Category: Christianity

July 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Members of the mainstream media reacted with confusion and skepticism when a visitor to the White House posted a photograph of President Trump as faith leaders prayed over him, with a laying on of hands.

“Such an honor to pray within the Oval Office for [the president] & [the vice president],” the tweet read.

Such an honor to pray within the Oval Office for @POTUS & @VP . pic.twitter.com/JrDOSJyFeN

— Johnnie Moore ن (@JohnnieM) July 12, 2017

The post was composed by Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the history and traditions of Christianity recognizes the ritual of “laying on of hands” that is even recorded in the Bible.

Harris Faulkner discussed the reaction from the mainstream media on Fox News’ Outnumbered.

“Well there are actually some new questions on whether the mainstream media are out of touch with much of America, after this reaction to a photograph,” she explained. “Evangelical leaders lay their hands on President Trump as they prayed over him at the White House earlier this week.”

Erin Burnett of CNN was quoted in her reaction, which seemed to be out of ignorance of the existence of the ritual.

“Pretty stunning image, I mean, I’ll give you a quick peek at it,” Burnett said. “The president bowing his head in prayer in the Oval Office and all these people sort of touching him, it’s very strange, we’re gonna tell you what happened there.”

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Faulkner also cited the reporting from the progressive news site Huffington Post, where they question Trump’s faith while covering the story.

“Trump, who identifies as Presbyterian, has demonstrated a basic lack of understanding about the Christian faith,” the Huffpo writer said, “including what constitutes an evangelical. But his Christian supporters aren’t fazed.”

The author cited a report attributing confusion on the part of Trump about the distinction between Presbyterians and evangelicals. Another link went to a Huffpo article citing Biblical verses that were taken to be contradictory to policy items on Trump’s political agenda.

Conservative commentator Mark Steyn described the resistance of the left to “ostentatious” acts of faith on Outnumbered.

“There’s a secular elite that doesn’t like, it’s actually creeped out by ostentatious displays of faith. So a little kind of rump, residual, episcopalianism is like OK, but when you actually got laying on of hands, that’s, ‘Woah! That’s way too much, man!’” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in mock pantomime.

Evangelicals who support Donald Trump made their peace long ago with his tendency to say absolutely terrible things. The fact that Donald Trump said in 2005 that he could grab women by a vulgar term for their genitalia because he's famous doesn't seem to be changing how social conservative leaders feel about him. Evangelicals who opposed him before still aren't fans. And the ones in his camp aren't fazed by the recording. That's because this isn't about how much they like the brash billionaire; it's about how unflinching they are in their opposition to Hillary Clinton. Robert Jeffress the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump's Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. According to The Daily Beast, he said Trump's comments were

Posted in Christian, Christianity, CNN, Donald Trump, Evangelicals, Evangelism, Mainstream Media, Politics, Religion, Trump

June 4th, 2017 by Staff Writer

On Thursday, the liberal women on “The View” discussed the recent decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to remove a mandate in Obamacare that forces employers to provide health insurance plans that cover birth control.

The mandate was the subject of the 2014 landmark Supreme Court case Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., which ruled that corporations like Hobby Lobby, a closely held for-profit company with strong Christian values, can be made exempt from certain regulations if there is another way to further a law’s interest.

In this case, Hobby Lobby didn’t feel they should be compelled by the government and Obamacare to provide birth control access to its employees since that would violate their deeply held religious beliefs. The high court agreed with them.

But according to the liberal co-hosts on “The View,” stores like Hobby Lobby essentially “imposed” their beliefs on their employees. The ladies argued Thursday that not providing birth control and not wanting tax payer dollars to fund Planned Parenthood amounts to restricting people’s choices.

“You’re almost punishing us for having ovaries,” said co-host Sara Haines.

As the women discussed how “wrong” it is for companies to “hide behind” their religious beliefs to “restrict” the rights of others, co-host Joy Behar chimed in to argue that Christian companies are no different than radical Islamic extremists in the Taliban.

“How is it different from the Taliban?” Behar said. “I’d like to know.”

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg added that companies that object to providing birth control are forcing their beliefs on their employees and are no different than “the people we’re fighting” — an apparent reference to the Islamic State.

“With all these rollbacks and with all the things we hear, what’s the difference between us and the people we’re fighting?” Goldberg said to an applause.

“Nothing,” Behar responded.

“It’s to keep women down also,” Behar added. “Let’s not forget that one of the reasons they do this is to keep women in their place.”

Later in the segment, Goldberg, now emphatic, said that faith-based companies should not receive any tax breaks and claimed that it’s “not Christian” for companies to object to government mandates that violate their religious beliefs.

The co-hosts of Fox News show “The Five” addressed on Friday the comments that the liberals on “The View” made, specifically their comparison between companies seeking religious freedom and the Taliban.

Co-host Juan Williams noted that in the Taliban women are prohibited from driving, going to school, leaving the house without a male chaperon, speaking publicly, showing any skin in public, among other restrictions, and completely dismissed the comparison.

Kimberly Guilfoyle noted that companies with deeply held religious beliefs like Hobby Lobby aren’t oppressing anyone or restricting anyone’s rights, but simply expressing their own First Amendment rights.

“They’re making these kind of comparisons, and likening it to the Taliban, it just goes to show you the outrageous nature of their claims,” Guilfoyle said.

Jesse Watters questioned why, if providing birth control violates your religious beliefs, you should be compelled to provide it to anyone. Then he knocked the liberal women of “The View.”

“Some of the things they say, it’s not real analysis. It’s like they throw around the word ‘Taliban’ or ‘Nazi’ or ‘Hitler’ or ‘Klan’ into a word salad and then the audience cheers,” Watters said. “It’s not real political analysis.”

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Posted in Christianity, Christians, Joy Behar, Media, Taliban, The View, Whoopi Goldberg

May 24th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, caught major flak after photos of them at their son’s Jonathan’s graduation from the University of Texas went viral. The family was photographed throwing the “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign that is nearly synonymous with attending UT.

Outside of the University’s usage portraying their mascot, the Texas Longhorn Bevo, the gesture has also been used in the music world, popularized by the late Ronnie James Dio who used it to mean “rock on.”

However, in some cultures, the “Hook ’em Horns” sign is construed as a sign of the devil, and many people on social media called Osteen and his family out in response for using what they perceived to be the devil’s sign.

See the original photos below as well as some of the more outraged comments from the Osteens’ Twitter followers.

Congratulations @JonathanOsteen on your graduation from the University of Texas at Austin! I couldn’t be more proud! pic.twitter.com/cw7hcChut6

— Victoria Osteen (@VictoriaOsteen) May 20, 2017

We had a great day celebrating @JonathanOsteen‘s graduation from the University of Texas at Austin! So proud of him! pic.twitter.com/fHATVCFPQy

— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) May 20, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen Doing horns?! Even though is UT, that symbol ain’t good! Thats devil’s symbol!

— Isaac Hogg (@isaachogg) May 21, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen Pst Joel I read and share your devotions with my family, very fond of you but you should’ve be sensitive to that sign, to christ its wrong

— wayne (@waynekitt) May 21, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen Yea what’s with the Satanist hex

— sergio gonzalez jr (@hoodysoldy) May 20, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen What symbolic signs are u showing the world? Congratulations for belonging to the 😈 or what? Pls Victoria kindly explain.

— Andre Andre (@AndreUPX) May 21, 2017

@JoelOsteen @JonathanOsteen That’s symbol depicted by your fingers has sent a very deep message on your identity.

— Oyola Kiasa (@sir_oyola) May 20, 2017

@JoelOsteen @JonathanOsteen Why on Earth would you use the devil sign? My goodness a thumbs up would work or you don’t have thumbs??😶😶😶

— askofu indimuli (@ian_indimuli) May 20, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen Is it just me is anybody else troubled by hand gestures

— American Dad (@God_Guns45) May 20, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen Please explain why you u used that sign @JoelOsteen ,@VictoriaOsteen we seem not to understand 🐃🐐🐂🐮

— Daakye Hene Emma (@LallypopGuy) May 20, 2017

@VictoriaOsteen @JonathanOsteen @VictoriaOsteen why that sign, really your teachings have uplifted us but that sign makes me concerned and worried

— J So-oabeb (@JosefSoabeb) May 22, 2017

Posted in Christianity, devil, Faith, Joel Osteen, snowflakes, Twitter

April 25th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Last week, a Muslim man by the name Ehab Jaber showed up at the Christian Worldview Weekend conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jaber reportedly was holding a Koran, and began interrupting the proceedings by shouting foul language. He was also wearing a shirt that read “I’m American, I’m a Muslim, I open carry, I conceal carry, and I’m dangerous only if you’re stupid.”

