Monday, September 26, 2011

Religious Freedoms - #3277 - Is Vanderbilt Denying Religious Freedom to Christian Groups on Campus (2) Economic Terrorism: Big Companies Targeted for Ties to Christian Groups That Oppose Gay Marriage (3) Georgia Middle School Assignment Depicts 'Positive' Aspects of Shariah Law (4) 2,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Scrolls Are Now Available Online -The Blaze

It‘s a case of religious freedom versus one university’s nondiscrimination policies. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is making headlines after a Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, asked an openly gay member to resign. Upon leaving the group, the young man filed a discrimination complaint and now college administrators are trying to figure out whether the campus organization violated the school’s nondiscrimination policy. Of course, this incident has grown into a much larger controversy in which university administrators are reviewing all student-led organizations. As a result, officials are concerned about specific clauses that five Christian campus groups have in their constitutions. These clauses require members of the groups to share their religious beliefs, something that didn‘t concern campus administrators until the student’s complaint was made. Now, the school wants the constitutions amended and the controversial clauses dropped. If the Christian groups refuse to comply, they may lose their official affiliation with the campus, be denied access to facilities and equipment and potentially lose funding from student fees — all major losses that would severely impede their operations and existence. While administrators are allowing the groups to continue operating under a “provisional status,” no official resolution has come to fruition and the students have not yet complied to amend their constitutions. Read more.........

Economic Terrorism: Big Companies Targeted for Ties to Christian Groups That Oppose Gay Marriage - The Blaze - For millions of Americans, e-commerce is nothing more than an easy way to purchase needed products. But somehow, the boring and seemingly nonpartisan online shopping world has been strewn into the politically-charge gay rights debate. With angry advocates and bloggers taking on big businesses and non-profit Christian charities, alike, all sides are sparring over divergent views on free speech, religious tolerance and economics. Here‘s a simple breakdown of what’s been going on: Massive retailers like Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Wal-Mart have a relationship with an Internet marketer called the Charity Giveback Group (CGBG). When CGBG brings customers to retailers’ web sites, the marketer gets commission for the sales that are made. This, of course, is a common occurrence in the e-commerce world.  But there’s a twist in this breakdown that has gay rights advocates infuriated — a portion of the commission that retailers pay out is donated to the buyers’ charity of choice. On the list of potential recipient options are Christian organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family – groups that oppose gay marriage. .......Despite activists’ success in boycotting CGBG, a new, counter-campaign has been launched called, “Christians/Consumers Against Retail Discrimination.” An announcement on the group’s web site reads:  In recent weeks, online political activists have engaged in a misinformation campaign that bullies retailers into discriminating against customers and charities based on their religious beliefs, specifically the traditional and biblical view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Read more........ Link to Christians/Consumers Against Retail Discrimination..... AW: Sams Club and Walmart have not caved to this pressure, please support them.

Georgia Middle School Assignment Depicts 'Positive' Aspects of Shariah Law - The Blaze - A Georgia middle school adjusted its lessons after a father complained that his daughter’s homework assignment promoted Shariah law. According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the assignment was supposed to teach students at Campbell Middle School about the pros and cons of school uniforms. It featured a letter from a woman who said she is “proud and happy” to be Muslim and to completely cover herself in public — and also that her husband could take another wife rather than divorce her if their marriage gets rocky:.......“I thought this was absurd,” parent Hal Medlin said. “[The teacher] was trying to compare Islamic rules of dress and how they compared to school uniforms, which I thought was a stretch. The principal and the [superintendent] agreed with me … but they wouldn’t agree with my premise that it put Islam in a positive light because of the [statements].”  Read more.......... AW: I am sure the schools would love to teach why the values of Christianity are more valuable to women.

2,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Scrolls Are Now Available Online - The Blaze - Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls went online for the first time on Monday in a project launched by Israel’s national museum and web giant Google.  The appearance of five of the most important Dead Sea scrolls on the Internet is part of a broader attempt by the custodians of the celebrated manuscripts – who were once criticized for allowing them to be monopolized by small circles of scholars – to make them available to anyone with a computer. Read more......... Link to web site.........

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