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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/religion/christianity

Twitter campaign raises over $1M for 3 historically black Louisiana churches after fires

Westlake Legal Group twitter-campaign-raises-over-1m-for-3-historically-black-louisiana-churches-after-fires Twitter campaign raises over $1M for 3 historically black Louisiana churches after fires Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/crime/hate-crime fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/us fnc cf49bc2f-d44a-50b2-980d-b2148c148b4a article
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6025175669001_6025173434001-vs Twitter campaign raises over $1M for 3 historically black Louisiana churches after fires Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/crime/hate-crime fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/us fnc cf49bc2f-d44a-50b2-980d-b2148c148b4a article

A social media effort has propelled a GoFundMe campaign toward an ambitious goal to rebuild three historically black churches in Louisiana that suffered devastating fires that investigators have since concluded were hate crimes.

On April 10, the Seventh District Baptist Association set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1.8 million for St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church after they were set on fire allegedly by suspect Holden Matthews.

Inspired by the grand fundraising that took place for the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after the world watched the iconic house of worship burn, journalist Yashar Ali put a spotlight on the Seventh District Baptist Association’s crowdsourcing effort and urged his followers to donate and match his $1,000 pledge.

Throughout the day, Ali kept updating his followers as thousands of donations poured in to the GoFundMe page. Ali noted that when he first urged his followers to donate, the association had raised roughly $159,000. Since then, they’ve raised over $1.5 million. Ali later updated that over $1.3 million was raised in a 31-hour period.

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The campaign caught the attention of big-name donors, including conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, “Late Night” host Seth Meyers, former Obama official Valerie Jarrett, and actresses Patricia Arquette, Susan Sarandon, Mandy Moore and Busy Philipps. Former NFL player and Louisiana native Benjamin Watson previously had put a spotlight on the GoFundMe campaign and has renewed his efforts amid the massive social media push.

Matthews, 21, has been charged with arson and hate crimes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6025175669001_6025173434001-vs Twitter campaign raises over $1M for 3 historically black Louisiana churches after fires Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/crime/hate-crime fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/us fnc cf49bc2f-d44a-50b2-980d-b2148c148b4a article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6025175669001_6025173434001-vs Twitter campaign raises over $1M for 3 historically black Louisiana churches after fires Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/crime/hate-crime fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/us fnc cf49bc2f-d44a-50b2-980d-b2148c148b4a article

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After Notre Dame, support for torched black churches swells

Westlake Legal Group after-notre-dame-support-for-torched-black-churches-swells After Notre Dame, support for torched black churches swells NEW ORLEANS fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4d1bfc82-1b01-510d-aa0e-38312a37acd6

The crowdfunding campaign to raise money for three African American churches gutted by arson in Louisiana began a week ago, but donations surged after flames engulfed the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and the outcry provoked a conversation about the disparate reactions to the tragedies.

Nearly $1 billion had been pledged to the Notre Dame rebuilding effort within hours of Monday’s blaze. The massive attention focused on the French landmark prompted Megan Romer to take note and tweet: “My heart is broken over the loss of Notre Dame. The Catholic Church is also one of the world’s wealthiest entities. If you are going to donate money to rebuild a church this week, I implore you to make it the black churches in St. Landry Parish.”

GoFundMe spokeswoman Aja Shepherd confirmed in an email that giving to the destroyed Louisiana churches increased Tuesday after Romer’s tweet and a challenge from freelance journalist Yashar Ali to his nearly 400,000 Twitter followers.

Other online reminders of the black churches’ plight followed, including this Tuesday tweet from Hillary Clinton: “As we hold Paris in our hearts today, let’s also send some love to our neighbors in Louisiana.”

Donations that totaled about $300,000 nearly a week into the campaign surged to $1.5 million by Wednesday night. The money is to be distributed equally among the three century-old churches to help them recover from the fires intentionally set from March 26 to April 4. White suspect Holden Matthews, 21, has been charged with arson and hate crimes.

