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Bob Jones University Rehires Firm Hired to Investigate Sex Abuse

thumbRNSBOBJONES112111-369x369[1]After firing an independent watchdog group to investigate allegations of sexual abuse on campus, Bob Jones University has rehired the same group, one month before the findings from a 13-month review were scheduled to be released. The university had contracted with Lynchburg, Va.-based GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) in November 2012 but suspended the contract on Jan. 27. The university met with GRACE officials Feb. 18-19 to discuss the review. [Read more]

Benedict Rejects Rumors on Why He Resigned as “Simply Absurd”

thumbRNS-BENEDICT-XVI032712b3-271x369[1]As the anniversary of his surprising resignation approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he said he still wears the distinctive white papal cassock for “purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available,” Benedict wrote in a brief letter to an Italian journalist that was published on Wednesday (Feb. 26). The emeritus pope also said that he kept the name Benedict, rather than reverting to his birth name of Joseph Ratzinger, because it was a simple solution. [Read more]

‘Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs’ and the Fraying of America

Several states have recently introduced bills that would allow people to withhold services to their fellow Americans if they base their decision on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” In Arizona, one of these bills has made it all the way to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk, and she is currently deciding whether or not to sign the bill into law. [Read more]

Islamist Militants Blamed for Deadly College Attack in Nigeria

After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamist militants from the group Boko Haram fatally burned or shot dozens of male students in an attack late Monday on a state college in northeastern Nigeria, officials said on Tuesday. [Read more]

Generations on, Christians Fleeing Syria Return to Turkish Homeland

When Louis Bandak fled the violence in Syria, he sought refuge in the country his grandfather was forced to abandon exactly 90 years ago this week. Bandak, his wife and two daughters are part of a small but growing trickle of Christians arriving in Turkey after three years of civil war in Syria killed more than 140,000 people. [Read more]

Will Anti-Gay Churches Have Their Tax Exempt Status Revoked?

Are churches that won’t marry same-sex couples in danger of losing their tax-exempt status? Despite the fear mongering you hear in conservative circles, the answer is in all likelihood no. [Read more]

Latest Shroud of Turin Theory: Nuclear Emissions

Last week, Professor Alberto Carpinteri of Turin Polytechnic claimed that the image of a man’s face on the Shroud of Turin, that piece of cloth believed to be the burial shroud of Christ, was caused by nuclear emissions from an earthquake that hit Jerusalem in the year 33 AD. [Read more]

5 Things Kentucky Could Spend $73 Million On Instead Of A Fake Noah’s Ark

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that enough money had been raised to begin construction of a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark as part of a multimillion-dollar Ark Encounter project. The Ark Encounter will sit on 800 acres of land in Williamstown, Ky., and will be developed “in phases over many years,” according to a press release from Ham’s Answers in Genesis organization. The first phase alone will cost an estimated $73 million. [Read more]

Kentucky Baptist Church Gun Giveaway Draws People To ‘Second Amendment Celebrations’

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An Illustrated History of Scientology