UK Math Teacher Suspended for Saying ‘Well Done, Girls’ as One Student Identifies as Boy
OXFORD, U.K. — A math teacher in the U.K. has been suspended and faces possible further disciplinary action after he said “Well done, girls” to a group of students in forgetting that one of the girls prefers to be identified as a boy.
Joshua Sutcliffe is a teacher at Cherwell School in Oxford and is also a pastor at Christ Revelation Church. He teaches three classes—an estimated 150 students—each day and has excelled with his Key Stage 3 students. Sutcliffe’s students range in age from 11-18.
However, on Nov. 2, a complaint was filed against Sutcliffe after remarking “Well done, girls,” to his class as one of the female students identifies as a boy. Sutcliffe says that he was never advised by the school how to treat the situation, but tried to handle the matter with balance in not compromising his convictions but also not being inflammatory.
“[I] refrained from using any pronouns because I wasn’t really sure [what to do],” he told the organization Christian Concern. “I know it’s a sensitive issue, and I didn’t want it to affect the learning environment.”
Sutcliffe said that he was simply encouraging his students for doing a good job one day and was not thinking about how the girl preferred to be identified as a boy. Although he apologized to the student for what he calls a “slip of the tongue,” the child’s parents filed a complaint and Sutcliffe was consequently suspended for “misgendering” the student.
Sutcliffe is now under investigation and faces a disciplinary hearing about the matter.
“I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of seeing Christians, people like me, being marginalized in the public square, and our beliefs punished and silenced,” he said in a statement.
“The aggressive way in which transgender ideology is being imposed is undermining my freedom of belief and conscience, as well as the conscience of many people throughout our nation who believe that gender is assigned at birth,” Sutcliffe lamented.
He reiterated that he did not intentionally target the student in saying “Well done, girls” to the group as a whole.
“While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs, I recognize my responsibility as a teacher and Christian to treat each of my pupils with respect and dignity,” Sutcliffe stated. “I have never looked to impose my convictions on others, I just try to earnestly live out the gospel of peace.”
The school has declined to comment on the matter at this time.
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For your Children, you might want to purchase Carol Dukes Book Happy Tails
HERE IS WISHING ALL OF YOU A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY
Thanksgiving Day is the traditional American holiday when we are given the opportunity to pause from our normal routines and take time to count our blessings.
It can be a fun and refreshing time, full of family, feasts, and football.
For those who choose to acknowledge God as the Great Giver of all that is good in our lives, Thanksgiving Day can be a spiritually uplifting and enriching experience.
And for those whose lives have been upended by unforeseen tragedies, such as the loved ones of innocent people so tragically taken from them by ghastly crimes since our last Thanksgiving, as well as those whose hearts are heavy from grief, illness, loneliness, or financial stress, let us pray that Thanksgiving can help them understand that good is never totally conquered or permanently extinguished. May they feel the comforting touch of God’s “tender mercies” (Psalm 145:9 et al.).
To varying degrees, all of us grapple at times with the problem of whether the glass is half empty or half full in our lives. Thanksgiving helps draw our attention in the happier direction. When tempted to become depressed from news reports highlighting ugly incidents or hateful divisions in our society, we can console or even cheer ourselves by giving thanks for all the good that surrounds us.
Sometimes the largest blaze begins with the tiniest spark.
At the dawn of the 20th century, William J. Seymour, the son of Louisiana slaves, began meeting with a tiny congregation in a two-story wooden building in downtown Los Angeles. What began as a spontaneous gathering of believers quickly grew into a passionate revival and renewal of the work of the Holy Spirit. The movement spread at breathtaking speed. With little more than a printing press, a trolley stop, and a powerful message, the spiritual fire emanating from the Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street rapidly crossed strict cultural and national borders—into Mexico, Canada, Britain, Scandinavia, Africa, India, and China. Led by William J. Seymour, the revival became the catalyst for the modern Pentecostal movement.
Today, the more than 500 million Christians who identify as Pentecostal or charismatic can trace their faith roots to this humble beginning at Azusa Street. Discover the full story of how this uniquely diverse and inclusive group grew into a powerful movement that forever changed the landscape of Christianity.
In the early 1960s, political writer Hannah Arendt attended the trials of Adolf Eichmann, the German officer who had orchestrated much of the Holocaust. She expected to find a monster. How could it be otherwise? Only a deranged psychopath could lend his considerable organizational skills to the mass murder of millions in Nazi Germany. What stunned Arendt and enraged some of her readers was her startling discovery of a “normal” and “simple” man at the trial. The notorious architect of the Holocaust did not appear as a devil but as a banal bureaucrat doing what he was told.
