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Famed Atheist Richard Dawkins Suffers Stroke — and Now a Debate Over Praying for Him Is Lighting up Twitter

Image source: Twitter

Famed atheist Richard Dawkins suffered a “minor stroke” last Saturday, which forced the 74-year-old to nix a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Image source: Twitter

Management for the outspoken biology professor and author of “The God Delusion” indicated Dawkins is recuperating at home in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported.

While some believers in prayer posted on social media that they are, indeed, getting on their knees on behalf of Dawkins and his recovery, others — presumably atheists — had much different messages. Check out the opposing reactions:

Praying for @RichardDawkins‘ quick recovery after having suffered a minor stroke in the UK ahead of his Aus/NZ tour.

— Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD) February 12, 2016

Wishing (not praying) @RichardDawkins a speedy recovery. Hope to see you in Oz soon!

— #TeamHashtag Lisa (@thatblogchick) February 12, 2016

Richard Dawkins has had a stroke 🙁 Pray for him

— John Cumberbatch (@johndanbatch) February 12, 2016

Gave me a shock: @RichardDawkins has stroke (but getting better already) (do not pray for him please) @sherlockmichael

— Geert Plas (@GeertPlas) February 12, 2016

Let’s all pray that Richard Dawkins pulls through come on God

— (@KIWIE999) February 12, 2016

@RichardDawkins I’m not praying you make a swift recovery, which I hope you’ll appreciate.

— Yokohama Lustpuffin (@Foot_Off) February 12, 2016

Despite his condition, Dawkins has been sending up his own Twitter posts since Tuesday, and an offering from earlier today shows he’s lost none of his feistiness:

Why in the world is BBC hiring a young earth creationist to host BBC Breakfast? Why not someone who accepts reality? https://t.co/1JoUEYz8wO

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 12, 2016

(H/T: Christian Today)

‘Pro-Faith’ or ‘Profane?’ Trump Surrogate Gets Heckled at Faith and Family Forum

Trump reacts after a campaign rally in Baton Rouge, La., on Thursday. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

Pastor Mark Burns was tasked with making the case for Donald Trump at the Faith and Family Forum today — and had a harder time than he might have expected winning over the conservative crowd.

Burns, who is the co-founder and chief executive of the Christian broadcasting NOW Television Network, argued that he knows the 2016 GOP frontrunner through multiple conversations and believes that he is conservative, pro-life and anti-gay marriage.

“I have spoken to him many times, and he has conveyed to me his heart,” Burns said at the forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. “He has conveyed to me the tricks of the trade and how others would try to make you to believe that he is a person that does not hold the same values that we hold dear.

“That is a lie. That is not the truth,” he said. “I would not be sitting here talking to you, I would not be risking my name, my television network, all that I have built, the thousands of souls that have been saved under my ministry across the world, to be here and to look you in the face and to try to convey to you the heart of another person if I didn’t believe it was true. I know Donald Trump, he is a friend of mine. And I know his values.”

Trump reacts after a campaign rally in Baton Rouge, La., on Thursday. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

But Burns ran into a snag midway through the speech, when he started saying that Trump has the “same values as you and I do.”

The pastor repeated four times: “Donald Trump is pro-faith. He is pro-faith. He is pro-faith. He is pro-faith.”

But an attendee called out loudly that Trump is “profane” — presumably referring to Trump’s use of the word “pussy” on stage to mock opponent Sen. Ted Cruz and other such statements over the course of the campaign.

Burns responded by admitting that Trump’s language is profane.

“Let me tell you one thing, I’m grateful you said that, that Donald Trump is profane, and that’s what you’re saying,” he said. “Donald Trump is profane, but guess what? … I don’t know about you but I don’t trust a man that doesn’t have mistakes. I don’t trust a man that doesn’t have the ability to have mistakes and then recognize those mistakes and then do what it takes to change.”

