After Being Told He Couldn’t Compete, 5th Grader Wins Contest with Speech About the Harm Caused by Religion

Last week, I posted about how 5th grader Zachary Golob-Drake was planning to give a speech that could’ve earned him a spot as one of the representatives to the regional 4-H Tropicana Public Speech contest… unfortunately, the assistant principal at USF/Patel Partnership Elementary School (in Tampa, Florida) told him he would have to rewrite his speech or drop out of the contest altogether. The reason? His speech was all about the harms of religious extremism and how the Golden Rule should prevail… and it was deemed too inappropriate:

School District Spokeswoman Tanya Arja said school officials told her that the controversy wasn’t about the religious aspect.

“The concern was over the topic of mass murders,” Arja said. “Because these are 4th and 5th graders.”

Zachary made a point of saying that mass murder was wrong, but let’s be honest: He was just talking about world history. Religion has contributed to those mass murders. Why hide the fact? (You can read the speech for yourself to see how “offensive” it really isn’t.)

There’s finally some good news: Zachary was allowed to compete with his speech and he won!

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Denver Pastor: Arapahoe High School Shooting Happened Because Our Culture Abandoned God

If any of you want a writing job, I suggest submitting your work to Charisma since they publish everything, no matter how illogical it is.

R. Loren Sandford (below), a pastor in Denver, Colorado, lives not too far from Arapahoe High School, the site of a recent school shooting, and he would like to tell you all why it happened:

Why? These things never happened a generation ago, when, whether or not we really lived it, our nation at least acknowledged God and our families for the most part remained whole. I want to scream, “America! Wake up!” I have unhappily prophesied in writing that we are witnessing the catastrophic collapse of a once-great culture and our children are paying the price. I warned in my annual prophetic word just a few weeks ago of the rising tide of hatred around us that will surface in many arenas of life. This shooting is a manifestation of that hatred which inevitably results when a nation forgets its rightful Lawgiver and turns from His principles that were given to ensure the well-being of all God’s creation.

These things never happened before?

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College Student (Seriously) Argues It’s Tough Being a White Christian in Kansas

It doesn’t take a lot to convince me it’s hard to be gay or lesbian at Liberty University.

for that matter, it’s probably very hard to be a conservative Christian at, say, a progressive liberal arts school like Reed College.

But being an evangelical Christian at a school in Kansas? Not hard. Seriously. Not even close.

So let’s watch Kansas State University freshman Laura Meyers attempt to make that case, anyway:



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Why Taxpayer Money is (Still) Funding Anti-Gay Private Schools

This week, Salon writer Katie McDonough published a piece about voucher systems that allow private schools with anti-LGBT policies to receive taxpayer funding, adding to the ongoing conversation about why we’re letting this stuff happen over and over again.

The story has been a hot topic for the last few weeks in light of a scandal at North Carolina’s Myrtle Grove Christian School, which was eligible for a state taxpayer-funded voucher program, even though a “Biblical morality policy” determined that no LGBT students or parents were permitted. After substantial public outcry, the school announced that it would not accept any state funding due to controversy over the anti-gay policy — it would rather continue to discriminate with private money than take government money and have to accept everybody — though it appears to remain eligible for vouchers.

As McDonough says, it’s an infuriating story, but not a new one. And we’ve gotten too accustomed to blowing it off:

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In Their First Televised Debate, All Four Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidates in Texas Embrace Creationism

During their first televised debate Thursday night, the four Republican candidates to become the next Lieutenant Governor of Texas unanimously agreed that public school science curriculums needed less science and more God.



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