NY’s Stony Brook University Will No Longer Observe Jewish, Christian Holidays

Stony Brook says by ending a practice that “honors only some religions,” it is aligning itself with other major research universities and leveling the playing field.

“We believe this provides two essential things – a sound educational calendar and at the same time an equal level of respect for all religions and faiths,” said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Charles Robbins, according to New York-based newspaper Newsday.

NY University Will No Longer Observe Jewish, Christian Holidays FULL STORY: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ny-university-will-no-longer-observe-jewish-christian-holidays-71976/

Mass. Couple Sues School District to Remove ‘Under God’ From Pledge of Allegiance

Lawsuit filed by an atheist couple who believe that their children are being discriminated against because the Pledge of Allegiance – which is said every day in Mass. public school classrooms under state law – contains the phrase “under God.” … Oral arguments were heard in a Massachusetts Superior Court on Monday.

FULL STORY

No prayer at 9/11 ceremony? Evangelical leader: ‘This is not who we are’

“The problem with this is, because of his singular decision, this ceremony isn’t really going to be representative of America. It’s going to be exclusionary, secularist only, and we are one of the most religious countries in the world. So, the bottom line is, this is not how we were founded. This is not who we are.

This is a national time of mourning and healing. I think it is particularly offensive to explicitly exclude any religious expression.” – Joel C. Hunter, who is a White House spiritual adviser, on NYC mayor’s decision to exclude prayer from the 10th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

story link: http://www.christianpost.com/news/wh-spiritual-advisor-mayors-decision-to-forbid-prayer-at-9-11-ceremony-un-american-54946/

Human rights group investigates brutal ‘Islamization’ tactics on women

International Christian Concern (ICC) meets with top human rights lawyers, activists who have defended Egypt’s Christian minority. Parents of victimized Christian girls interviewed.

By Aidan Clay
Special to ASSIST News Service

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) — Shah Taj, a fourteen-year-old Christian girl from Lahore, Pakistan, was on her way to school last year when a vehicle occupied by three men pulled up beside her. Grabbing her, they threw her in and sped off. As frightening as this may seem, the ordeal of the victim had just begun.

In her own words, she described what happened: “I was standing at the bus stop waiting. Three Muslims came up to me in a car. They were armed with deadly weapons. They pushed me into the car and took me to a hotel. While there, one of them raped me. Afterwards, at gunpoint they took my thumb impression and my signature, placing them on blank papers.” (1)

“I tried to make noise; but they pointed their guns at me and threatened to kill my father and my younger brother if I make a noise.” Later, Taj was forced to marry a Muslim man and required by law to convert to Islam. They had used her signature and thumbprint to create a document saying she had converted to Islam.

Like Shah Taj, Christian girls throughout the Islamic world are being abducted and trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and coerced into domestic servitude. Equally shocking is that Muslim men are offered financial incentives when they marry a Christian girl – a technique designed by Islamic fundamentalists to convert young girls to Islam forcefully.

Recent investigations have revealed frightening information exposing the criminal phenomenon of forced Islamization of Christian girls which is occurring on an alarming scale. On April 16, 2010, eighteen members of the United States Congress wrote to the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office, concerning continued “reports of abductions, forced marriages, and exploitation of Coptic women and girls in Egypt.” (2)

However, prior to recent reports, Christian abductions have been essentially undocumented. The Egyptian government and state security have routinely denied the problem’s existence, refusing to sanction cases that have been commissioned to court – a maneuver to avoid attracting public attention…

FULL STORY AT ASSIST NEWS SERVICE

Religious freedom events to ‘proclaim liberty’


In too many instances, public school teachers tell Christian students they cannot include their faith in their homework assignments or classroom discussions. However, the U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines explaining students’ religious liberties. Students can pray, read their Bibles, and talk about their faith at school during school hours. They can organize prayer groups and Bible studies and announce their meetings. They can express their faith in their class work and homework. — Gateways to Better Education

LA CHURCH & STATE EXAMINER

In an effort to increase awareness for Religious Freedom Day (Jan. 16), two advocacy groups have launched Religious Freedom Sunday planned for next week.

Gateways to Better Education and the Alliance Defense Fund are calling for Religious Freedom Sunday to be a national event in which churches honor the educators within their congregations and inform their members about the freedom of religious expression for students from kindergarten through 12th grade have at school… read more

Cure for the Christmas blues

What happens when joy seems to have gone missing?

I took a departure from my usual fare at the LA Church & State Examiner and wrote instead about finding the answer to the question, “Where’s the joy?” Read my story, which may be in part your story this Christmas, by clicking here! You just may find a friend you never knew you had!