Two church leaders in Hemet, Calif. are currently facing court hearings for reading bible verses in front of a closed DMV in February 2011.
The pastors are being accused by Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach of trespassing for failing to obtain a permit before gathering on state-owned property. The charges came after the two church leaders filed a federal lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol for violating their First Amendment rights.
Pastor Brett Anthony Coronado, 42, of Reconciled Christian Fellowship in Hemet, and Mark Allen Mackey, 59, a Calvary Chapel Hemet church elder, gathered in front of the Hemet DMV in February 2011 before opening hours to read aloud bible verses. The men were reportedly standing 40 feet from the entrance of the DMV as Hemet residents gathered outside, waiting for the establishment to open. more >>
The superintendent of an Alabama school district made it clear on Tuesday that he is not afraid to stand up against the demands of a Wisconsin-based atheists group wanting to stop a prayer caravan this Saturday before school starts next week.
"We live in a time when certain groups hide behind the human rights of some to destroy the human rights of others," said Cullman County Schools Superintendent Billy Coleman who helped organize the caravan. The third annual prayer caravan includes stopping at each of the district's 29 schools and praying for students, teachers, and staff.
"The government agencies of Cullman County and Alabama respect the rights of people to believe what they choose and to freely express those beliefs. However, I also believe that we who are Christians have the same rights as anyone else to publicly express our beliefs on our own time, and to be afforded the same access to announcement channels as anyone else," said Coleman at the press conference he organized. more >>
A total of 23 states have joined forces to encourage the Supreme Court to rule once and for all that legislative prayer delivered at the beginning of government meetings is constitutional.
Indiana's attorney general Greg Zoeller and Texas's attorney general Greg Abbott co-authored an amicus brief, joined by 21 other states, filed in the Supreme Court case Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, Susan, which questions the constitutionality of public prayer at government meetings. The Supreme Court will be addressing this case in its next session in October 2014, and will be considering a previous ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York which found prayers in Greece, New York to be unconstitutional because they focused predominately on Christianity.
The amicus brief filed by Zoeller and others late last week "asks the Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had prohibited legislative prayer at the start of a government assembly," according to a statement issued by the attorney general's office. more >>
A Hollywood celebrity who made headlines after leaving the Church of Scientology is writing up a memoir, which will touch base on her experiences in the controversial sect.
Leah Remini, star of television programs like "The King of Queens", told US Weekly late last month that she would tell all in the manuscript. "It will include my experiences, everything that's taboo to talk about," said Remini, who New York Daily News reported has not yet explained her reasons for leaving Scientology.
A Brooklyn native, Remini acted in several minor roles on television programs in the 1990s, such as "Who's the Boss," "Saved by the Bell," and "Cheers." In 1998, Remini got her breakout role as housewife Carrie Heffernan in the long running sitcom "The King of Queens." more >>
A United States district court judge has ruled against a group of churches that wanted to build a temporary cross display on some public waterfront property in Indiana.
Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled Wednesday that the proposed display at Evansville would be a government endorsement of Christianity, thus violating the First Amendment.
"…based on the size and scope of the project, this planned display of crosses would convey a message of the City's endorsement of Christianity to the reasonable observer," wrote Barker. more >>
The editor of a social media website in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes after officials determined his blog website to be "too liberal" and guilty of insulting Islam.
A Jeddah Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia found Raif Badawi, editor of the social media website "Free Saudi Liberals," guilty of violating the country's anti-cybercrime law by insulting Islam through his website and television. Badawi was arrested in June 2012 for his involvement with the site, but it took the court a year to determine him guilty.
The purpose of the "Free Saudi Liberals" website was to discuss and question the role of religion in the conservative Middle Eastern country. Badawi was also reportedly accused of apostasy, which carries the death penalty, although a judge agreed to lift that charge earlier in July when Badawi swore to the court that he was a Muslim. more >>