Among the calls for more giving to the black churches, there was concern that they were already being forgotten as flames leapt from the roof of Notre Dame.

“It’s terrible what happened to Notre Dame. … But, 3 black churches in LA were purposely burnt down b/c of hate. Let’s not forget to be even more outraged about that,” Twitter user Joe Boyd wrote.

Native American Terrell Johnson, a 19-year-old Columbia University student and member of the Assiniboine Tribe, wondered: “Why are we not as worried about these sites being hurt that are historic to our minority groups, rather than majority groups?”

“It shows how little we are valued. These black churches, the mosque, Native American sites, they are not as valued as Catholicism or Christianity in that aspect, and it’s frustrating,” Johnson said in a Wednesday interview.

But journalist Thomas Chatterton Williams, in a series of tweets, took issue with the notion that concern about Notre Dame could be boiled down to a matter of race.

“It’s a tragedy when black churches + mosques are bombed, burned or vandalized, but of course the world pays more attention to an 800-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of a city everyone visits! That’s not white supremacy, and nonwhites who love Paris aren’t dupes,” he wrote.

The Rev. Roderick Greer of St. John’s Cathedral, an Episcopal place of worship in Denver, acknowledges that Notre Dame has higher visibility as a cultural, artistic and religious landmark than the three rural church buildings in Louisiana’s St. Landry Parish.

Still, in a Wednesday interview, he questioned whether white Americans would pay as much attention even if the fire happened at high-profile black churches, such as Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta or Birmingham, Alabama’s 16th Street Baptist Church.

“Even if Mother Emmanuel or Ebenezer or 16th Street Baptist Church went up in flames, do white Americans, in particular, have the same emotional and visceral connections that they have to Notre Dame, which is on another continent?” said Greer. “That’s such a telling commentary on the white American imagination that support for black churches lost to arson surged only in the wake of a historic European cathedral fire.”

The Rev. Mason Jack, an officer with the Seventh District Missionary Baptist Association, which includes the burned churches, said Wednesday he was grateful for the surge in donations. He acknowledged that the Notre Dame fire raised consciousness about the Louisiana fires but downplayed any concerns that black churches were being overshadowed or forgotten.

He said publicity surrounding all of the fires helped increase awareness of the need in Louisiana. “Maybe, for some, it was an awakening for them to bring healing and restoration,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona, contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group d8050d7d-ContentBroker_contentid-dcc96f06c12545bcbba050dbd62b06c9 After Notre Dame, support for torched black churches swells NEW ORLEANS fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4d1bfc82-1b01-510d-aa0e-38312a37acd6   Westlake Legal Group d8050d7d-ContentBroker_contentid-dcc96f06c12545bcbba050dbd62b06c9 After Notre Dame, support for torched black churches swells NEW ORLEANS fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4d1bfc82-1b01-510d-aa0e-38312a37acd6

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‘Breakthrough’ impacted ‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz’s own faith

Westlake Legal Group breakthrough-impacted-this-is-us-star-chrissy-metzs-own-faith ‘Breakthrough’ impacted ‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz’s own faith fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Caleb Parke article ada14405-cb09-5ac7-9a29-b8ff538b5bd1

“This Is Us” star Chrissy Metz is bringing one mother’s incredible faith and miraculous true story to the big screen in the 20th Century faith-based film, “Breakthrough,” just in time for Easter weekend.

Metz, a Christian herself, plays the role of Joyce Smith who prayed for her son after he was declared dead for 45 minutes. Miraculously, her son John, played by Marcel Ruiz, came back to life and walked out of the hospital on his own and without brain damage three weeks later. After the miracle, he eventually gave his life to Christ and feels called to be a pastor someday.

BOY WHO INSPIRED FAITH SURVIVAL STORY ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ SAYS ‘GOD STILL DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE’

The 38-year-old actress, who was raised Catholic, said Smith’s faith impacted her and those on the set in a “rippling effect.”

