Why are Schools Banning Bible Verses?

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Mackenzie Fraiser’s PowerPoint assignment for her sixth grade class was called “All About Me.”

But it turned out her Las Vegas-area public charter school didn’t really want Mackenzie to share about herself. Because when the sixth grader, the daughter of a pastor, included a slide with one of her favorite Bible verses … her teacher told her to remove it.

Mackenzie was told she wasn’t allowed to use “biblical sayings” in assignments. That left the young girl feeling like she wasn’t supposed to talk about her faith at school.

The Glaring Inconsistency of the NCAA’s Boycott of North Carolina

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Earlier this week the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the group that oversees about 460,000 student-athletes and more than 1,000 colleges and universities – announced it was relocating “all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year” due to its commitment to “fairness and inclusion” over the state’s bathroom bill.

The moving is sweeping in its scope, though not surprising given our culture’s desire to be viewed by the world as “inclusive” – not “homophobic.”

But the NCAA’s move is intellectually perplexing.

Talking to Your Kids about 9-11 When They Think It’s Ancient History

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This Sunday the nation will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 people and forever changed our history.

For those of us who watched that day unfold, each anniversary quickly brings to mind the horror and fear we witnessed.

Yet, for many of our children who weren’t even born when 9-11 happened, the day is just event in history.

A news story this week examines how teachers go about teaching today’s generation about an event that feels like “ancient history” to them.

Do You Know How Many of the 10,000 Syrian Refugees to the U.S. are Christians?

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A few months ago, I asked American Christians to urge the State Department to help Middle East Christians under persecution. I did so because the situation there is dire. As I wrote:

“[ISIS] has made clear its intentions to terrorize, kill and destroy anyone who doesn’t adhere to the tenets of Islamic fundamentalism.

“Christians remain a key target of ISIS. The widespread and vicious persecution of believers in Iraq and Syria, is tragedy of staggering proportions… Christians who refuse to renounce their faith face almost unimaginable consequences—kidnapping, rape, torture, and slavery for those who survive.

Would You Sacrifice Your Life for Your Brother or Sister?

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A heartbreaking yet beautiful story out of earthquake-ravished central Italy deeply moved me, and I’d like to share it with you.

About 15 hours after last week’s 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck the town of Ascoli Piceno, firefighters were desperately searching for survivors among the ruins. Suddenly, a rescue dog signaled that he smelled something.

Rescuers soon found a doll … and two young sisters caught in a life-saving embrace.

Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole shared the story of Giulia and Giorgia during a funeral Mass for 35 of the 290 people killed in the earthquake.

Do You Agree with This School’s Policy?

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If your teenage son or daughter forgot something they needed for school, would you bring it to them?

Well, if your child attends a Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas, you can forget it.

When the school’s administrators posted a picture of a sign that’s taped to a door in their building, they probably didn’t expect it to go viral – but it did.

Here it is:

It reads, “If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building.

How to Help Victims of the Louisiana Flooding

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The catastrophic flooding in Louisiana is the worst U.S. disaster since Hurricane Sandy, says the Red Cross. At least 13 people are dead and 40,000 homes are damaged, according to reports. Some 86,000 people have already applied for federal disaster aid across the disaster area, which spans across more than 20 parishes.

To make matters worse, the forecast calls for scattered storms, and Louisiana’s flat topography will make for a very slow recovery.

Author, blogger and Louisiana resident Sara Horn, who was recently a guest on our broadcast, described the destruction:

The water came fast and no one was prepared for what was happening…

This was rain.

Rick and Lynn Raisman are All of Us

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If you’re a fan of women’s gymnastics, chances are you’re familiar with Rick and Lynn Raisman, parents of U.S. gymnast and gold medal winner Aly Raisman.

The Raismans have achieved “viral” status thanks to their all-too-obvious nervousness when Aly performs. They squirm and grimace their way through their daughter’s leaps, somersaults, and dismounts – Aly’s mom sometimes even watches her routines through her hands!

If you haven’t watched the Raismans’ reactions, take a look:

As entertaining as it is to watch, if you’re a parent, you have to admit: the Raismans are simply emoting what all of us feel on the inside as our children grow up and journey towards independence.

Should We Be Outraged By Al Trautwig’s Comments about Adoption?

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Last night in Rio, American gymnast Simone Biles won the gold in Women’s individual all-around. It’s no wonder – she is the best in the world. For those of you not acquainted with Miss Biles, this video from The New Yorker will help, as will as this one from the New York Times:

But Biles’ amazing athleticism isn’t the only reason she’s been in the news lately.

On Monday NBC announcer Al Trautwig said that Biles’ parents aren’t her real parents.

From Bullied to Olympic Champion: Tamika Catchings-Smith

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Did you know that Colorado Springs, where Focus on the Family is located, is an Olympic city? Our mile-high location and thin air make it the ideal place for more than 10,000 Olympians, Paralympians and Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center located here in town.

That connection helps explain why here at Focus we’re pretty excited about the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In my post yesterday I introduced you to two divers, both Christians, who will be competing in the Rio Games.