After Jaber was escorted out by a retired police officer who was working security for the event, self-described Saudi Arabian went to his car and took to Facebook live, where he proceeded to vent his frustrations. It was during this video that he began flashing rifles and pistols to the camera, saying “be scared,” and “be f***ing terrified.”

Watch the video here.

At the time of the original report, authorities on both the federal and state level said they had found no illegality with what Jaber had done. However, upon further review, Attorney General Marty Jackley says that Jaber clearly made a video meant to terrorize local residents.

From the Argus Leader:

Attorney General Marty Jackley said that he and Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman reviewed the Facebook Live video and said they felt Jaber’s comments violated state statute, which prohibits threats to “commit a crime of violence with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”

A SWAT team was dispatched to arrest Jaber on Friday, . Upon searching his apartment, authorities found methamphetamine.

If found guilty, Jaber could face five years in a state penitentiary, and/or a $10,000 fine. The methamphetamine possession case is reportedly being prosecuted by the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney.

 

 

Posted in Christianity, Crime, Guns, Islam, muslim, South Dakota

April 15th, 2017 by Staff Writer

It could be the child-like innocence, or the clever writing, or the adorable 3-year-old’s Scottish accent, but viewers just love this video of a little girl questioning her father on the logical consistencies, or lack thereof, in the traditions of Easter.

It’s gotten 39 million views, and it’s only been on Facebook for two days.

“Dad are you painting a face on an egg?” she asks.

“Yes I am,” her father responds.

“Have you lost your mind?” She counters.

“No, it’s for Easter!” he explains, “what’s wrong with Easter now.”

“I just don’t understand whats it’s all about,” she adds. “Why do you give me chocolate?”

“What do you mean?” he asks.

“When I ask for chocolate,” she explains, “Mom says ‘no no no, not good for you.’ Sometimes you give me more chocolate so I can eat.”

“Like when?” he demands.

“Easter,” she lists, “Halloween, Christmas, my birthday.”

“OK, OK,” her father allows.

“The country is gripped by obesity!” she exclaims, “but all our celebrations have loads of chocolates!”

“I suppose you’re right!” he says, pensively.

The rest of the video launches into a rational inquiry into the theological underpinnings of the traditions of Easter, and finds them wanting.

The video stars comedian Mark Nelson and his daughter, Isla. After only two days, it’s approaching 40 million views, and will probably surpass it in time for Easter.

Of course, the irrationality of the traditions have little to do with the real reason of the holiday – the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and His resurrection, for the sake of washing away the sins of the world. And chocolates.

Christians in the Holy Land and across the world are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.
The cavernous Holy Sepulcher church in Jerusalem was packed with worshippers on Sunday. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
A Mass is expected later in Bethlehem's Nativity Church, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.
Catholics and others are celebrating Easter whereas Orthodox Christians, who follow a different calendar, were marking Palm Sunday with processions.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis presided over a solemn vigil service Saturday night. In his homily, Francis said the Easter mystery requires the faithful to seek an answer "to the questions which challenge our faith, our fidelity, and our very existence."

Posted in Christian, Christianity, Comedy, Easter, Easter Bunny, Politics

April 3rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Your freedom or your faith? That’s the question being posed to dozens of Christians currently awaiting trial in a prison in Pakistan.

Forty-two Christians were arrested in 2015 for allegedly being involved in the hanging of two Muslims. The two Muslim Pakistanis were killed following two bomb blasts that occurred on Easter Sunday of the same year, killing 15 and injuring more than 70, according to a report by CBN News.

The hangings occurred after Christians, who make up a small minority of the population in Pakistan, took to the streets to protest against their treatment. It is believed the two murdered Muslims were involved in the deadly Easter bombings.

The 42 Christians that now stand trial for their alleged involvement in the murder of the two Muslims were arrested by Pakistani authorities following a series of house raids in a Christian neighborhood.

CBN News reports Joseph Francis, the executive director of the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement, claims dozens of the Christians standing trial for murder are now being given a choice to either continue facing charges or convert to Islam.

“He told them if they embrace Islam, he can guarantee them their acquittal in this case,” said Francis.

Reports by CBN News and Russia Today claim the prosecutor in Pakistan initially denied he had ever made the offer, which Francis says wasn’t the first time he suggested the deal. After being confronted with evidence to the contrary, the prosecutor acknowledged the deal had been done, according to a report by Express Tribune, a publication in Pakistan.

CBN News reports the Christian prisoners have refused to take the deal.

Pakistan is predominantly composed of Muslims, and Islam is the official state religion. Only 1.6 percent of the population identifies as Christian, which is the second-largest religious minority. Hindus are the largest religious minority in the country, making up about 2 percent of the total population.

BBC News reports most Christians in Pakistan are very poor, with many belonging to families who originally converted from Hinduism to Christianity during British rule.

Christians have suffered significantly in certain regions in Pakistan because they are said to be guilty of “blasphemy.” In 2013, a suicide bomb attack killed about 80 Christians while they were in church. In 2009, close to 40 Christian houses were burnt to the ground in Punjab.

Posted in Christianity, Christians, Faith, Islam, Islamic Extremism, Pakistan, Terrorism, Terrorist Attack

April 2nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

A Christian advocacy group is claiming the U.S. Department of Education is “indoctrinating” students into believing Islamic beliefs.

The Christian Action Network sent a letter demanding DOE “cease its Islamic education program for the nation’s public schools,” according to a report by CBN News.

CAN claims students and teachers are being encouraged to promote Islamic beliefs through the LearningMedia website, a site operated by the Public Broadcasting Service that provides free learning materials to students and teachers. PBS is supported by donors and taxpayers.

“Much of this so-called educational material is nothing more than indoctrinating students into Islamic religious beliefs, duties and actions,” said Martin Mawyer, president of CAN.

CAN claims if the materials are not removed within 60 days, it will file a federal lawsuit, reported CBN News.

A review of the LearningMedia website by The Blaze found at least six lengthy lesson plans focused on teaching students about various aspects of Islam, including “The Five Pillars of Islam,” “The Haj: Journey to Mecca” and “Salat: Prayer in Muslim Life.”

A similar search for lesson plans covering Christianity, Buddhism, Mormonism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism or Hinduism uncovered zero results, although there were other materials related to those topics on the LearningMedia website.

In “Salat: Prayer in Muslim Life,” students are tasked with watching videos and reading articles about Muslims’ prayer life, including learning about Islamic prayer movements and postures.

One question asks students after watching detailed instructions about Islamic prayer, “How do you think it feels to know that millions of other people are praying with you, just like you, everyday?”

Another task instructs teachers, “Encourage students to make connections between their own traditions and salat especially in regard to community building and shared traditions.”

In “The Five Pillars of Islam,” students are taught about foundational Islamic beliefs and told to construct a poster on the “five pillars.”

Teachers are instructed to have students meet with Muslim leaders in the community.

“If possible, have your students meet with Muslims in your community to learn about their religious practices and views,” states the lesson plan. “Interview Muslims who have participated in Hajj, and talk to Muslims during the month of Ramadan to learn about fasting and almsgiving. Contact religious leaders or scholars to learn more about prayer and belief.”

About $445 million has been paid in recent years to support PBS, National Public Radio, and other similar services, according to a report by Conservative Review.

President Donald Trump proposed in March in his budget plan to end funding for public broadcasting, a proposal that has come under fire from many on the left who claim the decision would drive out of business many supposedly important public programs.

Posted in Christianity, Department of Education, Education, Islam

March 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

You’ve likely seen many videos about Planned Parenthood that tell exposing horror stories about the abortion giant, but many are written off as biased, or “heavily edited.” This latest one by Apologia Studios, however, takes a story from a source that can’t be dismissed with accusations of bias.

The women’s website Sheologians received a testimony in an email from a woman who tells her heart wrenching tale of being raped, becoming pregnant, and going to the place she had been told all her life to go to when seeking help with an unplanned pregnancy.

The video is read by a woman named Summer White, who reads the email out as if she was the one who wrote it. After reading the woman’s words about her rape, she says that she was certain that Planned Parenthood would provide what was necessary for prenatal care, counseling, and – not abortion – but information for adoption agencies.

