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Author Topic: Prayer and Religion in Public Life  (Read 436314 times)
Skeletor
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« Reply #675 on: August 29, 2019, 01:52:56 PM »

Ninth Circuit Upholds Verdict Against Sect-Run Arizona Town

An Arizona town that let a Mormon sect run the government deprived non-church members of their constitutional rights, a Ninth Circuit panel held Monday, affirming a federal judge’s 2016 finding.

“We conclude that because of the overwhelming evidence that Colorado City deprived non-FLDS residents of their constitutional rights, it is more probable than not that the court would have reached the same verdict on the United States’ [Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act] claim,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Milan Smith Jr., in a 21-page opinion.

The U.S. government sued the towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale City, Utah, in 2012, for letting overseers of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) appoint city leader and marshals.

Following a 44-day trial in 2016, U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland, a Ronald Reagan appointee, awarded a total of $2.2 million to apostates denied access to water utilities as well as a former city councilman wrongly arrested and charged with felony theft.

The FLDS was handpicking city marshals to “ignore violations of the law – such as underage marriage, unlicensed drug distributions, and food stamp fraud – by FLDS members,” Smith wrote in a summary of the trial.

Law enforcement on the town payroll helped church leaders duck the FBI, kept tabs on unfamiliar license plates that rolled through, hid church leader Warren Jeffs from the FBI for more than a year and destroyed evidence against him.

Moreover, the marshal’s office “selectively enforce[ed] the law based upon religion,” arresting several non-FLDS members without probable cause.

The church also employed its own security detail nicknamed the God Squad.

https://www.courthousenews.com/ninth-circuit-upholds-verdict-against-sect-run-arizona-town/

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FLDS-9CA.pdf
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« Reply #676 on: August 30, 2019, 03:26:52 AM »

Just imagine living in those towns as a non FLDS.  I stopped there at a diner to eat once while traveling and it was a really weird place.  People all over were staring at me and not just because of my good looks. Grin
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« Reply #677 on: September 10, 2019, 11:34:04 PM »

Church Leaders Indicted in Forced Labor Conspiracy

A dozen leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries, including the former pastor, are charged in an indictment unsealed today with subjecting dozens of mostly homeless people to forced labor, coercing them to surrender welfare benefits and compelling them to panhandle up to nine hours a day, six days a week, for the financial benefit of the church leaders.

The defendants were arrested today in El Centro, San Diego and Brownsville, Texas and charged with conspiracy, forced labor, document servitude and benefits fraud. The local defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in El Centro today at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro.

“The indictment alleges an appalling abuse of power by church officials who preyed on vulnerable homeless people with promises of a warm bed and meals,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “These victims were held captive, stripped of their humble financial means, their identification, their freedom and their dignity.”

“Human trafficking robs victims of their most basic human rights,” said FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Scott Brunner.  “Victims of human trafficking are often unseen by society, left pleading in silence. Today, the FBI is proud to break up the labor trafficking alleged to have been committed by the leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries in Imperial Valley and San Diego. This investigation is an example of the tireless and dedicated work undertaken by FBI agents and our partners at the El Centro Police Department in combating this heinous crime.”

Imperial Valley Ministries, or IVM, operates a non-denominational church headquartered in El Centro, and has opened approximately 30 affiliate churches throughout the United States and Mexico, including locations in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Jose in California; in Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Brownsville, Texas. IVM’s stated purpose is to “restore” drug addicts at faith-based rehabilitation group homes and raise money to open churches in other cities to do the same.

In addition to the church and main office, IVM owned and operated three group homes the El Centro area, plus one in Calexico and one in Chula Vista. Many victims were recruited from outside of El Centro, including San Diego, and as far away as Texas. IVM leaders allegedly induced many to participate with offers of free food and shelter with the false promise that victims would be provided with resources to eventually return home.

According to the indictment, defendants checked in the victims at the IVM group homes, where they were required to sign agreements to adhere to rules. Many victims, including many who did not require drug rehabilitation services, claimed they were later held at IVM properties against their will.