[sharequote=”center”]”Donald Trump is profane, but guess what? … I don’t know about you but I don’t trust a man that doesn’t have mistakes.”[/sharequote]

Burns tied the argument into the Christian gospel, that no one can earn salvation through works alone.

“That’s the whole message of grace. That’s what all of us are under,” he said. “We all have made mistakes, we all have said things we shouldn’t have said. We all have declared words that were not right at some point. But the message of humility, the message of grace that says, ‘I can change my opinion, I can change my language, I can change how people view me by changing my decisions, so that when I receive new information, what was once lost is now found. What was once blind can now see.”

Burns asked faith-based voters to give Trump grace. “Remember the message of grace. … Remember your own life, how you was once lost but now you’re found. How you was once blind but now you see.

” … Jesus said it like this: He that has not sinned cast the first stone.”

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U.S. Colleges: Middle East Money Speaks to Silence Socrates

In this Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 photo, a person walks on the University at Buffalo campus in Buffalo, N.Y. The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the University at Buffalo, the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned.Credit: AP

For over a decade, Muslim donors have made significant financial contributions to American educational institutions. Appearing philanthropic, they are anything but.

Used to create Middle Eastern and political science studies programs, the donations come with strings attached — only professors pontificating the donor’s anti-U.S. brand of Islam are to be hired.

These schools willingly accept the brand, abandoning any effort to provide students with a balanced worldview, prostituting themselves for cash to donors’ agendas. Socrates must be rolling over in his grave.

Credit: AP

Author Andrew McCarthy assesses the situation as follows:

“It would be a mistake to say Middle East studies have been corrupted. For the program’s very purpose has been to serve as a corrupting agent. Specifically, it puts the essence of study — the objective pursuit of knowledge — in disrepute.”

McCarthy adds the objective pursuit of knowledge in these programs has been replaced with the “Islamization of knowledge” — i.e., the only relevant knowledge becomes that dictated by Islam as truth is irrelevant. They feed students a steady diet of “an amalgam of leftist and Islamist political dogma that masquerades as an academic discipline.”

Some examples of the professorial mindset to which young student minds are subjected include:

– Rutgers University: Associate professor in media and Middle East studies Deepa Kumar, while participating in a social network discussion about Islamic State last March, tweeted, “Yes ISIS is brutal, but US is more so, 1.3 million killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” When criticized, Kumar played the victim card, claiming her statements were taken “out of context” and “distorted” to “silence and intimidate faculty who have dissenting opinions on the U.S. government and policies in the Middle East.”

– Also at Rutgers: Middle East studies professors reportedly talk about wiping Israel off the map.

– Northeastern University: Professor Muhammad Shahid Alam “demonizes Israel, delegitimizes Jewish history, and infringes on his students’ free speech by shutting down any differing views.”

– University of Missouri: Well-known anti-Israel University of California Los Angeles English professor, Saree Makdisi, was invited to speak while an effort to have an opposing viewpoint shared was rejected.

– Duke University: After the Chattanooga shootings left five U.S. military personnel dead, Director of Islamic Studies Omid Safi argued moral equivalence existed between this terrorist act and the accidental killing of civilians by U.S. drones.

Such a Middle East studies focus ignores history, transforming Arab villains into heroes. Among these “scholars” doing so is Edward Said whom, according to McCarthy, is “the seminal figure in modern Middle East studies” slandering knowledge itself, bestowing sainthood upon the late chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat. Said fails to tell “the rest of the story”—i.e., Arafat’s links to terrorism or his embezzlement of hundreds of millions—possibly billions—of dollars found in his personal bank accounts upon his death.

Author Winfield Myers sums up how the Muslim hate agenda against the U.S. and Israel is packaged as “scholarly” work on campuses where universities have shirked their responsibility for ensuring academic discipline:

“We’re now at a point in the history of Middle East studies wherein ‘scholars’ of the region deny the obvious, ignore the infamous, and offer apologias in their never-ending effort to protect Islamists from the consequences of their actions while blaming the West for all the world’s ills. Just when the West most needs insightful policy advice guided by expertise, it receives instead propaganda in the guise of scholarship to support its enemies. Seldom has any academic discipline so failed its duty.”