Westlake Legal Group ChrissyandJoyceBreakthrough ‘Breakthrough’ impacted ‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz’s own faith fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Caleb Parke article ada14405-cb09-5ac7-9a29-b8ff538b5bd1

Chrissy Metz, left, and Joyce Smith arrive at the LA Premiere of “Breakthrough” at the Regency Village Theatre on Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

“I believe in God,” Metz told The Christian Post, “and so I ask God, what it is that I should be doing and whatever His will is for me, and that I could set my own ego and pride aside and be willing and be open, to talk to me in ways that I will understand.”

‘THE CHOSEN’ $10M CROWDFUNDED SHOW OUT NOW: ‘EXPERIENCE JESUS IN A WAY THAT’S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE’

The resilience of Joyce encouraged Metz to “delve deeper into what it is I really believe in.”

Metz said “everything happened perfectly” for her to land the role while she was still filming for “This Is Us.” For her stage and season in life, the Florida native called it a “no-brainer.”

JOAQUIN PHOENIX IS PLAYING JESUS IN NEW FILM BUT REFUSED TO DO ONE THING: ‘WHO THE F— WOULD DO THAT?’

She said she hopes people who watch “Breakthrough,” which hits theaters nationwide today, that they realize how important and purposeful their lives are.

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“Sometimes you have to be the person to believe in someone until they believe in themselves, and then you pay that forward,” Metz said. “That’s what it’s all about us. We’re so beautifully connected. Especially in this day and age where we couldn’t be farther apart. I think it’s very timely. This is a beautiful reminder.”

Westlake Legal Group ChrissyMetzBreakthrough ‘Breakthrough’ impacted ‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz’s own faith fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Caleb Parke article ada14405-cb09-5ac7-9a29-b8ff538b5bd1   Westlake Legal Group ChrissyMetzBreakthrough ‘Breakthrough’ impacted ‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz’s own faith fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Caleb Parke article ada14405-cb09-5ac7-9a29-b8ff538b5bd1

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Taylor University student says it’s an honor to have Pence speak, others express outrage

Westlake Legal Group taylor-university-student-says-its-an-honor-to-have-pence-speak-others-express-outrage Taylor University student says it's an honor to have Pence speak, others express outrage fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc de2cd8be-1211-5647-8b7a-44d03bdff2a7 Caleb Parke article
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6027126065001_6027124428001-vs Taylor University student says it's an honor to have Pence speak, others express outrage fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc de2cd8be-1211-5647-8b7a-44d03bdff2a7 Caleb Parke article

Vice President Mike Pence drew unexpected controversy when he was invited to speak at Taylor University, a small Christian school in rural Indiana.

Some upset students and alumni launched a petition to have his invitation rescinded, saying they felt “personally attacked” and were “physically shaking,” predicting that students will “feel unsafe at their own graduation.”

STUDENTS, ALUMNI OUTRAGED, ‘SHAKING’ AFTER VICE PRESIDENT PENCE INVITED TO GIVE COMMENCEMENT 

But Peter Wurster, a Taylor University student and CampusReform.org correspondent, told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday he is excited for Pence to be speaking at his school and hopes it unifies the campus, instead of further division.

“I was really excited about hearing the news,” said Wurster, whose older sister is graduating in May.

CALIFORNIA EDUCATOR WARNS OF ‘FAR-LEFT’ AGENDA BEING PUSHED ON KIDS IN CLASSROOM

“Places like Taylor and at other universities have become places where it’s hard to speak up about these issues,” Wurster added. “I really hope that through this situation we can open a good, meaningful conversation with one another. That we can listen, hear each other out through all of this.”

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Paul Lowell Haines, the president of Taylor, praised the vice president as a “good friend to the University over many years,” and “a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates.”

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Taylor University spokesman James Garringer said in a statement, “Since making the announcement of Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming commencement speech, we have received feedback from people on either side of the issue. Taylor University is an intentional Christian community that strives to encourage positive, respectful and meaningful dialogue.

