A city in Florida has recently garnered much attention when a few of its leadership walked out in protest of an atheist invocation given at a government meeting.
Members of the Lake Worth City Commissioners stepped out of their meeting last week when Miami atheist Preston Smith took to the stand to give an invocation.
Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo and three other commissioners exited the space, as seen by a video posted on YouTube last Wednesday by Wes Blackman. more >>
Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
Republican Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Jase Bolger says he has been getting "vile and vulgar" shots from the "Left" since a bill aimed at protecting the rights of people with sincerely held religious beliefs was passed by the state House after a partisan vote last Thursday while another bill meant to expand civil rights protections for the LGBT community in the state was killed a day earlier after it could not get enough votes to pass.
"I was warned by backers of personal freedom that if I supported both gay rights and religious freedom I would be in the middle and take hateful shots from both sides. But, my experience has shown that the shots from the "Left" over my support for Religious Freedom has been exponentially more vile, vulgar and violent than have the comments from the "Right" over my support of Gay Rights," wrote Bolger in a post to his Facebook page Sunday.
On Thursday Bolger explained in a Detroit Free Press report that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not designed to allow religious people to discriminate or carry out any other agenda except protect their right to practice their religion and express their sincerely held beliefs. more >>
A lawsuit is moving forward against a Washington State florist who refused to supply floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony based on her religious objection, which could put her at risk of serious financial loss and the loss of her business.
Baronelle Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is being sued by the Washington State attorney general's office for refusing to supply flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding ceremony. Instead, she referred the couple to another nearby florist who could supply flowers for their wedding.
The attorney general's office filed its lawsuit against Stutzman in 2013, and after the judge who was presiding over the case joined the federal bench, another judge has been appointed to the case and began hearing arguments on the case last week. Judge Alex Ekstrom is expected to set the start of the trial for sometime in the Spring. more >>
In a recent interview on CBN News, Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," tried to recount the horrific atrocities Christians in Iraq are suffering at the hands of the Islamic State. After explaining how Christian minorities fled Baghdad to Ninevah when Islamic militants began terrorizing them and bombing their churches, White said:
Then one day, ISIS, the Islamic State, the Islamic caliphate came [to Ninevah] and they hounded all of them [Christians] out. Not some, all of them. And they killed huge numbers. They chopped their children in half; they chopped their heads off.
It should be noted that the targeting of Christian children in Iraq goes back years before the creation of ISIS. For example, in June 2008, a Canadian parliamentary committee heard about how "militant Muslims" were crucifying Christian children: "Since the war began in 2003, about 12 children, many as young as 10, have been kidnapped and killed, then nailed to makeshift crosses near their homes to terrify and torment their parents." more >>
In what activists are claiming is a clear use of excessive police force and a violation of civil liberty, an eighth grader at a Texas middle school was arrested and slammed face-first in the ground by a police officer during a school football game after the student refused to remove his spiritually beloved rosary beads from his neck.
Jacob Herrera, an eighth grade student at Sam Houston Middle School in in Amarillo, Texas, was arrested and detained overnight by local police in late October after he argued with an officer over his right to wear rosary beads on school grounds. The rosary was given to him by his now-deceased brother and has religious and sentimental value to him.
While the Amarillo Police Department holds that rosary beads are symbolism for association with gang violence and asks that students in the Amarillo Independent School District not wear them on school property, Herrera had acquired prior approval from the school's principal that allowed him to wear rosary beads underneath his clothing while in school. more >>