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April 29, 2011

Appeals Court Overturns Ban on Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

A U.S. appeals court ruled Friday that the Obama administration can use federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, a decision that overturns a judge's order last year and hands the White House a major victory. In a 2-1 decision, the court said that opponents of taxpayer-funded stem cell research are not likely to succeed in a lawsuit to stop it.

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April 29, 2011

Champions for Marriage and the Rule of Law

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s announcement that former Solicitor General Paul Clement will lead the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court is a victory for the rule of law—and for an irreplaceable institution of civil society. That victory was confirmed this week as Clement resigned from the King & Spalding law firm because of its decision to abandon DOMA after a campaign of intimidation by a gay activist group. Clement, who puts the interests of his client above his own, will continue to defend marriage as he joins Bancroft PLLC.

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April 29, 2011

Country of Concern

WASHINGTON—Reflecting the recent upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2011 annual report was released Thursday, with Egypt joining the short list of countries deemed to be the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. “The Egyptian government engaged in and tolerated religious freedom violations before and after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011,? the report reads.

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April 29, 2011

Another Study Shows anti-Christian Bias in Universities… How Should We Respond?

A new study by George Yancey of the University of North Texas reports that there’s an unusually high bias against hiring conservative Christians at colleges and universities. Simply put, the vast majority of professors, especially in the social sciences, would rather not hire conservative Christians no matter their academic qualifications. The temptation is to run from this environment, but I say let’s run to it.

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April 27, 2011

From Atlanta to California, Marriage Remains on Trial

From one of the nation’s largest law firms, to a courthouse on the Pacific Ocean, to a courtroom in Montana, marriage remains on trial. On Monday, the premier Atlanta law firm King & Spalding sided with gay activists by choosing to abandon the defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The U.S. House of Representatives had selected the legal group just a week ago after President Obama decided his Department of Justice no longer would represent DOMA against multiple challenges in federal court.

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April 25, 2011

Morning Bell: Religious Faith Is Still Good News for America

The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. Leland Ryken, a scholar of Christian literature and the Puritans, describes this as one of the most important cultural developments in the history of the English-speaking world. In his new book The Legacy of the King James Bible, Ryken records its sweeping influence on our language, education, religion, and culture. The King James Bible has been “the greatest vehicle of literacy in the English-speaking world,? by one account. Statesman Daniel Webster credited his famous oratory to its shaping: “If there be anything in my style or thoughts to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love of the Scriptures.?

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April 22, 2011

Syria’s muted Easter celebration

In the recent unrest, Syria's Christian population will be unable to celebrate Easter as they have for the last two millennia. Even in Aleppo – Syria's second city, which remains strongly pro government – public gatherings are viewed as highly sensitive. Christians make up 4% to 6% of the country's population, but the traditional Good Friday pilgrimage of seven churches – a ritual in the old Christian quarters – will not take place this year. This is in the interests of national security, considering that greatest instability tends to take place on Fridays, as people leave the mosque after morning prayer.

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April 22, 2011

How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism

It was the worst news I could get as an atheist: my agnostic wife had decided to become a Christian. Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was “divorce.? I thought she was going to turn into a self-righteous holy roller. But over the following months, I was intrigued by the positive changes in her character and values. Finally, I decided to take my journalism and legal training (I was legal editor of the Chicago Tribune) and systematically investigate whether there was any credibility to Christianity.

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April 21, 2011

Stewardship, Compassion, Justice and the U.S. Budget

Stewardship, compassion, and justice have been mentioned frequently in recent Christian commentary on our national fiscal crisis, and rightly so. Budgets are indeed moral documents; for example, it is wrong to pass down $200,000 in public debt to each child born today.

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April 21, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court May Decide Fate of Utah Memorial Crosses

As Christians meditate on the story of the Cross, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is working to defend 14 other crosses. Sprinkled across the Utah landscape are white crosses, each standing 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Each cross is emblazoned with a picture — a name, a badge number, a date. Each cross has a few lines of text explaining how a state trooper’s life ended on that very spot, in the line of duty.

