Saturday, October 13, 2012

University Suspension for Signing Petition

Some 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Gallaudet Univeristy to bring back Angela McCaskill as its chief diversity officer. She was suspended for signing another petition calling for a vote in Maryland on gay marriage. McCaskill had just heard a sermon at her church on gay marriage when she responded to a call to sign the petition, as many fellow members did. Many groups on both sides of the issue are upset that Gallaudet opposes diversity in opinions. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins Gallaudet even called for the school's president, Alan Hurwitz, to resign. Thousands have "liked" a post on the FRC Facebook page calling on Gally to “Reinstate Dr. McCaskill.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley supports same-sex marriage has called for the school to reinstate McCaskill along with a the pro-gay marriage group Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Hurwitz has ignored the outcry and not released any comments since the controversy began. Here's a video report from WJZ-TV on the debate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rise in Religiously Unaffiliated Americans

One in five Americans doesn't have any religious affiliation. It's the fastest growing category of Americans, according to a new Pew survey. This group has jumped by a quarter in the last five years. That percentage is even higher when it comes to younger Americans. Some 35 million have no religious affiliation - with more than a third of that group labeling themselves atheist or agnostic. Still, more than two-thirds of the unaffiliated say they do believe in God and more than a third call themselves spiritual and a fifth say they pray each day. More than a third of younger millennials (18-22 year olds) have no ties to any religious group.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bookstore Drops Book over Controversy

The bookstore chain run by the Southern Baptist church won't stock a book because it includes the word vagina. LifeWay Christian Resources decided against stocking Rachel Held Evans book A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master. The author says she was advised by her editor to remove the word before it was published. She did - until an outcry from her readers changed her mind when they started an Amazon petition to keep the word in the book. The book comes out at the end of the month.

More Suits against Mandate

A couple of Baptist colleges are suing the Obama administration’s mandate about contraceptives. East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University say the Health and Human services requirement would force the schools to violate their religious beliefs related to providing their employees with access to what they call abortion-causing drugs. Tyndale House Publishers, Hobby Lobby, and other schools have filed suits as well. Lawsuits filed by Wheaton College and the Catholic Belmont Abbey College have been dismissed. The judges in those cases said the legal action was premature because the government hasn't actually said these groups aren't covered by a religious exception yet.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Plan to Firebomb 50 churches thwarted

An Oklahoma man is behind bars for planning to burn down some 50 churches, according to Ottawa County prosecutors. Gregory Weiler attended Bradley University in Illinois but left to join a religious group in Missouri. Authorities say he had already bought materials for putting together Molotov cocktails in his hotel room. Family members say both of his parents committed suicide while he was a young teenager, he had been hospitalized for mental illness and become addicted to heroin and alcohol. He is believed to have been acting alone.