The indictment alleges that church leaders locked victims inside group homes with deadbolt locks; confiscated identification documents such as driver’s licenses, passports, immigration papers and identification cards, in order to prevent victims from escaping; stole victims’ welfare benefits; and required adherence to rules such as, “you are not to discuss things of the world” and “the only thing to be read is the holy bible” and “if any of the rules are broken there will be discipline.”


Windows were nailed shut at some group home locations, leading a desperate 17-year-old victim to break a window, escape, and run to a neighboring property to call police. The teen was brought to the El Centro Medical Center for cuts sustained from the escape.

Defendants are alleged to have extorted the surrender of participants’ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards obtained through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), administered by the CalFresh Program, by using actual and threatened fear of economic loss. The IVM leaders allegedly then used the SNAP benefits for improper purposes, including providing them to ineligible persons, and improperly instructing the intended recipients to not seek or accept outside employment.

Leaders of IVM, including former Pastor Victor Gonzalez, refused to return the confiscated EBT cards and personal property to participants who asked to leave. IVM members also allegedly used various means to coerce participants to stay and continue panhandling for IVM’s financial benefit by saying their children would be taken away if they left, that they would not receive transportation home, or that loved ones had rejected them and they must stay because “only God” loved them. Punishments for violations of home rules, including talking about the outside world, allegedly included the withholding of food.

In another instance, church leaders allegedly refused to allow a diabetic victim to obtain medicine, medical supplies and even food in response to low blood sugar. She was able to escape and get help.

All of the identified victims are now free. Victim specialists have been on standby to provide immediate assistance to any additional victims we find in order to provide them with shelter, transportation or any necessary support services.

“This is the most significant labor trafficking prosecution in this district in many years,” Brewer said. “These cases are few and far between because many victims live in captivity and fear, powerless to report the crimes against them. My office wants victims to know that we are here to help you.”

Brewer praised the FBI and prosecutor Christopher Tenorio for their excellent work on the case. And he expressed appreciation for the assistance of the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office, the El Centro Police Department, the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Border Patrol and Imperial County Social Services, for their assistance with this case.

To report suspicions of labor trafficking, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or https://tips.fbi.gov/. If you know someone who is a victim of human trafficking, resources can be found at National Human Trafficking Hotline – 1-888-373-7888.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tenorio is prosecuting the case with assistance from the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Conspiracy – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371
Maximum penalty: Five years in prison and $250,000 fine

Forced Labor – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1589
Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine

Document Servitude – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1592
Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine

Food Stamp Act (Benefits Fraud) – Title 7, U.S.C., Section 2024(b)
Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine (If the benefits were $5,000 or more)

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/church-leaders-indicted-forced-labor-conspiracy
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« Reply #678 on: September 11, 2019, 06:38:44 AM »

Good movie material.
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« Reply #679 on: September 19, 2019, 02:41:50 PM »

A few decades too late as usual.

Catholic Priest Arthur Perrault receives 30 years for molesting altar boy

Former Albuquerque priest Arthur Perrault is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of an altar boy in the early 1990s, after a riveting hearing Friday in which a federal judge imposed a 30-year sentence and insisted Perrault stand and face one of the multiple victims he abused decades ago.

“I have to say Mr. Perrault that this is the worst case that I have ever handled and ever seen,” said U.S. District Judge Martha Vázquez, noting that she has presided over many sexual abuse cases in her 26 years as a judge in Santa Fe.

In a rare federal criminal prosecution, Perrault was convicted by a jury in April of seven counts of sexual abuse related to a former altar boy at St. Bernadette’s parish in Albuquerque who once considered the priest his “best friend.”

Perrault, who admitted to at least one earlier molestation of a boy, fled Albuquerque in the fall of 1992 “knowing he would soon be outed as a serial pedophile,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. He was charged with the molestation of a single victim, with supporting trial testimony from six other men who said they too had been sexually abused by Perrault as children.

Perrault came to New Mexico from Connecticut in the 1960s to be treated at a religious center for sexual pedophiles and other troubled clergy. Prosecutors alleged he preyed upon and sexually assaulted dozens of minors for decades as a teacher and parish priest in the Albuquerque area and fled in 1992 as he was about to be “outed” for his crimes.


