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Christian News

Pro-marriage sportscaster's complaint dismissed by Canadian Human Rights Commission

TORONTO, April 15, 2013 ( Nearly two years after sportscaster Damian Goddard was fired by Rogers Communications, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed his complaint in which he alleged that he was fired because he had publicly voiced support for the traditional definition of marriage.

On May 10, 2011, the former Connected star tweeted that he "completely and wholeheartedly" supports "the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage." Rogers immediately distanced themselves from the tweet, and then fired him within 24 hours.

In June 2011, Goddard, a devout Roman Catholic, filed a human rights complaint alleging religious discrimination.

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Pope Francis reaches out to Jews

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Like his predecessor, Pope Francis reached out to Rome's Jewish community at the very start of his pontificate, pledging to continue to strengthen the increasingly close ties between Catholics and Jews.

Just hours after he was elected the first non-European pope in history, Francis sent a letter to Rome's chief rabbi Riccardo di Segni, saying he hoped to "contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics" have seen since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council.

Jewish leaders welcomed the election of a pontiff seen as an ally when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Israeli President Shimon Peres said Francis would be a "welcome guest in the Holy Land" while Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said the new pope "always had an open ear for our concerns."

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Report: Restrictions on religion rise worldwide

Pew, a Washington-based social science research center, said the study aimed to provide a clear measure of restrictions around the world but did not attempt to evaluate them or analyze the reasons why they rose during the study period.

The United States moved from low to moderate levels of restrictions in that period as some prison inmates were prevented from practicing their faith, limits on permits for religious buildings increased and faith-related attacks rose.

It noted "a spike in religion-related terrorist attacks" including the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, the attempted "underwear bombing" in 2009 and the failed Times Square bombing in New York the following year.

The study saw a link between government limits on practicing certain faiths and social hostility to them, especially when official policies favored one religion over another.

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Argentine Jorge Bergoglio elected first Latin American pope

VATICAN CITY — Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

After announcing "Habemus Papam" — "We have a pope!" — a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name. Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI ? who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

A stunned-looking Bergoglio shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gathered in St. Peter’s Square, marveling that the cardinals had had to look to "the end of the earth" to find a bishop of Rome.

He asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose stunning resignation paved the way for the tumultuous conclave that brought the first Jesuit to the papacy. He called Wednesday for "brotherhood" in the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinal electors overcame deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.

Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

School board pulls links to explicit teen sex

TORONTO - The Toronto District School Board has pulled several questionable links from its website, including one containing advice on kinky sex and one on how to clean drug needles.

The link generating the most controversy was to the website of the Coalition for Positive Sexuality. It includes a "Just Say Yes" page advising youths on the use of sex toys, bondage, vegetables and fingers to enhance pleasure, how to masturbate in front of a mirror, and how role play, cross dress and "talk dirty".

It read, in part: “Most of us learn that sex means a man on top of a woman, and that the only other choice is abstinence. But sex can be lots of things ... women have sex with women, men have sex with men, women have sex with men — and sometimes the best sex is with yourself!”

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Sign the 'Stop Corrupting Children' petition today!

Conclave to elect a new pope begins

THE VATICAN - As thunder boomed over St. Peter's Square, the cardinals who will elect the next pope held a mass Tuesday morning inside the square's historic basilica, where they prayed for God's guidance hours before they will cast their first ballots for the next pontiff.

The pews of the basilica were crowded with the red-robed cardinals - three Canadians among them -- while thousands outside watched the mass on giant TV screens in rainy, cool conditions.

"Today, we implore the Lord, that through the pastoral solicitude of the Cardinal Fathers, He may soon grant another Good Shepherd to his Holy Church," Cardinal Angelo Sodano said in the homily or sermon.

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TO school board fee hike raises rent for church group 800%

TORONTO - So if you are a Filipino Christian congregation renting space from the Toronto District School Board, you face a shocking 800% gouging increase in your rental permits.

But if you are a Muslim Imam using a school cafeteria as a mosque for Friday prayers, there is not only no increase - but no charge at all.

So much for inclusiveness and religious equality at the TDSB. Double standard, highway robbery and gutless political correctness are three phrases that come to mind.

