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The Big Problem With ‘Biblical Literacy’
America is, quite famously, a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion. As a result it is easy to understand why many people would be uncomfortable with certain kinds of religious practices (mostly notably prayer) and education in public schools. A little over a week ago President Trump tweeted his support for the introduction of Biblical literacy classes in schools, drawing attention to efforts by a variety of Christian groups to put the Bible back on the high school agenda.
Following Trump’s statement there was a flurry of media coverage of the issue. Fox News reported that “at least six states, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia have introduced legislation this year pushing for public schools to offer Bible literacy classes,” noting that these classes would be electives. (The Indiana bill is not actually a Bible course bill at all. It demands that the previously existing world religions electives class has to include a conversation about the Bible).
There is a strategy here: Project Blitz, an initiative sponsored by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation and the WallBuilders ProFamily Legislative Network, has been orchestrating the push to create these bills.
As prominent SMU religious studies professor Mark Chancey has written, it’s actually already legal to teach the Bible in schools, so in some sense these bills are unnecessary. Courses like the one Trump is tweeting have been around for a century. Chancey told The Daily Beast that “it is important to recognize that Bible course bills and their sponsors may have different motivations…sometimes a bill is clearly about more than just biblical literacy, and that's definitely the case with Project Blitz bills.” Other measures that Project Blitz has called for includes the promotion of the motto “In God We Trust,” the introduction of a “year of the Bible” and the limiting of the rights of same-sex couples and transgender people. Chancey told me, “Project Blitz is weaponizing Biblical Literacy for the cultural wars.”
The Daily Beast
Va. Man Allegedly Admits Killing Parents: 'I Felt Threatened By My Father and Mother'
Robert Raff, 53, was arrested in Ohio with a knife, ax and Taser and "dressed to the nines" in combat gear, police say
February 05, 2019 03:20 PM
A man suspected in the deaths of his parents allegedly admitted he killed them to arresting officers who recorded his statements on a body camera.
“Officer, I have things to confess to you,” the suspect, 53-year-old Robert Raff, said as he was handcuffed during his arrest Saturday in Avon, Oho, reports Fox 8 Cleveland. “I killed my parents,” he says.
In the video, he tells the officers, “I snapped at home,” reports WWBT. “I felt threatened by my father and mother.”
Son of Federal Prosecutor Gets 30 Years in Prison for Striking Dad 43 Times with Ax
After His Mom Was Found Dead in Garbage Bag, N.Y.C. Son Allegedly Said She Took 'a While to Die'
MICHIGAN MAN BROKE 4-MONTH-OLD SON'S LEGS WHEN HE PICKED HIM UP 'TOO HARD AND TIGHTENED HIS GRIP,' POLICE SAY
Ellen Page Calls Out Chris Pratt for Attending ‘Infamously Anti-LGBTQ’ Church
Ellen Page on Thursday criticized Chris Pratt for attending a “infamously anti-LGBTQ” church after he appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and discussed his religious side.
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star sat down with Colbert to promote “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” and Pratt said he just finished a 21-day Daniel Fast that he took part in through his church and that his pastor encouraged. He also said the pastor shared with him words of wisdom about balancing fame and his inner self.
“If the spotlight that is shining on you is brighter than the light that’s within you, it will kill you,” Pratt recounted to Colbert.
Page tweeted about the appearance and the pastor shortly after, writing, “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
Ellen Page just thrashed Chris Pratt on Twitter & she has a good point
Police sergeant resigns amid gay bashing and underage gay sex allegations
A gay police sergeant from Chicago has resigned in disgrace after finding himself at the center of a criminal investigation.
45-year-old Eric Elkins, who has been with the department nearly 20 years, officially stepped down from his post last week, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department says.
Elkins made headlines last September when he and a gang of three other men allegedly beat Thomas Stacha and his boyfriend John Sherwood outside of the popular Chicago gay bar @mosphere.
According to The Chicago Tribune, a fight between the men started inside the club and continued outside. The beating left Stacha with broken cheekbones and a perforated trachea and Sherwood with a compound leg fracture.
Elkins was placed on paid leave after the incident. That is, until now. A spokesperson for the department says that since he has “resigned under investigation,” he will be ineligible for retired police credentials.
Detective Recounts Horror of Reading Texts From Mass. Teen Urging Her Boyfriend to Kill Himself
“It was one of those things where you keep reading and it just keeps getting worse. And that’s what kinda put everything in motion,” Fairhaven Police Detective Scott Gordon tells NBC News’ Andrea Canning in an upcoming episode of Dateline: Reckless, which airs Friday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on NBC. (A clip from the interview is shown above.)
Roy died in his pickup truck from carbon monoxide poisoning on July 13, 2014 — an act Carter had supported and encouraged in text and phone conversations.
Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail after she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 but had been free pending her appeal. Her defense argued her statements and texts urging Roy forward as he contemplated suicide were covered by First Amendment free-speech protections. But on Monday, a Massachusetts court rejected the appeal.
Indiana Honor Roll Student Allegedly Killed 18-Year-Old Who Used to Attend Her School
Woman gets 30 years in prison in Texas dismemberment killing
OREGON POLICE SAY MAN RECORDED HIMSELF REPEATEDLY RAPING BABY GIRL
An Oregon man allegedly recorded himself raping his infant child multiple times, prosecutors claimed.