Tunisian professor Hayet Ben Said believes an imbalance in teaching Islam launched Seifeddine Rezgui on his murderous rampage June 26, 2015 at a Tunisian tourist resort, killing 38 foreigners.

Ironically, as Tunisian families recognizing this imbalance send their children to international schools sparing them from such extremism, American parents are sending theirs directly into the lion’s den of extremist thought.

The extent to which an anti-U.S. agenda has engrained itself in poisoning young minds — courtesy of greedy school administrators — is reflected in the “10 Top American Universities Most Friendly to Terrorists” — a report by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Lebanese American activist Brigette Gabriel of ACT for America has a name for universities accepting Muslim money in exchange for the subversion of truth on their campuses — “occupied territories.”

Gabriel says parents sending their children to college to learn how to share in the American dream are not getting what they pay for.

While many schools, financially struggling, need the funds, most disturbing are those not financially needy still willing to sacrifice Socraticism for money.

Gabriel explains Muslim donors use a loophole in Title Six of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to force their poisonous and unchallenged worldviews upon the young minds attending our institutions of higher learning.

Originally intended as a vehicle for American students to learn about foreign cultures and languages to better educate those seeking careers in the diplomatic field, Title Six is now being abused by Muslim donors to supplant American values.

This is actually part of the declared policy of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to destroy America from within, using our own laws against us.

More worrisome, however, is, having met with such success on the college campus, Muslim activists are now doing the same thing in America’s elementary schools. Why wait for college to corrupt young American minds when, they reason, the process can begin earlier.

Interestingly, while the NCAA was established to safeguard the wellbeing of student college athletes—monitoring academia to ensure universities do not compromise ethical standards to benefit them—no similar organization exists to ensure academia does not compromise its educational standards on behalf of donors. Yet, the failure to monitor such donations is far more damaging to the future of our country.

The expectation is that our universities will safeguard the time-honored teaching principles of Socrates. They are not, giving these Muslim-funded programs undeserved credibility.

Sadly, these “show-me-the-money” universities give new meaning to the old Russian proverb, “When money speaks, the truth keeps silent.”

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

Atheists’ Letter to Obama Includes Big Request That Asks Him to Do Something ‘Historic’ That ‘No American President Has Ever Done’

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. Obama is trying to put Republicans on defense in the U.S. debate over gun rights with a call to ban people on the governments no-fly list from buying firearms. The trouble is his proposal may be unconstitutional. (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Atheist activists penned a letter to President Barack Obama on Feb. 4, imploring the commander in chief to “do something no American president has ever done: reach out to secular America.”

The letter, which was penned by Freedom From Religion Foundation co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker and sent to Obama on the same day that he addressed the National Prayer Breakfast last week, asked Obama to welcome the “nonreligious to the ‘American family.'”

“It is laudable for the president to embrace citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as being part of ‘one American family’ and to caution citizens not to be ‘bystanders to bigotry,'” the letter read. “But there is one U.S. minority that has been consistently excluded from such notice: nonreligious Americans.”

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It continued, “We respectfully invite you, in your final year in office, to do something no American president has ever done: reach out to secular America. Such attention from the Office of the President would demonstrate that freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists and rationalists are accepted citizens.”

Among its other sentiments, Gaylor and Barker asked Obama to “make a historic appearance” at the Reason Rally, an event planned in Washington D.C. on June 4 that will encourage atheists, agnostics and those unaffiliated with a faith to converge for a secular revival of sorts.

The text went on to say that the event offers Obama “an ideal opportunity for the office of the president” to welcome and address those in attendance, claiming that atheists and agnostics fall victim to “unwarranted stereotypes, putdowns and assumptions that we cannot be good people or good citizens.”

