Pro-Israel Senator Ted Cruz Heckled, Arkansas State Removing Cross Decals

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Here’s what you need to know in news for Sept. 12:

#1: Crowd heckles Ted Cruz at dinner this week

Sen. Ted Cruz was booed off stage at a gala this week after he said “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

Cruz was the keynote speaker for a gala meant to support Mideast, but during his speech, attendees shouted “enough” and “no” to drive him off stage.

“Those who hate Jews hate Christians,” Cruz said to the crowd. “If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate Jewish people then you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”

#2: Atheist airman will not cite God in his oath

An atheist airman has until November to take an enlistment oath, which includes “so help me God.”

If he does not comply with the Air Force rule, he will not be allowed to rejoin his unit.

The American Humanist Association has asked the inspector general for the Air Force to consider that the airman’s rights have been violated.

The airman tried to re-enlist in August but officers rejected his written oath after he crossed out the words “so help me God.”

#3: Arkansas college pulling cross decals from football helmets

Arkansas State will be removing the Christian cross decals on the back of players’ football helmets.

The decision comes after a complaint that the school violated separation of church and state.

The decal was meant to honor a former player and equipment manager–both who died this year.

“My job is to support our players and our coaches in their expression of any type of grief, and that’s what I was doing,” said Terry Mohajir, athletics director.

Rebecca Markert, an attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said her organization did not file the complaint, but they were monitoring the situation.

“That is great news,” Markert said of the school’s decision. “Putting religious imagery on public school property is unconstitutional.”

#4: Duke study says congregations allowing more LGBT members

Churches and other religious congregations are becoming more supportive of LGBT issues, according to a study from Duke University.

The study analyzed the acceptance of gay and lesbian congregants from 2006 to 2011. In that time frame, acceptance jumped from about 37 percent to nearly 50 percent.

The survey asked more than 1,300 American churches, temples, etc. whether they would allow gay or lesbian couples as members.

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