Christian Student Sues Florida School, Alleges He Was Mocked By Students and Teachers for His Faith

A Florida student has sued his school over what he alleges is religious discrimination by his teachers and fellow classmates.

Nicholas Ortiz, a freshman at Miami’s Mater Academy has filed a lawsuit claiming he “was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school … because he is a Christian,” according to the complaint. Ortiz said he regularly brings his bible to school to read, which he alleges has made him a target for “disparaging comments” from other students, as well as school staff and administrators.

The complaint also outlines what it calls false and defamatory statements that circulated among students claiming Ortiz was planning a school shooting. Screenshots of communications between students show them discussing the rumored shooting and details their plans to physically assault Ortiz as a result.

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Callista Gingrich Commentary: Protecting America’s First Freedom

On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram.  Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.

Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack.  The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”

Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.  This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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University Ordered to Pay Almost $2 Million After Students Win Religious Freedom Lawsuit

A federal judge ordered the University of Iowa (UI) to pay $1.9 million in fees and damages after two student groups won a series of religious discrimination lawsuits against the university. 

The Becket Fund, which represents Business Leaders in Christ, will receive $1.37 million while Intervarsity Christian Fellowship will get $533,000, Crux reports. 

Eric Baxter, a senior VP and counsel at The Becket Fund, told Campus Reform targeting students of faith “comes at a price.” 

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Commentary: Guided by Faith, Divinity Student Fought His ‘Anti-Racist’ Princeton Seminary — and Won

Timothy Keiderling’s decision to enroll in the Princeton Theological Seminary reflected his commitment “to give my life to work for justice and to live out the values of the Kingdom of God.” In a letter to the seminary’s president, Craig Barnes, he wrote that he “would sacrifice anything to make sure that my brothers and sisters see relief from their oppression.”

But the seminary’s concept of justice clashed with Keiderling’s conscience when PTS required him to attend “anti-racism” training sessions that he considered a form of indoctrination. He refused to participate in the sessions even after being reminded that they were mandatory. And then – early this year, with the potent support of the newly founded Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) – he convinced the seminary to exempt him from the training.

It was “a real victory which can advance the academic freedom cause substantially,” says Princeton Professor Robert George, a leader of the AFA who acted as an adviser to Keiderling, and whom the latter credits with making his victory possible. “Instead of a victim, we have a victor — one who stuck to his guns and persuaded his institution not only to respect his right of conscience, but to acknowledge the difference between education and indoctrination.”

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Andrew Provence of Upwards Sports Talks Spreading the Word of God Through Child’s Play

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Director of Partnerships for Upward Sports, Andrew Provence to the newsmakers line to talk about their mission and connecting children to the word of God through play.

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Commentary: How to Restore Faith in the Constitution

In one of the most extraordinary passages of his most extraordinary book, C.S. Lewis, the 20th century’s greatest Christian apologist, wrote of Jesus Christ, that he was either the son of God, as he claimed, or a madman. In the Christmas season, believers take comfort in their faith and joyfully embrace the first alternative. 

The United States has a tradition of separating church and state, but there is a competing tradition, equally venerable, that our government is only fit for a religious people, one that understands there is a divine order to which humankind ought to conform, and that, as Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett once explained, it is our task to contribute to the building of the Kingdom of God.  

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Pelosi Claims ‘Faith-Oriented’ Lawmakers Say They ‘Don’t Believe in Science’

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Monday that “faith-oriented” people in Congress have told her they “don’t believe in science.”

The California Democrat spoke Monday on the house floor where she discussed coronavirus relief and the recently approved vaccines, accusing the White House of spreading “quackery” notions of herd immunity.

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Three-Quarters of Voters Say Faith is Important in Their Personal Lives

The vast majority of U.S. voters say their religious faith plays an important role in their personal life, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

A full 72% of voters say that their “religion or faith” is either somewhat or very important to them. Just 24% of voters said religion holds little to no significance in their personal lives.

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Commentary: Secular Education Is Contributing to America’s Decline in Religion

In his observations about 19th-century America, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed to religion as the first of the country’s political institutions—sweeping in its influence on our customs and powerful in its propensity to preempt and prevent tyranny.

Yet today, American religiosity is in decline. Weekly church attendance is trending downward, as is self-identification with a formal religion, denomination or belief system. The rise of the “nones” is increasing in speed and expanding in influence, replacing religious-cultural paradigms of old with a modern menu of personalized, à la carte “spiritualities.” Even where religiosity remains, it is often resistant or opposed to public expression, never mind institutional or cultural prominence.

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Report: Northeast Cities the Most ‘Post-Christian’ in the Country While Tennessee’s Knoxville Appears in Top 100, Barely

  Cities in eight states from Maine to Massachusetts topped a list of the “Most Post-Christian Cities in America,” a new study released this month found. The Northeast region stands in stark contrast to the sole Tennessee city of Knoxville who barely cracked the top 100 – coming in at…

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JC Bowman Commentary: My Father’s Son

JC Bowman

It is an ancient ritual of fathers and their children. The child yearning to grow into adulthood, and a father’s tough love. Mothers can be demanding, but they have that nurturing and caring side that escapes most men. Fathers try to instill discipline in order to help their children succeed in a heartless, often uncaring, world.

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Commentary: Keeping the Faith in Public Education

In the age we live in, it is critical to recognize the freedoms we have. Public schools should not be hostile to the religious rights of their students and their families. Policymakers should make certain that school board policy protects privately initiated religious expression and activities from government interference and discrimination.

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Commentary: Back to School, Back to the Future

Public Education is not failing. Our middle-class and wealthy public school children are thriving. Poor children are struggling, not because their schools are failing, but because they come to school with all the well-documented handicaps that poverty imposes – poor prenatal care, developmental delays, hunger, illness, homelessness, emotional and mental illnesses, and so on. The faith community could play a critical part in addressing critical social issues across our state and country.

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Constitution Series: The Golden Triangle of Freedom

Tennessee Star

    This is the eleventh of twenty-five weekly articles in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Series. Students in grades 8 through 12 can sign up here to participate in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Bee, which will be held on September 23. A remarkable aspect of the Constitution of the United…

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