Sunday, August 14, 2011

Religious Freedoms - #3165 - Starbucks Founder Pulls Out of Willow Creek Event (2) Floridians Fight to Keep 10 Commandments Monument on Government Land - The Blaze

Shortly before he was scheduled to address 165,000 people at the annual Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz withdrew, thanks to a petition signed by only 700 people on the website Change.org.  The petition objects not to the purpose or content of the annual leadership summit, but to former associations of the host. Willow Creek Community Church once had a relationship with Exodus International, a Florida-based ministry that reaches out to homosexuals wishing to leave the lifestyle.  Change.org called for a Starbucks boycott, calling Willow Creek “an anti-gay church” and saying that not denouncing conversion therapy “is tacit approval.”  A growing number of corporations working with churches and ministries on various projects have been targeted by homosexual activists deeming them “hate” groups recently; Schultz is the third to act on a petition by Change.org in particular.  “‘Hate’ is too big a word to be thrown around with so little discretion,” noted Focus on the Family President Jim Daly. “It is a damaging and dangerous thing to hang such an emotional epithet on a person or group because they think differently about some issues than you do. Believing what the Bible says about human sexuality is a personal conviction, not an act of persecution.”  Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels said at today’s summit the church let Schultz out of his contract without penalty after discussing the petition with him.  Read more.......


Floridians Fight to Keep 10 Commandments Monument on Government Land - The Blaze - The folks who live in this sparsely populated rural region along Florida‘s upper west coast don’t like outsiders butting in, especially when it comes to their religious beliefs.  They’re miffed, to put it politely, and appealing a federal judge’s order to remove a five-foot high granite monument that prominently displays the Ten Commandments in front of the Dixie County courthouse by Sunday.  It’s the latest skirmish in a years-long conflict across the United States between state and local officials who have wanted to honor the laws that help define their faith and those who argue such displays should stay out of any public forum under a constitution that bars the establishment of religion.  It has been almost eight years since former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office and gained nationwide notoriety for refusing to move another huge granite monument to the commandments from the court’s lobby. But similar disputes continue to trickle through the courts in towns and counties nationwide.  Dixie County officials and residents say support for their monument is unanimous and they accuse outsiders of trampling on their way of life.  “We have not had one negative comment from the community,” said county manager Mike Cassidy, a 48-year-old, fourth-generation Floridian who grew up in Cross City. “No one in this county has come forward and said, `this should be removed.’ It has been totally unanimous.”  Read more......

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