“That’s not what I found,” reads White.

She reads that the woman was “bracing myself for the attack of the evil Christian radical,” but instead found people who simply wanted to offer to pray with her. She ignored them, having decided not to go into Planned Parenthood for an abortion, but deciding to give the baby up for adoption.

After turning in the paperwork that indicated she was choosing adoption, that’s when the woman says “everything changed.” She was ignored for around an hour, and completely overlooked by the staff. When she was finally brought back to an examination room, the Planned Parenthood examiner pushed her not to choose adoption, but abortion instead.

“She kept telling me about my rights, about how empowered I would feel, how I would be taking control of my own body, and taking back what had been taken from me,” reads White.

“They wouldn’t offer me an ultrasound,” she continued. “Counseling was only for those getting an abortion.”

The woman continued to ask about adoption options, but was ignored. She was then told that her baby would likely grow up to be a drug user, or a rapist itself. She was told that her baby, having been conceived from rape would be harder to adopt. That no one would want her baby.

Not giving in, they sent her home with a supply of condoms and oral birth control. She later filed a complaint with Planned Parenthood, but never heard back.

It wasn’t until she went to a Christian pregnancy crisis center that she began to receive the necessary care for she and her child, and help with adoption. White reads how they would call her regularly, provide ultrasounds, and provide counseling. Sadly, the story ends tragically, with the woman having a miscarriage after she had found a family that could adopt her.

Even afterward, an ultrasound tech from the Christian crisis center was there at the hospital with the woman to cover all of her postnatal care.

Watch the video below:

Posted in Abortion, Atheism, Christianity, Lifestyle

March 16th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Feminists wearing pink masks acted out an abortion on a woman dressed as the Virgin Mary just outside a cathedral in Northern Argentina as part of the International Women’s Day protest.

The attempt at “performance art” featured what looked like blood and baby parts coming out of the woman playing Mary as she pushed her fist into the air, as the women in pink masks helped it along. The full photo will be linked at the bottom of this article.

According to LifeSite.com, activists groups rose up in defense of the display such as “Pan y Roses” (Bread and Roses) who wrote a Facebook post saying “from the group of women Pan and Roses and the Party of Socialist Workers we express our solidarity with the companions of Socorro Rosa Tucumán who are being brutally attacked for the performance activity that they carried out in the framework of the International Women’s Day.”

Socorro Rosa Tucumán stated that the false Virgin Mary was aborting “patriarchy” and “forced heterosexuality.” This post has since been removed.

Apparently the Women’s Day protest also had other attacks on religious structures and figures in different parts of the world, says LifeSite.

Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, participants in an International Women’s Day march tried to set the city’s cathedral on fire. They attacked a lone man who held a Vatican flag and tried to defend the cathedral.

At the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January 2017, a protester carried a sign depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe as a bloody vagina.

“It is gravely disrespectful to mock the faith of billions of people in the woman whom National Geographic recently described as ‘The Most Powerful Woman in the World’ in its cover story on the Virgin Mary,” Maureen Ferguson of The Catholic Association told LifeSiteNews. “It is also highly ironic for a feminist march protesting femicide to advocate for the right to take human lives, including the lives of female babies. Annually about 25 million little girls are aborted worldwide.”

#TipicoDeFeminazi aborto legal? Confundir la lucha por los derechos humanos con el vandalismo? Vayan a estudiar burras salvajes #Tucuman pic.twitter.com/QCoWkzlToS

— Carolina Orellana ⚓ (@CaroOrellanat) March 9, 2017

Posted in Christianity, Feminism, Protest, Virgin Mary, Women's Day, Women's March, World

February 7th, 2017 by Staff Writer

According to a CBS poll, a majority of Democrats have said that they believe that the religion of Islam is dangerous, but that other religions are just as bad.

66 percent of Democrats believe when it comes to other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, et al, they are responsible for just as much violence as Islam. Only 14 percent believe Islam is more violent, which totals out to one out of seven Democrats.

Image source: Screenshot of CBS Poll
Image source: Screenshot of CBS Poll

Meanwhile, Republicans have few qualms with calling Islam a more violent religion than the others with a majority 63 percent.

Islam is the religion that was the inspiration behind such attacks as 9/11, San Bernardino, Pulse Nightclub, the attacks that took place in France, and more. The religion is also responsible for the murder of gays, and women under the guidance of Sharia law, which requires strict punishments for those who do not adhere wholly to it.

On the other hand, religions such as Christianity are often far more charitable, and make up the foundation for western laws which protect those groups that Sharia law seeks to put under its boot.

Posted in CBS, Christianity, Faith, Islam

January 18th, 2017 by Staff Writer

The Democratic representatives who will be boycotting President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural are going to be missing out on a remarkable ceremony with two very special Bibles.

One will be from his own family, given to him by his mother, and the other will be President Lincoln’s Bible.

More from USA Today:

Alex Stroman, the deputy director of communications for the 58th Inaugural Committee, confirmed the picks Tuesday morning. The Lincoln Bible, used during the 16th president’s first inauguration, was most recently a part of President Obama’s first and second inauguration ceremonies and is a part of the Library of Congress’ collection. Trump’s Bible, a revised standard version, was presented to him in 1955 by his mother upon graduation from Sunday Church Primary School in New York.

Some might see this as a jab at those who cast doubt on Trump’s faith during the run-up to the election by citing his “two Corinthians” gaffe, and his remark that he had never asked for God’s forgiveness.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Donald Trump, Faith, Religious Tolerance, Trump

January 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A group supporting Christian broadcasters in the Middle East says that they’re hearing reports of thousands of Muslims converting to Christianity.

The Voice For Martyrs Canada made this statement on the welcome movement:

Despite the mass exodus of many Christians, the church is far from empty in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East. God has been very faithful. There are strong Christian believers remaining, and tremendous growth is taking place in the lives of new believers who were Muslims. The presence of the church is vitally important. People are desperate and see very little hope, but the fact that there still is a church gives them encouragement and hope.

VOMC says that they are hearing from broadcasters they support in Iraq of families all over the Middle East reporting conversations from Islam. “They are sharing exciting news of what God is doing in the Middle East” they happily announced. “There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ.”

The Christian Broadcasting Network says that there are an estimated 360,000 Christian believers in the Muslim country of Iran, where there were only 500 in 1979.

While thousands may not appear to be many given the more than billion estimated Muslim adherents in the world, Christians are oftentimes persecuted in the Muslim world, so conversations are especially dangerous. In December, Muslim refugees in England said they encountered Jesus Christ in their dreams and thereby converted to Christianity, adding to the many such conversation stories from the Middle East.

Posted in Christian, Christianity, Christians, Freedom of Religion, Islam, Jesus Christ, Middle East, muslim, Politics, Religious Liberty, Religious Persecution, Religious Tolerance

January 13th, 2017 by Staff Writer

A group supporting Christian broadcasters in the Middle East says that they’re hearing reports of thousands of Muslims converting to Christianity.

The Voice For Martyrs Canada made this statement on the welcome movement:

Despite the mass exodus of many Christians, the church is far from empty in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East. God has been very faithful. There are strong Christian believers remaining, and tremendous growth is taking place in the lives of new believers who were Muslims. The presence of the church is vitally important. People are desperate and see very little hope, but the fact that there still is a church gives them encouragement and hope.

VOMC says that they are hearing from broadcasters they support in Iraq of families all over the Middle East reporting conversations from Islam. “They are sharing exciting news of what God is doing in the Middle East” they happily announced. “There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ.”

The Christian Broadcasting Network says that there are an estimated 360,000 Christian believers in the Muslim country of Iran, where there were only 500 in 1979.

While thousands may not appear to be many given the more than billion estimated Muslim adherents in the world, Christians are oftentimes persecuted in the Muslim world, so conversations are especially dangerous. In December, Muslim refugees in England said they encountered Jesus Christ in their dreams and thereby converted to Christianity, adding to the many such conversation stories from the Middle East.

Posted in Christian, Christianity, Christians, Freedom of Religion, Islam, Jesus Christ, Middle East, muslim, Politics, Religious Liberty, Religious Persecution, Religious Tolerance

January 3rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

President-elect Donald Trump continued to make unorthodox decisions on the way to the Oval Office, and some Christian leaders are not happy about one such choice he made.  Paula White has been invited to deliver a prayer at the inauguration ceremony alongside other religious leaders.

White is a proponent of the “prosperity gospel” which says faith is rewarded with material possessions and wealth, but many Evangelical Christians consider this to be a heretical teaching.

