Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments display on the capitol grounds of Oklahoma City must be removed.
In a 7-2 decision released Tuesday, the state's highest court concluded that the privately-funded 6-foot tall granite monument violates the Oklahoma constitution, which states, "No public ... property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any ... system of religion ...."
"Because the monument at issue operates for the use, benefit or support of a sect or system of religion, it violates Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution and is enjoined and shall be removed," concluded the opinion, overturning a lower court decision. more >>
The First Church of Cannabis, a so-called religious group, says it will abstain from using marijuana during its opening worship service, according to it's leader, amid concerns that police might arrest those in attendance because pot is illegal in Indiana.
The Indianapolis-based "church," which garnered national headlines earlier this year by becoming an officially recognized religious sect, announced Monday that marijuana will not be part of its first service.
Bill Levin, leader of the group, commented on social media that he's concerned about potential police action against the First Church of Cannabis if people use the banned substance during Wednesday's service. more >>
The wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini sent a letter to her husband on the day of their 11th wedding anniversary, describing the "excruciating pain" she's in without him while he's being held inside an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith.
"For 1,007 days I have remembered you in prayer and felt your pain. For 1,007 days I have been in prison with you as your wife and soul mate. Each night I have struggled with anxiety and a sense of urgency that we need to get you out," Naghmeh's letter reads.
"Each night that I have laid my head on our bed, I have hugged your empty spot and have wept myself to sleep. Each morning I have woken up with an excruciating pain to my new reality without you. I have prayed. Oh how I have prayed." more >>
Christians should have some concerns about Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. Some reactions, however, have been overblown. Here is what Christians should, and should not, be concerned about.
First the bad news.
(For simplicity, "Christian" in this article will refer to conservative Christians, or Christians who maintain a biblical understanding of sex and marriage. As a general rule, Christians who follow the culture on those matters have fewer concerns about how the culture will treat them.) more >>
The Satanic Temple is selling tickets "for a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery" to mark the official unveiling of its Baphomet monument next month in Detroit, Michigan. Organizers are also offering guests an "exclusive opportunity" to have their photo taken while seated on the pagan idol.
"Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making," reads the description from The Satanic Temple about it's "hedonistic celebration" dubbed "The Unveiling."
"Weighing 1 ton and towering at nearly 9 feet tall, the bronze statue is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action," the description adds. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed for a group of Pennsylvania-based Roman Catholic religious charities to avoid being compelled to follow the federal government's birth control coverage mandate while their case is being litigated.
In an order issued Monday, the highest court in the land concluded that the plaintiffs in the case Zubik v. Burwell could seek exemption from providing birth control coverage while their suit against the Department of Health and Human Services continued.
"[The] respondents are enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition of their petition for certiorari," read the order. more >>