Trial testimony showed at least two clergy or church employees at St. Bernadette either helped Perrault leave or were in contact with him when he relocated to Morocco.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1365775/perrault-sentenced-to-30-years-for-molesting-altar-boy.html
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« Reply #680 on: October 04, 2019, 08:51:02 AM »

Almost 1,700 priests and clergy accused of sex abuse are unsupervised

Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement, decades after the first wave of the church abuse scandal roiled U.S. dioceses, an Associated Press investigation has found.

These priests, deacons, monks and lay people now teach middle-school math. They counsel survivors of sexual assault. They work as nurses and volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids. They live next to playgrounds and daycare centers. They foster and care for children.

And in their time since leaving the church, dozens have committed crimes, including sexual assault and possessing child pornography, the AP’s analysis found.

A recent push by Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. to publish the names of those it considers to be credibly accused has opened a window into the daunting problem of how to monitor and track priests who often were never criminally charged and, in many cases, were removed from or left the church to live as private citizens.

In addition to the almost 1,700 that the AP was able to identify as largely unsupervised, there were 76 people who could not be located. The remaining clergy members were found to be under some kind of supervision, with some in prison or overseen by church programs.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/religion/nearly-1-700-priests-clergy-accused-sex-abuse-are-unsupervised-n1062396
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« Reply #681 on: October 10, 2019, 04:57:20 PM »

Brad Pitt no longer identifies as atheist, says he was just being ‘rebellious’
By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter| Monday, September 30, 2019

After years of publicly declaring himself an atheist, award-winning actor and film producer Brad Pitt says that he was just being “rebellious” when he kept telling the world he didn’t believe in God.

“Oh, man, I've gone through everything. Like, I cling to religion. I grew up with Christianity. Always questioned it, but it worked at times. And then when I got on my own, I completely left it and I called myself agnostic. Tried a few spiritual things but didn't feel right. Then I called myself an atheist for a while, just kind of being rebellious. I wasn't really. But I kinda labeled myself that for a while. It felt punk rock enough. And then I found myself coming back around to just belief in—I hate to use the word spirituality, but just a belief in that we're all connected,” Pitt, 55, said in an interview for the October issue of GQ.

In a 2009 interview with Bild, when asked if he believed in God, Pitt who was raised Southern Baptist, replied: “No, no, no!”

When pressed on whether his soul is spiritual, he said: “No, no, no! I’m probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it."

Two years later in 2011, the 55-year-old actor told Extra how stifled he felt by his religion.

"I got brought up being told things were God's way, and when things didn't work out it was called God's plan. I've got my issues with it. Don't get me started. I found it very stifling," he said.

It was that stifled feeling, he told The Hollywood Reporter, that led him to turn away from his Southern Baptist tradition.

"I grew up very religious, and I don't have a great relationship with religion," he said at the time. "I oscillate between agnosticism and atheism."

The discussion of Pitt’s faith comes as he promotes a new movie called “Ad Astra.” It’s a paranoid thriller in space that follows character Roy McBride, played by Pitt, “on a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.”

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In the film, faith is presented as something that can often be a distraction from self.

“Yeah. Escape. A looking outward instead of looking inward. Looking beyond, not seeing what's right in front of you,” Pitt said, noting that “it's more comfortable.”

When GQ writer Zach Baron tried asking Pitt what he does to escape from himself, he explained that he is always aware of what’s happening in his life.

“No, I always — I'm aware when I'm doing something in an obsessive way. Like, my friend right now, he's just obsessed with watches, and he looks them up and studies them. And I know he's avoiding something in his … in his domain,” Pitt said.

“I'm very aware. I could feel that from an early age. I knew I was avoiding something. But then once you're aware of it, then what? I mean, the people I'm really drawn to, they just have no filter. They have no protection. They have no filter on their thoughts. They sometimes get in trouble because of that, but I adore them. I adore that they're just so open and raw about their feelings at any moment,” he said.

When asked if he appreciates candid people because his own life is so controlled, Pitt said, “Well, I think we're drawn to what we are trying to change or improve in ourselves. I grew up in the Ozarks, and I've come to learn that we're pioneer stock. We're people who get things done. Don't talk about much; get it done. And we don't complain. Complaining is really looked down upon.

