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Sexually Explicit Content Pushed on Public Schools


Maria Rivera, 4, works on a computer with other classmates at a pre-kindergarten class in Dallas. (AP Images/LM Otero)

Even as the triple-X domain is gaining momentum for pornographers, there’s a new battle in the public school system over Internet access to sexually explicit materials.

It seems the American Civil Liberties Union is demanding that seven public school districts deactivate web filters that block student access to websites with sexually-inappropriate content because the filters also block sites homosexual activist groups run.

The Alliance Defense Fund has sent letters to the districts urging them to reject the ACLU’s demands. In the letter, ADF assures the districts that they are well within their legal rights to retain their filters. The letters also provide the districts with a list of sites that display pornographic images and sexual advice that would be accessible to students if the districts give in to the ACLU’s demands.

ADF sent a similar letter to Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia earlier this month after the ACLU threatened that district over its web filter as part of the ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me Initiative.” read more

Ethiopian Churches Expanding Despite Persecution


AP Images/Amanda Rivkin
The famine may be crippling. The Muslim voice may be strong. Fleeing refugees may crowd the borders. But the evangelistic churches in Ethiopia are linked in unity and strength like never before.

Global Advance witnessed this incredible unity at their Frontline Shepherds Conference conducted in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, last month.

With the Frontline Shepherds Conference, pastors were even more equipped with a sense of unity as they were trained in church growth, planting and missions. Pastors were also challenged in their personal walk with the Lord, and many committed to plant a new church within the next 12 months. read more

OpEd: American Idol is Homo-Promo-Phobic Claims Rival Host


American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez take part in a panel discussion in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Images/Chris Pizzello)

In January of 2010, I claimed that the FOX TV show American Idol hired Ellen DeGeneres to fight the rumors within Hollywood that the show was anti-gay; this after the more talented Adam Lambert lost the competition to a "Teen-Beat" hetero-dreamboat.

Idol's producers allowed DeGeneres to drive the show into the ground to appease a flaming Hollywood minority. Eventually profit-minded heads prevailed and the gay activist was replaced after one horrendous season.

Idol's producers had paid their alms to Hollywood's Gay-McCarthyites and thought they were in the clear. Not so fast claims Idol-rival co-host Adam Levine, a judge on The Voice. This week Levine charged that Idol was not doing enough to promote gay contestants. What does he want, pink-triangle armbands to tell viewers who is gay and who is straight? read more

Korea Finds Christian Help in Wake of Devastating Floods


AP Images/Ahn Young-joon

While droughts and famine are plaguing some parts of the world, flooding is prevalent in others.

Dozens of people were killed and thousands left homeless by recent flooding in the Kangwon and North and South Hwanghae province of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Forecasts call for continued heavy rains in the coming weeks. The weather has already caused severe damage to farmland and infrastructure.

Christian ministries are working to bring emergency supplies to help those in desperate need. Samaritan's Purse is among the early responders. The U.S. State Department has allocated $900,000 to American organizations to deliver flood relief to the country. Samaritan's Purse is matching the U.S. government's grant, bringing the total amount of assistance to at least $1.8 million. The organization will be providing relief items including blankets, temporary shelter materials and hygiene supplies to meet the critical needs of flood victims in North Korea. Staff members will travel to DPRK to monitor the delivery of this assistance.

"When I was in North Korea in May, I saw the country's increasingly dire needs," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "The recent flooding has made this situation even more acute. I'm very pleased that the United States government is separating political differences from humanitarian need. People are people. God made and created each and every one of us. The Bible teaches us that those who have much should share with those who have little." read more

Same-Sex Marriage Facebook Comments Get Teacher Suspended

A former "Teacher of the Year" at Mount Dora High School has been suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his own personal Facebook page.

In the Facebook comment, Jerry Buell expressed his disapproval of legalized same-sex marriage in New York. The Florida educator said homosexuality is a sin and that seeing two "grooms" kissing on a news story revolted him.

School officials received a complaint about Buell's comment on Tuesday from a 2002 Mount Dora graduate, who was never even in the teacher's class. The Lake County School District responded by taking away his teaching privileges and reassigning him to administrative duties. read more

Megachurch Will Not Stream Zachery Tims Funeral Service


AP Iamges/John Raoux

After early plans to stream megachurch Pastor Zachery Tims' funeral service online, New Destiny Christian Center has decided to keep the event private. The service will not stream online or be open to media.

Tims, 42, was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Aug. 12. The cause of death has not yet been determined. About 2,000 people attended NDCC on Monday night to grieve Tims' death.

Speakers have not been announced for the funeral, though Orlando, Fla., news station WESH-TV is reporting that Bishop T.D. Jakes may be present. On Thursday afternoon, Jakes tweeted that he was traveling to Orlando to be with Tims' family. read more

The Shack, William P. Young

'The Shack' Lawsuit Dismissed

Author William P. Young’s contract dispute regarding his runaway best-seller, The Shack, has been settled out of court.

Court documents show that a jury trial was scheduled for late September in Ventura, Calif., but on Aug. 12 the case was dismissed without prejudice.

Young filed suit in November 2009 against Brad Cummings and Wayne Jacobsen. Windblown Media countersued for $5 million in federal court and made a claim over the authorship of the book. Cummings and Jacobsen collaborated with Young in writing what became a No. 1 New York Times best-selling novel and founded Windblown Media to publish it after it was rejected by multiple publishers. Cummings did not respond to queries for comment.

Hachette Book Group, which in 2008 began to distribute The Shack, also filed suit against Young and Windblown Media to determine where royalties should be paid and to protect itself from future lawsuits. In the wake of the dismissal, Hachette’s statement to Christian Retailing on the case was: “We’re very pleased that the parties have resolved their differences and we can move forward.” read more

VIDEO: 20 Years of 'Redeeming Love'

Over 1 million copies of the love story have been sold. Since its debut, now 20 years ago, Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love has inspired readers through a "life-changing story of God's unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love." Rivers invites you to share your redeeming love story for a chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco. Watch today's daily interest video to join Charisma in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the biblical retelling of the book of Hosea. 

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High Shipping Prices Hinder Spread of Gospel


AP Images/Gary Kazanjian

Gas prices are finally starting to slowly climb back down in the U.S., and the costs are expected to continue their decline. Over the past few months oil prices have gone down, and yet shipping costs—which rose with the rise in oil costs over the last few years—remain high.

Oil prices are still higher than they were a year ago, which is part of the reason that shipping costs have remained higher as well. Even as oil prices go down, some shipping companies are playing catch-up.

Increased shipping costs have presented a significant dilemma for ministries attempting to send large amounts of aid or resources to far-away nations. Global Aid Network (GAiN), for example, has millions of meals prepared to send to East Africa where severe drought has thrown millions into levels of starvation. However, GAiN has had difficulty procuring the funds to actually send the food to Africa. read more

Fears of Double-Dip Recession Heighten


AP Images/Richard Drew

Asian stocks dropped Friday over growing concerns of a possible U.S. recession and the growing debt crisis in Europe.

This news followed Thursday's rough tumble on Wall Street where new jobs numbers spurred another sell-off.

Nearly 408,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up 9,000 from the week before. read more

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