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Pope's words on dogs in heaven has tongues, tails wagging

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Pope Francis’ words of consolation to a young boy who was mourning the death of his dog has re-ignited the debate about whether pets can make it to heaven.

According to the New York Times, Pope Francis said in a recent public appearance in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square that "paradise is open to all of God’s creatures."

Francis was speaking to a young boy whose dog had recently died and the Times reported Francis was quoted by the Italian news media as saying: "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures."

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However, a theologian who talked with the Times cautioned Francis’ statement was spoken casually and was not made as part of a doctrinal statement.

According to the Times, the Catholic Church has long supported doctrine that stated dogs and other animals have no soul. Pope Pius IX, who led the Church from 1846 to 1878, once sought to stop the formation of Italian chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Pope Francis continues to surprise critics of the Catholic Church since becoming Pope in 2013. He has made statements considered liberal by church standards regarding homosexuals, unwed couples and even the Big Bang Theory.

Marine banned from daughter’s school after flap with administration over Islam-related assignment

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Kevin Wood, a retired Marine corporal whose family resides in Maryland, wasn’t pleased when his daughter was told to write a paper about the Islamic faith in her eleventh grade history class.

According to WTTG-TV, when Wood asked the administration at La Plata High School if they would consider an alternative assignment, they refused, and now he’s in hot water.

“We’re not teaching religion, we’re teaching world history,” a spokesman for the school told the TV station.

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“I told her straight up ‘you could take that Muslim-loving piece of paper and shove it up your white [expletive],’” Kevin Wood told SOMD News.

“If [students] can’t practice Christianity in school, they should not be allowed to practice Islam in school,” he said.

After a tense conversation with a school administrator, Wood has been told to stay off school property or else the school may call the police.

The Woods’ daughter will continue to take zeroes in the class until the school removes her from it.

Read more at Rare.us

Church offers up frosty beer for the faithful

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One Oklahoma church is offering up frosty beers this Sunday to those who would like to worship the old fashioned way through hymns.

East Side Christian Church in Tulsa posted on its marquee out front that it is offering Beer and Hymns Sunday night as part of a weekend-long discussion about the future of the Christian church around the world.

"I think it’s a little surprise for some people here in Oklahoma, but we like to rattle the cage a little bit," said Evan Taylor, outreach pastor at East Side Christian Church.

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Though the event is turning heads of those who drive by, East Side Christian Church isn't alone in the festivities. The event is actually a part of a weekend of beer sipping and theological discussion.

"It’s a chance to reach a wide demographic of people to ask the questions of what’s happening in our Christian world, what’s happening in our churches, and what’s happening in our community," said Michael Riggs, senior pastor at First Christian Church of Downtown Tulsa.

First Christian Church of Downtown Tulsa, East Side Christian Church, Harvard Avenue Christian Church, Phillips Theological Seminary, and Oklahoma Disciples Foundation are hosting three events over the upcoming weekend with Portland-based religious author Christian Piatt.

Piatt will be discussing his book Post Christian with Green Country Christians. The book focuses on the future of the Christian church as a whole in the world.

They hope that with it being the weekend, more people will head out to talk about the future of the church, if they can catch a frosty brew or two.

"Everybody’s welcome. No questions are banned. No holds barred. Just come and respect each other’s opinions, and just have a good honest conversation about God while having a few beers at the same time," Riggs said.

But if you are worried about the Father's House becoming a frat house, East Side has put in place some measures to keep the event koshure. IDs will be checked for anyone wanting a beer. There will be a limit of three beers per person, and there are options for those who are either underaged or do not wish to partake.

"People are more curious than anything," Taylor said. "It’s not a big drunk fest. It’s just going to a nice time to have a beer and sing some old hymns at the same time."

 

 

Photos: The life of Pope John XXIII

Photos: Remembering Pope John Paul II

Happy 95th birthday, Billy Graham

Billy Graham celebrates 95th birthday in Asheville

Eyewitness News was in Asheville Thursday night as hundreds of people helped Rev. Billy Graham celebrate his 95th birthday.

The guest list was full of well-known names like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

Many people from Charlotte made the trip for the celebration.

They sang “Happy Birthday” to Graham and watched a video message that he had been working on for the past three years.

Graham originally wanted to preach in a stadium one more time, but his son told Channel 9 he did not have the strength to do so.Instead, he recorded the message in his living room and turned it into a series of videos called “My Hope America.”

The video includes powerful messages from the reverend.

Channel 9 was told Billy Graham would not speak because his voice was too weak.

However, he surprised his guests by saying a few words.

There was also a large crowd at the Billy Graham Library on Thursday.

People signed a birthday card on the wall and received a piece of birthday cake to celebrate Graham’s 95th birthday, in addition to a free copy of a book about life called “God’s Ambassador” to take home.

Read more about Billy Graham's 95th birthday celebration here, and check out a slideshow from the event here

For more on the Rev. Billy Graham, don’t forget to check out Channel 9's Billy Graham special section on the website HERE.

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