“We look forward to hosting the Vice President next month.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6027126065001_6027124428001-vs Taylor University student says it's an honor to have Pence speak, others express outrage fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc de2cd8be-1211-5647-8b7a-44d03bdff2a7 Caleb Parke article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6027126065001_6027124428001-vs Taylor University student says it's an honor to have Pence speak, others express outrage fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc de2cd8be-1211-5647-8b7a-44d03bdff2a7 Caleb Parke article

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Ohio church apologizes after shocking video shows youth pastor asking kids to cut him in Easter lesson

Westlake Legal Group ohio-church-apologizes-after-shocking-video-shows-youth-pastor-asking-kids-to-cut-him-in-easter-lesson Ohio church apologizes after shocking video shows youth pastor asking kids to cut him in Easter lesson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke b6c622b2-618a-529f-906a-e985caf03ffb article

A church in Pataskala, Ohio apologized after a disturbing video surfaced showing a youth pastor asking kids to spit on him, slap him, and then cut him with a steak knife in an Easter message gone wrong.

“The illustration went too far,” Justin Ross, the lead pastor of Impact City Church, explained in a video on Facebook, “and it was inappropriate for the audience that we had, that was students.”

THESE EASTER EGGS SHOW KIDS THE ‘TRUE MEANING’ OF THE HOLIDAY

Part-time youth pastor Jaddeaus Dempsey says he was trying to illustrate what happened to Jesus leading up to the crucifixion, so he asked the students to spit on him and they lined up and did so. Then to slap him, as several students expressed that it was “enough,” but then he picked up a knife and asked them to cut him.

“Are you serious?” a student asked, as screams are heard in the background. Dempsey responded: “I’m very serious.”

One kid, holding the knife, says, “I cannot do this,” and hands the knife to another student.

CALIFORNIA EDUCATOR WARNS OF ‘FAR-LEFT’ AGENDA BEING PUSHED ON KIDS IN CLASSROOMS

The next student brought the knife to his back as “light” as he could.

Dempsey told him to bring blood so the student tried again, saying he could see blood. Then the video stops.

Many students were taking videos and posting them on social media. One of them was posted by Lola Hatfield, who called it “disturbing.”

WARNING: DISTURBING VIDEO CONTENT

Mandy, one of the parents whose kid was handed a knife, told 10 WBNS she was “appalled.”

“I was disturbed,” she said. “It was disturbing.”

AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY GUNNED DOWN IN PARAGUAY

Mandy and her husband Josh rushed to pick up their son from the church and noticed he was upset and thought he was in trouble.

Josh told him he wasn’t upset with him but “the things that happened here wasn’t okay.”

YOUNG BOY CREDITS THIS CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S SHOW WITH SAVING HIM FROM SUICIDE

The lead pastor agreed, in a video apology, that the reactions to the incident were appropriate.

“Many of you were disgusted. Many of you were hurt by this. Many of you were very confused on why this would be taking place at a church and a youth event, and we agree,” Ross said. “It was inappropriate for this audience and there’s really no excuse for why it happened.”

BOY WHO INSPIRED FAITH SURVIVAL STORY ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ SAYS ‘GOD STILL DOES THE IMPOSSIBLE’

But he said the intent behind it, which was not seen on social media, is important to clear up.

“After Jaddeaus allowed them to spit on him, slap him, and cut him, he sat them down and explained to them about this guy named Jesus, who thousands of years ago, he was put on trial for a crime that he didn’t commit, and he was beaten, he was broken, he was whipped, he was crucified, and he died as an innocent man.”

The pastor explained that Jesus could’ve stopped it at any point but “chose to take the debt we call sin.”

Jesus did it out of love, the pastor explained, adding that the youth pastor was trying to “share” in Jesus’ pain.

MILLENNIALS CREATE BIBLE FOR THE INSTAGRAM GENERATION

Dempsey said some students felt bad and he told them it was completely his idea.

“It was completely my idea. Not Justin, not any of the other leaders, including my own wife, knew the illustration that I was about to perform,” Dempsey said. “I crossed the line, and it was over the top and it was just not appropriate. It was in bad judgment. I’m so sorry for misrepresenting the community, the church, the parents, the students, anybody that I hurt. It was not my intention.”

