Daily Dispatches
Heather Clements
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Heather Clements

Midday Roundup: Discrimination or doctrine at California Christian college?

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Please leave. A California Christian college, Azusa Pacific University, is fighting an LGBT backlash after asking a female theology professor who has decided to live as a man to leave her teaching position. According to Religion News Service, Heather Clements taught at Azusa for 15 years and is in the third year of a five-year contract. She met with school administrators at the beginning of this semester to announce she intended to start referring to herself as H. Adam Ackley and pursue surgery to help her transition from female to male. Clements has two children and is in the process of getting a divorce from her second husband. School officials have declined to comment on the case, although Clements told RNS she is meeting with a school lawyer today. Christian universities have largely managed to withstand or avoid legal challenges from gay faculty because of morality contracts that govern behavior and belief. But Clements told RNS she knew of nothing in Azusa’s policies governing transgendered employees. If that’s true, the school could have a nasty discrimination fight on its hands.

Theistic evolutionist. Twenty-five University of Iowa professors are protesting the school’s decision to publish on a faculty website an editorial suggesting friction between science and religion is unnecessary. In his column, associate chemistry professor Ned Bowden wrote, “It’s remarkably consistent how evolution and Genesis look at the process and tell the same stories using different words. Science can never prove or disprove God, but science can provide support for the existence of God and that is what the Big Bang and evolution can give us. There are, of course, holes in the theory of evolution that are big enough to drive a semi-truck through, but it is highly possible that evolution was the tool that God used to bring humans into being.” Despite giving some props to evolution, Bowden’s colleagues have denounced him for questioning what they say is a settled debate within the scientific community. The school is standing by its decision to post Bowden’s editorial, at least for now.

Seeking death? Court proceedings scheduled for later today in Boston could reveal details about the government’s timeline and guidelines for deciding whether to seek the death penalty for bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The now 20-year-old is being held in a medical detention facility on charges he helped his brother plant two bombs near the end of the Boston Marathon on April 15. Shrapnel exploding from the pressure-cooker devices killed three people and injured more than 200. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the 30 charges pending against him.

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In-flight electronics. A Federal Aviation Administration panel investigating the in-air use of electronic devices could soon recommend lifting bans that force passengers into about 20 minutes of unnecessary boredom at the beginning and end of each flight. The panel plans to make its recommendation before the end of this month. FAA officials have long promised lifting the ban on electronic devices when planes are traveling under 10,000 feet and during takeoff and landing, so this announcement could be yet another tease. But passengers, device manufacturers, and even lawmakers are pushing for a change.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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