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Church VS State

Senate Education takes up bill to require elective courses on the Bible

CHARLESTON — Although taking no action Thursday, members of the Senate Committee on Education discussed at length a bill that seeks to require schools to provide elective courses on religious texts.

Senate Bill 252, sponsored by Sens. Mike Azinger, R-Wood, and Sue Cline, R-Wyoming, seeks to require all schools to provide an elective social studies course on Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament or New Testament of the Bible and require that federal and state laws be followed regarding religious neutrality.

The purpose of the course is to teach students about biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives, which it says are pre-requisites to understanding contemporary society and culture including literature, art, music, morals and public policy.

Counsel presented the committee substitute with the addition that these courses would be offered in grades 9 and above.

Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, said although he is a Christian, he is concerned that people with different religious views would leave out.

“Can we singularly teach one particular religion? Even though Hebrew Scriptures are part of the Bible, we are really only teaching Christian texts,” Romano said. “I'm fine with that. I'm a Christian but I'm just wondering if we have to leave this open to teach other religions.”

Azinger said the bill is modeled after a bill passed recently in Kentucky.

“The reason it's the Bible only is because America was essentially founded on the Bible,” he said. “It was integral to our founding.”

Romano said he agrees, but added he worries about favoring Christianity in public schools.

“My only point is the founding fathers, if you believe they were favoring the Christian faith, they could have just said that. They also could have said they favored the Church of England or could have said Presbyterian but they didn't. They said no religion.”

Azinger took issue with Romano, saying the bill isn't about religion.

“We're not talking about religion,” Azinger responded. “We are talking about the Bible.”

Azinger argued the Bible once was central to public schools.

“The Bible was the central book for 350 years. And what country did it create? It created the greatest country in the world. Western Civilization has become a beacon on the hill. Then, suddenly, you take it out and you have to admit, Senator, that there has been a dramatic cause and effect in social ills since we did,” Azinger said.

Romano asked if a different religious text could be taught to accomplish the same goals. Azinger said no.

Sen. Mark Drennan, R-Putnam, asked if schools were able to do this now or if they are forbidden from doing so. Angela Mann, a principal at Peterstown Middle School said it is not.

“We have the Gideons come in and we give students that option,” she said. “We can't force them to take the class but we do have the power to provide that elective. The problem is in West Virginia, we don't have the money to provide barely any electives besides what is required.”

Azinger said he believes having the course on the Bible could lend moral clarity.

“We live in an age of confusion in a lot of areas,” he said. “People are sexually confused, confused about absolutes. This is a humanistic era where truth is relative. It causes a lot of confusion and a lot of problems. One thing the Bible does is it brings moral clarity.”

Mann said as a principal, her concern is separation of church and state.

“The country was founded on religious freedom, as well,” she said.

A similar bill was introduced last session by Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, to make available elective courses on the history of the old and new testaments of the Bible. The bill died in House Education.

A Wisconsin-based group, Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc., filed a lawsuit last year seeking to end a Bible in the Schools program in Mercer County. The group said the program violates the First Amendment.

According to previous reports, Mercer County in April ended employment of all Bible in the Schools Teachers. The following month, the Board of Education voted to suspend the program for at least a year to ensure review and modification of the program. Classes were offered as electives at Bluefield and PikeView high schools.

The federal lawsuit challenging the program was dismissed in November based on suspension of the program. The ruling left open an injunction if the program were reinstated in the future and found to violate constitutional law.



The Register Harald


Andy Savage

Applause for Pastor who raped teen

A megachurch pastor in Tennessee who believes in conversion therapy and preaches that homosexuality as a sin just admitted to a forced “sexual incident” with a 17-year-old girl… and the crowd went wild

42-year-old Andy Savage preaches at Highpoint Church in Memphis. Last Friday, a woman named Jules Woodson came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

The alleged incident happened back in 1998 when Woodson was in high school and Savage was working at a Baptist church in Houston. One evening after church, he offered her a ride home.

“As he was driving me towards my home, he passed the turn he should have made to go to my house,” she writes in a blog post. “I asked him where he was going. I don’t remember his exact response [but it was] something along the lines of ‘you’ll see,’ or ‘it’s a surprise.’”

Savage turned down a dirt road. At a dead end, he parked the truck and turned off the headlights.

“Andy unzipped his jeans and pulled out his penis. He asked me to suck it. I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. He then asked me to unbutton my shirt. I did. He started touching me over my bra and then lifted my bra up and began touching my breasts.”

After the assault, Savage told her not to tell anyone about it. Woodson says she became consumed with “fear, shame, anger and hurt.” When she approached church leaders, they told her to not to say anything and that it would be handled internally. Nothing was ever done.

After the blog post went viral, Savage took a moment to address the allegations with his congregation last Sunday.

“Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules,” he said during the service. “Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing.”

His remarks were met with a standing ovation from churchgoers, followed by a prayer led by another pastor. Savage followed the remarks up with a formal written statement published on the church’s website. In it, he admitted to what he called a “sexual incident” with Woodson and insisted he had already taken “full responsibility” for his predatory actions.

