Edited by Amy E. Bonebright
High school coach placed on leave for praying on field
by Paul Vandenbosch
A Washington high school football coach has been placed on paid leave for praying on the field after games. Joe Kennedy, assistant coach at Bremerton High School, was suspended the day after his team’s final regular season game. He will not be allowed to return to his coaching duties until he agrees not to pray while on duty as a coach, according to the Bremerton School District. The Liberty Institute has said that it will sue the school district on Kennedy’s behalf and provide him with a lawyer, saying that the school district has violated Kennedy’s rights.
Praying after games is a very common practice in football, particularly in the NFL, where many players will often gather at midfield following a game and kneel down to pray. Several NFL players even gathered after Monday Night Football to pray and show support for Kennedy.
Trump Questions Carson’s Religious Beliefs
by Matt Pierce
Ben Carson’s recent rise in the national polls for the GOP nomination has made him a target. Candidate Donald Trump questioned Carson’s Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, claiming he wasn’t trying to “send a dog whistle” to religious conservatives who might think suspiciously of the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist faith.
“I’m Presbyterian,” Trump said. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.”
Carson committed himself to the church at age 14 as a part of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and has remained a committed member since.
New Speaker of the House Paul Ryan Wants to Defund Planned Parenthood
by Hayden Robertson
Newly minted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he doesn’t want to give any more funding to Planned Parenthood. Ryan says Planned Parenthood should not get a “red cent” of taxpayer money. He told CNN he’ll wait for the special Congressional committee investigation regarding Planned Parenthood videos that showed high level employees bargaining over aborted baby parts for research. Though his desire is to see no taxpayer funding for PP, Ryan is still doubtful it will happen.
Student Claims Class Assignment Asked Her to Deny God
by Taylor Coleman
A 7th grader from Texas alleges her teacher gave her a writing assignment that asked them to deny God’s existence.
Student Jordan Wooley says the assignment asked the students to state whether something was factual, a commonplace assertion, or an opinion.
According to Wooley, the teacher adamantly told students God was mythical.
“I felt like this was really wrong, and I didn’t feel like it was fair for my faith and my religion to have anything to do with what I’m learning in school,” Wooley said.
The Katy Independent School District has apologized for the incident, but claims that the assignment was not meant to question students’ beliefs, but to encourage critical thinking.
Several district officials asked several students about the assignment, but none could confirm Wooley’s claims.
Church hosts LGBT and drag festival in Massachusetts
by Sarah Rodriguez
In Somerville, Massachusetts, a United Church of Christ hosted a “Drag Gospel Festival” in October to support members with alternative lifestyles in their congregation. During the event, the church was called “Fierce Church Somerville” according to the pastor. He was referred to as “Serenity Jones” instead of James Adams. “God is good all the time! That means God is a diva, and girl, Jesus is fierce!” Adams said. About 100 people attended the event. Jennifer LeClaire of Charisma News does not believe such an event should take place.