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The goal was to show the students how much Jesus loved them, the youth pastor explained.

“In no way do we condone that students or anyone else should spit on someone, should slap them, or use a weapon to harm anyone or harm themselves,” Ross said, “and we have a lot to evaluate to ensure that a situation like this doesn’t happen again.”

Westlake Legal Group Impact-Church-GE Ohio church apologizes after shocking video shows youth pastor asking kids to cut him in Easter lesson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke b6c622b2-618a-529f-906a-e985caf03ffb article   Westlake Legal Group Impact-Church-GE Ohio church apologizes after shocking video shows youth pastor asking kids to cut him in Easter lesson fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke b6c622b2-618a-529f-906a-e985caf03ffb article

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Dr. Robert Jeffress: Is the Resurrection foolish, fake news, or fact?

Westlake Legal Group dr-robert-jeffress-is-the-resurrection-foolish-fake-news-or-fact Dr. Robert Jeffress: Is the Resurrection foolish, fake news, or fact? fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dr. Robert Jeffress article 17c47334-b994-5beb-b9f8-dca5494c7ec0
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5761930612001_5761921616001-vs Dr. Robert Jeffress: Is the Resurrection foolish, fake news, or fact? fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dr. Robert Jeffress article 17c47334-b994-5beb-b9f8-dca5494c7ec0

Is Jesus’s resurrection something only fools believe? Is it fake news spread by His overzealous followers? Or is the resurrection of Jesus Christ the single most important event in history that has tremendous implications for our lives today?

One reason we know that Jesus’s resurrection is fact and not fiction is the proof of logic. Since it is a historical fact that the body of Jesus has never been found, it is logical to ask, “Who stole Jesus’ body from the tomb?” Matthew 27:62–66 records what the Jewish leaders said to Pilate after Jesus’s crucifixion: “‘Give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.’ And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.”

THESE EASTER EGGS SHOW KIDS THE ‘TRUE MEANING’ OF THE HOLIDAY

Notice how Jesus’s grave was protected. First, they set a Roman seal. This seal had the authority of Rome—anyone who broke the seal would face the full wrath of the Roman government. Second, they appointed a Roman guard unit, which was comprised of at least 16 highly trained Roman soldiers, to make sure that the body of Jesus stayed put.

So how did Jesus’s body get out of the tomb? Either man took Him out, or God took Him out.

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Did Christ’s friends steal His body? Remember, the disciples had fled when Jesus was arrested, fearing they would suffer a similar fate. His friends lacked the courage to overpower an entire Roman guard unit.

Some people say the Jewish leaders or Roman soldiers stole His body. That makes even less sense. If Jesus’s enemies had His body, they could have paraded it through the streets of Jerusalem, and the Christian movement would have died at its inception.

UNUSUAL HOLY WEEK TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

The only answer is that God is the One who rescued His Son from the grave.

Another sign of Christ’s resurrection is the proof of human nature. We all have an instinct for self-preservation. Consider the disciples. On Good Friday, they deserted Christ, but within 48 hours they became courageous defenders of Christianity. What changed in that short amount of time? They saw the resurrected Lord.

Third, consider the proof of early acceptance of the resurrection story. Liberal scholars used to claim that the New Testament was written many decades after Jesus and was, therefore, subject to embellishments like the resurrection. However, scholars now accept that most of the New Testament was written between AD 40 and 65, making the addition of fictitious events highly unlikely.

HALF OF PASTORS SAY THEY WORRY ABOUT SPEAKING OUT ON HOT-BUTTON ISSUES, OFFENDING PEOPLE

Suppose a book were published today that said three days after Ronald Reagan’s death, he arose from his grave in Simi Valley and was seen by hundreds of people. The book’s credibility would be destroyed because of eyewitnesses to the events surrounding Reagan’s death who are still alive. Similarly, the fact that the New Testament was written within a few years of the events it reports—and accepted as fact—supports its authenticity.