“I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family,” he declared, “as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s Kingdom.”

He went on to say that even though he kinda sorta raped a teenage girl one time, he’s never done it again since then, nor does he ever plan to again. So everything’s cool, right? Right? “There has never been another situation remotely similar in my life before or after that occurrence,” he said.

In addition to being pro-conversion therapy and anti-all-things-gay, Savage appears in a video series called “Sex Nation” that bashes homosexuality, pornography, divorce, and “sexual atheism.” He’s also been a vocal critic of other guys accused of sexual misconduct.

Woodson filed a report against Savage with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last week. Unfortunately, because of the statute of limitations, authorities say they are limited as to what they can do; however, Capt. Dan Zientek of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says “some possible options” may be available.

In the meantime, Highpoint Church says it stands by Savage and has no plans on removing him from his post.

Queerty


Gloria Copeland: No Need For Flu Shots Because Jesus Gave Us One

It’s NOT flu season! Yes, you heard it right. The flu is NOT a season we have around here because Jesus bore ALL our sickness on the cross.

This includes the flu! If you’re overcoming the flu right now, listen in as Gloria prays for YOU! Are you believing for a miracle in your health? Join us for Miracles on the Mountain, Feb. 16-17 with Healing Evangelist Billy Burke. Admission is FREE. Learn more and register here: kcm.org/miracles18.


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Blessings from Above: Quranic Verses to Recite During Pregnancy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.Assalamu Alaikum mamas and mamas-to-be. Congratulations to you and your family on your bun in the oven. May Allah bless you with a healthy and happy baby who lives and strives off faith and Islam.

Motherhood! A very exciting experience and something I believe most women desire and dream for, as we are born nurtures. Amidst all the excitement, shopping, and getting our homes ready for this new addition to the family, sometimes we forget our spiritual connection with that Exalted Being who has blessed us with this amazing journey.

Today I will list a few things that I personally recited during my pregnancies and labour. I advise my friends, family, and students to habitually recite these too.

No one said pregnancy and labour would be or is easy. I’ve had three children and each time I initially vowed not to revisit labour again because there isn’t any other pain like it. But if you want that cute bundle of joy in your hands, then you have to push through (no pun intended!) these nine months and labour and show yourself that “you’ve got the power!”

Let me get to the point, as I don’t want to freak you out. Here is some dua’a and some adhkaar to help you through.

1) Please remember to thank Allah for blessing you with this opportunity that many desire and don’t have. Don’t take even a split second for granted. Make it a habit of reciting:

اَللّٰهُمَّ لَكَ الْـحَمْدُ وَ لَكَ الشُّكْرُ
“O Allah, all praise and gratitude is for you”

2) Ask Allah to bless you with pious children like our beloved Prophet Zakariyah (a.s.) did:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
“Oh Allah bestow onto me from You, pure children. Verily you are the listener of du’aas”

3) Try to make it a habit of reciting the following three surahs of the Quran everyday or at least alternate days.

Surah Luqman –helps the baby’s brain develop
Surah Yusuf -for beautiful physical appearance
Surah Mariam – for ease in labour

4) In your last month recite the first five ayahs of surah Al-Inshiqaaq abundantly, as this will help with an easier delivery and labor

5) Try to recite as much salawaat and salaam on our Prophet (s.a.w.) throughout the nine months and also during delivery.

Abstain from listening to music and replace that with recitation or Quran or adhkaar, as it has scientifically been proven that the child is able to recognize certain sounds in the womb. Let’s bless our unborn child with the words of Allah (s.w.t.). Then follow that habit through post natal and you will be surprised as to how much comfort your child will get from listening to the words of Allah (s.w.t.) from as early as birth. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

6) Please stay away from sin, talking ill of people and slander. Try to stay pure at heart and tongue and you will see your children grow to reap the benefits.

7) Print and keep the list of dua’a for pious children (below at the end of this post) and make a habit of reciting them often. One way to do this is to tape it to the wall next to your dresser mirror and recite the dua’a (or just a couple of them if your kids or husband are impatiently waiting for you to get ready!) as you get ready in the morning.

May Allah (s.w.t.) bless you with a safe and easy pregnancy and delivery. Please keep us in your du’as if you remember. Xox.

Patheos

*

Where we need to be

It isn’t long after we arrive
that everyone starts pointing
and telling us where we need
to be and what we need to do
to get there. There’s no time
to really ask why. Soon, things
happen and we’re thrown off
course and now there’s all this
effort to win their approval. If
lucky, love will distract us more
than suffering. If blessed, we’re
broken of everyone’s plans and
regrets and thrown like a hooded
bird into a sea of light. If trust-
ing the fall, we find our wings.

“The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting, 2016 Nautilus Award Winner.” by Mark Nepo


Fish ’n Chips car emblem by Northern Sun

NOTE: The articles on these pages are mostly nonsense. For God’s sake, do not believe or attempt any of them! They are here as a testament to the stupidity and gullibility of humans, and proof that snake oil salesmen are still alive and prospering in the 21st century