National Shorts

Tyndale House Agrees to Pull The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven


(WNS)–After Alex Malarkey, the so-called “boy who went to heaven,”issued a public letter this week recanting his story, his publisher announced it will take the book based on his experience out of print. Christian publisher Tyndale House confirmed the decision last night in a statement to The Washington Post. Lifeway, the Christian retailer owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, made a similar move earlier this week, agreeing to pull the book from its shelves at the request of Malarkey and his mother, Beth.  The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven was published in 2010 and claims to tell the true story of Alex Malarkey’s visit to heaven while in a coma following an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He was 6 years old at the time. Malarkey’s father, Kevin, wrote the book and shares a byline with his son, who is now 16 years old.  In his brief letter, posted on the Pulpit and Pen, Alex Malarkey said he made his claims about heaven because he wanted to get attention.


Emails Reveal NARAL’s Plan to Shut Down Crisis Pregnancy Centers


(WNS)–Abortion activists are on a campaign against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Maryland, and newly uncovered emails show they are advising county officials on how to steer women away from pro-life assistance. A freedom of information request turned up emails between Montgomery County, Md., council members and employees of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, a pro-abortion lobbyist organization based in Silver Spring. The emails, first published by LifeSiteNews, show a pro-abortion strategy against pro-life centers that could potentially be implemented in other jurisdictions. The correspondence reveals NARAL advised the Montgomery County Council regarding a statute it passed in 2010 requiring crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to announce they had no doctor on staff. After a judge struck down that statute as unconstitutional last March, NARAL offered the council alternative recommendations for continuing to use its legal authority to shut down CPCs or deter women from visiting them.

Department of Education: Title IX Applies to Transgender Students


(WNS)–Schools that offer single-gender classes, from kindergarten through high school, must allow students to attend based on their declared “gender identity,” according to a Department of Education (DoE) memo issued Dec. 1. The directive even applies to sex-ed classes, where students often are separated by gender to help make them feel more comfortable.  The 34-page memo applies to federally funded schools and extends Title IX gender discrimination protection to transgender students. It requires transgender students to be treated according to their proclaimed gender identity “in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes.”  The DoE Office for Civil Rights released the memo to ensure school compliance with Title IX regulations. “As we receive increasing inquiries about single-sex offerings, we want to be clear what federal law allows: Protect civil rights and promote achievement,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights.


Kentucky Sinks Tourism Tax Incentives for Noah’s Ark Theme Park


(WNS)–Kentucky officials withdrew a state tax incentive package in December for a Christian nonprofit building a replica of Noah’s ark, claiming the rebate violated the principle of church-state separation. Answers in Genesis (AIG), an apologetics ministry, plans to build an 800-acre theme park centered around a life-sized Noah’s ark in Williamstown, Ky. The organization also runs the Creation Museum near Petersburg, Ky., located 20 miles west of Cincinnati, Ohio. Almost 2.3 million people have visited the museum since it opened in 2007. Due in part to its success, AIG started construction earlier this year on the Ark Encounter theme park, which is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area. The project also will feature an ancient city, live animals, and a Tower of Babel replica. AIG sought approval to participate in Kentucky’s tax-incentive program designed to draw tourism to the Bluegrass State. The program allows tourist attractions to recover up to 25 percent of their development costs by refunding the sales tax they collect for the first 10 years of operation. In 2011, AIG received initial approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Committee to participate in the program, authorizing up to $43.1 million in rebates, USA Today reported.



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