Arendt’s jarring discovery led to her oft-repeated phrase: the banality of evil. The implications of Arendt’s descriptive phrase are chilling. Without prudence and self-reflection, normal people are capable of gross injustice. Micah 6:8, perhaps the minor prophet’s most famous verse, has something to say about Eichmann and the banality of evil. It has something to say to us.
A Familiar Verse in Unfamiliar Territory
The prophetic books of the Old Testament bear their fruit with patience. They challenge. In their own ways, Martin Luther and Saint Augustine found the prophets puzzling. So, when you and I experience similar hurdles we are in good company. Philippians for morning devotions or Haggai? Jesus or Zerubbabel? If we’re honest, most of us would probably pick the former.
As a result, the prophetic writings remain a strange land for many Christian readers. But not Micah 6:8. This verse is the stuff of political speeches, Christian kitsch, and bumper stickers. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The fact that people know this verse from Micah’s sixth chapter and probably not Micah 3:3 (“[You] who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot”) is okay. Micah’s celebrated verse hits close to the heart of the book’s overall concern. In fact, Micah 6 and 7 are circling back to the main themes in focus in the first three chapters of the book.
Micah, along with Jeremiah after him, reprimanded the political and religious leaders of Judah who believed Zion (Jerusalem) was indestructible. Like the heretics of the early church, Micah’s religious and political opponents had some of the Bible on their side but not all of it—sola scriptura (scripture alone) and tota scriptura (all scripture) are flip sides of the same coin.
Micah’s opponents loved Psalm 46 but forgot, say, the whole of Deuteronomy. They had forgotten justice, devotion, and circumspection with their God. Micah called them to task for this. Put better, Micah calls us to task for this. Because, left to our own religious and political sensibilities, the banality of evil lurks around every corner.
Cosmic Courtroom Drama
Micah’s most famous verse appears at first glance as a call to get our act together. “Act,” “love,” and “walk”: This famed triad is a softball toss for sermon outlines and a second passing of the offering plate. But on second glance, Micah’s appeal is better viewed as a plea of affection and devotion from Israel’s God. Micah 6:8 is a lover’s call. It is a lover’s plea in a courtroom drama.
This cosmic courtroom scene begins Micah’s sixth chapter. The mountains and foundations of the earth—representing the totality of creation from its heights to its depths—enter the heavenly courtroom as witnesses. For Lord of the Rings devotees, think Treebeard and his wisdom, perspective, and aged stability. These ancient and wizened witnesses adjudicate the Lord’s dispute with his people.
The scene is heavy and grand, marked by a sense of awe as readers enter a courtroom with cosmic dimensions and looming witnesses in the juror’s box. Despite the mood, the characters of the cosmic courtroom are straightforward: witnesses—the heights and depths of the earth; defendants—Israel; prosecutor—the Lord.
But something shocking happens in the dramatic movement of these first five verses. The prophetic jolt is easy to flit past in a cursory read. I have read (and taught) past it many times myself. When God begins his opening arguments in verse 3, he does so not as the prosecution but as the defense.
“How have I burdened you?” God asks in verse 3. This is the kind of vulnerable question that makes us blush. It indicates relational exhaustion. Job makes a similar accusation against God—“you have worn me out” (Job 16:7). Put in other terms, God asks, Why are you so haggard and exhausted on my account? What have I done to lead to this relational breakdown? Surprisingly, God appears on the defensive.
After the vulnerability and cosmic blushing comes a painting. On a large canvas, the Lord brushes, bold and loose, an impressionistic account of his early redemptive history with Israel. The details are hidden in the painting’s negative space, yet the impression is clear enough. From their redemption in Egypt to their threats in the wilderness to the first night in the Promised Land (Gilgal), God reminds Israel of his redeeming grace.
The vulnerable question—“How have I burdened you?”—takes an ironic turn when readers stand before the swirling colors of this redemptive masterpiece. The question from this perspective is like a parent reminding a complaining child: “Tell me, son, when was the last time you paid our mortgage or bought us groceries?”
