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Is Pulpit Plagiarism on the Rise? Some Blame the Internet

Groeschel-427x234[1]Thou shalt not steal another pastor’s sermon? Recent cases of high-profile pastors who have been accused of lifting others’ material are raising questions about whether pulpit plagiarism is on the rise — and whether it has become a more forgivable sin. Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll was accused last year of plagiarism in material he wrote with Tyndale House Publishers and InterVarsity Press. “Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for,” Driscoll said in a statement. [Read more]

Shadow Education Secretary Sets Out Plans to Tackle Islamist Infiltration of Schools

350x[1]The shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, has called for more robust inspections to ensure all schools deliver a “broad and balanced” curriculum. Mr Hunt said he was doubtful that some of the schools implicated in the so called “Trojan Horse” scandal were preparing their pupils to succeed in a multicultural Britain where faith can be only one component of modern identity. [Read more]

Your Point Is?

Plato-and-Aristotle[1]It was an idea long consigned to the dustbin of scientific history. ‘Like a virgin consecrated to God,’ Francis Bacon declared nearly 400 years ago, it ‘produces nothing’. It was anti-rational nonsense, the last resort of unfashionable idealists and religious agitators. And then, late last year, one of the world’s most renowned philosophers published a book arguing that we should take it seriously after all. Biologists and philosophers lined up to give the malefactor a kicking. [Read more]

Quacking All the Way to the Bank

140603_MEDEX_NaturopathicAyurveda.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge[1]Legislators in Washington state refuse to live in a world where only the wealthy can afford care from poorly trained health care providers who practice unproven medicine. This year Washington joined Oregon and Vermont in covering naturopathic care under Medicaid. Now every Washingtonian, regardless of means, has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of quackery. And taxpayers are footing the bill. Medicaid coverage is the result of a series of anti-scientific decisions many states have made. The whole mess began with an argument within the community of naturopaths. [Read more]

Does Jesus Change People?

jesus-changes-everything[1]I don’t believe Jesus changes anyone. People do change, though they do not change as often as we like to think they do. Sometimes people make dramatic course corrections in their lives and the change is quite dramatic. But, was it Jesus that changed them, or did they, by an act of the will, change themselves? I realize there is all kinds of anecdotal evidence that suggests that Jesus changes people. [Read more]

Traces of Another World Found on the Moon

_75293434_moon2[1]Researchers have found evidence of the world that crashed into the Earth billions of years ago to form the Moon. Analysis of lunar rock brought back by Apollo astronauts shows traces of the “planet” called Theia. The researchers claim that their discovery confirms the theory that the Moon was created by just such a cataclysmic collision. The study has been published in the journal Science. [Read more]

Federal Judge To Wisconsin: You Know ‘Traditional’ Marriage Was Polygamy, Right?

Scott WalkerThe federal judge who struck down Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban thinks state officials have a thing or two to learn about the history of marriage as a social institution. In defending their same-sex marriage ban, state officials claimed that “virtually all cultures through time” have recognized marriage “as the union of an opposite-sex couple.” [Read more]

Religious Orders Allowed Over 2,000 Irish Children To Be Used in Medical Experiments

MI+Nuns+Babies+Catholic+home++mother+and+child[1]More than 2000 Irish children in religious run homes were subjected to drugs trials in the 1930s according to a shocking new report. As the Tuam burial ground scandal erupts, it has now emerged that Catholic Church run homes and state institutions let the children of unmarried mothers be used in medical experiments. The Irish Daily Mail has published a damning report which outlines how scientists secretly vaccinated more than 2,000 children in religious-run homes in suspected illegal drug trials. [Read more]

High School Atheist Gives TEDxYouth Talk About the Obstacles He Faced in Forming a Secular Student Group

Jordan Balderas just graduated from high school, and he spent his senior year trying to start a group for atheists and Agnostics at his school called “Youth for Truth.” (The name, he says, suggests that they’re searching for truth, not that they alone possess it.)

[Read more]

Secular Invocation Delivered at Wheaton City Council Meeting

At a meeting of the Wheaton City Council (the city that’s home to evangelical hotspot Wheaton College), Ted Utchen delivered a secular invocation just before the start of the meeting (which is now when invocations are usually held).

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Rev. David Rives and the Flat Earth

This is a most unusual video from the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries. It has a long title: The Lunar Eclipse — Testament to the Spherical Earth, Detriment to the Flat Earth. It’s difficult to believe, but despite all the scriptural passages to the contrary, which we quoted in The Earth Is Flat!, the rev isn’t a flat-Earther! But as you might expect, he’s confused in other ways.

[Read more]

Freedom From Religion Foundation On Clergy Housing Income Tax Break

Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed its answer to the Government’s brief in its appeal of Judge Barbara Crabb‘s decision declaring the unconstitutionality of  Code Section 107(2) – income tax free cash housing allowances, with no dollar limits, for “minsters of the gospel”. [Read more]

Does Islam Really Condemn Converts to Death?

Last month, a Sudanese court imposed a death sentence on Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old pregnant mother, because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Ibrahim says she was raised Christian by her mother after her Muslim father abandoned them when she was 6 years old. But this week, a man claiming to be Ibrahim’s brother said that she was raised a Muslim and that if she does not return to the faith, she should be killed. [Read more]

Gunmen Posing As Preachers Kill Dozens in Northeast Nigeria

Suspected Islamist militants pretending to be preachers rounded up and killed at least 42 villagers in northeastern Nigeria, a police source said, as an escalating insurgency increasingly targets civilians. [Read more]

NC House OKs Bill on Religion Rules in Schools

Legislation designed to make clear how North Carolina public school students and teachers may participate in religious activities or expression has passed the state House by a wide margin following lengthy debate over faith and constitutional rights. [Read more]

Leeching off a Tragedy is Not a Christian Thing to Do

In the light of the tragedy involving Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage, there are some rather terrible people who tried to dissociate their misogyny from that of Elliot Rodger. But in this case? This is something even more tragic. The usage of this tragedy to push “more Jesus”. [Read more]

A Philosopher Bashes Atheists for Dumb Reasons

The atheist-bashing continues, and since there aren’t many new ways to attack nonbelievers, the critiques take the form of very slightly altered but still-familiar arguments. The latest is an essay in the Spectator penned by the conservative and religion-friendly philosopher Roger Scruton, who specializes in aesthetics. [Read more]