“And it's not true. We're always kind of ‘Woe is me.’ But this idea of if you get hurt, you break an arm, you cut yourself, you just deal with it. You don't make a big fuss about it. And there's a positive side to that that I appreciate. But it works the same way internally — what I've described as not taking inventory of yourself. How are you feeling at this moment? What's really going on? We just don't deal with it, and get on with it. And that, I've found a real hindrance.”

https://www.christianpost.com/guy-identifies-as-atheist-says-he-was-just-being-rebellious.html
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« Reply #682 on: October 18, 2019, 05:25:03 PM »

Demario Davis 'Man of God' headband sales explode after NFL fine, he's giving it all to charity
By Yael Halon | Fox News

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis' has raised $120,000 for a local Mississippi hospital through the sale of his "Man of God" headband that earned him a fine from the NFL back in September.

"This is amazing, it just shows you the power of God... I would have never thought this whole movement would have happened."

— Demario Davis on Fox Nation's "Laura and Raymond"
"This is amazing, it just shows you the power of God," said Davis on the latest episode of Fox Nation's "Laura and Raymond." "You know, I would have never thought this whole movement would have happened — and it's not just here in New Orleans. It's been national."

Davis recently made headlines after he was fined by the NFL for wearing a headband that read, “Man of God” during a Sept. 22 game against the Seahawks in Seattle.

Before appealing the $7,000 fine for the uniform infraction, the linebacker hoped to turn the situation into a positive, he explained, and decided to start selling the headbands and pledging 100 percent of the “Man of God” and “Woman of God” proceeds to St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss. The league eventually relented and repealed the fine.


Outside linebacker Demario Davis #56 of the New Orleans Saints reacts ahead of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 15, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

The black and gold headbands, priced at $25 apiece, have raised more than $60,000, with an equal matching grant given to the hospital bringing the donations to $120,000 to date.

Davis, in his second season with the Saints, is one of the most vocal players in the NFL when it comes to his faith. Describing his reaction to the initial fine, David said he felt "conflicted."

“Should I continue to wear it because of the messaging or would I follow the rule? Which would bring ultimate glory to God," he explained on the Fox Nation show.

Many rallied behind the professional linebacker, but he was especially moved by a school of young fans who made their own “Child of God” headbands to show support.

"To see the kids make the paper headbands was just unbelievable," Davis said in the latest episode.

"If you can reach the kids, you know it's real because kids don't think based on politics or anything like that...they're just thinking with what they feel," he said, detailing plans to visit the students to "express his gratitude" in the coming weeks.

FOX 8 New Orleans

@FOX8NOLA


Saints linebacker won’t have to pay fine; school shows support with ‘Child of God’ headbands https://www.fox8live.com/2019/10/08/saints-linebacker-wont-have-pay-fine-school-shows-suport-with-child-god-headbands/

Saints linebacker won’t have to pay fine; school shows support with ‘Child of God’ headbands
A Metairie Catholic school showed support to a Saints player by letting students wear headbands expressing their faith.

fox8live.com
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Davis said he was able to see God's hand throughout the entire deal, and looks forward to raising more money for the emergency department at the hospital.

"It went from something that was going to cost me $7,000 now went in favor of good, $120,000 and we just took that fine that we were planning on paying to the league and donated it to the cause," he said.

Later in the segment, Fox Nation host Raymond Arroyo asked Davis about a recent incident on the field after Davis plowed into Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Geoff Swaim sending the receiver – and the ball – to the ground.

A clearly hurt Swaim remained on the field following the hit, but Davis immediately began praying for the opposing player.

Deuce Windham
@RevDeuceWindham
Emotional scene as #Saints LB Demario Davis is on the field with players from both teams praying for #Jaguars TE Jeff Swaim whom Davis hit on an attempted pass.

Looked like Davis led with shoulder, but tried to duck underneath. Swaim took a huge shot. Being tended to now.


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"I just wanted to take time to pray for him, and my prayers and thoughts are still with him, hopefully, he is going to fully recover from that, because it's such a fast game, and so much is happening so fast...and I heard the crowd before I turned around and I was like 'oh, that must've not been good'...and the first thing that I did was just to go and pray...and I think that respect is mutual across the field," Davis explained.