Finally, consider the proof of eyewitnesses. In 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul said more than 500 people saw the resurrected Christ. Some dismiss these experiences as wish fulfillment. However, had the disciples believed Jesus’s resurrection was imminent, they would have camped out at the tomb in anticipation! They weren’t expecting to see Christ again, but they did. And they were so convinced of what they saw that most of them experienced martyrs’ deaths. Millions of people around the world still endure persecution and death because of their life-changing encounters with the resurrected Jesus Christ.

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What are the implications of Christ’s resurrection in our lives today? The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). The resurrection is the most powerful proof that Jesus really was who He claimed to be—the Son of God and Savior of the world, who offers forgiveness to those who trust in Him.

Jesus’s resurrection also gives us hope that death will not be the final word in our life stories. Jesus promised that those who trust in Him will also conquer death, just as He did on that first Easter Sunday. Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5761930612001_5761921616001-vs Dr. Robert Jeffress: Is the Resurrection foolish, fake news, or fact? fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dr. Robert Jeffress article 17c47334-b994-5beb-b9f8-dca5494c7ec0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5761930612001_5761921616001-vs Dr. Robert Jeffress: Is the Resurrection foolish, fake news, or fact? fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dr. Robert Jeffress article 17c47334-b994-5beb-b9f8-dca5494c7ec0

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Muskrat love: Detroit-area Catholics permitted to eat rodent

Westlake Legal Group muskrat-love-detroit-area-catholics-permitted-to-eat-rodent Muskrat love: Detroit-area Catholics permitted to eat rodent MIKE HOUSEHOLDER fox-news/us/religion/christianity fnc/us fnc e89ada5f-2f0a-524f-827f-77966efc9426 Associated Press article

Detroit-area Roman Catholics have one more dining option during Lent than most other followers of the faith. The culinary appeal of that item, however, is up for debate.

A long-standing permission allows local Catholics to eat muskrat — a furry, marsh-dwelling rodent native to the area — “on days of abstinence, including Fridays of Lent,” according to the Archdiocese of Detroit. The custom dates to the region’s missionary history in the 1700s and is especially prevalent in communities along the Detroit River.

Missionary priests “realized that food was especially scarce in the region by the time Lent came around and did not want to burden Catholics unreasonably by denying them one of the few readily available sources of nutrition — however unappetizing it might be for most folks,” said Edward Peters, an expert on canon law who is on the faculty at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

The Rev. Tim Laboe grew up in an area of Michigan where the practice has long been a tradition and recalls sitting down for muskrat dinners with his grandfather.

“I don’t know if I enjoy more eating the muskrat or watching people try it for the first time, because it doesn’t look in any way appetizing,” said Laboe, dean of studies at Sacred Heart.

Laboe said some people describe it as tasting like duck, but he disagrees: “I think muskrat tastes like muskrat, and I don’t think I can compare it to anything else.”

Muskrats eat mostly plants and vegetation. Including their tails, the critters are about 20 to 25 inches long (51 to 63.5 centimeters) and weigh between 2 and 5 pounds (0.91 and 2.27 kilograms).

Laboe, who said he enjoys the taste of the furry rodent despite its appearance, recalled a line he attributed to the late Bishop Kenneth Povish, the one-time head of the Lansing Diocese: “Anybody that eats muskrat is doing an act of penance worthy of the greatest of saints.”

Jokes aside, Laboe said the long history of parishioners chowing down on muskrat in the weeks before Easter is in keeping with the meaning of the season.

