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April 24, 2012

Campus divide

NASHVILLE—At dusk on the first Sunday after Easter, a small procession led by 10 white-robed men filed slowly out of Vanderbilt University's Benton Chapel, the school's interfaith worship space. The leader held high a crucifix. Someone behind him rang bells. A heavy and bitter coil of incense smoke rolled over the rest of the column. When the students, all members of Vanderbilt Catholic, walked past the library singing "The Chaplet of Divine Mercy," onlookers stopped talking on their cellphones. Students sipping coffee at an outdoor cafe looked up from their laptops, and everyone stared.

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April 24, 2012

NYC Churches March for Freedom

Hundreds of churchgoers in New York City braved a gullywasher of a rainstorm Sunday, marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to urge the New York Legislature to pass a bill guaranteeing religious freedom. A8800-A and S6087-A are a pair of bills currently pending in Albany that would amend state law to allow churches to meet in public schools. New York City congregations have been fighting to do so for years, but city officials evicted approximately 60 of them in February. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing them to continue meeting in schools through the end of the spring semester as it considers their case, but state legislation would end the matter decisively.

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April 24, 2012

Chaplains to Air Force: Please Don’t Remove Bibles

Officials at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia have decided to remove a question from a 1,200-point checklist for guest accommodations, asking if the room is outfitted with a Bible. The change takes effect in September. According to base newspaper The Patriot, the Washington, D.C.-based Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has been pressuring the Air Force to remove all Bibles from guest quarters, saying having them connotes “a special privilege for Christianity.?

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April 23, 2012

‘God’s man’

WASHINGTON—Former Watergate felon turned evangelical leader and Prison Fellowship founder Charles W. “Chuck? Colson, 80, died Saturday afternoon in Fairfax, Va. Colson had suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage in his brain March 30 and was hospitalized ever since. “Though we mourn the loss of a great leader, we rejoice knowing God has welcomed his humble and faithful servant home,? said Prison Fellowship CEO Jim Liske in a statement. “Please continue to pray for the entire Colson family. While we all deeply feel this loss, we take heart knowing God has welcomed Chuck into paradise with a ‘well done, good and faithful servant!’?

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April 23, 2012

College Group Told to Eliminate ‘Personal Commitment to Jesus’ in Bylaws

A Christian student group at Vanderbilt University has been told by the school's administration that it will lose its recognized status on campus unless the group removes its requirement that its leaders have a "personal commitment to Jesus Christ," says a Christian legal association. Despite a discussion with school officials at the beginning of the year that led members of the group to believe their bylaws were approved, the group was told last week that the university's new policy barring religious groups from selecting members and leaders based on faith requirements will disqualify the group next school year.

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April 23, 2012

ADF Steps in to Defend Kentucky T-Shirt Company

As the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission continues to investigate a Christian-owned T-shirt company for turning down business from a local gay-pride festival, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is stepping into the fray. On Thursday, ADF attorneys sent a letter to the commission, saying Hands On Originals has often turned down business that doesn’t reflect its owners’ moral values and religious convictions — including “orders promoting strip clubs, containing lewd and vulgar content, or depicting curse words.?

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April 20, 2012

Show me the money

HOUSTON—Fifteen years ago Cynthia Wenz of Houston had her third abortion. Two weeks later, with Wenz's uterus still enlarged, a technician advised that they repeat the procedure. "We probably didn't get everything," the technician told her. Wenz shot back: "Wait a minute. What do you mean? Can I see what's in there?"

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April 20, 2012

Thank You, Chuck: The Next Chapter

Loss is difficult and even disorienting, but we can be certain of a few things. I’m John Stonestreet. Stay tuned to BreakPoint. Even as I record this, our friend and leader Chuck Colson is near death. After early hopeful news about his recovery from surgery, we now face the reality that short of a miracle, Chuck will soon enter the presence of the Lord. Please pray for Chuck and his family.

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April 20, 2012

Vanderbilt University Board Meets

The Vanderbilt University Board of Trust kicked off a two-day meeting today that could ultimately decide whether Christian student groups will remain on campus next semester. The meeting marks the first time the board has included on its agenda a time to discuss the university’s new nondiscrimination policy, and its impact on Christian student groups. Under the policy, any religious groups that want official campus recognition must allow leadership positions to be open to anyone — even those who don’t share their beliefs.

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April 20, 2012

Minnesota Senate Moves to License Abortion Centers

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill on a 43-23 vote, requiring centers that conduct 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed and inspected by the state. “We haven’t had a good vote in the Minnesota Senate like this in a long time on an issue like abortion,? said Sen. Claire Robling, the bill’s sponsor. “I worked very hard to make this a reasonable bill. I think when the public realizes that we have no health department inspection or licensing of abortion clinics, they are shocked. They just assume that they would be. It’s an invasive procedure, and there are so many risks.?