The God of the universe chose and redeemed you, Israel. He set his affections and grace on you simply because of his grace and affections. In Ezekiel’s terms, you were the victim of infanticide, left kicking and screaming in your afterbirth (Ezek. 16:1–6). “I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and . . . I said to you, ‘Live!’” (Ezek. 16:6) So, tell me again, Israel, how exactly have I burdened you?
In turn, the people of Israel recognize the force of the Lord’s argument. They too acknowledge the relational breakdown and offer God their religious services in return: sacrifices, oil, perhaps a first-born child or two? But God is not interested. God despises religion, if by religion we mean external rituals apart from “the circumcision of the heart.” Religion of this kind is a species of pride or human self-actualization, and God will have none of it. He’s after something deeper, after something more.
Here is where the Goodyear Blimp’s view of Micah 6:1–8 is so instructive. The rehearsal of Israel’s redemption and grace precedes the call to moral action. In other words, the people of Israel forgot who they were: objects of God’s electing and redeeming grace. They forgot their primary identity. And it is only in recognition of this identity that the call to “act,” “love,” and “walk” makes sense or is even possible. For what else is doing justice and loving mercy than the extension of God’s gracious love into the public square? But once covenantal amnesia sets in, then the very basis and cause of justice disappear. Israel, you forgot me. Israel, you forgot yourself.
Starbucks has unveiled its new holiday campaign. It features what appears to be an affectionate lesbian couple in its promotional video. Some believe that the design of the new cup includes a same-sex couple as well.
The British LGBT Awards tweeted, “We’re loving @Starbucks’ new festive ad with a lesbian couple.” Other LGBT advocates are cheering the Holiday Cup design that seems to incorporate the couple. Predictably, those who oppose such “inclusiveness” are being labeled as “closed-minded” and ridiculed.
As unbiblical morality becomes increasingly popular, it’s worth asking: Why should Christians stand up against cultural trends?
The popularity of popularity
Writers write about our culture’s postmodern belief that truth is what we believe it to be. Here’s a corollary consequence: popularity has become our definition of success.
Possessions are measured by popularity. Why do we want to drive and wear what is fashionable? Why do we care what other people think of our cars and clothes so long as they do their job?
Social media is driven by popularity measured in “likes,” “click-throughs,” and “follows.” The larger your audience, the more valuable your message. Or so we think.
Morality is driven by popularity as well. Since 61 percent of Australians voting in a recent election supported same-sex marriage, lawmakers will now change the centuries-old definition of marriage to accommodate the popular vote. Whether gay marriage is actually harmful to gay people and society at large is not a factor in the conversation.
Euthanasia is becoming more available than ever before, not because health care professionals believe it to be best for patients (actually, a large majority do not), but because a successful public relations campaign is persuading a largely uninformed public.
An illuminating article in the Columbia Political Reviewnotes that public opinion plays a very significant role in shifting the attitudes and positions of Supreme Court justices. The Court also considers public opinion as it seeks to protect its position of authority in American society.
To be sure, Christians should want the gospel to be accepted by as many people as possible. Jesus commissioned us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Paul’s “heart’s desire and prayer to God” for his fellow Jews was that they “may be saved” (Romans 10:1). He was willing to be “accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers” (Romans 9:3).
But seeking to win as many people as possible is not the same as seeking to please as many people as possible.
The peril of popularity
First Kings 22 finds wicked King Ahab choosing whether to go to war with Syria. His false prophets all assure him that victory will be his.
Then he sends for a prophet named “Micaiah the son of Imlah.” Micaiah is warned by the king’s messenger that he should agree with the favorable prophets. But Micaiah replies, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (v. 14).
At the risk of his life, he declares God’s warning that battle with Syria will lead to catastrophic defeat (v. 17). The prophet is willing to face prison and death (v. 27) rather than compromise his unpopular message to the most powerful man in his nation.
Why should we follow Micaiah’s example? What is so perilous about measuring success by popularity?
One: It violates biblical truth.
God’s word is clear: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Jesus assured us: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. . . . If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18, 20). Paul testified: “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Two: It is fleeting.
Jesus warned us: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Wise king Solomon added: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
Never forget that the crowd who shouted “Hosanna!” on Sunday shouted “Crucify!” on Friday.
Three: It’s illogical.
It’s conventional wisdom today that “perception is reality.” Actually, it’s not.
Neither support for the Starbucks campaign nor the vote in Australia will change the harmful consequences of homosexual marriage. Embracing euthanasia will not lessen its danger to the elderly, the infirm, and society at large.
The man who denies the sunrise doesn’t affect the sun.