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'Merry Christmas' a bold declaration

It's a sad day for our founding freedoms when a senior cabinet minister in a Canadian government feels the need to send out a memo to all federal civil servants to tell them it is okay to celebrate Christmas and Chanukah.

But this is what Treasury Board President Tony Clement felt he had to do as Canada devolves even more into a country of hurt feelings.

It is more in sadness than in joy, therefore, that we applaud Tony Clement for stepping up.

Yes, by all means, display those Christmas cards, he tells his staff. Put up some Christmas lights and tinsel, put candles in your miniature Menorah, and use your workplace to express the warmth of this special time.

Peace on Earth, et cetera.

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Pakistani Christian boy tortured, mutilated, burnt

With the hysteria over the arrest of a Christian girl with Down’s syndrome on a charge of blasphemy yet to blow over, the brutally tortured body of an 11-year-old Christian boy has been found in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

­The body of Samuel Yaqoob, was discovered with his lips and nose cut off, his stomach removed and his legs mutilated. According to police the body was later burned and could hardly be recognized.

Relatives identified the corpse from a distinctive mark on the boy’s forehead.

Yaqoob, a resident of the Christian Colony of Faisalabad, had been missing since August 20, last seen on his way to a local market. His mutilated remains were found on Eid-Ul-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan.

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Chris Selley: Trudeau embraces common sense — throws weight behind decriminalizing pot

It’s not clear when Justin Trudeau had a change of heart on marijuana. In January, he told an online news outlet that while he understood the arguments against prohibition, he worried a lot about the social impact of reforms. But on Tuesday in Prince Edward Island, he was very clear to a group of high school students. “I think we have to recognize first and foremost that the war on drugs, as it exists right now, doesn’t work,” he said. “So I am a huge supporter of decriminalization.”

With that, the Liberal heir-apparent has boldly realigned himself with the Chrétien-era Liberals of nearly a decade ago, and forsaken the strange waffling of Michael Ignatieff — who once warned another high school audience against “parking your life on the end of a marijuana cigarette.”

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House Afire

They are striving to change the character of New York, one soul at a time.

By the end of this year, their membership will include about one in every 10 New Yorkers. They are the Pentecostals, and they are taking in some of the city's most troubled and needy and pointing them -- and their neighborhoods -- in whole new directions.

David Gonzalez spent a year with members of a small storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem. His fascinating report takes you into the homes, and the lives, of church leaders and followers, giving you a rare behind-the-scenes look at the issues, the challenges and the faith of the world's fastest-growing form of Christianity.

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‘Mocking me for what I stand for’: Fired Sportsnet host faces backlash over U.S. anti-gay marriage ads

It’s been almost 18 months since sportscaster Damian Goddard lost his gig with Rogers Sportsnet after tweeting his support for “traditional” marriage, agreeing “whole-heartedly” with a sports agent who denounced NHL player Sean Avery for promoting New York’s bill to legalize gay marriage. Now, Mr. Goddard is playing a more direct role in the U.S. debate over gay marriage, appearing in television ads in Washington, Maryland, Minnesota and Maine on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage which, through its state organizations, wants residents to vote against gay marriage on Nov. 6. Since the ads rolled out last week, he’s received a deluge of hate mail and been called a “bigot” and “professional homophobe” on Twitter. He spoke with the Post’s Sarah Boesveld from his home in Oakville, Ont.

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The Spiritual Avalanche That Could Kill Millions

This is coming to you from a man who has just passed through the valley of the shadow of death. Since my close call with eternity just a short while ago ... everything has become clearer. I can hear His whisper. Unabated obedience has become my mandate. That is why I'm writing this word from the Lord.

...The Spiritual Avalanche That Could Kill Millions

Privacy please! Toronto school board opens all kids' washroom doors

Does the Toronto District School Board’s latest policy make it OK for a boy to enter the girl’s washroom whenever he ‘feels’ like it?

In another controversial move, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has declared that transsexual and ‘gender non-conforming’ students and staff have the right to use whichever washroom they please.

Since the TDSB’s use of the term of ‘gender’ is all about how one feels, this means that any student could enter any student washroom whenever they like – and it would be against the human rights policy to question it. The same goes for staff and their respective washrooms.

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