Conservative Christian Erick Erickson was very vocal in his opposition to White, writing, “Paula White is a trinity denying heretic. She rejects the Council of Nicaea’s creed that every Christian accepts. To reject the orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed is to reject Christianity itself.

The Washington Examiner listed other objections from Christian leaders:

“Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe,” echoed Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

“Paula White has a long history of bankruptcies, failed business ventures, and unsuccessful marriages, which makes her the perfect choice to deliver a prayer on behalf a president-elect who has proudly proclaimed that he’s never felt the need to ask forgiveness from God for anything,” complained Paula Bolyard in a post…

White has been a long-time friend and supporter of Trump, whose own religiosity has been questioned by some critics. They cite his odd answers about who Jesus Christ is, whether he’s ever asked God for forgiveness, and his stumbling over quoting the second epistle to the Corinthians from the Bible as evidence that he is exaggerating the importance of Bible teachings in his life.

Supporters like “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson excuse Trump’s religious shortcomings by comparing him to his political opponents and competitors. Former Minnesotan Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says outright that God has “raised up” Donald Trump to the office.

The inauguration for President-elect Trump will be held on January 20th. So far there is no indication Trump will change his plans to have Paula White pray at the ceremony.

Posted in Christian, Christianity, Christians, Donald Trump, Inauguration, Jesus Christ, Politics, Religious Liberty

November 18th, 2016 by Staff Writer

President-elect Donald Trump has ascended to the White House thanks, in large part, to Christian voters, but not everyone is on board with the brash billionaire’s hardline policy proposals — specifically when it comes to immigration reform.

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to deport every individual living in the United States illegally. He has since revised that position to include only those with a criminal record, but Archbishop José H. Gomez, according to the New York Times, is no fan of the president-elect’s position:

Two nights after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election, Archbishop José H. Gomez convened an interfaith prayer service at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles and gave an emotional homily vowing not to abandon children and parents who are living in fear that Mr. Trump will follow through on his promise to deport millions of immigrants.

“This should not be happening in America,” said Archbishop Gomez, who is himself an immigrant from Mexico and a naturalized United States citizen. “We are not this kind of people. We are better than this.”

Five days after delivering the address, Gomez was elected by his fellow bishops in Baltimore to be vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a vote that is seen as a clear indication that Catholic leaders are preparing to go to battle with Trump in defense of immigrants and refugees of all stripes.

The meeting began with the bishops endorsing a strongly worded letter to the president-elect, which extended congratulations to the New York developer but also made him aware that the Catholic Church remains committed to resettling refugees and keeping families together.

While Trump received 29 percent of the Hispanic vote on Election Day, according to the Pew Research Center, many Latino voters have voiced great concerns about the Republican’s positions when it comes to immigration reform. However, there is a growing schism on the issue among Hispanic Christians.

Rev. Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told TheBlaze that he agrees with Gomez when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants who are otherwise law abiding residents, citing that he does not feel it’s right to tear families and marriages apart in the name of legality.

“We respect the humanity of the issue — that these are human beings made in the image of Christ and that, if we’re truly pro-life, then we will care for the Imago Dei [image of God] from the womb to the tomb,” he said. “We’ve never believed that it’s realistic to deport 11-14 million people.”

But Suarez parted ways with Gomez when it came to dealing with those illegal immigrants who have a criminal record, taking a more hardline position:

So we’ve always asked that this subject be looked at through the eyes of compassion. Yet, at the same time, it has to be looked at through the eyes of justice. If someone is a felon, a drug dealer, a gangbanger, terrorist, means harm to America — they should be deported. And any plan for immigration reform that’s come close [to passage] since 2007 has always included an element of that population that would be deported.

According to the Times, Gomez and his fellow bishops are trying to find other areas on which they can find common ground with Trump, such as abortion, religious freedom and eliminating the controversial contraception mandate found in the Affordable Care Act. But they remain immovable on the issue of immigration, as they see the protection of immigrants as a pastoral obligation.

Suarez, though, along with the NHCLC as a whole, is trying to find commonality with Trump — even on immigration. In fact, the NHCLC and it’s president, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, have been in active communication on the issue for several months with the Trump campaign.

“We need to secure the borders, but if you’re going to build the wall, then you have to build bridges into the Latino community,” Suarez told TheBlaze. “[T]he immigration issue boils down to a door problem. The entry and exit system is broken.”

“If you fix the door, where people can come in and out,” he continued, “they wouldn’t have to look for ways to jump fences or dig tunnels because the door would be fixed, and that’s really what we need to do.”

Trump will take office Jan. 20, 2017, with Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In Suarez’s mind, there is “no excuse” for the imminent Trump administration not to take action on sweeping immigration reform.

Posted in Catholic Church, Christianity, Donald Trump, Election Day 2016, Faith, Illegal Immigration, Immigration Reform

October 12th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck unloaded Tuesday night on Christian leaders who remain supportive of Donald Trump, saying they have injected “poison” into the church.

Beck told TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch that the U.S. can “survive” the potential presidency of Hillary Clinton “because she’s an outside source.” But he had quite a different thing to say about those in the Christian community who are choosing to stand with the Republican presidential nominee.

Glenn Beck (TheBlaze TV)

Glenn Beck (TheBlaze TV)

“You don’t survive what’s happening right now in our churches alone,” he said. “Because the poison has come inside our churches. Our churches are saying, ‘Dismiss what he just did,’ ‘Dismiss that,’ ‘OK, sure, he’s never asked for forgiveness,’ ‘Yes, he calls the sacrament a cracker,’ ‘Yes, he brags about sleeping with a married woman,’ ‘Yes, but this is more important.’”

Beck, a Mormon, urged churches to take a stand, even if that means they lose their “tax status” and suffer discrimination.

“Christianity is thriving in China because it’s banned,” he argued. “Here, it’s dying because it’s everywhere and it stands for nothing. We survive if the force is outside. We don’t survive if the force is in.”

The well-known media personality’s comments come on the heels of the release of 2005 video footage showing Trump making sexually explicit remarks about women, claiming he can “do anything” because he’s famous, including “grab them by the p***y.”

While there have been some prominent Christian leaders — including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler and Christian author Max Lucado — who have remained opposed to Trump, there are others who seem to stick with the brash billionaire no matter what.

Two of Trump’s most unwavering evangelical supporters have been Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, and Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University. Many have argued Christians must vote for Trump because of issues like abortion, religious liberty and openings on the Supreme Court.

However, for some religious leaders, Trump’s decade-old lewd comments were the final straw.

Well-known evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem, who previously endorsed the GOP candidate enthusiastically, withdrew his support in an editorial, writing, “There is no morally good presidential candidate in this election.” And James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, said he will no longer support Trump unless he displays a genuine “change of heart.”

“[Trump’s comments about women] are truly the kind of misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless — not the guy who gets politely ignored, but the guy who gets a punch in the head from worthy men who hear him talk that way about women,” MacDonald said.

And in a stunning move Tuesday, the editors of World Magazine, a well-known evangelical publication, determined Trump to be “unfit for power” and called on him to step aside.

Over the weekend, Beck wrote on Facebook that it’s a “moral, ethical choice” to not support Trump in November, even if that means electing Clinton president. He plans to vote for Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party’s nominee for president, on Election Day.

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Posted in Campaign 2016, Christianity, Dana Loesch, Donald Trump, Faith, Glenn Beck, Hillary Clinton, Politics, TheBlaze TV, Video

September 15th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Johnnie Moore, a Christian author and humanitarian, is slamming President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for their action — or inaction — when it comes to the Christians currently facing “genocide” in the Middle East.

In an interview with Newsmax TV earlier this week, Moore told host J.D. Hayworth that members of the Obama administration have “sat on their hands” during the brutal killings and displacement of Christians in the region as the Islamic State continues to seize land.

Syrian refugees walk on their way back to the Syrian city of Jarabulus on September 7, 2016 at Karkamis crossing gate, in the southern region of Kilis. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian refugees walk on their way back to the Syrian city of Jarabulus on September 7, 2016 at Karkamis crossing gate, in the southern region of Kilis. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

“If you support Christians who have been the recipients of genocide in the Middle East,” Moore said, “you’re called ‘Islamophobic,’ and it’s just incomprehensible.”

Moore, who authored the book “Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard,” went on to tell Hayworth that both Obama and Clinton are responsible for the “systematic dismantling of religious freedom in this country, and they have sat on their hands while hundreds of thousands, if not millions and millions, of Christians have been displaced and killed.”