“Micaiah the son of Imlah” is far from a household name, but I hope his example will encourage you to speak the truth and do what is right today, regardless of popular opinion. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (Robert Frost).
Why I would vote for Roy Moore by Editor George Duke
1-His stand for the 10 commandments
2- His stand on abortion
3- His stand on gay marriage
To many onlookers, evangelical support for Roy Moore is simply a matter of politics.
The U.S. Senate candidate, accused of making unwanted sexual advances to nine women when they were teens and he was in his 30s, is seen by many evangelicals — who are overwhelmingly Republican — as one of them.
“He is nothing but a godly man trying to make this country come to its senses because of liberals and the other side of the fence trying to protect their evil ways,” an evangelical supporter of Moore recently told a reporter at Jackson, Ala.’s Walker Springs Road Baptist Church.
But political experts, historians, and religion scholars say there are deeper explanations for why the former judge appears poised to become the next senator from heavily Republican Alabama during Dec. 12’s special election. Yes, politics is a big part of it, but so too is a particular way evangelicals engage with the world around them.
Conservative Christians, said Molly Worthen, a historian of American religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have developed an intellectual strategy for engaging with the public called “presuppositionalism.”
It holds that evangelicals should examine other people’s underlying suppositions before debating them. If those people or groups don’t adhere to the right worldview — one that accepts the Bible as the inerrant word of God — they should not be trusted.
The argument, said Worthen, goes like this: “When secular liberals say that the public square can be this neutral space, fair to all metaphysical beliefs, that’s a lie, because folded into that it is a secular humanist worldview, a set of anti-Christian presuppositions that are now being foisted onto our public square. You, as conservative evangelicals, need to fight that, and you need to be savvy when they try to pull one over on you.”
Worthen credits Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984), the widely influential evangelical theologian, best known for his crusading opposition to abortion, as the architect of this way of thinking.
The Washington Post — which broke the story about four women who allegedly had sexual encounters with Moore while in their teens — is deeply distrusted by many evangelicals, who see it a secular media outlet with a liberal bias — one of many.
President Donald Trump, in his rush to label any news coverage unsympathetic to his administration and his performance as “fake news” has unwittingly tapped into this long tradition of evangelical intellectual resistance, she said. Evangelicals distrusted the media long before it became politically expedient to do so.
That evangelical tradition of resistance to a secular way of thinking has become part and parcel of Alabama’s culture, said Jason Roberts, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Alabamians are very prideful and very defiant about their being different from anyone else,” said Roberts, who grew up in Falkville, Ala. “They’re not ashamed of being different. They’re not ashamed of being made fun of.”
For that reason, Roberts said, blowback from Washington political leaders such as Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Moore should “step aside,” is unlikely to affect the campaign.
Alabama evangelicals admire Roy Moore and not only for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, which houses the state Supreme Court. Moore has been a dogged champion of greater religious freedom for evangelicals. He is a staunch opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage and talks of privileging Christianity as the country’s preeminent religion — all positions favored by conservative evangelicals around the country.
There are many vocal critics of Moore, including Russell Moore (no relation), the chief ethicist for the Southern Baptist Convention; Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center, at Wheaton College; and several prominent evangelical women such as Kay Warren, Beth Moore and Nancy French.
But in the main, evangelical voters in Alabama are expected to support Moore.
“For these evangelicals politics serves a purpose,” said John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College. “It’s a means toward a more moral end: reclaiming American as a Christian country, end Roe vs. Wade and gay marriage, go back to a Christian golden age.”
That’s not to say Moore is invincible.
Even in Alabama, where half the residents consider themselves evangelical Christians — double the national average, according to a Pew Research study — Moore has struggled to win hearts and minds in past elections. In 2006 and 2010, he lost the Republican primary in the race for governor of Alabama.
It’s possible some evangelicals may switch their longstanding Republican allegiance and vote for Democrat Doug Jones, a prominent lawyer who has prosecuted several high-profile civil rights cases.
But given Jones’ views on abortion — he opposes any restrictions on abortion — it’s unlikely many would.
Instead, some evangelicals will sit out the election. There’s no other consequential issue on the ballot, so it may be easier for some to stay home, said Roberts.
Those evangelicals who do go to the polls will likely vote for Moore.
