President Obama will be the featured speaker at an “interfaith faith prayer service” at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (interior photo at left) on the evening of September 11th to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the nation. Curiously, while the event will also include a “Roman Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, Buddhist nun, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, and a Muslim musician,” reported Ron Kerby at Beliefnet.com, “…not a single protestant or evangelical has been invited to participate.”
A Christian a cappella singing group at the University of North Carolina (UNC) is under scrutiny after its members voted to expel another member who is openly homosexual. The Christian Post reported that the student group, called Psalm 100, “was founded on core biblical principles. When its members discovered that William Thomason, a UNC senior, disagreed with the biblical teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality, a vote was held to have the student removed from the group.”
Access to Scripture has gotten easier for millions of people all over the world with the introduction of a “smart phone” application with Bible translations in more than 500 languages. An organization called Faith Comes by Hearing released the app for iPhones and other mobile devices a little over a year ago, and in late August announced that the number of languages available on the app as well as the group’s website increased from around 200 languages to over 550. The goal of the Christian ministry, part of the Digital Bible Project, is to extend the influence of the Christian Scriptures — in both text and audio format — to every corner of the earth.
Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, is one of the most important Muslim religious holidays. As a celebration of that holiday, 3,000 Muslims went to Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York. When staff at the park insisted that women who rode rides at the park could not wear the hijab — the traditional head covering that the majority of Muslim women are enjoined to use — the result was a brawl that required police from nine different agencies to converge on the park in order to restore peace. About 100 officers were required to handle the disturbance, which involved 30 to 40 people, 13 of whom were arrested by the police.
Television watchdog groups are warning that the line up of prime-time shows the major networks are set to trot out this fall are trashier than ever, with over-sexualized content the increasing norm. Matt Philbin of the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) told CBN News: “It’s clear that Hollywood is out of ideas when it comes to sit-coms and prime-time dramas. Everything now has to focus on sex.” Philbin noted that there are several new shows “where entire plots depend on characters having had hook-ups, characters having bad relationships and going out to find rebound sex.”
A group of nearly 2,000 conservative members of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) met in Minneapolis August 24-25 to discuss how to move ahead in light of the denomination’s policy, begun in July, that allows open homosexuals to serve as clergy. The conference, organized under the umbrella of Presbyterians for Renewal, was called for those members “who are deeply troubled and whose integrity is deeply threatened by the move the denomination has made,” said the Rev. Paul Detterman, the group’s executive director.
A 2010 “Teacher of the Year” in Mount Dora, Florida has been suspended for comments he made on his Facebook page that were critical of homosexual marriage. Jerry Buell (pictured at left), who has taught social studies and history in the Lake County school District for two decades and has, by the district’s own admission, a spotless record, was removed from his teaching duties while officials investigate allegations that his comments were biased against homosexuals.
Move over Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Monster World. There’s a new kid on the interactive gaming block. The Journey of Moses was launched in early August on Facebook to join the hundreds of other online games that attract millions of participants on the social media site. The big difference is that this one is Bible-based and designed to introduce players to faith in God.
A federal appeals court has ruled that the founders of an Idaho charter school may not sue state officials who banned the school from using the Bible and other Christian texts in the classroom. The Associated Press reported that a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a lower court against the Nampa Classical Academy (NCA, emblem at left), which the Idaho Public Charter School Commission closed last year, citing financial concerns. According to the Idaho Reporter, the school’s charter “was yanked by the commission because panel members weren’t confident in the financial soundness of the school. NCA parents and officials say that the commission unfairly singled out their school because of its desire to use religious texts, like the Bible, in the classroom.”
The Air Force appears to be on an intense crusade to sanitize religious content from its training courses. As reported by The New American, in late July the Air Force suspended a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” after a group of missile launch officers complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that the ethics course included the Bible and other Christian-themed material. Barely three weeks after the original incident, another Air Force instructor forwarded Power Point slides from a second class to the secularist watchdog group, complaining about that course’s Christian content.