To that end, Moore offered a new phrase to describe Obama’s administration, accusing the president of “Christophobia.” Moore, who said he has spent considerable amounts of time working with Muslim refugees, said he and others have been called “Islamophobic” for simply “speaking up for Christians.”

“If you’re anti-Christian, henceforth, you are guilty of Christophobia,” Moore said. “You are a Christophobe. You are exhibiting Christophobic behavior, and we’re going to shame you with it.”

Moore noted that, of the 10,000 Syrian refugees brought into the U.S. so far, only 56 have been Christian — that’s .5 percent. The author said choosing to favor Christians “doesn’t mean you’re anti-Islamic.”

“It’s not immoral to give special treatment to those facing a special threat,” he said.

Moore described the current crisis unfolding in the Middle East as “without question, the worst Christian persecution … of the modern era.”

“The United States of America has a moral obligation to speak up, and we’re not doing it, and it starts at the top,” he said.

Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University, is a member of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He is the president of The KAIROS Company, a PR firm based in California.

See Moore’s interview on Newsmax TV below:


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August 12th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Her relationship with Donald Trump started with a random phone call, and now, after fourteen years, she knows a man who is “hungry in his heart” for the Word of God, televangelist Paula White said Thursday.

In the past, the Republican nominee for president has said he has a “great relationship” with God, but the details of his faith has remained largely unknown. White, speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett, gave a window into the billionaire’s journey with Christianity, telling the host Trump is actually “much more hungry for God in his heart than I think people would imagine.”

Pastor Paula White delivers the benediction at the close of the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pastor Paula White delivers the benediction at the close of the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The popular Christian preacher said Trump sought out a relationship with her after watching Christian television and seeing a number of her sermons, which she said the New Yorker “repeated almost verbatim” to her when they spoke for the first time. White said the messages were about the “value of vision.”

White, who is now friends not only Trump but also with his family and his staff, described the natural curiosity the candidate expressed. He would frequently ask her what she meant by some of the points in her sermons, she said.

Burnett then played for White the well-documented misspeak Trump had when, while addressing students at the Christian Liberty University, he referred to 2nd Corinthians as “Two Corinthians” and showed an interview excerpt in which the GOP nominee asked why he needs to seek forgiveness, a key tenet of Christianity.

“Come on, I still — I’ve been preaching for 32 years — and I say names, and I go, ‘Guys, I’m making up the names, I’m saying it wrong.’ You know, my pronunciation isn’t always right,” White said. “But I understand, they wanna hold Donald to the letter of the law, but what I can absolutely tell you about him, is he’s a man who loves God.”

And of the fact that Trump says he doesn’t often ask for forgiveness, White, who didn’t want to divulge too much about their private conversations, recalled a moment when Trump asked her when it is appropriate to “turn the other cheek” and forgive — an inquiry she described as “a real strong biblical question.”

“Mr. Trump has those deep-seated faith questions and greater, that deep-seated heart and that desire,” she concluded.

Watch the interview below:

Trump’s spiritual advisor @Paula_White: “He’s a man that loves God.” https://t.co/sIJqnt1AI6

— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) August 12, 2016


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July 27th, 2016 by Staff Writer

In the hours after two attackers took hostages inside a French church during morning mass on Tuesday near the city of Rouen, slitting the throat of one elderly priest before being killed by police, one nun is speaking out about the grisly assault.

The nun, identified only as Sister Danielle, was in the church at the time of the attack for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. Describing what happened as the attackers viciously murdered 86-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel, she called the onslaught as “a horror.”

People light candles at the place de la Republique's monument in Paris, on July 26, 2016 after a priest was killed in the Normandy city of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in the latest of a string of attacks against Western targets claimed by or blamed on the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images)

People light candles at the place de la Republique’s monument in Paris, on July 26, 2016 after a priest was killed in the Normandy city of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in the latest of a string of attacks against Western targets claimed by or blamed on the Islamic State jihadist group. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images)

“They forced [Hamel] to his knees, she told French media, according to the BBC. “He wanted to defend himself, and that’s when the tragedy happened.”

“They recorded themselves,” she continued. “They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror.”

The nun said as soon as she saw the attackers, she thought it was all over. She said the radicals told her, “You Christians — you kill us.” She described the slain priest as a “faithful” leader “who loved everybody.”

In the wake of Hamel’s death, residents of all religious stripes have spoken out in shock. Local Imam Mohammed Karabila said he was “stunned by the death of my friend. He was someone who gave his life to others.”

A regional Muslim leader said one of the two attackers was known by police. This was the first attack inside a French church in recent history. Another church was targeted last year, but the attack was never carried out.

Tuesday’s deadly assault was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State” who were motivated by calls to attack nations in the U.S.-led coalition to destroy the terror group, according to a statement published by the Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency.

Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen who confirmed Hamel’s death, spoke out about the attack earlier Tuesday.

“I cry out to God, with all men of good will. And I invite all non-believers to unite with this cry,” he wrote in a statement from Krakow, Poland, where Pope Francis was expected to speak. “The Catholic Church has no other arms besides prayer and fraternity between men.”

Upon arriving to the scene of the assault, French President Francois Hollande called it a “vile terrorist attack,” adding that it is just one more sign that France is at war with the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibilities for several recent attacks in the region.

The pope also condemned the attack. Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, said in a statement that the attack hits particularly hard “because this horrific violence took place in a church, a sacred place in which the love of God is announced, and the barbaric murder of a priest.”

France is on high alert and under a state of emergency following the deadly attack in the city of Nice on July 14, the country’s Independence Day. The attack left 84 Bastille Day revelers dead and the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Islamic State leaders have urged followers to target French churches. The group is believed to have planned at least one other attack earlier.

Front page image is a BBC News screen grab


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July 7th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Dr. David Jeremiah, lead pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, said this presidential election is about the nomination of Supreme Court justices who “wield more power than most of the kings and dictators in this world.”

According to Jeremiah, the vacancy left by late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the potential for even more vacancies on the high court is “why you must vote.”

Dr. David Jeremiah (Image provided)

Dr. David Jeremiah on July 4, 2016 (Image provided)

“We are a nation of laws, not a nation of dictators, but rest assured these Supreme Court justices who sit on the bench for life wield more power than most of the kings and dictators in this world,” the California pastor said during his Independence Day remarks earlier this week.

Jeremiah, speaking to an audience of more than 7,000 people, warned against the “commonly heard” sentiment that those who are dissatisfied with both leading candidates — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — should just stay home on Election Day.

“We should know better. We tried this approach in 2012 when 25 million evangelicals who were registered to vote did not take the time to do it,” he said. “The difference in the 2012 popular vote was less than five million votes, and 25 million evangelicals refused to go to the polls.”

Shadow Mountain Community Church on July 4, 2016. (Image provided)

Shadow Mountain Community Church on July 4, 2016. (Image provided)

The pastor’s remarks were offered during a Fourth of July celebration at Shadow Mountain and honored 104-year-old Ray Chavez, the oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor. Jeremiah implored voters to rise above partisanship when they go to the polls in the fall.

“For this election is no longer about Republicans or Democrats — it’s about Americans,” he said. “It’s about the ability to retain the freedom we are here today to celebrate.”

While Jeremiah voiced fears over how the next president will address the Islamic State, the increasing national debt and the “immigration crisis,” he said it was the Supreme Court that concerns him most because voters have been “disenfranchised” by the justices, who in recent history have served for nearly 30 years on average.

Jeremiah said Supreme Court justices must hold to an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, which holds that the document’s meaning has not changed since the time of enactment. According to the pastor, those who do not adhere to the “original intent” of the Constitution are able to read into it their own perspectives.

“That’s what five of the unelected judges are doing as they they excerpt their influence over the court and over our nation,” he said, adding that the U.S. is “now facing a judicial time bomb the likes of which we have never seen before.”

Concluding his remarks, Jeremiah said voters in this election are not only casting a ballot for a president who may serve for the next four or eight years, but are “voting for someone whose Supreme Court decisions will affect us for decades to come.”

“You must decide who you think will appoint the best justices for the Supreme Court, and then whatever else you may think of that person, you must vote,” he said.


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Posted in Campaign 2016, Christianity, Donald Trump, Faith, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Supreme Court

June 29th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is poking conservative voters with a quote from the darling of the Republican Party — former President Ronald Reagan.