The linebacker got deeply personal during many points of the Fox Nation segment, discussing his tumultuous childhood, his prison time and how it transformed his life, and his journey to finding God. He also said he holds no grudges against the NFL for the headband fine and reiterated his purpose to "glorify God" in everything he does.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/demario-davis-man-of-god-headbands-jump-as-he-announces-120k-for-local-hospital
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« Reply #683 on: October 19, 2019, 07:51:42 AM »

Demario Davis 'Man of God' headband sales explode after NFL fine, he's giving it all to charity
By Yael Halon | Fox News

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis' has raised $120,000 for a local Mississippi hospital through the sale of his "Man of God" headband that earned him a fine from the NFL back in September.

That’s a nice gesture on his behalf.


Davis recently made headlines after he was fined by the NFL for wearing a headband that read, “Man of God” during a Sept. 22 game against the Seahawks in Seattle.

I can sorta understand the need for some rules, but this one seems overbroad to begin with and stupid of the NFL to try and enforce it in this instance. But then again, this ain’t the first time the NFL has done something stupid.
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« Reply #684 on: October 22, 2019, 08:20:39 AM »

That’s a nice gesture on his behalf.


I can sorta understand the need for some rules, but this one seems overbroad to begin with and stupid of the NFL to try and enforce it in this instance. But then again, this ain’t the first time the NFL has done something stupid.

I agree.
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« Reply #685 on: October 24, 2019, 01:12:15 PM »

Report names 43 Colorado Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children since 1950

Forty-three Catholic priests have been credibly accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children in Colorado since 1950, according to a ground-breaking report made public Wednesday morning.

One priest, Father Harold Robert White, had 63 substantiated allegations lodged against him. In the report, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office referred to White as "the most prolific known clergy child sex abuser in Colorado history.”

"His sexual abuse of children began before he was ordained in 1960, and it continued for at least 21 years in at least six parishes from Denver to Colorado Springs to Sterling to Loveland to Minturn to Aspen,"
the report reads.

" … This one priest’s career and the Denver Archdiocese’s management of it present a microcosm of virtually all the failures we found elsewhere in our review of the Colorado Dioceses’ child sex abuse history."

White died in 2006 at age 73. Though the first accusations against him were made in 1960, he wasn't permanently removed from the ministry until 1993.

The report found that from 1950 to present:

  • At least 127 children were victimized by 22 priests in the Archdiocese of Denver.
  • At least three children were victimized by two Roman Catholic priests in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
  • At least 36 children were victimized by 19 Roman Catholic priests in the Diocese of Pueblo.
  • One allegation is still potentially viable for prosecution within the relevant statute of limitations. It had already been reported to authorities.

According to the report, just five of the Colorado priests had abused at least 102 of the 166 known victims. Two-thirds of those victims were abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

On average, it took nearly 20 years for the church to restrict a priest’s authority after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse, the report found.

https://www.9news.com/article/news/investigations/priest-abuse-list-colorado-catholic-priests-accused-child-sex-abuse/73-db1f5024-eb63-4c81-9d86-e3023ea698fe
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« Reply #686 on: October 25, 2019, 05:47:29 PM »

Supreme Court rejects case of Christian teen forced to write Islamic conversion prayer
By Lauren Green | Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/supreme-court-rejects-case-of-christian-teen-forced-to-write-islamic-conversion-prayer
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« Reply #687 on: October 25, 2019, 07:50:38 PM »

That’s a nice gesture on his behalf.


I can sorta understand the need for some rules, but this one seems overbroad to begin with and stupid of the NFL to try and enforce it in this instance. But then again, this ain’t the first time the NFL has done something stupid.

I think the NFL is just trying to avoid the "Islam is the Only Way" headband which would certainly show up if this was allowed
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« Reply #688 on: November 05, 2019, 04:21:06 PM »

High school football player goes viral after praying for opponent whose mom is battling cancer
Ashleigh Jackson, Digital Content Producer
Posted on Nov 5, 2019 
KXII-TV via CNN

Two high school football players took a knee and prayed together after their game, and a photo of the touching moment is going viral. 

(Meredith) - A photo of two high school athletes praying together following their football game in Sherman, Texas, is touching hearts across the country.

