to gather in the district's schools as well. Although the fees are high, the district believes they could have been higher if it had waited for the court to decide how much it should pay.
"To avoid the time and expense of further litigation, and without admitting any liability, the District is recommending the Board approve a stipulation that would allow the Good News Club to participate in the after school program on an equal basis," Bernadeia H. Johnson, superintendent of schools, wrote in a recommendation to the school board. more >>
According to author Rachel Held Evans, LifeWay Christian Resources will not stock A Year of Biblical Womanhood at its bookstores when it is released later this month, possibly over the book's inclusion of the term "vagina".
Although Evans, an award-winning Christian author and blogger, affirms that she is not positive as to the exact reason for LifeWay's decision, she believes, presumably, that it may have something to do with the "vagina controversy," also known as "Vaginagate," which occurred in summer 2012.
Pastor Shane Idleman is all too aware of the moral decline he sees in the United States and he's speaking out about it. But what irritates him is the cowardice he finds in many churches when it comes to tackling "hot button" issues.
"I'm sick and tired of the passive, lukewarm, coward church doing nothing and saying nothing because it offends people. Yeah, it's a hot button, absolutely. But if the truth doesn't come from here (church), where does it come from?" he posed during his Sunday sermon at Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, Calif.
Idleman wasn't afraid to be blunt as he joined hundreds of other pastors throughout the country in preaching on politics just ahead of the November presidential election as part of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. more >>
Phoenix city council members struck down an ordinance on Wednesday that prohibited people from handing out free drinking water in public. The issue arose in the wake of a religious freedom law group's defense of Dana Crow-Smith, a Phoenix resident who was told she could not hand out the bottles of cold water on a city sidewalk during a "First Friday" festival.
"Our whole idea is just to glorify God, and do it with an act of kindness because it's so hot," said Crow-Smith, according to The Arizona Republic. "I had no idea it would turn into such a big deal."
Lawyers for The Rutherford Institute, who represented Crow-Smith, said a Neighborhood Preservation Inspector with the City of Phoenix informed her that she was violating the Phoenix City Code by passing out free bottles of water without a vendor's permit during the event last July. more >>
A gay pride parade that was scheduled to take place Oct. 6 in Belgrade, Serbia, was canceled after ultra-nationalists threatened the march following condemnation by the country's Orthodox Church.
"Based on all security estimates and recommendations, the interior ministry made the decision that it is necessary to ban all gatherings announced for October 6, including the pride march, for the sake of citizens' safety," Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said, according to AFP.
"This does not mean any withdrawal or capitulation," Dacic added, insisting that the administration is not giving ground to the ultra-nationalists who said the parade would have been attacked. more >>
Another lawsuit was filed this week against California's ban on reparative therapy for minors – this time by a student who said he successfully underwent such therapy, an ordained minister and a psychiatrist.
The three plaintiffs argue that the ban violates constitutional privacy rights, free speech, and religious expression, among other things, according to the suit filed Monday.
"Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst," said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing the plaintiffs. "This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church." more >>