By Christy Barritt
Jesus Chalk Drawing
A church in Texas wanted to gain a world record by creating a 17,000-square-foot chalk portrait of Jesus in their parking lot.
Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, created the image as a part of their celebration in the week leading up to Easter. It took hundreds of volunteers, 6,700 individual pieces of chalk, and 125 bags of charcoal to create. The portrait was based on an original painting by Ed Young, the minister of the 20,000-member church.
The purpose of the painting was to get people interested in and talking about Jesus in the days leading to Easter. “We believe the church should be the most creative entity on the face of the planet,” said Derric Bonnot, church member. “It should be out there thinking up new ways to tell the story of who Jesus is and who God is.”
Located near a major airport, the church hoped that travelers would see the portrait as they flew to and from their destinations.
Atheists Blocked from Erecting “Reason Display”
A Michigan mayor recently blocked a group of atheists from erecting what they called a “Reason Display” next to a “Prayer Station” in the town’s City Hall.
When a resident of Warren, Michigan, learned about the city’s “Prayer Station,” he applied to have a “Reason Station” set up right next to it for one year. It would have included literature about the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson that read: “Question with boldness even the existence of God.”
The town’s mayor, Jim Fouts, said the display would be disruptive. He also said that atheism was not defined as a religion and therefore not protected under the First Amendment.
In another case last year, a federal appeals court ruled that Fouts did not violate free speech rights when he denied the Freedom From Religion Foundation permission to add an anti-Christian sign to the city’s holiday display.
Boy Gives Away Foul Ball
An 8-year-old boy showed true sportsmanship while attending a professional baseball game.
Brendan was given a foul ball by a security guard while at a Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Team Australia game in Sydney, Australia. Another boy a few seats away began throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get the ball. Brendan responded with kindness: he gave the other boy the souvenir that was rightfully his own.
“My son has a lot of empathy,” Brendan’s father told an Australian news outlet. “He just naturally handed the ball to the other kid. It was really rewarding as a parent. We are very proud of Brendan.”
Brendan’s story has made rounds on the Internet, with many commenting about how they’ve found inspiration in his act of selflessness.
America Not as Religiously Diverse as Many Assume
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. ranks 68 out of 232 countries and territories on Pew’s Religious Diversity Index. The index shows that 95 percent of the country’s population is either Christian or religiously unaffiliated, while all other religions combined account for just 5 percent of Americans.
The study said that if diversity within Christianity were taken into account, America would rank higher.
The study classified America as “moderate” in its religious diversity. Jews only accounted for 1.8 percent of the population, Buddhists 1.2 percent, Muslims 0.9 percent, Hindus 0.6 percent, and folk or traditional religions 0.2 percent.
Singapore scored the highest on the index—34 percent of its population is Buddhist, 18 percent Christian, 16 percent religiously unaffiliated, 14 percent Muslim, 5 percent Hindu, and less than 1 percent Jewish. Other highly diverse countries are: Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.
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