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Faculty leave en masse over lifestyle pledge

At least a third of the faculty at Shorter University, a Southern Baptist school in Georgia, have resigned after being required to sign a "personal lifestyle statement" that condemns public drinking, premarital sex, and homosexuality. The school's Board of Trustees last fall adopted the pledge, along with a statement of faith, after new president Don Dowless arrived. By mid-May, 36 of approximately 100 faculty members had resigned; at least 25 more cited disagreement with the pledge or faith statement. Dowless affirmed the school's decision despite the resignations, citing a desire to "bring the university back to its Christian roots."

Court: Try harder to find non-Christian prayers

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a New York town board's tradition of opening monthly meetings with prayer is unconstitutional because the town should have tried harder to find non-Christian speakers—even if that required recruiting beyond the town's borders. The court, in its first case addressing legislative prayer, ruled that the Town of Greece's prayer policy effectively associated the town with Christianity because the town didn't actively solicit non-Christian speakers or—given that the town has no non-Christian congregations within it—go beyond its borders to recruit them.

Land loses radio show over comments

The investigation into Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leader Richard Land's racially charged and plagiarized radio commentary on the Trayvon Martin case concluded with two official reprimands and the cancellation of his weekly radio program. Land, the longtime president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and a key proponent of racial reconciliation ...

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July/August 2012

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