This week, the atheist group will erect a billboard near the GOP Convention location in Cleveland featuring a Reagan quote stressing the importance of separation of church and state. The convention takes place next month.

FFRF quotes Reagan in Cleveland message to GOP convention… https://t.co/MIkpBehtQv pic.twitter.com/6EGURARKW7

— FFRF (@FFRF) June 27, 2016

“We establish no religion in this country … Church and state are, and must remain, separate,” the billboard will read.

The comment, taken somewhat of out context, came from a speech the former president delivered while speaking to Temple Hillel leaders in Valley Stream, New York, on Oct. 26, 1984.

Here is Reagan’s full statement:

“Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”

The billboard will be located along Cleveland’s Interstate Highway 71, north of 480, and will remain up for one month, the FFRF announced this week in a press release.

“The RNC needs to be reminded that our nation is predicated on a godless and entirely secular Constitution,” foundation co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the statement. “The fate of our Establishment Clause hangs in the balance of the election. We’re not voting for the next president — we’re voting for the next Supreme Court justice.”

Northern Ohio Free Thought Society Director Marni Huebner-Tiborsky agreed with Gaylor’s sentiment, saying the billboard “is definitely needed to remind our political leaders and the public that political campaigns should stick to a secular platform, where real change can happen.”

Additionally, the bold display has the blessing of at least part of the Reagan family. In 2012, Reagan’s 58-year-old son, Ron Reagan, was tapped to be on the FFRF’s Honorary Board of Distinguished Thinkers. The younger Reagan described himself in a 2014 ad as a “lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

The announcement from the anti-religion group comes after presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump met with nearly 1,000 evangelical leaders, where the businessman unveiled his evangelical advisory board and vowed to fight for religious liberty if he becomes president.


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June 24th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. may be a big supporter of Donald Trump, but one of the first member’s of his father’s Moral Majority isn’t too keen on the presumptive Republican nominee.

Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, was one of the first people to attend a Moral Majority meeting with the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. in the 1970s. And, in a Washington Post editorial, he outlined why he stands opposed to Trump.

Michael Farris (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Michael Farris (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Farris wrote that Trump’s candidacy “is the antithesis of everything we set out to achieve,” adding that the elder Falwell taught his pupils that “believing Christians were not to be silent, nor the tools of any political party.”

“We are conservative, yes. And yes, the Republican Party has been the home of political conservatives,” Farris wrote. “But we were to stand for principle. We wanted leaders who were closely aligned with a biblical worldview on the issues of the day, and we also wanted leaders of good moral character.”

Farris’ position stands in direct contradiction to Falwell, Jr.’s position, who became the subject of some criticism earlier this week for a photo of him, his wife, Becki, and Trump that featured a framed Playboy magazine cover in the background.

According to the early Moral Majority member, no candidate is “perfect,” but that doesn’t make Trump acceptable to him.

“We recognized, then and now, that no candidate is perfect, but we believed that there were certain lines which could not be crossed if evangelical support was to be forthcoming,” Farris wrote. “If we say now that Trump has not crossed those lines, then we’re saying those lines never truly existed.”

He went on to say Trump has been “all over the map on the biggest political issues of the day,” to include issues that are traditionally important to the Religious Right.

“His views on the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, policies related to transgender individuals, limited government and religious freedom appear to have been written on an Etch A Sketch,” Farris continued.

In an Christian Post editorial published Tuesday, following Trump’s meeting with hundreds of evangelical leaders, Farris boldly declared that the real estate mogul’s collaboration with Christian voices “marks the end of the Christian right.”

Farris believes those religious figureheads who met with Trump Tuesday were guilty of “saying we are Republicans no matter what the candidate believes and no matter how vile and unrepentant his character.”

“In 1980 I believed that Christians could dramatically influence politics. Today, we see politics fully influencing a thousand Christian leaders. This is a day of mourning,” he wrote.


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June 10th, 2016 by Staff Writer

For American Christians, religious freedom is the hot topic of the day, but in they eyes of one Georgia Southern Baptist official, that liberty doesn’t apply to Muslims.

Gerald Harris, who earlier this week sounded off about religious liberty at the Christian Index, is now facing the prospect of a Ramadan meal with local Muslims who have invited him in order to get to know them better.

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has extended an invitation to Harris, asking him to participate in an interfaith dinner in Atlanta June 18, which is the end of the Ramadan fast that is a key tenet of the holy month observed by Muslims.

Harris told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a prior family commitment may prevent him from attending the June event but said he plans to attend another one at some point.

Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Rob Stothard/Getty Images

“While Muslims around the world and in our own country are shouting ‘Death to America,’ should we be defending their rights to build mosques, which often promote Sharia Law and become training grounds for radicalizing Muslims?” Harris asked in his controversial column.

Defending the bold opinion, Harris suggested, “Islam may be more of a geopolitical movement than a religion.” But even if it were a religion, in his eyes, “religious freedom for Muslims means allowing them the right to establish Islam as the state religion, subjugating infidels, even murdering those who are critics of Islam and those who oppose their brutal religion.”

He went on to say that Americans “kept Communism in check” during the Cold War by “guarding our borders against those who wished to dismantle our way of life.” Those comments begged the question: “Will we do the same when another political ideology endangers our future?”

The Georgian Baptist called out Russell Moore, leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who co-signed a legal brief on behalf of a New Jersey Islamic community that is facing opposition over plans to build a mosque.

Moore, a frequent commentator on current cultural issues, was quick to fire back, invoking Roger Williams, a colonial Christian theologian, who, he said, “stood up for the right of an unpopular minority in early New England, the Baptists, not to christen their babies.”

“[Williams] explicitly said such freedom ought to extend to ‘the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish’ consciences as well since we are not to extend God’s kingdom by the sword of steel but by the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” Moore added.

Moore asserted that not guaranteeing religious liberty for all people, regardless of faith, would create an opportunity for the government to step in and exercise control over religion.

“When we say — as Baptists and many other Christians always have — that freedom of religion applies to all people, whether Christian or not, we are not suggesting that there are many paths to God,” Moore wrote. “[W]e are saying that religion should be free from state control because we believe that every person must give an account before the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

Despite Harris’ strong criticism, CAIR-Georgia told the Journal-Constitution that they “look forward” to meeting with him, because “Americans who meet and greet their Muslim neighbors tend to hold far more tolerant and positive opinions about Islam.”

But it appears it will take a little more convincing before the Baptist leader fully commits.

“I would be interested in finding out more about the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” Harris said. “I’ve read about it. It professes to be for religious liberty. I would like to know if they would be willing to have a Christian church built in Mecca. That would be a demonstration of religious liberty, I think.”

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June 1st, 2016 by Staff Writer

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson shared a personal reflection on how she found happiness through her faith in a recent Instagram post.

“I am filled with ultimate joy,” Robertson wrote.

A photo posted by Sadie Robertson (@legitsadierob) on May 30, 2016 at 11:55am PDT

Robertson wrote that she recently read “Looking for Lovely” by Annie Downs, and the book “challenged” her “to seek the beauty God has created around me, and within me.”

“Now because of what God showed me through that book I don’t see myself as the world sees me. I don’t even see the world I used to see it,” she wrote.

“People ask how do I remain myself through the midst of fame,” she continued. “My answer now with the help of a dear friend talking to me about this last night is that I was not made to be worshiped, but to worship.”

“I worship the God who made this creation we live in, and all the beauty in it. We are created to love people. How beautiful is that? We are made to LOVE. With my platform I get to love so many people I wouldn’t [have] met before. That is something to smile about!”

“That is how I have found the ultimate joy,” she concluded.

The “Duck Dynasty” star frequently uses her social media accounts to share messages of faith.

Robertson’s newfound joy follows her high-profile split from longtime boyfriend Blake Coward last month.


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Posted in Christianity, Christians, Duck Dynasty, Faith, Instagram, Millennials, Sadie Robertson

June 1st, 2016 by Staff Writer

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson shared a personal reflection on how she found happiness through her faith in a recent Instagram post.

“I am filled with ultimate joy,” Robertson wrote.

A photo posted by Sadie Robertson (@legitsadierob) on May 30, 2016 at 11:55am PDT

Robertson wrote that she recently read “Looking for Lovely” by Annie Downs, and the book “challenged” her “to seek the beauty God has created around me, and within me.”

“Now because of what God showed me through that book I don’t see myself as the world sees me. I don’t even see the world I used to see it,” she wrote.

