Museum Exhibit Pays Tribute to Religious Heritage of Carolinas

ACLU Sues School District Over Christian Music

by Fred Jackson

(AgapePress) – It turns out prayer is not the only thing the American Civil Liberties Union wants removed from schools. In Ohio, it is now targeting religious music.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three families who do not like student choral groups performing Christian music. According to the suit, the practice represents an endorsement and promotion of religion over non-religion, and the Christian faith over other faiths.

The suit follows complaints last summer from the Columbus Jewish Federation. It wrote a letter to the Board of Education to protest that two Columbus high school graduations included Christian songs.

The Dispatch quotes one school board member who cannot understand what all the fuss is about. David Dobos accuses the ACLU of coming in and trying to force its ideas and morals on Columbus.

As Dobos puts it, if non-Christians are so “thin-skinned” and lacking in their religious beliefs, “that they get bent out of shape about it, then they’ve got a lot more problems than what music is being performed in our schools.”

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

by Angie Vineyard

CHARLOTTE, NC (AgapePress) – One does not have to go far to experience the rich spiritual culture in Charlotte that currently hosts more than 700 houses of worship. But thanks to a new exhibit at the Charlotte Museum of History, it is now possible to see how far this city has come.

Having just launched its year-long “Community of Faiths” exhibit, the museum pays tribute to the spiritual and religious heritage of the Carolinas Piedmont, tracing the city’s religious roots back to Charlotte’s first seven churches and detailing the explosion of faith throughout the region. A photo gallery showcases several prominent houses of worship including Morning Star Lutheran, St. Ann’s Catholic, Covenant Presbyterian and Calvary Church, and special attention is given to the Scots-Irish Presbyterian as well as styles of worship and 18th-century practices in Mecklenburg County.

But perhaps the greatest portion of “Community of Faiths” is an upstairs wing exclusively dedicated to celebrate the life and ministry of Billy Graham. Working closely with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, museum curators have successfully created a comprehensive and detailed look at how one man forever impacted the kingdom of God. Visitors enjoy a look at Graham’s early preaching career, his college days and marriage to Ruth Bell, as well as video footage of his 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. Magazine covers from Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report are featured along with memorabilia from crusades all over the world.

The breadth and scope of this display surprised Graham’s younger brother Melvin. “It really exceeded what I expected to see. It depicted very well Billy’s ministry over the years — gives a good, clear picture.”

And the Rev. Leighton Ford, Billy’s brother-in-law, was equally impressed. “The exhibit on Billy Graham was very full, very accurate, and very interesting. No one who’s interested in religious history or the history of Charlotte should miss it.”

Because the exhibit is both ecumenical and evangelistic, visitors cannot help but walk away having been exposed to the gospel. This refreshing display is sure to encourage Christians of all denominations. The “Community of Faiths” exhibit runs through April 2002.

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