Edd S. Lahar, 30, was accused of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct and first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. Covallis Police Department said in a statement that Lahar was arrested on nearly 100 sex-related crimes.
Kansas judge said minors in sex-abuse case were 'aggressor'; prosecutors weigh appeal
Alleged strip search of 4 black middle school girls prompts third-party investigation
Allegations that four black middle school girls in upstate New York were strip-searched has sparked calls for a state investigation.
The four 12-year-old students and their parents say the girls were questioned and forced to disrobe by the assistant principal and school nurse at East Middle School in Binghamton on Jan. 15 on suspicion of drug possession because they were acting "giddy."
The school district announced this week that it has hired an independent firm to review the allegations.
Woman kicked off flight for rant about sitting between ‘two big pigs’
An unhinged woman was kicked off a recent United Airlines flight after going on a fat-shaming tirade about her two seatmates – calling the passengers on either side of her “two big pigs.”
“Oh my goodness! I don’t know how I’m going to do this for the next four hours!” the woman barks into her cellphone on the Las Vegas-to-Newark flight.
“This is just impossible ’cause they’re squishing me. Like, just unbelievable. At least they’ll keep me warm,” she fumes. “I can’t sit here because they’re both so big on left and right. I can’t even sit here.”
Norma Rodgers, an award-winning nurse from New Jersey sitting next to the obnoxious woman, captures her on video as she continues her rant.
“Bitch, please! OK?” Rodgers finally says.
Study Shows How 'Talking Black' Can Hurt You In Court
“Sounding Black” has often been attributed to being passed up for jobs, getting declined for housing, and a factor for being less successful in your career, but a new study shows that having a “Black accent” is also a problem when giving a courtroom testimony.
The forthcoming report found that Philadelphia court reporters accurately transcribed what linguists call “African-American English” only 40 percent of the time. On average, the 27 stenographers who participated in the research, got two out of five sentences correct.
In one example, “He don’t be in that neighborhood.” was transcribed to “We going to be in this neighborhood.” In this instance, the exact opposite of what was meant would have been entered into court records.
Judge rules against elderly lesbians rejected from retirement home
A federal judge this week ruled against a lesbian couple who sued a Missouri retirement home for rejecting their apartment application because their marriage is not "understood in the Bible.”
Bev Nance, 68, and Mary Walsh, 72, were married a decade ago in Massachusetts and have been in a committed relationship for roughly 40 years.
COURT RULES NONCONSENSUAL SEX WITHOUT VIOLENCE DOESN’T COUNT AS RAPE
A Spanish court has cleared two men who had nonconsensual sex with a woman of rape because their actions weren’t “violent” enough to warrant such a verdict.
The victim’s “vulnerable nature” and prior alcohol intake allowed the pair to have sex with her without resorting to violent acts, the ruling said, according to the BBC.
The court jailed the men for sexual abuse rather than sexual assault—Spain's legal equivalent to rape.
The perpetrators—an uncle and nephew—received sentences of four and a half years. Sexual assault crimes can result in prison terms of up to 15 years in Spain, the BBC stated.
Trump is forcing 4-H to stop welcoming LGBTQ kids & the guy who tried to block him just got fired
The youth development and mentoring organization 4-H is the latest target of the Trump administration. The group is under fire for being too nice to LGBTQ youth.
After the international youth organization issued diversity guidelines meant to grow membership by ensuring all children felt welcome, evangelical Christians and anti-LGBTQ hate groups targeted the group to try to get the policy withdrawn.
The Trump administration, beholden to the far right for power, has taken up the cudgel on behalf of their political overlords once again and this time they’re going to war against children.
Conversion Therapy Is Still Happening And It's Killing LGBTQ Teens
This year, two movies about conversion therapy (or the idea that homosexuality and queerness are curable diseases) have hit the big screen to critical acclaim. Boy Erased, based on the memoir of the same title by Garrard Conley, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, based on the novel by Emily Danforth, tell the stories of two teenagers from religious communities whose families enroll them in programs that promise to rid them of their same-sex attraction.
As someone from a religious background, I was moved by how realistic both films were about the pain of growing up in a community that rejects a major facet of your identity. But what I truly found to be one of the most emotional moments of Boy Erased was, in the film's final moments, when modern day conversion therapy facts started to appear on-screen. The film says that 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to conversion therapy.
And it’s entirely true— conversion therapy is a reality. It’s still fully legally in 36 states, and strains of it run through too many religious communities to count. It's estimated that 20,000 LGBTQ teens will be subject to conversion therapy by a healthcare provider, and nearly 60,000 will be subject to "treatment" from a religious counselor before they turn 18.
Kentucky Baptist Convention severs ties with churches that support hiring gay employees
Trans woman wins major legal victory after she was a ‘sex slave’ in prison
A transgender woman in prison in Illinois won a court victory after she said she was treated like a “sex slave” in a men’s facility.
Strawberry Hampton sued the Illinois Department of Corrections several times to get transferred to a women’s facility.
Over the past two years, Hampton has been housed in four different men’s prisons. She says that she was the victim of sexual assault, both by other inmates and by guards.
Man accused of killing his wife after cheating on her with men he met on Grindr
A man has been accused of killing his wife after cheating on her with men he met on Grindr.
Pharmacist Mitesh Patel is accused of killing his wife and business partner, Jessica. The woman was found dead at their Victorian house in a suburb of Middlesbrough, England, last 14 May.
The 37-year-old denies committing the crime.
Gay Star News