Boca Families Move to West Bank Despite Violence

Uri Pilichowski's new view is breathtaking. Last Monday, the Boca Raton rabbi packed up his wife and five kids, boarded a chartered flight, and relocated to Mitzpe Yercho, a suburb of Jericho. When he looks out his window, all he sees is Jordan.

Jericho -- one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world -- has had a posse of Americans moving in over the course of the past few weeks. And the place that's known in the Pentateuch as the "city of palm trees" is seeing this influx of people moving from what's known in the states as "Palm Beach County."

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Broward School District Lifts Ban on Bible Reading During Free Time

George Bannister via Flickr Creative Commons
Broward County Public Schools has sent a letter to the Liberty Institute, ensuring it that students are permitted to read their Bibles in school as a part of free-reading time and during the Accelerated Reader Program.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we brought you the tale of Giovanni Rubeo, a fifth-grade Park Lakes Elementary student who was told by a teacher that he was prohibited from reading his Bible in school.

See also: Broward Teacher Allegedly Tells Fifth-Grader Not to Read the Bible in School

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Broward Schools Chief Apologizes to Student Who Was Told He Couldn't Read His Bible at School

George Bannister via Flickr Creative Commons
On Tuesday, we brought you the tale of Giovanni Rubeo, a fifth-grade Park Lakes Elementary student who was told by a teacher that he was prohibited from reading his Bible in school.

Whatever anyone's thoughts and feelings on religion on school grounds might be, this was clearly a violation of Rubeo's rights. And the Pulp suggested that, perhaps, the Broward School Board should just sack up and offer the kid and his family a mea culpa.

And it did. On Tuesday afternoon, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie apologized to Rubeo for the brouhaha.

See also: Broward Teacher Allegedly Tells Fifth-Grader Not to Read the Bible in School

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Broward Teacher Allegedly Tells Fifth-Grader Not to Read the Bible in School

George Bannister via Flickr Creative Commons
The Broward school district should apologize to a fifth-grade boy at Park Lakes Elementary School in Lauderdale Lakes because a teacher prohibited him from reading the Bible during a free reading period, according to a Dallas-based legal group that advocates for religious freedom.

The Liberty Institute -- which represents Paul Rubeo, father of the Bible-reading boy, Giovanni Rubeo -- posted online a letter it wrote to Broward school officials.

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How a Retired Florida Woman Became Head of Anonymous' Anti-Scientology Protest in Clearwater

Categories: Religion

via YouTube
Laura Flynn remembers the first time she met a Scientologist. Living in Clearwater -- also known as Flag Land Base or Mecca by L. Ron Hubbard's acolytes -- she had unknowingly come into contact with them countless times. The 56-year-old, who describes herself as "good country people," didn't ask questions, though. It didn't matter to her or her husband what people did when they walked into the church's buildings downtown. It was like the don't-ask, don't-tell policy of cult membership.

But after 1993, she couldn't ignore the organization's influence on her fellow Clearwater residents any longer. Although she's retired now, Flynn used to work as a floral designer. One day she saw her then-boss huddled in the corner, drinking a Coca-Cola she'd pilfered from a coworker.

"She was shaking like a leaf, just trying to get some nourishment in there," Flynn remembers. "She begged me not to tell anyone."

See also: Anti-Scientology Conference in Clearwater May 5-11

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Bob Coy Sex Scandal: Florida's Worst Religious Leaders

Categories: Religion

The recent news that Bob Coy, charismatic founder of Fort Lauderdale's Calvary Chapel, abruptly resigned over what the church is calling a "moral failing," has rocked believers and parishioners everywhere.

Under Coy's leadership, Calvary Chapel became the second-largest megachurch in Florida and the 14th-largest megachurch in America.

But Florida is no stranger to pastors and evangelists not exactly living up to their biblical-calling standards.

The two biggest culprits in their collective downfalls appear to be the demons of greed and lust. Turns out, the Sunshine State is home to a plethora of dudes who were totally BFFs with Jesus until they wanted to bang a lady who wasn't their wife or to take other people's money.

Here now are Florida's ten worst pastors:

See also: Pastor Bob Coy Resigns From Calvary Chapel for "Moral Failing"

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Westboro Baptist Church Might Be Taken Over By Florida Man

Categories: News, Religion

Steve Drain, a University of South Florida alumnus, might be taking over Westboro Baptist Church.

Drain, who used to be an atheist and once set out to expose the hate-mongering church, became enamored with Westboro and became one of Fred Phelps Sr.'s closest disciples.

Drain went so far as to move his family to Topeka, Kansas, to join the congregation.

Phelps Sr.'s son, Nate, however, believes Drain is responsible for having his father excommunicated from Westboro before his death.

See also: Members of Westboro Baptist Church on Leader's Death: "God Still Hates Fags"

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Famous Festivus Pole Sells for $455 on eBay

Chaz Stevens
The saga of the Pabst Plue Ribbon Festivus Pole has a happy ending.

This famous pole, which was built by activist Chaz Stevens and erected in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol as a counterpoint to Nativity scenes on public property, has sold on eBay for $455.

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Catholic School to Mark Zmuda, Gay Teacher It Forced to Resign: Divorce Your Husband and We'll Rehire You

Categories: Activism, Religion

Photo via Reddit
Students staged a sit-in protest when they learned of Zmuda's termination.
It's been more than three weeks since former Cardinal Gibbons teacher Mark Zmuda was fired from his vice principal position at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington, for marrying a man. But despite a lengthy winter break, support for Zmuda has not lost momentum.

Students continue to protest the decision to terminate Zmuda. More than a hundred gathered outside the Seattle archdiocese two weeks ago, and students are currently organizing a nationwide "Z-day" on January 31. Students will wear orange and use the hashtag #KeepMrZ2013 over social media to show their support for Zmuda.

See also: Students Revolt After Mark Zmuda, Former Cardinal Gibbons Teacher, Is Forced to Resign from Catholic School for Being Gay

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Florida Parents Protest Textbook With Chapter About Islam

Parents upset about a history textbook that they say emphasizes Islam more than other religions protested outside Volusia County school district headquarters.

The parents claim that the book contains too much information about Islam and not enough about Christianity and other religions. There was even a call by organizers asking students to go home and tear the section on Islam out of their books.

Because tearing up (or burning?) books is always the proper response to such things.

The county district was forced to postpone a Tuesday meeting "in the interest of public safety."

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