Gage Smith, a wide receiver at Sherman High School, made several key plays to help lead his team to victory during Friday night's game against Mesquite West.

After that win, he took a knee to pray with his opponent, Ty Jordan, whose mother is battling cancer.

"I just had a moment with him praying over him, his mom, and his family," Smith told KXII-TV.

The high school senior said at that moment he was not thinking about the score, he just wanted to show compassion.

"When you're playing the game, you're playing to win, and the other team is the enemy. But afterward, you still have respect for the other opponent," he said. "Football brings people together in so many different ways, and that was just one example of it that night."

Smith and Jordan first met while playing on a select 7-on-7 team, according to the station.

Following the game on Friday, Jordan's aunt posted the touching image to Facebook, where it went viral. It's been shared more than 150,000 times as of Tuesday morning.

"This melts my heart," Jordan's aunt wrote.

J.D. Martinez, the head football coach at Sherman High School, told KXII-TV that Smith is a leader on and off the field. Martinez said his wife took the viral photo and shared it with Smith's mom, who then passed it on to Jordan's family.

"It's pretty special that kind of everybody gets to see really what he is," Martinez said. "He's that type of kid all the time. It's just not in front of the cameras or anything like that. He's like that every day."

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/us_world_news/high-school-football-player-goes-viral-after-praying-for-opponent/article_253b92f4-c95d-53ad-bebc-8d014b38f9b1.html?fbclid=IwAR0Eu_YWKmE_TM0c1kDuhKTSSbuCDTR8rdEGJgIbqjRkAFAFzoH65aP-eBo
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« Reply #689 on: November 12, 2019, 10:17:17 AM »

Trump Gets Impromptu Prayer Huddle from Alabama Football Team
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42nK8wo_fwE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42nK8wo_fwE</a>
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« Reply #690 on: November 12, 2019, 03:36:48 PM »

High school football player goes viral after praying for opponent whose mom is battling cancer

That’s a nice gesture and one that I’m sure was genuine and heartfelt, but I can’t help but point out what Matthew 6:5-6 has to say about praying and especially “showboating”:


And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father
which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
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« Reply #691 on: November 12, 2019, 04:16:40 PM »

That’s a nice gesture and one that I’m sure was genuine and heartfelt, but I can’t help but point out what Matthew 6:5-6 has to say about praying and especially “showboating”:


And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father
which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.


I'm not as sure.
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« Reply #692 on: November 12, 2019, 05:24:11 PM »

That’s a nice gesture and one that I’m sure was genuine and heartfelt, but I can’t help but point out what Matthew 6:5-6 has to say about praying and especially “showboating”:


And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father
which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.


I guess one way to interpret this is that no one should ever pray in public or around other people.  But that's not a reasonable interpretation. 
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« Reply #693 on: November 13, 2019, 12:24:37 AM »

I guess one way to interpret this is that no one should ever pray in public or around other people.  But that's not a reasonable interpretation. 

I don't think there's much interpreting going on here. This is very direct: _"pray in secret and keep what you're praying for between yourself and God."_

Also, as a sidenote, I find it interesting that God's perfect word is open to (or requires) interpretation. You'd think the "instruction manual" would be perfectly clear, devoid of ambiguity and not in need of any interpretation. But I guess that's too much to ask, isn't it?
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« Reply #694 on: November 13, 2019, 12:55:36 PM »

I don't think there's much interpreting going on here. This is very direct: _"pray in secret and keep what you're praying for between yourself and God."_

Also, as a sidenote, I find it interesting that God's perfect word is open to (or requires) interpretation. You'd think the "instruction manual" would be perfectly clear, devoid of ambiguity and not in need of any interpretation. But I guess that's too much to ask, isn't it?

Of course there is.  Reading that verse in a vacuum makes no sense.  It would mean you never pray out loud in church.  That's silly.  

And no, there is nothing wrong with having to use critical thinking when reading the Bible.  Christianity is a thinking man's religion.  It really does take analysis and use of common sense to read and understand everything.
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« Reply #695 on: November 14, 2019, 09:47:33 AM »

Of course there is.  Reading that verse in a vacuum makes no sense.  It would mean you never pray out loud in church.  That's silly.  

