- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2024

One of the country’s largest Christian colleges — Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. — will pay a record $14 million fine and spend an additional $2 million in improvements to settle claims by the federal Education Department that the institution didn’t handle sexual abuse claims properly, didn’t notify students of dangers, and filed incomplete crime reports required by law.

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School officials said the violations have been addressed with “more than $10 million in significant advancements” to fix prior errors and ensure legal compliance.

Ukrainian Catholic leader: Kyiv needs more U.S. help

The spiritual leader of 5 million Ukrainian Catholics said this week the war-torn nation must receive more humanitarian aid from America to survive the two-year-old Russian invasion.

“As a church, we are trying first of all to protect human life in Ukraine … everybody,” Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk said in a telephone interview, noting the besieged nation will not falter in its resistance. He visited the U.S. to raise awareness of humanitarian needs and to pray with Ukrainian Catholics and others in Washington, Philadelphia and New York City.

“Ukraine is wounded but unbroken,” he said. “Ukraine is tired but resilient. And the church is accompanying the suffering people of Ukraine.”

Digital Pentecost: Preachers to ‘speak’ in languages they don’t know, thanks to AI

The voices of several evangelical Christian preachers soon will be heard in languages they never learned, thanks to artificial intelligence. Pray.com, a company that supplies Christian content via a mobile app, will utilize AI technology to use the voice, intonation and inflection of noted U.S. broadcasters such as the Rev. Jack Graham and the Rev. Tony Evans to “speak” in Chinese, Swahili or dozens of other languages.

The move will expose multiples millions to the Christian message who might not otherwise hear it, Mr. Graham told The Times.

$1 million LGBTQ earmark pulled over ‘sex parties’

Proposed federal funding for the William Way LGBTQ Community Center in Philadelphia was scrapped last week when after viral reports of sex parties hosted there surfaced.

Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrats, backtracked on their $1 million request, The Times’ Stephen Dinan and Alex Miller reported, after a social media account on X posted what looked like a “play party” advertisement for the center.

No charges expected in Southern Baptist abuse probe

A leader of the Southern Baptist Convention said last week that a Department of Justice investigation into its executive committee after revelations of numerous sexual abuse cases has been closed after 18 months with no charges expected.

Other entities of the 13.2 million-member church, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, may still face ongoing probes, a victim’s advocate said. 

Jonathan Howe, the SBC’s interim executive committee president, said the church would “remain steadfast in our commitment to assist churches in preventing and responding well to sexual abuse.” 

‘Ten Commandments’ movie tablets could fetch $80,000

A Tuesday auction could see the prop tablets used in the 1956 blockbuster film “The Ten Commandments” sell for as much as $80,000, an auctioneer said. The fiberglass tablets — 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide — are offered by Propstore, based in Los Angeles and London.

Biblical archaeologist Miles Jones said the tablets do contain “ancient paleo-Hebrew letters,” but there are “no recognizable words” spelled out on them.

Video: Will ‘Progressive Christianity’ hijack the church?

Jason Jimenez, an author, speaker and Higher Ground contributor, says one of the greatest current threats to Christianity is a far-left movement aiming to “save Jesus from the church.” He tells Higher Ground’s Billy Hallowell about his book, “Hijacking Jesus: How Progressive Christians are Remaking Him and Taking Over His Church.”

Snowboarding coach wins $75,000 after transgender athlete comments

High school snowboarding coach David Bloch — fired from his job at a Vermont high school because he said male-born transgender athletes should not compete against female-born ones — will get a $75,000 settlement, but won’t be reinstated, The Times’ Valerie Richardson reports.

Mr. Bloch sued, claiming the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Principals’ Association and his former school district were among those trying to silence him over his faith-based convictions on the issue.

In our opinion

Vital message from Laken Riley’s mother. The murder of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley by an accused killer identified as an illegal immigrant captured national attention amidst what many call a border crisis, Mr. Hallowell writes.

But it is the words of Allyson Phillips, Ms. Riley’s mother, that are truly compelling, he says. This devastated parent, via Facebook, acknowledged the presence of “my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ … during this heartbreaking time.”

U.N. has lost “moral compass.” Five months after the Hamas terrorist incursion into southern Israel, where hundreds of women were killed and injured, with dozens more captured and held as hostages in Gaza, the United Nations is hearing what writer Danielle Ofek calls biased voices, some of whom describe the Jewish victims of Hamas as “a repercussion” for “oppression” by Israel.

She says a report by the Iran-linked U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is rife with “distortion and misinformation.” Ms. Ofek is calling for accountability from the U.N.

Raising confident kids. “Do you have any advice for parents trying to raise their children to be confident leaders?” is the question of an Arkansas father for Everett Piper, our “Ask Dr. E” columnist.

Mr. Piper said children should be taught to rely on “the rock of facts rather than the sand of feelings.” While many expect to live a life that’s a pleasant vacation, he writes, life can be a storm, and those unprepared “gripe rather than grow.”

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