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Genesis Was Wrong: Man’s Dominion Over Animals Is Stewardship, Not Ownership

| July 28, 2015

Pope Francis has now rejected mainstream Christian view, insisting that being created in God’s image doesn’t mean dominion over the earth or absolute domination over other creatures.

Florida’s Impending “Pastor Protection Act” Weds Spurious Scenarios With Homophobia

| July 16, 2015

The proposal is aimed at safeguarding clergy members from being forced to perform gay-marriage ceremonies even though they’re categorically protected from doing so by the First Amendment.

At Bunnell’s Methodist Church, Rev. Terry Wines Begins Filling Beth Gardner’s Big Void

| July 1, 2015

It’s pat of an annual and anxious ritual in the sprawling world of the United Methodist Church when “elders” typically move from church to church around this time of year.

Lest We Get On Our High Horse: Obama’s Caution to Self-Righteous Christians

| February 8, 2015

President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast cautioned Christians against shutting their eyes to their own brutal past, but was rebuked by Evangelicals and the conservative press, often with flurries of historical inaccuracies.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

Double-Killing in Ormond Beach:
Not Murder-Suicide, But Mercy and Heroism

| May 23, 2014

Shortly after midnight today John Poucher, 89, shot his wife Barbara, 86, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, then shot himself. The killings will be logged inaccurately as a murder-suicide. The crime is that we live in a society still too barbaric to give assisted suicide and mercy killing its due.

Neither Marx Nor Hannity: Pope Francis’s Cool Embrace of Simplicity

| February 15, 2014

Even for a pope as refreshingly humble and open-minded as Francis, it’s too much to expect that he will remake the worldwide Catholic Church into one big hippie commune, argues Cary McMullen. Those on the political left may eventually be just as disappointed in him as those on the political right.

As State Mulls Review, Christians and Atheists Agree: Keep Florida Capitol a Free Speech Zone

| January 7, 2014

The threat of a lawsuit is hovering over the state’s rejection of a satanic display, and the rotunda exhibit policy is set to undergo a staff review. But the prevailing view among those who have recently jumped at the chance to use the public floor space to express their beliefs is to simply let everyone have their say.

Before Florida Made an Ass of Christmas, Philadelphia Gave Us a Founding Nativity Scene

| December 20, 2013

The Rick Scott administration’s illiterate interpretation of the Bible and the first amendment turned the Florida Capitol rotunda into a comedy of absurd Christmas displays and discrimination, all of which could have been avoided with a reason and respect–for the holidays and the Constitution.

Florida Government’s DCF Looks to Religious Organizations to Recruit Foster Parents

| June 3, 2013

Looking for foster parents, DCF Director of Faith Based Development Erik Braun told child welfare professionals at a conference that Florida has 12 million residents affiliated with a Catholic or Protestant church, 1 million Jews and 400,000 to 600,000 Muslims.

Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio is Francis I, Church’s First Non-European Pope, Post-Columbus

| March 13, 2013

76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires is the first-ever South American pope, the first non-European pope in a millennium, and the first-ever pope to name himself Francis (Francis I), after St. Francis, patron saint of the poor.

John Fischer’s Hate Speech

| February 10, 2013

In twice calling for a return of school prayer in the last three weeks, Flagler County School Board member John Fischer did so not from good will but out of angry resentment for “special interests” and “political correctness” that he claims are standing in the way of “our rights.” He is offensively wrong, and the school board should resist his call to prayer.

Put God Back in Public Schools?

| January 5, 2013

If we’re going to put God back in schools, which God are we talking about? Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of a United Methodist Church, calmly argues against the notion that God has ever left the public schools, and need not be forced back in.

Corporal Punishment: When a Religious Exemption Becomes a License to Brutalize

| November 14, 2012

A harrowing recent series in the Tampa Bay Times detailed how for 30 years a handful of homes for troubled youth have used a misguided exemption in Florida law to get away with all manner of abuses by using religion as a shield.

