Capital Hill Baptist Church and D.C. Settle Religious Liberty Lawsuit
In another win for houses of worship shut down over covid restrictions, the District of Columbia has agreed to pay $220,000 in legal fees in a settlement with Capitol Hill Baptist Church. The settlement comes nine months after a federal court ruled the government could not prohibit the Southern Baptist congregation from meeting outdoors with proper safety measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The settlement agreement followed an October 2020 decision by federal judge Trevor McFadden to block enforcement of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s restrictions on religious gatherings. Read more about the lawsuit here.
A New Tower Of Babel Attraction Planned In Kentucky
Answers In Genesis, is the ministry behind The Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed attraction in Kentucky that features a 510-foot-long wooden Noah’s ark. And now there is planning to begin fundraising for an expansion. The Ark Encounter said that it would take about three years to research, plan and build a “Tower of Babel” attraction on the park’s grounds in northern Kentucky. The hopes are that new attraction will “tackle the racism issue” by helping visitors “understand how genetics research and the Bible confirm the origin of all people groups around the world.” Read more about the project here.
Activists drape “God Bless Abortions” Banner On Christ Of The Ozark’s Statue
In a disgusting act of protest, a group draped a 65-foot-tall message on the Christ of the Ozarks statue in Eureka Springs to protest anti-abortion legislation in Arkansas. An activist art group called “In Decline” hung the banner reading, “God Bless Abortions.” In Decline says a team disguised as a construction crew slipped onto the property and put the sign up just before sunrise. The group also created “God Bless abortion shirts,” with all proceeds going to Arkansas Abortion Support, a non-profit organization that provides clinic escorting and funding for abortions in the state. Read more about the protest here.
First African American Wins Spelling Bee
For the first time in the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s 96-year history, an African American has taken home the top prize. Zaila Avant-garde, 14, an eighth-grader from Harvey, La., won the prestigious competition and $50,000. She is the competition’s second Black champion. “It made me feel really proud,” she said after clinching the victory. “I’m really hoping lots of little brown girls all over the world and stuff are really motivated to try out spelling and stuff because it’s really a fun thing to do and it’s a great way to kind of connect yourself with education, which is super important.” Read more about her win here.