A screen shot from the Freedom From Religion Foundation letter A screen shot from the Freedom From Religion Foundation letter

Gaylor and Barker concluded by citing well-known religious skeptics who they said have made monumental contributions to society. They then renewed their call for Obama to attend the Reason Rally.

“By showing up on June 4, as you did at the mosque, and addressing nonbelieving Americans, you can send a signal that the marginalization of a quarter of the U.S. population is unacceptable,” the letter read. “Please use your ‘bully pulpit’ to help erase harmful attitudes toward the nonreligious minority in the United States, as you have done for religious minorities.”

Read the entire letter for yourself here.

As TheBlaze previously reported, the “nones” — or religiously unaffiliated — are not necessarily atheist or agnostic. While the umbrella group most certainly includes non-believers, recent Pew Research Center data shows that 61 percent of “nones” still believe in “God or [a] universal spirit,” though that proportion is down from the 70 percent that was observed in 2007.

That data also found that only 3.1 of the nation considers itself atheist, with an additional 4 percent calling themselves agnostic.

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Israeli Civilian Armed With Pistol Found Himself Opposite a Palestinian Teenage Girl Out to Allegedly ‘Kill Jews.’ Here’s What Happened.

The Israeli civilian who stopped the girl described the dilemma he faced when he realized he was going to stop the 13-year-old would-be assailant. (Image source: YouTube/IBA)

Israel’s Channel 1 television obtained dramatic footage showing a 13-year-old girl moments after she was stopped by an armed civilian as she was allegedly on her way to stab Israelis.

The teen was approaching the entrance to the West Bank Jewish community of Karmei Tzur on Tuesday carrying her school backpack on her back and in her hand a knife, the eyewitness and hero of the day said.

Amos Shimon Cohen, described by Channel 1 as an “alert citizen who happened to be passing by,” saw the teenager and called on her to stop.

He said he tried to negotiate with her to drop her weapon and then physically overpowered her.

“The moment she dropped her knife, I laid her down on the ground and cuffed her,” he said.

The Israeli civilian who stopped the girl described the dilemma he faced when he realized he was going to stop the 13-year-old would-be assailant. (Image source: YouTube/IBA)

A man off camera could be heard asking her in Arabic, “Why are you here? To kill Jews?”

To this she allegedly answered, “Yeah” and nodded her head affirmatively.

Asked if she had come to the Israeli community to “kill Jews,” the girl answered affirmatively. (Image source: YouTube/IBA)

Cohen was armed with a pistol, but chose not to use it.

“That situation is really, really difficult. You have an emotional and mental dilemma about what to do. To stand opposite a 13-year-old girl who by all accounts has a knife in her hand and is a terrorist and she’s coming to kill, like she told me. And on the other hand, this is a 13-year-old girl,” Cohen told Channel 1 which obtained exclusive video of Cohen guarding the girl after he tied her hands behind her back with flexicuffs.

The first minute of this Hebrew report from the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Channel 1 News includes those images:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1jjnvjK3oY&w=650&h=366]

These photos of the girl and the typical schoolgirl’s backpack (with the atypical knife) circulated on Israeli and Palestinian social media:

TERROR ATTACK FOILED: Arab woman planning stabbing attack in Karmei Tzur area, caught with large knife by Police. pic.twitter.com/xfBwLnscoM

— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) February 9, 2016

The pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon noticed in photos posted on an Arabic website that the teen’s shirt which was decorated with a bunny also appeared to feature the script, “I Love You.”

The aspiring attacker apparently had a very incongruous message on her shirt. (Image source: Arabic website via Elder of Ziyon blog) The aspiring attacker apparently had a very incongruous message on her shirt. (Image source: Arabic website via Elder of Ziyon blog)

Israel has faced a 5-month wave of nearly daily Palestinian stabbing attacks, many of which were perpetrated by teenagers.

The Israeli government has eased access to guns in order to allow more civilians to have the ability to apprehend or stop perpetrators.