“People ask how do I remain myself through the midst of fame,” she continued. “My answer now with the help of a dear friend talking to me about this last night is that I was not made to be worshiped, but to worship.”

“I worship the God who made this creation we live in, and all the beauty in it. We are created to love people. How beautiful is that? We are made to LOVE. With my platform I get to love so many people I wouldn’t [have] met before. That is something to smile about!”

“That is how I have found the ultimate joy,” she concluded.

The “Duck Dynasty” star frequently uses her social media accounts to share messages of faith.

Robertson’s newfound joy follows her high-profile split from longtime boyfriend Blake Coward last month.


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Posted in Christianity, Christians, Duck Dynasty, Faith, Instagram, Millennials, Sadie Robertson

May 16th, 2016 by Staff Writer

Pop icon Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, is speaking out about her Catholic faith after receiving what she felt was chastisement from a Catholic culture website.

The exchange was sparked by an Instagram photo Gaga posted earlier this week, thanking Father John Duffell of Blessed Sacrament Church for delivering a “beautiful homily” at her family’s restaurant.

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on May 8, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT

“I was so moved today when you said, ‘The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but the food that God gives us.’ — Father Duffell, Blessed Sacrament Church. Nourishment,” the singer-songwriter captioned the photo.

Though Gaga is known for being a provocative performer, the artist, as the Christian Post noted, has been open about her Catholic faith. And, in 2010, Gaga admitted to Larry King that, though she has had struggles, she sees herself as religious.

“I am very religious,” she told King. “I was raised Catholic. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God.”

Not long after her Instagram posting, Catholic news outlet “CatholicLink” published an article called “From Lady Gaga to Steph Curry: 5 Things to Remember When Celebrities Share Their Faith.” The piece praised NBA star Steph Curry for his outspoken faith, but added, “Many celebrities are sharing Bible verses, quoting priests, and singing Christian music while at the same time still leading a typical Hollywood lifestyle void of Christian values such as modesty and purity.”

Gaga, offended by the post, took to Instagram again. This time to respond directly to the journalist who wrote the story at “CatholicLink.”

Dear, Becky Roach Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Christ and was protected and loved by him. A prostitute. Someone society shames as if she and her body are a man’s trash can. He loved her and did not judge. He let her cry over him and dry his feet with the hair of a harlot. We are not just “celebrities” we are humans and sinners, children, and our lives are not void of values because we struggle. We are as equally forgiven as our neighbor. God is never a trend no matter who the believer.

Soon after, “CatholicLink” replied to the pop star’s comments on their own Instagram account, telling Gaga the story was not “aimed at judging” the singer, adding that what she wrote was “absolutely beautiful.”

Dear @ladygaga, your screen shot was a one part of the article which was not aimed at judging you, rather it was an effort to help Catholics to have a balanced and positive view of when celebrities publicly share their faith. It was an invitation to value the hunger of God that exists in the world of the famous. It was a reminder to not forget that they, like us, are fragile and that we should not judge, rather pray for them. This said, what you wrote is absolutely beautiful. It is one of the most touching comments we have ever read. Know that we will be praying that experience of God’s mercy continue to grow and bear fruits for you, for the people that you love, and all of your followers.

(H/T: Relevant)


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Posted in Catholicism, Christianity, Entertainment, Faith, Hollywood, Instagram, Lady Gaga

April 13th, 2016 by Staff Writer

The American Library Association (ALA) fielded 275 formal challenges to materials in school libraries in 2015, and, for the first time ever, the Bible landed on the top 10 list.

Why was the holy book challenged? According to the ALA, “religious viewpoint” was the only reason cited. But that isn’t necessarily the only issue some people have with the Bible sitting on school library shelves.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

“You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it’s a violation of church and state,” ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) Director James LaRue told the Associated Press. “And sometimes there’s a retaliatory action, where a religious group has objected to a book and a parent might respond by objecting to the Bible.”

This development coincides with the belief shared by the majority of Americans that religious liberty is in decline. However, along with that belief is the feeling that American Christians complain too often about the way they are treated.

Though this is the first time the religious book has made it to the top 10 list, 2015 did mark a downward trend in the number of complaints fielded. The ALA registered 311 complaints in 2014 and 307 in 2013. The average number of complaints lodged generally falls between 300 and 600 per year.

The AFA compiles the top 10 list by collecting “anecdotal data derived from media stories and voluntary reports sent to OIF about book challenges in communities across the United States,” according to the association’s website.

It is worth noting that the Quran has also been challenged, but not as many times as the Bible, according to LaRue, who leads the team that organizes the annual Banned Books Week.

However, as Christianity Today pointed out, a book being challenged does not necessarily mean it is recommended by the ALA for removal from school libraries. According to the OIF, the Bible “does not violate the separation of church and state as long as the library does not endorse or promote the views” found in the book.

But, as Bible Gateway general manager Rachel Barach noted, threat of censorship is nothing new for the Bible.

“The Bible has been criticized, challenged, and banned by individuals, groups, and governments through centuries of persecution,” she said.

In addition, American Bible Society communications director Andrew Hood says the Bible offers more than just religious commentary.

“The Bible — the most-translated and best-selling book of all time — has informed centuries of literature, government, philosophy and social behavior,” he told Christianity Today. “To exclude it from public libraries and schools would be to diminish access to the most influential book of all time.”

According to a recent Harris poll, 28 percent of Americans believe that certain books should be banned from libraries, an increase from 18 percent in 2011.

Here is the complete top 10 list of most-frequently challenged books of 2015:

1. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green

Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group

2. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”)

3. “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group

4. “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out” by Susan Kuklin

Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosex- uality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off com- plaints”)

5. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”)

6. “The Holy Bible”

Reasons: Religious viewpoint

7. “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel

Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”)

8. “Habibi” by Craig Thompson

Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

9. “Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan” by Jeanette Winter

Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence

10. “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones pub- lic displays of affection”)

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December 29th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu in the newly released film, Concussion. The movie tell the true story of Omalu, a Nigerian-American forensic pathologist who discovered that concussions can lead to long-term psychological disorders.

Omalu has said that his Catholic faith and ethical framework empowered him to take on the N.F.L. in an uphill legal battle to expose the truth.

“You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week … the same day that church used to own,” Omalu’s supervisor Dr. Cyril Wecht (Albert Brooks) tells him in the film.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Smith discussed how growing up going to church with his grandmother prepared him for his latest role.

“My grandmother was really my connection to God,” Smith said, “She was my spiritual teacher.”

Smith, who called his grandma “the most spiritually certain person that I had ever met in my life,” said that the challenge in playing Omalu was trying to reconcile science and spirituality.

“With Bennet, the scientific part was the new addition,” Smith said. “Because my grandmother wasn’t a woman of science–she was a woman of the spirituality and the Bible.”

For Omalu, the line that divides faith and science is nonexistent. Both handle the subject of truth.

“Faith and science go together,” Omalu told Religion New Service. “They are not antagonistic to each other. There is the humanity of science. Science seeks the truth. Faith seeks the truth. So there is a commonality between science and faith.”

Back in August, Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, allegedly left the Church of Scientology, collecting $1.2 million in the process.

It is unclear what Smith’s current spiritual disposition is, but Omalu believes his performance as a Christian in Concussion is compelling.

“I’m happy when I hear people say ‘this is the best he [Smith] has done,’ because it was that same spirit of God,” Omalu told the Christian Post. “That is why I want everybody to go see that movie, every Christian should go see that movie, because when you’re walking out of that theater after seeing that movie you’ll be so proud of our faith as Christians and you’ll be so proud of being American.”

Watch the Concussion trailer here:

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Posted in Christianity, Concussion, Entertainment, films, Movies, Scientology, Will Smith

November 30th, 2015 by Staff Writer

A little-noticed back-and-forth recently unfolded between Florida rapper Plies and well-known gospel singer Kirk Franklin, with Plies releasing an Instagram video proclaiming that he will go to church with Franklin if the Christian singer agrees to visit a strip club with him.

“Y’all tell Kirk Franklin I say I wanna take him to King Of Diamonds with me. He can go in, he ain’t even gotta get no dancers, he can go in there and turn right around … and go take him a little holy bath and he gonna be back holy,” Plies said in a video posted to his Instagram page. “Kirk, listen, you go to King Of Diamonds with me and I come to church with you, an even swap.”