And no, there is nothing wrong with having to use critical thinking when reading the Bible.  Christianity is a thinking man's religion.  It really does take analysis and use of common sense to read and understand everything.

If it’s a thinking man’s religion, then not everyone can be saved since not everyone has the rational capacity necessary. And yet, the premise behind a Christianity is that salvation is open to everyone, conditioned only on one thing: belief in Jesus Christ.

As for praying in public, again the verses are crystal clear and provide explicit directions for how one is to pray. You can’t have it both ways: either the Bible is the divinely inspired, inerrant and complete word of God and it instructs you to pray in secret, or it’s not the divinely inspired, inerrant and complete word of God in which case why bother with it?
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« Reply #696 on: November 14, 2019, 11:38:24 AM »

If it’s a thinking man’s religion, then not everyone can be saved since not everyone has the rational capacity necessary. And yet, the premise behind a Christianity is that salvation is open to everyone, conditioned only on one thing: belief in Jesus Christ.

As for praying in public, again the verses are crystal clear and provide explicit directions for how one is to pray. You can’t have it both ways: either the Bible is the divinely inspired, inerrant and complete word of God and it instructs you to pray in secret, or it’s not the divinely inspired, inerrant and complete word of God in which case why bother with it?

Not true.  The Bible specifically talks about a person being held accountable for what they know, not what they don't know. 

Context is everything.  Common sense matters.  But if you put those two aside, then yes you have a point. 
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« Reply #697 on: November 14, 2019, 08:37:20 PM »

Not true.  The Bible specifically talks about a person being held accountable for what they know, not what they don't know. 

Context is everything.  Common sense matters.  But if you put those two aside, then yes you have a point. 

The Bible may say that but it also sports several examples that run counter to that; you’d expect God’s word to be consistent, especially about something this important but you know, apparently not even God can keep all his nonsense straight.

As for your please about common sense, please spare us. Your religion’s main thrust is that God knowingly set a standard which we could not live up and made the punishment for failing to do the impossible to be death. He then got the feels and rather than say “aww shucks, all is forgiven” he decided to sacrifice himself to himself to appease his own anger so that he can save us and we can all live together in a city with golden roads. Because he loves us.

Don’t talk to me about common sense.
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« Reply #698 on: November 14, 2019, 08:45:28 PM »

The Bible may say that but it also sports several examples that run counter to that; you’d expect God’s word to be consistent, especially about something this important but you know, apparently not even God can keep all his nonsense straight.

As for your please about common sense, please spare us. Your religion’s main thrust is that God knowingly set a standard which we could not live up and made the punishment for failing to do the impossible to be death. He then got the feels and rather than say “aww shucks, all is forgiven” he decided to sacrifice himself to himself to appease his own anger so that he can save us and we can all live together in a city with golden roads. Because he loves us.

Don’t talk to me about common sense.

You are obviously free to disagree.  My oft-repeated saying, which you are free to borrow, is that reasonable and unreasonable minds can disagree.   Smiley

Seriously, though, there is definitely a great deal of analysis that goes into Bible study and interpretation.  The Bible itself even says you need to compare scripture with scripture.  And yes, you definitely need to apply common sense if you want a reasonable interpretation, which goes hand in hand with context.   

There are some things I don't understand, but much of it I do.  And I use my own judgment.  I apply logic.  Use faith where I think it's necessary.  It makes things relatively uncomplicated.  And I have no problem disagreeing with other Christians who have a different viewpoint, which has happened a number of times. 

What I don't do is let anyone tell me how I'm supposed to interpret what I read or how I live my life. 
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« Reply #699 on: November 15, 2019, 07:13:38 PM »

I don't think there's much interpreting going on here. This is very direct: _"pray in secret and keep what you're praying for between yourself and God."_

Also, as a sidenote, I find it interesting that God's perfect word is open to (or requires) interpretation. You'd think the "instruction manual" would be perfectly clear, devoid of ambiguity and not in need of any interpretation. But I guess that's too much to ask, isn't it?

Nothing more to say.. this sums it up. But... modern Christianity isn't really about what the bible says, or what Jesus says.. hasn't been for a long time. You can do what AVXO did and point out exactly what Jesus said, but todays Christians will still argue it.. based on nothing but what THEY think it ought to be..
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