“When (people) face really tough choices, the tie-breaker will be partisanship,” said John C. Green, political science professor and director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
“Sometimes that’s just instinctive. It can also be cognitive. They’ll say, ‘Jones is a better candidate, but he’ll go to Washington and caucus with the liberals,’ or ‘Moore may be a flawed human being but he’ll be a Republican vote….Their religious values and their political views are strongly linked.”
When you go to the polls remember – 1-In politics you have to choose who stands for American and Christian values 2- I am not electing a Pastor 3-all have sinned 4-What horrible sins have I done in the past
Remember Jesus said he that is without sin cast the first stone!
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Students at a Christian elementary school in eastern Uganda fear for their lives after a Muslim posing as a Christian teacher attacked the school director, sources said.
Some of the children at Hope of Glory International Nursery and Primary School have been afraid to return to class after Mugooda Siraji attacked school director Hassan Muwanguzi on Nov. 4, according to head teacher Eric Kakonge. The school is located in Kabuna village, Budaka District.
Siraji struck the school director days after school board leaders asked him to take a leave of absence when they learned he had misrepresented himself and was trying to teach the children how to practice Islam, Kakonge said.
“Siraji came to our class and openly said he was a Muslim, and that his real name was Mugooda Siraji and not Simon Siraji,” a fourth-grade child told a school official, according to Kakonge. “He has been introducing to us Islamic ablution and how to be a true Muslim by believing in Allah and Muhammad.”
Members of the school board questioned Siraji on Nov. 1.
“We as the board learned that you did not provide to us the right profile of yourself, and that you have been propagating Islamic religion, which is against the school principles, which are based on Christian foundations,” a board leader told him. “Therefore, the school administration recommends that you step aside as we carry on further investigations.”
Siraji reluctantly accepted, and then he left the school as the administration began further investigations, Kakonge said.
On Nov. 4 at around 4:30 p.m., Siraji entered the school compound and strode to Kakonge’s office, where Muwanguzi, the school director, was meeting with him. Siraji forced his way into the office shouting “Allah Akbar” and hit Muwanguzi with a blunt object, Kakonge said.
“Muwanguzi suffered face and right hand injuries, with serious bleeding from the face,” Kakonge said.
Teachers managed to overpower Siraji, but he managed to escape, sources said. The school alerted Budaka police station officers, and criminal investigators soon arrived.
Police questioned Muwanguzi at the police station, opened a case against Siraji alleging threats and violence (File Reference No. SD/4/11/2017) and later took the school director to a Budaka health center, Kakonge said. Muwanguzi received hospital treatment for two days and was discharged, he said.
“He is still unwell and may need further specialized treatment,” Kakonge said.
Siraji was unavailable for comment.
The head teacher told Morning Star News that on Oct. 12, Muslims in Kabuna Sub-County, Budaka District, had met to form a strategy of how to stop activities on the Christian school and terminate it. The school has an enrollment of 162 children.
“The Muslims have complained that the school every evening makes noise in praising, worshiping and praying,” Kakonge said. “We need prayers at this trying moment for a quick recovery for our school director, and that this criminal act will be brought to book.”
Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with many concentrated in the eastern part of the country.
The incident is one of many recent attacks by non-state figures on Christians in eastern Uganda. Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.
References to the Bible will be removed in Scripture Union’s simplified nativity booklet this Christmas.
The Christian charity has slimmed down it’s telling of the Christmas story, saying you can no longer assume children have a basic knowledge of the biblical narrative.
The pamphlet, which is aimed at reaching 100,000 children, has previously included Bible passages and phrases asking children to compare the story to each of the gospel tellings. But this year the booklet will be cut back because many children do not know the basics of the story, the charity said.
Jennifer Babb, church and community fundraising manager at the Scripture Union, said the removal of explicit references to the Bible ‘takes that barrier away – it makes it more of a simple story’.
She told the Telegraph: ‘When we realized that children don’t even know the basics of what they are celebrating, then the traditional, simple story is the best way.’
She said the decision was made off the back of research that highlighted low levels of religious literacy among children, including one 2014 survey that suggested one in three children between 10 and 13 do not know that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus.
She added: ‘We wanted to create something new this year that was specifically designed for the audience of children who might not know the real Christmas story.
‘This is all part of our work to invite children and young people to explore the difference Jesus can make to the challenges and adventures of life.’
The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to overturn a 10th Circuit appeals-court ruling that upheld the actions of police officers who forced a woman to stop praying silently in her home.
The petition charges the Louisberg, Kansas, officers stopped Mary Anne Sause from praying not to further any legitimate law-enforcement interest, but “so they could harass her.”
