By Christy Barritt
Anti-Bullying Presentation Makes Students Uncomfortable
An anti-bullying presentation at a New York middle school where two girls were asked to role-play a lesbian relationship has students and parents complaining.
The event took place at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York and was conducted by a team of students from a nearby college.
The workshop was for 13- and 14-year-old girls and intended to teach students about homosexuality and gender identity. Girls were asked to stand in front of the class and pretend like they were on a date and taught different terms such as “pansexual.”
Parents were upset because the school did not give them an opportunity to opt their children out of this session. The school superintendent said that the sessions are required under the state Dignity for All Students Act, which prohibits harassment and bullying in the classroom. He said he’d consider notifying parents in the future.
Religion, Politics, and Marriage
Marriage among people of different faiths is at all-time high in America.
Writer and blogger Naomi Schaefer Riley commissioned a national survey of 2,500 people in 2010. The results showed that nearly 45 percent of marriages in the previous decade were interfaith matches. For couples married before the 1960s, the rate was only 20 percent.
However, people seem less likely to marry across political party lines. Only 18 percent of people surveyed have a spouse with a different political affiliation.
The study also showed that all faiths are susceptible to marrying those of different religions. Thirty-nine percent of Buddhists, 27 percent of Jews, 23 percent of Catholics, 21 percent of Muslims, 18 percent of Baptists, and 12 percent of Mormons were married to someone of a different faith.
Income level, education, and geography didn’t play a role or show significant differences in the results.
Missouri House of Worship Protection Law
A federal judge has ruled in favor of a new law in Missouri that will protect houses of worship from profane, rude, or indecent behavior, as well as noise intended to disrupt a service.
When the law was originally passed, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of two groups that frequently protested outside of Catholic churches, claiming the law violated state and federal free speech rights. The bill then went before a federal judge, who saw nothing wrong with the clauses there.
This law protects any church, synagogue, mosque, or any other pubic or private place used for worship, religious instruction, or other religious purpose.
Joe Ortwerth, president of the Missouri Family Policy Council, said the federal judge’s ruling was a victory. “We are grateful to (everyone) who helped enact this important measure to safeguard the integrity of worship services and the security of houses of worship,” said Ortwerth.
Army Orders Scripture References Removed from Equipment
Soldiers stationed at an Alaskan Army base were ordered to turn in their scopes after it was discovered that the company that manufactured them had engraved two Bible citations in the metal right beside the serial numbers. The scopes cited John 8:12 and 2 Corinthians 4:6.
The company that supplied the scopes has a contract with the United States military. According to an Army spokesperson, the vendor etched the inscriptions without approval.
Military officials said they were concerned that the scopes would be seen as a type of “crusade” against other religions such as Islam, and were apprehensive about the safety of those stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result.
The company agreed to remove the reference on U.S. military products.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.