“The people that ate muskrat many, many years ago were poor, and they didn’t have much,” he said. “And so, in terms of people that do eat it, it does remind us, at least it reminds me, of the poor.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a176859f1b8048279927f2e335ca5871 Muskrat love: Detroit-area Catholics permitted to eat rodent MIKE HOUSEHOLDER fox-news/us/religion/christianity fnc/us fnc e89ada5f-2f0a-524f-827f-77966efc9426 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a176859f1b8048279927f2e335ca5871 Muskrat love: Detroit-area Catholics permitted to eat rodent MIKE HOUSEHOLDER fox-news/us/religion/christianity fnc/us fnc e89ada5f-2f0a-524f-827f-77966efc9426 Associated Press article

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Prayers offered around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

Westlake Legal Group prayers-offered-around-the-world-for-notre-dame-cathedral Prayers offered around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article ANDREW SELSKY 29e26f5c-fe57-5a24-ac30-a81a099fb9cf

The world reacted with shock, horror and prayers to the massive fire Monday at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, united in grief and in solidarity with the people of France.

As the flames tore through the 12th-century cathedral, Spain’s prime minister offered France the help of his country in the recovery.

The fire is a “catastrophe for France, for Spain and for Europe,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted, adding that the flames are destroying “850 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture.”

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters near the scene that he will seek international help, including from the “greatest talents” in the world, to rebuild Notre Dame.

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the start of an appearance in Minnesota, spoke of the “terrible, terrible fire” that devastated “one of the great treasures of the world.”

“It’s a part of our growing up, it’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of our lives,” Trump said of the landmark.

The Notre Dame Cathedral, situated on an island in the Seine River in the heart of Paris, is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, drawing some 13 million people each year. The fire’s emotional impact was widely felt. People from all over described in Facebook posts how they cried when they heard about the fire.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama posted an old photo of himself, his wife Michelle and their two daughters lighting candles in the cathedral.

“Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief,” Obama said on Twitter. Michelle Obama, who was in Paris on Monday on a book tour, said “my heart aches with the people of France.”

“The majesty of Notre Dame – the history, artistry, and spirituality – took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be,” she tweeted. She predicted the cathedral would rise again.

The Vatican said Pope Francis “has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire.”

As the flames spread, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, prayed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan for intercession.

“God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze,” Dolan said in a statement.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said many works of art and holy objects inside the church had been saved, but the art world was distressed about what might have been lost.

Barbara Drake Boehm, senior curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval Cloisters branch in New York, was desolate about damage to the cathedral, which she called “one of the great monuments to the best of civilization.”

“Civilization is just so fragile,” Boehm told a reporter in a trembling voice. “This great hulking monument of stone has been there since 1163. It’s come through so many trials.”

Jeff Ament, bass player for Pearl Jam, remembered spending hours at the cathedral in his first visit, in 1991, with record executive Michael Goldstone.

“Thinking about Paris,” Ament tweeted, with photos of the cathedral.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted that he’s “horrified,” calling the cathedral “a unique example of world heritage.”

In Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church’s secretary for inter-Christian relations Hieromonk Stefan called the fire “a tragedy for the entire Christian world and for all who appreciate the cultural significance of this temple,” the state news agency RIA-Novosti reported:

On Twitter, Trump suggested using planes to drop water on the flames. France’s Civil Security agency said that wasn’t feasible.

“All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral,” the agency tweeted.

___

Associated Press reporters Jocelyn Noveck and Kiley Armstrong in New York, Jim Heintz in Moscow, Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, and Samuel Petrequin in Paris contributed to this report.

___

Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-428008cfcaf7402ea608ef85ea81f7b7 Prayers offered around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article ANDREW SELSKY 29e26f5c-fe57-5a24-ac30-a81a099fb9cf   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-428008cfcaf7402ea608ef85ea81f7b7 Prayers offered around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article ANDREW SELSKY 29e26f5c-fe57-5a24-ac30-a81a099fb9cf

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Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

The world reacted with shock, horror and prayers to the massive fire Monday at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, united in grief and in solidarity with the people of France.

As the flames tore through the 12th-century cathedral, Spain’s prime minister offered France the help of his country in the recovery.

The fire is a “catastrophe for France, for Spain and for Europe,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted, adding that the flames are destroying “850 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture.”

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters near the scene that he will seek international help, including the “greatest talents” in the world, to rebuild Notre Dame.