Why Christians Can’t Afford to Remain Silent About Sex

(Image source: Facebook)

I will never forget my first sexual education experience. I sat in a classroom next to a dozen of my pre-pubescent friends as we stared at various atrocities flashing across a projector screen. Each passing slide displayed the horrors of “pre-marital sex” and “un-safe sex.” I walked away horrified by the ghastly images and my appetite ruined for at least a week.

If I had to guess, you probably had a similar experience at some point in your childhood. Thankfully, I had caring parents and a church community who taught me the truth about sex. As I grew older I learned that God designed sex and designed it to be good. I also learned that there is a purpose for sex and that it can be freely and unashamedly enjoyed within the context of marriage.

It doesn’t take long to look at our culture today though to realize there is something very wrong with the way we view sexuality. We are living in a world where an erotic fantasy movie depicting BDSM creates box office records and a movie about male strippers is so popular it gets a sequel. We are faced with the daunting challenge of raising godly children, who will respect their bodies, in a world that glorifies degrading them.

[sharequote align=”center”]We want to raise godly children to respect their bodies, in a world that glorifies degrading them.[/sharequote]

As Christians, I’m afraid that we can no longer remain silent and hope that a sex education class, a purity pledge or someone else will save our children from developing a morally depraved view of sex.

A Barna Research study recently revealed that now just one-third of Generation Xers and millenials endorse the idea that sex should unite a man and woman in marriage. Changing this mindset will be a tough challenge, no doubt. But this is a wake-up call I assure you that we can’t afford to ignore.

Are You Not Entertained?

We no longer live in a world where we can wait for the perfect time to talk about the “birds and the bees” with our children. Mainly, because we don’t live in a culture of the “birds and the bees;” we live in a culture of “Netflix and chill.”

Sex is no longer something that awaits teenage boys and girls who are finally old enough to drive a car and get away from mom and dad. Sex is on our TVs, our cell phones and our iPads. And hauntingly enough, each of these devices we make easily accessible as soon as our kids begin talking.

Sex sells and marketers realize that. We now have TV shows like “Dating Naked,” video games with “hooker scenes” and iPhone apps specifically tailored for zero-commitment real life hook ups. Sexual content is making its way into every form of entertainment and as a by-product it is teaching our society that sex is just that – entertainment.

This is a gross reductive view of what God intended for sex. Sex is much more than entertainment. It is as much spiritual as it is physical with its original intention being to unite a man and woman together in marriage. (Genesis 2:24)

(Image source: Facebook)

If we choose to remain silent we are virtually choosing for pop culture to teach our children an alternative, disposable view of sex where it is simply a physical activity with a by-product of pleasure.

The truth is, however, it is more – much more. If sex is merely a physical expression of your sex drive then the memories produced from it would be as forgettable as that Big Mac you ate last week when you physically expressed your hunger. Where you might forget about your choice to eat a Big Mac; your choice to have sex will be a thought that sticks with you for years.

The entertainment industry obviously doesn’t show this aspect of the sexual equation. We are bombarded with images that show the excitement and pleasure of non-committal sex, but never the emotional and spiritual wreckage in the aftermath. While we can’t simply bash the entertainment industry and expect change – we can protect our children and we can promote the contrasting biblical view of sex.

It’s Not Someone Else’s Job to Teach Our Kids About Sex

We cannot simply sit back and allow the government to teach our children the ins and outs of sexual activity either. The goal of these programs range widely depending on which school system you attend. But they generally range from fear based abstinence-only curriculum to comprehensive sex education programs with condom distribution.

I’m not so foolish to think that handing out condoms won’t prevent unplanned pregnancies, because it will. Handing out condoms and telling teens to be safe though isn’t prevention, it’s permission. It’s the equivalent of handing your 2-year-old his booster shot and expecting him to be safe and use it the right way. Condoms and proper sex education may prevent unplanned pregnancies, but it doesn’t prevent the soul wrenching heartache that occurs from embracing a wrong view of sex.