Watch his challenge below:

Y’all Tell Kirk Franklin I Say “I Wanna Take Him 2 King Of Diamonds…. #Plies #AintNoMixtapeBih #PliesWeekend2015Nov26-28 #ImAFanOfKirkByDaWay #JustALilBet #BreakfastClub

A video posted by @plies on Nov 13, 2015 at 9:39am PST

It didn’t take long for the gospel singer to respond to Plies.

“Y’all tell @plies that the album is called ‘Losing My Religion’ not ‘Lost My Religion,’” Franklin wrote, referencing his new Christian album titled, “Losing My Religion” that released earlier this month.

The singer then proceeded to offer up an amended challenge.

“Next time I’m in Miami, you gotta come to a Baptist church with me, and sit through a three-hour church service with tambourines and a church cookout,” Franklin said. “And then, I may walk by the club. I may walk on the parking lot and just walk on the curb of the club.”

See Franklin’s response:

Y’all tell @plies that the album is called “Losing My Religion” not “Lost My Religion” #SeeYouInChurch!

A video posted by Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:19pm PST

Plies responded by posting Franklin’s video along with a follow-up question: “So Y’all Think We Should Believe @KirkFranklin ??? Or Y’all Think He Tryin 2 Pull The Wool Over My Eyes Bih? [sic].”

Kirk Franklin and Plies look like the angel and demon that sit on ur shoulder when you trying to make a decision pic.twitter.com/VhLh3upJ9n

— Deola (@DeolaCola) November 13, 2015

It’s unclear if Plies took Franklin up on his latter deal, but if you’re wondering why the two got into a back-and-forth, Vibe hinted to past jokes about how the two men apparently resemble one another.

(H/T: Christian Post)

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Posted in Christianity, Faith, Kirk Franklin, watch

November 30th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Marco Rubio delivered what CBN News’ David Brody called “a stirring and moving explanation of the gospel” during a closed-door meeting with dozens of pastors last week in Iowa, with the candidate revealing, in detail, how he explains his Christian faith to nonbelievers.

“As far my relationship with Jesus Christ, the best way I’ve been able to describe it to people that are not believers is God became a man, came down to earth and died for our sins,” the GOP presidential candidate said. “He provided the ultimate sacrifice, because — up to that point — we lived under the law and the law meant that we had to sacrifice an unblemished lamb to cover our sins, not erase them.”

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Rubio, who was responding to a pastor’s request that he share his personal “experience with the Lord,” went on to provide in-depth details of his personal theology, explaining that he believes that God’s son was the “ultimate sacrifice” — one that completely erased the sins of humanity.

“He’s a God that understands us. He has felt everything we’ve ever felt,” the Florida senator told the audience of pastors. “He has wept. He wept in pain because a friend that He loved died. He felt compassion for people. He probably had the flu or the cold. He felt pain in his flesh not just on his crucifixion but multiple times throughout His life. He was a human being in every way and yet He was free of sin.”

Watch Rubio’s address below:

Rubio went on to detail his belief that God’s nature and his decision to send his son collectively bridge a divide between man and the Almighty.

“There is nothing that we’re going to be asked to do in our life that He didn’t do himself,” he said. “One thing is to be a distant God that sits on a throne removed from the everyday suffering of man; another is to be a God-man who actually lived as we lived, who felt all the pain and all the hurt and all the emotions and everything we’ve ever felt.”

Rubio contended that there’s nothing that God himself has not faced and that the “holy spirit is transformative,” describing true peace as a full reliance upon God, knowing that he will either shield people from certain adversities or he will guide them through.

“The thing about that peace that’s so important is, I honestly believe, it was a major contributor to the growth of the early church,” he said. “The early church grew in a pagan world, and despite the fact that everyone knew if you become a Christian, they feed you to lions; you know Nero set them on fire like torches. Terrible suffering. And yet people kept joining.”

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Earlier in his address, Rubio described being born into the Roman Catholic faith before his family briefly attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the time that he was eight until he was 10 years old. It was in his teen years that he returned to the Catholic Church.

Rubio’s family later began attending a Baptist church around 2000, but is now once again firmly aligned with Catholic theology.

(H/T: CBN News’ David Brody/The Brody File)

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Posted in Christianity, Faith, Marco Rubio, Politics, Video, watch

November 18th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Stationed in South Korea, U.S. Army Sgt. Marcus Rogers said that when he woke up to the news that Paris had been hit yet again with terror attacks, he concluded that “we are at war — whether you want to admit it, whether you want to believe it.”

But on his now-viral video, Rogers described a very different kind of conflict, Western Journalism reported.

“You want to know the truth about the attacks in Paris?” he said as he paced outside, his voice growing more intense with each word. “ISIS and all these other things that are going on in the world, it’s just the enemy’s pawns and his temper tantrum. Why is he throwing a temper tantrum? Because he knows his time is short. He knows that he’s fighting a losing battle.”

Image source: YouTube

Image source: YouTube

Rogers pointed to one main target of the Islamic State to show that the devil of the Bible is influencing them: “You look at ISIS, who they they hate? They hate Christians, they are going around putting Christians in cages, setting them on fire, cutting their heads off.”

He added that the devil “hates us … because we have the light and the fire of God inside of us” and that he targets those who “allow themselves to be used by him to carry out his anger … He’s roaming the earth like a lion, seeking who he can devour.”

Rogers added that the devil is using events like the Paris terror attacks, 9/11 and and the “chaos going on all over the world” to cause division and distraction.

“He is trying to come against us with fear,” Rogers said. “He is trying to come against us with division. That’s why you’ve got ISIS and Black Lives Matter and racism and all this mess going on in the world.”

But the sergeant turned his declaration to Jesus Christ: “There is nothing bigger and badder than the power of Christ. There is nothing bigger and badder than the Word of God.”

“When I see stuff going on in the news, I’m not going to get scared. I’m not going to panic,” he said while cautioning viewers about what the Bible says will happen in the future.

“Jesus is coming, you all better wake up,” Rogers said. “The signs of the times are very clear. He’s about to crack the sky any day, and I hope that you are ready.”

(H/T: Young Conservatives)

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October 8th, 2015 by Staff Writer

Twitter was lit up on Thursday with photos of children and adults, alike, holding their Bibles in honor of “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” with many using the #BringYourBible hashtag to mark their participation.

But not everyone appreciates the nationwide event being spearheaded by Focus on the Family, a faith-based organization, with many using the hashtag to lambaste the Christian-centric effort.

See some of the negative reactions below (caution: strong language):

Most dominant religion in our fucking country. #BringYourBible #BringYourBibleToSchoolDay

— Noah (@rich_noah) October 8, 2015

So it’s #BringYourBible day if I bring the “The Witches’ Bible” would it still be religious freedom or does that only apply to Christians?

— Joey C (@WickedWitch89) October 8, 2015

shout out to #bringyourbible bumpers who stand for “religious freedom” but would shit the bed if it were #bringyourquran to school day.

— Krissy (@krissyyyyc) October 8, 2015

When you’re too stupid and too stubborn to open your science text book and understands the facts of evolution may as well #BringYourBible

— Hateful Atheist (@HatefulAtheist) October 8, 2015

The concept of celebrating religious FREEDOM with a day called #BringYourBible seems just a LITTLE biased, no? #ThankYouPresidentJesus

— Alex Helman (@ahelman99) October 8, 2015

Make sure to #BringYourBible because Christians spend all their life reading one book and still don’t seem to pay attention to most of it.

— Hateful Atheist (@HatefulAtheist) October 8, 2015

#BringYourBIble , the dumbest thing i have seen today.

— Jogan (@WVLSJogan) October 8, 2015

Today is #BringYourQuran day! Just kidding, that would never happen in this country. Oh the hypocrisy…#BringYourBible

— Jeremy Wershoven (@jwershoven) October 8, 2015

B/c we need a redundant holiday like #BringYourBible to school..guess what, you already can. Oh wait, they want to proselytize.

— Justin B. (@fantastyfreak) October 8, 2015

So if you can #BringYourBible I can bring all my polytheist prayer books right? Fair is fair.

— Aine Llewellyn (@_otherfaith) October 8, 2015

if #BringYourBible is not a perfect example of Christian privilege, then I don’t know what is

— Bailey Bowers (@bcubed33) October 8, 2015

As TheBlaze previously reported, Focus on the Family launched “Bring Your Bible to School Day” last year to “encourage public school students from kindergarten to college to express their faith freely.”

An estimated 100,000 participants will take part in Thursday’s “Bring Your Bible to School Day” event. Read more about it here.

Front page image via Shutterstock.com.

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