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the start of an appearance in Minnesota, spoke of the “terrible, terrible fire” that devastated “one of the great treasures of the world.”

“It’s a part of our growing up, it’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of our lives,” Trump said of the landmark.

The Notre Dame Cathedral, situated on an island in the Seine River in the heart of Paris, is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, drawing some 13 million people each year. The fire’s emotional impact was widely felt. People from all over described in Facebook posts how they cried when they heard about the fire.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama posted an old photo of himself, his wife and their two daughters lighting candles in the cathedral.

“Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief,” Obama said on Twitter.

The Vatican said Pope Francis “has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, prayed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan for intercession.

“God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze,” Dolan said in a statement.

Jeff Ament, bass player for Pearl Jam, remembered spending hours at the cathedral in his first visit, in 1991, with record executive Michael Goldstone.

“Thinking about Paris,” Ament tweeted, with photos of the cathedral.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted that he’s “horrified,” calling the cathedral “a unique example of world heritage.”

In Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church’s secretary for inter-Christian relations Hieromonk Stefan called the fire “a tragedy for the entire Christian world and for all who appreciate the cultural significance of this temple,” the state news agency RIA-Novosti reported:

On Twitter, Trump suggested using planes to drop water on the flames. France’s Civil Security agency said that wasn’t feasible.

“All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral,” the agency tweeted.

___

Associated Press reporters Jim Heintz in Moscow, Kiley Armstrong in New York, Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, and Samuel Petrequin in Paris contributed to this report.

___

Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-428008cfcaf7402ea608ef85ea81f7b7 Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article ANDREW SELSKY 29e26f5c-fe57-5a24-ac30-a81a099fb9cf   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-428008cfcaf7402ea608ef85ea81f7b7 Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/disasters/fires fnc/us fnc Associated Press article ANDREW SELSKY 29e26f5c-fe57-5a24-ac30-a81a099fb9cf

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Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus in new film but refused to do one thing: ‘Who the f— would do that?’

Westlake Legal Group joaquin-phoenix-is-playing-jesus-in-new-film-but-refused-to-do-one-thing-who-the-f-would-do-that Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus in new film but refused to do one thing: 'Who the f--- would do that?' fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d7dd8558-5969-5f53-98ec-2d3527fd9d87 Caleb Parke article

Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus in the upcoming film, “Mary Magdalene,” but he refused to perform one of the miracles recorded in the gospels.

An early scene in the movie required the 44-year-old actor, who recently played Joker, to perform a miracle from John’s gospel, in which Jesus healed a blind man by rubbing mud in his eyes (portrayed by a woman in the film).

STORY ABOUT LIFE OF JESUS EMERGES AS LARGEST CROWDFUNDED ENTERTAINMENT PROJECT IN HISTORY

“I knew about that scene from the Bible, but I guess I had never really considered it,” Phoenix told CNN. “When I got there, I thought, ‘I’m not going to rub dirt in her eyes. Who the f— would do that?’ It doesn’t make any sense. That is a horrible introduction to seeing.”

Phoenix took matters into his own hands, by simply licking his thumb and rubbing the woman’s eyes. No mud but he argues it doesn’t take away from the miracle Jesus performed.

The film, set for release on Good Friday, looks at the story of Jesus from a more feminine perspective, as many biblical scholars have lableled Mary Magdalene, played by Phoenix’s real-life girlfriend, Rooney Mara, the “first feminist.”

The film was originally set for release in late 2017 but was repeatedly pushed back after The Weinstein Co. was caught in the multiple accusations of sexual assault against producer Harvey Weinstein. IFC Films ultimately released it.

Westlake Legal Group Joaquin20Phoenix20reuters Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus in new film but refused to do one thing: 'Who the f--- would do that?' fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d7dd8558-5969-5f53-98ec-2d3527fd9d87 Caleb Parke article   Westlake Legal Group Joaquin20Phoenix20reuters Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus in new film but refused to do one thing: 'Who the f--- would do that?' fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d7dd8558-5969-5f53-98ec-2d3527fd9d87 Caleb Parke article

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