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Nursing Student Can Quote Bible in Graduation Speech

Nursing student Karissa Erickson’s graduation speech almost got censored by a Colorado Mesa University faculty member because of fears that her mention of God and a Bible verse might offend someone.

Fortunately, Erickson took steps to protect her First Amendment freedom by contacting Alliance Defending Freedom, and ADF schooled CMU about this important constitutional protection. The university quickly sought to make amends.

College spokeswoman Dana Nunn said, “It was a well-intentioned and honest error but an error nonetheless. As soon as the error came to our attention, we did our best to correct it.”

ADF’s Travis Barham emphasized the importance of standing our ground on these issues: “[I]t’s an important lesson to all of us that just because we have religious freedom doesn’t mean we won’t have to fight to exercise it.”

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GQ Blasts Bible as ‘Foolish,’ ‘Ill-Intentioned’

GQ recently published the article “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read” that includes the Bible at number 12. In fact, the GQ reviewer, Jesse Ball, wrote, “It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris responded with, “Even if you don’t believe this is an inspired word of God, in the last 50 years 3.9 billion people have read this book, 3.9 billion Bibles have been published. That dwarfs every other book [that] has been read in the last 50 years.”

And Franklin Graham noted on one of his Facebook posts, “The Holy Bible is God-breathed, it is living and active, and it is sharper than a double-edged sword. There’s nothing more powerful, and there’s nothing more needed by mankind than the Word of God.”

Some might argue that most folks don’t read men’s magazines like GQ for its literary critiques. But the fact that a secular magazine is renouncing the Bible so brashly says a lot about our increasingly godless culture.

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Google Ads Refuses to Serve Conservative Lutheran Publishing House

Google Ads is refusing to do business with Concordia Publishing House (CPH), the publishing arm of the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

CPH CEO Bruce Kintz said on Facebook he believes it is “because of the faith we express on our website.” It seems CPH’s Bible challenge and Vacation Bible School programs could have triggered Google’s ban. “Incredibly sobering and disappointing,” Kintz wrote. “It is an uphill battle but our mission and customers are worth it. It is why we are here.”

Google responded via Twitter that it welcomes advertising from religious institutions, including Christian organizations, but has developed policies that “restrict how advertisers may use data to show ads to users, this includes someone’s religious affiliation.”

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Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Punishment for Religious Beliefs

Army Chaplain Scott Squires, who has faithfully served the Army for 25 years, is facing a possible “career-ending punishment” for refusing to conduct a marriage retreat that included a lesbian couple. Squires refused because it would not only go against his religious beliefs, but also the rules of his sponsor, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board.

So Squires tried to accommodate the same-sex couple by following Army protocol: He arranged for another chaplain to oversee the event. Unfortunately, the Army didn’t agree with Squires’ solution. A report from the military investigator explained, “The Army EO policy states that no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.”

But First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty law firm representing the chaplain, believes the Army isn’t being fair. “Chaplains should not have to give up their First Amendment rights in order to serve,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry declared.

What does Squires have to say about this? “[T]he investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorser’s rules. I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church.”

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Facebook Bans Crucifixion Image From Ad

An ad by the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, to promote the university’s online theology, catechetics, and evangelization programs was rejected by Facebook recently because the social media giant said that the picture featuring Jesus on the San Damiano Cross was “shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.”

Interestingly, the featured picture of the crucified Jesus, which is very recognizable to Catholics, isn’t gruesome.

The university responded on its faculty blog, “The San Damiano Cross. Jesus in glory, reigning from his cruciform throne. This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational, and shocking. And indeed, the Crucifixion of Christ was all of those things. It was the most sensational action in history: man executed his God.”

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