That is why we should not depend on popular culture, the entertainment industry, the government or anyone else to teach our kids about sex. This life lesson is far too important to defer to a “substitute teacher.” It’s not enough to simply tell our kids that sex is wrong. In fact, we can’t tell our kids that, because that is an entirely unbiblical view. We must get over our prudery and teach what the Word of God actually instructs. This includes the uncomfortable parts of the Bible.

In this Oct. 8, 2015, photo, Justin Balido, peer health coordinator and senior health educator with Health Connected, speaks to a ninth-grade Teen Talk High School class at Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif. Sex education in some American high schools is evolving beyond pregnancy and disease prevention to include lessons aimed at curbing sexual assaults. (AP/Jeff Chiu)

The parts where the Bible affirms the enjoyment and bliss of sex between a man and woman entering into a covenantal marriage. (Proverbs 5:18-19)

The parts where we see healthy, self-giving sex celebrated – not ignored. (Song of Solomon 4:9-16)

The parts where we see “a man after God’s own heart” struggling with the powerful nature of lust. (2 Samuel 11:2-4)

The parts where grace and truth is given to the promiscuous instead of judgment and condemnation. (John 4:16-29)

I refuse to sit silently and allow a TV show or a government sex-education class to degrade sex to a mere recreational practice or biological process. There is too much heart and soul at stake for the church to be silent as the world goes on believing that swiping through “Tinder” is the apex of the human sexual experience.

To the volume that we are silent about sex will be the vacuum created and filled with the lewdness of pornography and air brushed fantasy of modern entertainment. The Bible isn’t silent about sex so neither should we be.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

‘It’s a Lie’: Michele Bachmann Slams the Progressive Tax System — and Points to This Biblical Mandate to Make Her Point

Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) recently joined historian David Barton on the show “Foundations of Freedom,” where she spoke out against the progressive income tax system, saying that class warfare rhetoric leads people to “violate the 10th Commandment.”

“It’s appealing to the lower interest of man, and it appeals to the American people to violate the 10th Commandment,” Bachmann said. “We are told, ‘Don’t covet’ — in other words don’t be jealous and don’t want what your neighbor has … Instead politicians say, ‘Oh no, no. Your neighbor is rich, because he stole it from you.'”

She continued, “That’s not true. It’s a lie.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2VW04BMrxY?rel=0&w=650&h=366]

Exodus 20:17 reads, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Bachmann also said that the Constitution initially prohibited individual taxation before the adoption of the 16th Amendment in 1913, saying that the Founding Fathers understood that people should be able to keep the “fruits of their labor.”

“In 1913, we passed the 16th Amendment, so now we have a progressive income tax,” Bachmann said. “It’s progressed all right … it isn’t just one tax; it’s miltiple taxes.”

Watch the entire interview below:

Bachman also made headlines of late for her comments about belief that signs of the end-times could be upon us.”

In a radio interview posted on the Olive Tree Ministries website, Bachmann pointed to the current collaboration between Iran and Russia inside war-torn Syria, warning that the alliance could have broad implications for the future; she also alluded to the fact that she believes that President Barack Obama would back a global government.

NASA Employees Accuse Space Agency of Banning ‘Jesus.’ Now, Their Attorney Has a Warning.

(Photo: Shutterstock/ Songquan Deng)

A group of NASA employees are accusing officials at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, of banning Jesus’ name from a staff e-mail newsletter, with their attorney telling The Church Boys podcast this week why he believes that the space agency is on shaky legal ground.

Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for the conservative Liberty Institute law firm, also offered up a warning for atheists and members of other non-Christian faiths who are employed by NASA, telling them to consider the implications for their own religious freedom.

“The atheist groups, the other religious groups ought to be paying attention to this,” he said. “Because if NASA can censor out one word, because they think it’s too religious or it is too far, what other words are they able to censor as well?

Listen to Dys explain what reportedly happened to the Praise and Worship Club — a group of Christian NASA employees — below:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246564405" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height='450' iframe="true" /]

Problems began back in May 2015 when Praise and Worship group organizers submitted a routine announcement to JSC Today, a daily e-newsletter that is sent to everyone working at the Johnson Space Center that provides information on campus events.

