Monday, March 7, 2011

10 Commandments Removed From Virigina School In Face Of Lawsuit

A school board in Virginia is weighing its options and seeking legal help in the wake of a controversy over the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools.

The Ten Commandments were first posted on the walls of Giles Gounty Schools in 1999, but were removed this past December following an anonymous complaint. A month ago the school board voted unanimously to re-post the Commandments, but has now decided to take them down again.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has announced it has two families willing to file suit against the district to remove the biblical texts. The school board has sought legal advice from Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel.

"One of the things that I think they're able to do is to be able to appropriately display the Ten Commandments in the right context, at the right time, in the right manner,” Staver explains, “because of its historical nature and the fact that it has a very strong and very significant educational component."

While the Liberty Counsel founder will not divulge the advice his firm gave the board, he points out the U.S. Supreme Court has never indicated the Ten Commandments are impermissible in all circumstances.

“Indeed they can be posted in the right context,” he affirms, “and indeed they have been upheld in many situations at both the lower courts and at the federal courts of appeals as well."

Staver says the school board is currently weighing all its options, and assures that Liberty Counsel will stand behind the board all the way.

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College Students Handing Out Bibles In Ethiopia Attacked By Mob

Ethiopia (MNN) ― A mob of Muslim extremists overpowered police to get to Christians sharing the Gospel.

Voice of the Martyrs, Canada recently reported that 17 students were on a short-term mission trip at the tail end of February in Oma village, Ethiopia. The students, from Meda Welabu University, went to the Muslim village distributing Bibles and striking up conversations with villagers.

As students were handing out Gospels and talking to Muslims, one of the villagers began to argue with the believers. His rage became so overwhelming that a mob began to attack the young students.

The mob of Muslim extremists began shouting "Allah Akbar," which means in English, "Allah is greater." They beat the students with rods and threw stones at them. Government militia attempted to protect the students but were overpowered by the mob.

The mob attempted to set the Christians' car on fire, but failed, and the students were able to get away.

Currently, the students are praising God that no one was killed. They are, nonetheless, distraught that such a thing would happen in a country that guarantees freedom of religion. Ethiopia is #43 out of 50 countries on the Open Doors' World Watch List of the highest concentration of persecution.

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4,000 Muslims Attack Christian Homes And Burn Down Church In Egypt

Posted GMT 3-5-2011

(AINA) -- A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.

Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was "in order now."

A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.

The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside. Activist Ramy Kamel of Katibatibia Coptic advocacy called US-based Coptic Hope Sat TV and sent an SOS on behalf of the Copts in Soul village, as they are presently being attacked by the mob. He also said that no one is able to contact the priest and the deacons inside the burning church and there is no answer from their mobile phones.

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Volcano Erupts In Hawaii Shooting Lava Up To 80 Feet High

400 Kentucky Residents Protest Westboro Baptist Church Group

Louisville police said at least 400 people from all over the city protested Sunday afternoon against the presence of four members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.The Westboro Baptist Church is a group known for military and celebrity funeral picketing and anti-gay protests to express their radical views."This country is going to hell. This nation is going to wake up into hell and it's not (going to be) long now. This is His message. He sent us to preach it. What we expect is that it will be universally rejected by hardened hearts," Jonathan Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church, said.

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the controversial church last Wednesday, stating that funeral picketing is a form of free expression protected by the First Amendment."I believe without the First Amendment, they wouldn't be able to protest. But without our troops, they wouldn't have that amendment," resident Donnie Russell said.

Because of this ruling, the church members have shown up at military funerals across the country, and protesters said they came to prevent it from happening in Louisville."I think it is despicable that they would blame this on the soldiers. It's not the soldiers' fault. They're barking up on the wrong tree," resident Beth Dorsey said.

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President Obama Changes Mind On Shutting Down Guantamano Bay Prison Camp For Now

President Obama announced Monday that military trials will resume for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, saying he wants to "broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice."

The president issued an executive order outlining the changes Monday afternoon, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates rescinded a January 2009 ban against bringing new charges against terror suspects in the military commissions.

"I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system -- including Article III courts -- to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened," the president said in a statement. Article III courts are civilian federal courts.

The White House said in a statement that the tribunals are an "important tool in combating international terrorists."

The decision was the latest signal that the prison camp will not close down anytime soon, despite the president's pledge when he took office to shutter the facility.

Kuwait Citizens Will Protests Tuesday To Remove PM From Power

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwaiti youth groups will take to the streets on Tuesday to demand the removal of the prime minister and for more political freedom in the Gulf Arab state, the world's fourth largest oil exporter.

The protests, inspired by Arab unrest across the Middle East and North Africa that has toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, will add to pressure for political reforms.

The protest organizers want Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah to be replaced, and some demand the appointment of a politician from outside the al-Sabah family, which has ruled Kuwait for some 250 years.

"We will also distribute watermelons to lawmakers as they enter the parliament on Tuesday, as a symbol of chaos and discontent with their performance," Mubarak Alhaza, a member of the Kafi (Enough) youth movement, told Reuters.

Kuwait is home to the Gulf region's most outspoken parliament, but it does not allow political parties. Parliament is made up of individuals who form loose blocs.

Shafiq Ghabra, a political science professor at Kuwait University, said he expected the protests on Tuesday to be calmer than those that erupted in other Gulf states.

"We're talking about reforms in political rights, governance, cabinet, education. In each country, every movement has a different nature. In Kuwait the movement is not to end the regime, but to reform the politics," Ghabra said.

The prime minister, a nephew of the ruler, has already survived two non-cooperation motions in parliament since he was appointed by the emir in 2006. All other key portfolios such as defense, interior and foreign affairs are also held by al-Sabahs. The emir has the final say in all political matters.

"We think it's about time for this change, which will allow for a correction in decision-making policies," said Abdullah al-Neibari of the liberal Democratic Forum bloc. He wanted a prime minister from outside the ruling family.

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