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September 19, 2011

NRB Finds Most Social Media Sites Censor Christian Views

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) on Thursday released a study of several social media sites and Internet Service Providers, finding that nearly all of them discriminate against Christian groups or content. NRB’s John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech examined the written policies and documented practices of Apple, Facebook, MySpace, Google, Twitter, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. Among the findings...

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September 16, 2011

9th Circuit: Teacher Can’t Display Nat’l Motto

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a San Diego math teacher must take down his classroom banners that display the word "God." The latest ruling, which says the school board has the authority as an employer to limit the speech of employee, overturns a lower-court decision that said making Bradley Johnson remove the banners would be a violation of his free-speech rights.

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September 15, 2011

Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor

Today, the Census Bureau released its annual poverty report, which declared that a record 46.2 million persons, or roughly one in seven Americans, were poor in 2010. The numbers were up sharply from the previous year’s total of 43.6 million. Although the current recession has increased the numbers of the poor, high levels of poverty predate the recession. In most years for the past two decades, the Census Bureau has declared that at least 35 million Americans lived in poverty. However, understanding poverty in America requires looking behind these numbers at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor. For most Americans, the word “poverty? suggests near destitution: an inability to provide nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter for one’s family. However, only a small number of the 46 million persons classified as “poor? by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity.

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September 12, 2011

New Resolution Could Bar Parents From Knowing Baby’s Sex

A Council of Europe committee has drafted a resolution that would instruct medical staff to withhold revealing the sex of the fetus in an attempt to prevent parents from “selectively aborting,? The Daily Telegraph reported. The resolution would apply to all 47 member states – so midwives and doctors would be unable to tell expectant parents if their baby is a boy or a girl.

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September 12, 2011

9/11: “Full Cognitive Meltdown? – Lessons and Fallout

Not long before 9/11 I was part of a group visiting The King’s College in New York, where the school’s leaders gave each of us a coffee cup as a small memento of our time there. It’s come to have special significance for me, as it features the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on it. Since 9/11 I’ve used it only at the office, because for my wife, that image is just too painful to have at the breakfast table. I respect her view on that, though mine differs: I use it in honor of New York and its people, including those who died there ten years ago. We all see 9/11 differently. I visited New York to help with spiritual recovery in October of that year. Friends of mine there, trained Christian ministers, were overwhelmed. “How do you help people who are grieving something like this?? they asked. “How do you help someone recover from the sight and sound of all the jumpers at Ground Zero—some of whom might have been friends?? That’s the question that has really stuck in my mind since that trip. It wasn’t easy. Not even close—especially since these ministers were trying to get over the same kinds of things themselves; for they were New Yorkers helping New Yorkers.

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September 07, 2011

Marriage’s Decline in Blue Collar America

There are two seismic -- yet under-the-radar -- trends happening in marriage and family today, but too few have taken note of them. The evangelical church would be wise to appreciate them, as we seek to minister in this area. The first is the continued and growing alienation of men from family life. This alienation can be attributed to many things: the male's own choosing, women and culture's growing negative and unrealistic attitudes about men, artificial reproductive technology among single women as well as the push for parenting and adoption rights by same-sex couples. I have written about these previously.

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September 07, 2011

Evangelicals Not Invited to 9-11 Event

A weekend of religious-themed observances at Washington National Cathedral marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks will include a Buddhist nun and an Imam, but not an evangelical Christian, leading the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to ask President Obama to reconsider attending the event. “A Call to Compassion? will include an interfaith prayer vigil on Sept. 11th. It will feature the dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.

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September 02, 2011

Family Research Council Sues U.S. Department of Justice

The Family Research Council (FRC) this week filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for withholding public records concerning the government’s decision not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Only three hours after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in February the Obama administration’s plans not to defend DOMA, gay activists sought to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage–quoting from Holder’s letter to Congress.

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September 01, 2011

NY Times editor’s column on candidates’ religious faith sparks online firestorm

A New York Times column by outgoing Executive Editor Bill Keller has unleashed a hailstorm of online criticism among religious bloggers and conservative activists. The fact that the column compares religious believers to folks who think that space aliens are residing on Earth is just the beginning. Keller’s column, “Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith,? argues that the crop of candidates competing for the White House next year should be grilled on their religious beliefs and on how those beliefs inform their political views. That’s especially true, Keller reasons, because many of this year’s GOP contenders hail from “churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.?

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September 01, 2011

Good News: Thousands of Indiana Students Use Scholarships, Flee Public Schools

More than 3,200 Indiana students have already taken advantage of one of the nation’s strongest school choice scholarship programs — a trend that raised the ire of unions and “separation of church and state? advocates. The reason? Nearly 70 percent of the students have transferred to private or religious schools. Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, is not surprised. “This demonstrates that, when put to the test — parents want the opportunity to exercise true choice when it comes to their child’s education,? she said. “This program creates a level playing field — more parents, who otherwise couldn’t afford it, are now able to send their children to private schools.?

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September 01, 2011

Confused Americans Attribute Bible Quote to Captain America

A survey conducted on behalf of the American Bible Society found that 63 percent incorrectly believed that a verse found in 2 Corinthians was actually a quote from either Martin Luther King Jr., former President George W. Bush, or the patriotic superhero, Captain America. The verse in question was 2 Corinthians 4:8, which in the Contemporary English Version reads, "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up." The majority of those who judged incorrectly attributed the quote to Martin Luther King Jr. The survey of 2,572 adults was conducted by Harris Interactive earlier this month, as they looked ahead to the fast approaching 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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September 01, 2011

Campus Ministry Drops ‘Christ’ From Name

One of the nation’s most prominent Christian ministries has decided to take Christ out of its name – a move that has generated cries of political correctness from within the evangelical community. Campus Crusade for Christ International announced this week that it will change the name of its U.S. Operations to “Cru? in early 2012. “We felt like our name was getting in the way of accomplishing our mission,? said Steve Sellers, the vice president for Campus Crusade, noting that the ministry will still be committed to “proclaiming Christ around the world.

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September 01, 2011

Deselecting and selecting our children

Just when some scientists are on the cusp of discovering a drug for treating people with Down syndrome, others are busy refining the technology which will make them disappear completely. A feature in the New York Times Magazine recently highlighted the work of Alberto Costa, a 48-year-old physician and neuroscientist at University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine. He has started a clinical trial on young adults to see if the drug memantine helps them become “smarter?. It is the first randomized clinical trial ever to take a drug that worked in mice with Down syndrome and apply it to humans. If successful, it could be of enormous help for the 6,000 children who are born with Down syndrome each year in the United States. But Dr Costa faces an uphill battle for funding. Down syndrome children are being aborted so fast that funding bodies think that there is little point in looking for a cure. “The geneticists expect Down syndrome to disappear,? Costa says, “so why fund treatments?? He fears that new quick non-invasive diagnostic tests will lead almost all women to abort Down syndrome children.

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