“Join with the praise and worship band ‘Allied with the Lord’ for a refreshing set of spring praise and worship songs on Thursday, June 4, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Building 57, Room 106,” the notice read. “The theme for this session will be ‘Jesus is our life!’ Prayer partners will be available for anyone who has need. All JSC civil servants and contractors are welcome.”

The announcement ran, but lawyers reportedly reached out to the group members and explained that including “Jesus” in e-communications that were sent out would no longer be permitted, as it was considered a violation of the First Amendment.

“They said, ‘You can’t have Jesus, but you can have ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ — things that are more generic and less sectarian,” Dys said, going on to describe the Praise and Worship club’s intents. “It’s a lunchtime conversation, an opportunity to encourage one another through singing and praying with each other.”

Photo: Shutterstock/Songquan Deng

It was the purported response from NASA that stunned Sophia Smith, a 30-year employee in the International Space Station Program Office.

“We are shocked that NASA would censor the name of Jesus from our Praise and Worship Club’s announcement,” Smith said in a statement. “NASA has a long history of allowing the religious speech of its employees, so why would they ban ‘Jesus’ from our announcements?”

Dys said that he’s hopeful that the club — and its 16 individual members who are being represented by the Liberty Institute — “will be allowed to continue to use the name of Jesus.” The law firm is currently awaiting an official reply from NASA.

On Monday, NASA released a statement to Fox News’ Todd Starnes, saying that there is not a specific ban on religious names.

“NASA does not prohibit the use of any specific religious names in employee newsletters or other internal communications. The agency allows a host of employee-led civic, professional, religious and other organizations to meet on NASA property on employee’s own time,” it read. “Consistent with federal law, NASA attempts to balance employee’s rights to freely exercise religious beliefs with its obligation to ensure there is no government endorsement of religion. We believe in and encourage open and diverse dialogue among our employees and across the agency.”

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Pop Star Ciara Opens Up about Abstinence with QB Russell Wilson: ‘We’re Growing With Each Other’

Pop star Ciara recently revealed to Cosmopolitan what it’s like to practice abstinence with her boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

The couple has chosen not to have sex until marriage.

Last summer, Wilson, who is outspoken about his Christian faith, explained that he and Ciara have chosen to have a relationship “Jesus’ way.”

“I need you to pray for us,” Wilson said at the time. “I know y’all have seen her on the screen. If there’s a 10, she’s a 15.”

Mi Amor Verdadero….

A photo posted by Ciara (@ciara) on Nov 5, 2015 at 3:40pm PST

Cosmo asked Ciara, “How’s the whole abstinence thing going?”

“It’s going pretty good,” she said. “We’re hanging in there. I’m not gonna lie, I’m human, so it is not easy, especially when I look at him and I think he is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen — that I’ve ever laid my eyes on, to be honest. I’m like, Look the other way! Look the other way!”

“But he’s such an awesome guy and the cool thing is that every day, we’re growing with each other,” Ciara continued. “We get to have really healthy conversations and focus on each other as people. That is very important to me and him. It’s very valuable. We’re just enjoying ourselves and going one day at a time and praying and staying positive. Being strong here!”

When Cosmo, a publication known for its sexual content, pressed for more details about “what exactly” abstinence constitutes, Ciara said, “You get to hug and you get to have a nice good kiss, but you have to be careful not to go too far so you don’t end up in the place you’re trying to avoid being in.”

“Strong, strong, strong, strong! Just the strongest resistance to temptation,” she added.

Why This Millennial Left College Behind to Pursue Kindness Full Time

Alex Radelich as a student at Purdue University. ( Alex Radelich )

The late Margaret Thatcher once said, “One’s life must matter.”

She underscored the importance of her statement when she said it to her husband, Denis, who had just proposed marriage to her in the early 1950’s.