“The 10th Circuit correctly ‘assumed’ this conduct ‘violated Sause’s rights under the First Amendment,’” the woman’s legal team explained. “Yet the 10th Circuit nevertheless granted qualified immunity to the officers, solely on the ground that their alleged conduct was so obviously unconstitutional that there is no prior case law involving similar facts.”
WND reported last summer Judges Tim Tymkovich, Carlos Lucero and Nancy Moritz of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver found that the police defendants in the constitutional-violations case were protected even though they violated Sause’s constitutional rights.
Sause sued after, she said, the officers came to her door, demanded entry, intimidated her, told her to stop praying and made fun of her.
The officers later said they were at her home on a noise complaint.
The woman claimed the officers said the Constitution is “just a piece of paper” that “doesn’t work here” and told her to prepare to go to jail.
The complaint states: “Terrified, Ms. Sause asked one of the officers if she could pray. After being told she could, she knelt in silent prayer, only to have another officer enter the room and order her to stop praying. Only at the end of the encounter did they tell her that they were there because of a minor noise complaint that her radio was too loud.”
The appeals judges noted Sause’s “complaint states a plausible claim.”
“We don’t necessarily disagree. Indeed, for purposes of resolving this appeal, we assume that the defendants violated Sause’s First Amendment rights. But even with the benefit of that assumption, the defendants are nevertheless entitled to qualified immunity,” the 10th Circuit found.
First Liberty said the majority opinion by the 10th Circuit panel “assumed that a First Amendment violation occurred, but stated that the police officers were shielded from liability based on the legal doctrine of qualified immunity.”
“The Tenth Circuit’s opinion assumed the police officers violated Ms. Sause’s constitutional rights when they mocked her, humiliated her, and ordered her to stop praying in her home,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty. “Police officers should have known that ordering a woman not to pray in her own home violates the First Amendment.”
Stephanie Taub, counsel for First Liberty, said the constitutional rights “of law-abiding citizens like Ms. Sause should not be ignored, and she deserves her day in court.”
“This case is about protecting the religious liberties of a private citizen in one of the most sacred and protected places in legal doctrine: the home. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will recognize Ms. Sause’s case as one of the utmost importance and grant her petition.”
A team of scientists presented a research paper to the Geological Society of America, revealing some ground shaking information. The paper has warned that there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world next year caused by the slowing down of the Earth’s rotation.
The research was conducted and presented by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. They found that variations in the speed of the Earth’s rotation could set off intense seismic activity, particularly in the tropical-equatorial regions where the population density is very high.
Any change in the Earth’s rotation speed is minuscule. It is affected by a factor of milliseconds and the changes in the length of day and night cannot be perceived, only calculated. But these small changes set off a seismic rumble that can release vast amounts of underground energy.
“The correlation between the Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham was quoted in a report by The Guardian.
“The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” noted Bilham.
The two scientists studied all the major earthquakes that registered a magnitude of 7 and above since 1900 to have a wide data-set. They identified a very visible pattern when the data for the whole century was laid out. There seemed to be visible spikes in seismic activity marked by an increase in the number of a large earthquake. Five such spikes were identified and during this period 25 to 30 large earthquakes were experienced every year.
“In these periods, there were 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” he said. The other periods identified only averaged 15 quakes a year, Bilham was quoted in the report.
The team was able to draw parallels to other data that could potentially affect seismic activity and found that these five spikes happened during periods when the Earth’s rotation decreased in speed slightly.
The slow rotation periods came within five-year stretches. The team found that when the Earth’s rotation slowed down over the last century it was followed by periods of massive earthquakes. “The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes,” said Bilham.
The scary reality is that we are at the end of one of the five-year slowdowns.
“We should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes. We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.”
The earthquake registered off of France’s New Caledonia in the Pacific late Saturday night was recorded with a 6.4-magnitude on the Richter Scale.
This means that areas around the equator should be on high alert for a spike in seismic activity. Earthquakes can be devastating in densely populated areas. The team says that there is no way to pinpoint the location of an earthquake. It is also unclear why the speed of rotation causes more seismic activity.
There have already been 9,500 earthquakes this year. Understanding what triggers them will help us better our prediction tools and also help us focus preventive efforts in parts that will be affected the most. The scale of destruction if this does happen is unimaginable. The team feels that we have a 5-year heads-up to prepare for possible calamity.