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April 19, 2012

NOW President: Make Birth Control Universal

The president of the National Organization for Women says that abortions are "common and it is necessary" and that the United States should "make birth control available to any woman who wants it universally." Terry O’Neill appeared on Thursday morning’s edition of Washington Journal on CSPAN to discuss her organization’s support for the ‘Violence Against Women Act’.

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April 19, 2012

Pro-Family Groups Plan Counter Protest to GSLEN’s Day of Silence

Several groups opposed to a national "Day of Silence" slated for Friday and organized in some U.S. schools by Gay-Straight Alliance or other gay-themed student clubs are planning their own forms of protests. A coalition of pro-family groups suggests that students stay away from school on Friday if their campus is "officially recognizing and/or compelling students to observe this event during instructional time by a silent protest," according to Linda Harvey, president of Mission America.

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April 19, 2012

Arizona Governor Signs More Pro-Family Legislation

Family advocates had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday, when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law three pieces of legislation protecting life, religious freedom and taxpayer funding of arts programs. Under an amendment attached to HB 2265, no state dollars will go toward funding obscene art. HB 2627 decrees that abortion providers cannot qualify for a tax credit given to the working poor, and SB 1359 bans anyone in the state from filing a “wrongful cause of life? lawsuit against doctors who fail to diagnose birth defects in preborn children that might lead parents to have abortions. Brewer also signed a bill allowing schools to offer an elective course on the Bible as literature.

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April 19, 2012

ADF: Planned Parenthood May Be Illegally Distributing Abortifacients in New Hampshire

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed an official complaint against Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) on Tuesday, saying the group is breaking New Hampshire state law by directly providing abortifacient drugs to women. According to the complaint, filed with the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy, “Planned Parenthood does not have a pharmacist on site at any of its six clinics, but distributes birth control, the morning-after pill, RU-486 and other pharmaceuticals relating to its family planning and abortion business.?

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April 19, 2012

Students Walk Out on Dan Savage

A group of high school journalism students attending a conference called “Journalism on the Edge? in Seattle over the weekend felt they were pushed over the edge by syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage. Savage, the creator of the two-year-old It Gets Better Project, which encourages teens struggling with same-sex attractions to embrace homosexuality, was invited to give a keynote address last Friday at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

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April 18, 2012

Death knocking

If the patients can't find death, just take death to the patients: That's the thinking behind the End of Life Clinic that opened in the Netherlands in March. The clinic will send out mobile "Life End" teams at the request of patients who wish to die under the country's decade-old euthanasia law. The teams will cater to terminally ill patients whose primary care doctors have refused to provide euthanasia for religious, moral, or other reasons. A patient requesting a visit from a Life End unit—consisting of a doctor, nurse, and equipment—can choose between a two-dose lethal injection or a drinkable drug mixture. At least 70 patients contacted the clinic's office within its first month of operation, and its services are free for now, although it hopes insurance companies will eventually pick up the tab.

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April 18, 2012

Calif. Group Launching Initiative to Overturn ‘Gay History’ Law

A conservative organization in California is supporting an initiative that will overturn a law that makes social studies classes include the "roles and contributions" of homosexuals in American history. The Pacific Justice Institute has proposed an initiative, known as the Children Learning Accurate Social Science Act (CLASS Act), to replace the recently passed S.B. 48.

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April 18, 2012

Mississippi Governor Signs Abortionist-Certification Bill

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Monday making Mississippi the first state to require abortionists to be board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists with admitting privileges at hospitals close to their clinics. The state has only one abortion clinic — the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where only one of the four doctors on staff has admitting privileges at a local hospital. It could be forced to close under the new law.

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April 17, 2012

Gay Activists Call Obama ‘Coward’ Over Failure to Sign Executive Order

Homosexual activists are outraged over President Obama's refusal to sign an executive order that would bar federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A key activist called Obama a "coward" and plans to execute a "We Can't Wait" campaign to draw attention to the issue. Jonathan Lewis, the son of billionaire Peter Lewis, told The Washington Post that he plans to spend $100,000 to fund the "We Can't Wait" campaign.

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April 17, 2012

Can Kids Be Raised in a Gender-neutral Society? Sweden Thinks So

Imagine if a girl were the only female on a co-ed basketball team and nobody tried to force her to stop playing, or even cared. What if a teenage boy tried out for an all-female cheerleading squad and it went unnoticed? Could gender truly be removed from the equation? It's unlikely. In the U.S., a girl being kicked off a baseball team because of her gender -- or a boy being allowed on a girls' swim team despite his gender -- makes national headlines. And in Sweden, attempts to create a more gender-equal -- or even gender-neutral -- country are causing a stir.

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