Thatcher had made it very clear that the last thing she wanted to become was an arm ornament or a professional dish washer. It was as though she knew she was destined for something greater.

You could almost call it an inspired moment for Thatcher. It was an inner proclamation that would lead her to leave a significant legacy.

Sometimes inspired moments occur when we least expect them.

Late one night at Purdue University, freshman Alex Radelich of Indiana, was sitting silent in his dorm room watching the movie “Evan Almighty” on TV.

Alex Radelich as a student at Purdue University. ( Alex Radelich )

During the film, God, played by Morgan Freeman, says to Evan: “You want to know how to change the world, son? One act of random kindness at a time.”

That single on-screen exchange stirred something deep within Radelich.

“I felt an explosion of energy,” he told me. “I knew [that] is what I needed to be doing.”

After some detailed self-reflection, Radelich, now 22, knew that if he was going to be effective in changing the world for the better he would have to commit himself to his newfound purpose full-time.

It was then that he took a leap of faith and dropped out of college.

Since that night, Radelich has tirelessly poured himself into developing his cause for good that would take on the name of ARK Project Now (ARK stands for Acts of Random Kindness).

Along with three of his childhood buddies, Radelich didn’t waste any time, having executed thousands of acts of kindness in their community and neighboring cities during their first year of operation.

One time they surprised students at a university with flowers and candy as they roamed between classes. On a different occassion they took to the streets and provided meals to the homeless. But no matter what type of kindness they performed, the guys never left an encounter without first having presented their ARK card, encouraging those they’ve touched to pay it forward to others.

“We’re trying to create a kindness epidemic,” Radelich told me.

Childhood friends Alex Radelich, Dalton Lemert, Jacob and Teddy Thatcher perform an act of random kindness for a family by purchasing their back to school supplies as part of ARK Project Now. (Alex Radelich , ARK Project Now)

But ARK’s mission really hit the gas when the team was gifted the keys to a brand new RV, courtesy of a community dealership in their home state of Indiana.

The new wheels allowed Radelich and his boys to take their show on the road where they would reach a broader audience. Along the way they receieved grants from companies like KIND Foods and generous donations from supporters which provided ARK the resources to have spent the last two summers crisscrossing the country.

While on tour in Florida the guys took an entire Boys and Girls Club, full of at-risk youths, to Walt Disney World.

“They’d never been and it allowed us all to be kids that day,” Radelich fondly recalled.

Having arrived in Baltimore, Maryland just a few weeks after the highly publicized riots, ARK rented an ice cream truck and drove it to into the heart of the city. The team then invited local police to help pass out the free treats.

Free ice cream is passed out to children as an act of random kindness by ARK Project Now co-founder Alex Radelich.  (Alex Radelich, ARK Project Now) Free ice cream is passed out to children as an act of random kindness by ARK Project Now co-founder Alex Radelich. (Alex Radelich, ARK Project Now)

The ARK boys weren’t the only ones who had performed kind acts during their journey. Radelich said at one point a man and his friends saw the ARK RV in a Target parking lot in Savannah, Georgia, and later reached out online and invited them to his house for a barbecue.

After having spent 10 weeks on the road and putting 10,000 miles behind them, the guys brought their 2015 road trip to an uplifting close in Louisville, Kentucky. It was there where they had joined forces with Yum! Foods and threw a senior citizen prom at a local community center.

The prom brought more than 50 seniors from around Louisville together to enjoy a party in their honor.

The extraordinary efforts of Radelich and his team have been recognized by dozens of national media outlets and personalities.

Most recently, the members of ARK Project Now have embarked on a college tour to share some of their illuminating experiences with the hope that students will join them in their acts of random kindness campaign to “just do one.”

Asking whether Radelich regretted his decision of leaving college three years ago, he told me: “Absolutely not. This is what I am supposed to be doing. This is where I am supposed to be.”

One’s life must matter. Alex Radelich is a modern example of how to make it so.

You can learn more about ARK Project Now here.

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