The PC(USA) Presbytery of Lehigh filed a lawsuit earlier this week asking a judge to prohibit the 2,600-member First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from leaving the denomination.
"The countersuits by the Lehigh Presbytery were joined by 22 members of the 140-year-old Center Street Church, the largest Presbyterian congregation in the Lehigh Valley," reported The Morning Call.
"It came as church leaders have scheduled a congregational meeting Sunday to vote on whether to immediately separate from the denomination, according to the filings." more >>
A man claiming to be the former lover of Omar Mateen says the terror suspect killed 49 people at a gay nightclub out of revenge against sexual partners who turned out to be HIV-positive.
The claim was made during an interview on Spanish-language television network Univision by a man identified only as "Miguel," who said he was in a "friends with benefits" relationship with Mateen for two months until December 2015.
"I've cried like you have no idea. But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn't do it for terrorism. In my opinion he did it for revenge," Miguel said, adding that Mateen had sexual relationships with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom turned out to be HIV positive. more >>
Evangelist Franklin Graham blasted the Obama administration for editing out references to Islam from the transcript of the Orlando shooter's 911 calls before he killed 49 people and injured 53 others in a gay nightclub. Graham praised House Speaker Paul Ryan for insisting on the full transcript, which reveals the attacker's religious motivation.
"Did they think the American people were idiots? Did Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration really think they could get by with scrubbing the transcripts of the Orlando shooter's 911 calls to remove references to Islam?" Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.
Graham quoted Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, as saying: "Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous. We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this and why." more >>
A property management company in Sacramento is asking controversial Pastor Roger Jimenez and Verity Baptist Church to move out of its building after Jimenez told his congregation last week that it was a "tragedy" that more gay clubgoers didn't die in the Orlando massacre.
Harsch Investment Properties, which owns the business park where Verity Baptist is located, has informed the church that the company will not be renewing its lease because it can't tolerate "tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives."
Since the company cannot legally force the church to move until its lease is up on March 31, 2017, ABC 10 reports that company officials announced in a press release that they have simply asked church leaders to move out. more >>
The editor of Germany-based magazine Gaystream claims Facebook blocked its page after an article it published criticized Islam in the wake of the last week's shooting massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Gaystream editor-in-chief David Berger says the social media website deactivated its Facebook page because of a published article that sharply criticized his country's Green party activists who "played down the causes of the attack," according to Breitbart.
Berger adds that his personal account was also shut down for about a month after he posted one of his articles, which criticized Cologne Gay Museum director Brigit Bosold for telling German media that she was more afraid of straight white men than Islamic radicals and migrants. more >>
Omar Mateen, the man behind the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history who took the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, praised Allah and pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State terror group in a 911 call on the night of the massacre, transcripts reveal.
"In the name of Allah the merciful, the beneficial," Mateen said in Arabic in his call to police.
"Praise be to Allah, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God. I let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings," he added, signaling his confession. more >>