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April 19, 2011

Rob Bell on Hell

An evangelical pastor named Rob Bell has recently written a book-propelled to best-seller status by the controversy it ignited-called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Everyone Who Ever Lived. It's been discussed on television, in the pages of USA Today and on the cover of Time magazine, a publication which has called Rob a "rock star" among evangelicals. Is Rob Bell right about judgment and hell, about God's nature and what Christ accomplished on the cross? How should we look at the issue from a biblical worldview?

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April 19, 2011

U.N. Prepares to Debate Whether ‘Mother Earth’ Deserves Human Rights Status

United Nations diplomats on Wednesday will set aside pressing issues of international peace and security to devote an entire day debating the rights of “Mother Earth.? A bloc of mostly socialist governments lead by Bolivia have put the issue on the General Assembly agenda to discuss the creation of a U.N. treaty that would grant the same rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Mother Nature. Treaty supporters want the establishment of legal systems to maintain balance between human rights and what they perceive as the inalienable rights of other members of the Earth community -- plants, animals, and terrain.

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April 19, 2011

FBI Shuts Down Three Largest Poker Websites

More than four years after Congress passed legislation to criminalize Internet gambling in the U.S., the three largest poker websites have been shut down by the FBI. Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, along with others, were charged Friday with bank fraud and money laundering. Visitors to their sites are greeted with a message that reads: “This domain name has been seized by the FBI.?

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April 19, 2011

Are Burqa-Inspired Fashions Glorifying Female Oppression or Encouraging Women to Dress More…

The fashion industry has always thrived on pushing the envelope -- but the latest accessory gracing the runways and magazine editorials is the increasingly controversial burqa, or a traditional Islamic headdress. But despite France’s ban on the veil and talk of countries like Australia and Belgium following suit, it isn’t stopping European and Asian designers from attempting to make it hip and happening.

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April 18, 2011

U.S. House Defunds Planned Parenthood; Senate Balks

For the second time this year, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. The U.S. Senate, however, was quick to run in the opposite direction, with 58 senators voting in favor of funding the nation’s largest abortion business. The House voted 241-185 on the measure, and 240-185 to defund the widely unpopular health care law. The Senate voted 47-53 on the health care funding bill.

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April 18, 2011

Pastor’s Behaving Badly: Christians Burning the Koran?

On March 20, Pastor Terry Jones publicly burned a Koran. Dozens have been killed in counter-protests. Jones thinks Christians should support him, but I won’t and here’s why...

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April 13, 2011

Congress to Square Off Over Planned Parenthood Funding

By Friday night, most of the 535 members of Congress are likely to be on record on whether taxpayers should be subsidizing Planned Parenthood. As part of the recent budget compromise, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed to let the Senate vote on legislation that would defund the nation’s largest abortion business. That vote is likely to come late Thursday or Friday, after the House votes on the measure Thursday. The votes are separate from those on the spending bill that would fund the government through September.

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April 13, 2011

Yahoos at Yale

For some time now, I’ve been telling you that the Christian worldview is the only worldview that provides us with a rational way to live in the world. It’s the only worldview that we can live with. We simply can’t live with the logical outcomes of other worldviews like secular naturalism, new age-ism, or Freudianism.

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April 11, 2011

Join the Centurions

The Centurions Program is one of the most important and successful undertakings we’ve ever had at Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint. And our Centurions are very much in the news these days: Like D. Michael Lindsay who was named President of Gordon College. Or Randy Hultgren, elected to Congress from Illinois. Even the Washington Post has taken notice. When we found out the Post would do a feature-length article about the Centurions Program, some of my team mates were a little nervous. After all, the secular media aren’t very sympathetic to conservative Christians. And the Post and I have a long history, dating back to Watergate. I can show you my scars, if you want to see them.

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April 08, 2011

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Repeal May Threaten Religious Liberty in Armed Forces

Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee heard testimonies from leaders in the armed forces on the impact of last year’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.? The hearing was one of the first full committee discussions of the topic in the House of Representatives since repeal of the law was mentioned by President Obama in last year’s State of the Union address.

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