A United States appeals court has ruled against a former Marine who was court-martialed and discharged in part for refusing to remove cutouts of a biblical phrase from her work station.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington ruled Wednesday, 4-1, to uphold the bad conduct discharge of Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling, deciding that there was no "substantial burden" placed on her religious freedom rights when her supervising officer at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina demanded that she remove slips of paper taped to her desk that read "No weapon formed against me shall prosper."
Although the saying is a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17, the court majority believes that Sterling, who had a contentious relationship with her staff sergeant and felt as though she was being bullied, posted the verse in order to be "combative." more >>
Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, took to social media to share the surprise visit his granddaughter received on her 6th birthday from pop star Selena Gomez.
Gomez regularly talks about her love for Hillsong Church on social media, and Houston returned the sentiments by noting his admiration for the singer in a Facebook post that included a picture of Gomez and his granddaughter.
Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott is climbing the charts with her new Christian album, Love Remains, but in a recent interview the singer revealed that she was first offered the smash hit "Jesus, Take the Wheel" made popular by fellow "American Idol" singer Carrie Underwood.
In an interview with Taste of Country, Scott said that before joining her platnuim selling recording trio, Lady Antbellium, she had a development deal with another record label and among the CDs stacked for her to go through was the Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson's co-written demo of "Jesus, Take the Wheel."
"It was one of my favorites, and then that was all right in the time she [Underwood] was on 'American Idol,'" Scott said. "She was a country artist on 'American Idol,' which was amazing, and that song really spoke to her. She goes on to take it and it's a huge hit and the message of the song is so beautiful." more >>
Twenty-six LGBT organizations are demanding that the Big 12 block the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-operated Brigham Young University from joining the athletic conference because of the institution's biblical stance on same-sex marriage.
As the Big 12 looks to expand and BYU makes its case to join the conference, Athlete Ally and 25 other LGBT advocacy groups sent a letter on Monday to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the leadership of schools within the conference to warn about BYU's policies that they believe to be discriminatory toward the LGBT community.
"The Big 12 is a conference committed to sportsmanship, fair play and inclusion both on and off the playing field," the letter states. "You are known for your dedication to fans and your commitment to the welfare of your student-athletes. Adding a school like BYU to your membership while it still champions anti-LGBT policies and practices would greatly undermine these Big 12 values." more >>
As United States Olympian Katie Ledecky continues to set world records and etch her name in the swimming history books, she doesn't forget to say a prayer before every race.
After Ledecky broke her own world record in the 400-meter freestyle on Saturday, she claimed another victory in the 200-meter freestyle on Tuesday night, setting her up for the chance to become the first woman since 1968 to win the 200, 400 and 800-meter freestyle events in the same Olympics.
Having won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle at the London games in 2012 as a 15 year old, Ledecky is the favorite to again take home the gold in the event this Friday. more >>
God's plan for the Middle East is "working perfectly" even though the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians is seemingly getting worse by the day, a persecuted Christian woman told American churchgoers on Sunday.
The Christian woman, who is referred to by the pseudonym of "Maryam" for security purposes, was encouraged by a group of six pastors and ministry leaders from the United States to travel to America and share her family's story of persecution and speak about the dedicated faith displayed by Christians in the Middle East.
This past Sunday, Maryam visited MeadowBrook Baptist Church in Gadsden, Alabama, and shared the story of how her father was sentenced to six months in jail after he complained to police about a Muslim man who was blocking the entrance to his store, threatening to kill him and disfigure his daughters with acid. more >>