Too Much of a God Thing

| April 4, 2012

A new survey finds signs of public uneasiness with the mixing of religion and politics. The number of people who say there has been too much religious talk by political leaders stands at an all-time high since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than a decade ago.

School Prayer Bill Clears House Hurdle as Florida Legislature Appears Poised to Bow

| February 13, 2012

Local school boards would be responsible for enabling prayer measures. Should it become law, the bill would make Florida an outlier state with regard to school-prayer permissiveness and almost certainly trigger court action.

Florida Senate Approves School Prayer Bill, 31-8

| February 2, 2012

The school prayer bill’s approval overrides objections of senators who said the measure will lead to prayers at school events that students can’t get out of, including possibly in classes, and that some students will have to listen to prayers or risk being ostracized because they come from a different religious tradition.

Flouting the First:
Florida’s Slouch Back To Religious Favoritism

| January 16, 2012

Florida’s proposed “Religious Freedom” amendment and a bill that would enable prayer at public school events project the false impression that religious expression in the public sphere is under siege, when the reverse is closer to the mark–as a bias particularly favoring Christianity.

Blessing of the Animals: At St. Thomas Episcopal, a Fall Ritual for Creatures’ Sake

| October 5, 2011

The annual Feast of St. Francis is an occasion, at Palm Coast’s St. Thomas Episcopal, to celebrate the bond and love between people and their pets as each animal is blessed in a moving and modest ceremony.

Ten Flagler Churches, Almost as Many Denominations, One Big Unity Celebration Jan. 22

| January 11, 2011

Following up on last year’s celebration across denomination, the Second Flagler Churches Together in Prayer and Song brings together 10 congregations at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Jan. 22.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” Launches Flagler Playhouse’s 32nd Season

| October 21, 2010

The play and the movie of the “rock opera” were charged up with controversy in 1971 and 1973. These days, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is a nostalgic bath of 70s music and only quaint hints of subversion.

Calvary Christian’s Bus Ministry: Treasuring the Homeless, One Sunday at a Time

| October 18, 2010

Every Sunday, Calvary’s school buses pick up some 120 homeless men, women and children to clean, feed and clothe them while ministering to them without illusions.

The Live Wire, Oct. 7: Mario Vargas Llosa, “Christian” Homophobes, Soldiers and Privacy

| October 7, 2010

The Nobel Prize goes to a great writer for once: Mario Vargas Llosa; plus the Supreme Court case on homophobes at soldiers’ funerals and more on privacy, obesity and hometown democracy.

Idioting Up Over Islam, Rev. Franklin Graham Reveals America’s More Present Dangers

| October 3, 2010

This time, Rev. Franklin Graham is unable to get away with his usual offenses and fallacies on Islam during a town hall with Christiane Amanpour.

Neo-Supremacy Chic: Glenn Beck
And Sarah Palin’s Tea-Scalding of MLK

| August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s biggest “tea party” rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s most famous speech signals the arrival of a neo-supremacist political movement in god’s clothing.

Breaking His Silence, Obama Defends Mosque Near Ground Zero

| August 14, 2010

The president’s Ramadan speech at the White House was not as soaring as Mayor Bloomberg’s defense of the Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, but it was forceful and left no doubts about the president’s stance.

What’s the State of Ecumenism in Flagler (And What on Earth is Ecumenism Anyway)?

| June 4, 2010

Saturday evening’s music and fellowship program at Santa Maria del Mar brings together six churches and five denominations in a historic display of unity in Flagler County.

Thomas Jefferson’s “Separation Between Church and State” Letter

| May 3, 2010

Original text of Thomas Jefferson’s separation of church and state letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist association, 1802.

“Day of Inclusivity” Answers National Day of Prayer May 6

| May 3, 2010

Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Day of inclusivity is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Heroes Park in Palm Coast, with speakers including Merrill Shapiro and the ACLU’s George Griffin.

Harry Truman’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation, 1952

| May 3, 2010

Harry Truman was the first American president to declare a National Day of Prayer, in 1952–on July 4 that year.

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