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September 29, 2014

The United States Has A Femicide Problem

Defenders of legal abortion, especially those who identify as feminists, have long insisted that every woman has a right to end her pregnancy "at any time, for any reason." This, they argue, is an issue of women's rights. But a troubling statistic about abortion rates and gender presents them with a tough conundrum. Globally, female babies suffer a far higher rate of abortion than males, since many cultures undervalue them. Feminists instinctively decry the practice of "gendercide," but face a conundrum when the very policies they support make it possible.

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September 25, 2014

Children Who Never Play

In the last generation this sort of free and unsupervised play lost ground, along with those institutions that sustained it: platoon-sized families, stay-at-home moms, and multiple “eyes on the street.� Its place has been taken by the play date, negotiated in advance with the kind of deliberation required by the marriage of a Hapsburg and a Tudor. No longer the posse of shrieking kids, hurtling around the block, but instead the purposefully organized activities of contemporary childhood: tee-ball and soccer camp, swim class and 5k runs—the interstices filled with the distractions of the DVD and Nintendo 3DS. More and more, parents feel obliged to steer their children toward those activities that might have a future payoff, already thinking ahead to that harrowing ivy league gauntlet that Deresiewicz describes. Such is the instrumental view, play as a means to an end and not an end in itself. But as any cultivator of plants knows, to promote one trait can cause others inadvertently to atrophy. One thinks of the modern tomato, indestructible yet flavorless, or the modern rose, exquisite and almost completely devoid of scent. And the process of producing the well-socialized, well-tempered contemporary child has inadvertently blunted some of those qualities that can only be acquired, as it were, when no one is looking. Chief of these is initiative—the capacity to size up a situation and take quick decisive action. Only those children who play under minimal supervision—“free range kids� in the happy phrase of Lenore Skenazy—get the chance to develop this sense of dash or pluck. They do this in the process of deciding what to play, establishing the rules, choosing sides, and resolving the inevitable dispute. In short, by acting as miniature citizens with autonomy rather than as passive subjects to be directed.

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September 22, 2014

Many Americans Want More Religion in Their Politics

The Pew Research Center reported Monday that 72 percent of Americans believe religion is losing its influence on American life, a striking development in a nation where religious arguments, religious leaders and religious voting blocs have long played an important role. While the​ ​declining influence of religion is, perhaps, a natural side effect of the declining religiosity of​ ​Americans, more surprising is that as religion fades in American culture, many Americans regret its receding role in politics. Nearly ​half of Americans — 49 percent, to be precise — say houses of worship should express their views on social and political questions, up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections. And 32 percent — a rising minority — say houses of worship should endorse candidates, which is currently illegal.

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August 27, 2014

Evangelicals and Same-Sex Marriage: An Interview with John Stonestreet and Sean McDowell

Same-sex marriage is all over the news. The inertia seems to be in favor of societal acceptance of gay marriage. Furthermore, the legal means the Supreme Court used to rule on the subject leads many to conclude it will soon be law in all 50 states. So, I was intrigued when John Stonestreet and Sean McDowell decided to write a book on the subject while so many others are adopting a keep-silent view, waiting for the storm to pass. John Stonestreet is the co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a well-known speaker. Sean McDowell is a professor at Biola University, author, and apologist. Stonestreet and McDowell recently released Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage, and I had the opportunity to interview them about the book.

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June 30, 2014

A Victory for Americans Who Seek to Live by Faith

The Supreme Court granted a landmark victory for religious liberty on June 30 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling that individuals do not lose their religious freedom when they open a family business. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of David and Barbara Green and their family business, Hobby Lobby.

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June 27, 2014

An Appeals Court Just Struck Down Utah’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban. What Else is Happening?

In a closely watched court case, a divided three-judge panel ruled yesterday that Utah's ban of gay marriage is unconstitutional, paving the way to a possible Supreme Court battle that may end America's same-sex marriage debate. Since CT identified evangelicals' favorite same-sex marriage laws and asked whether Jesus would bake a cake for a gay wedding in Arizona (depends who you ask), a tidal wave of activity has legalized the weddings in 19 states plus the District of Columbia.

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June 27, 2014

Countering Satan’s Strategy for Muslims

Ramadan begins on June 28 and continues through July 27. There is no better time of the year for Christians to reach out to the Islamic world. As Muslims are fasting from sun-up to sun-down and seeking to purify their souls through prayer and sacrifice, they are open to the work of the Spirit as never before. Usually Christians focus during these weeks on ways we can pray for and reach out to Muslims. Certainly this is a valuable and effective emphasis. But I read this week a different appeal from one ministry to Muslims, which is calling on Christians to "pray for fellow believers living in Islamic-dominated countries, praying specifically for God [to] strengthen them to be an example of Jesus to their neighbors."

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May 19, 2014

Liberals’ Dark Ages

Welcome to the Dark Ages, Part II. We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences. How ironic that the persecutors this time around are the so-called intellectuals. They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card.

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February 21, 2014

Governor Jindal Says There is a Silent War on Religious Freedom

Governor Jindal asks, "What happens when our government decides it no longer needs, 'moral and religious people.?"

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February 21, 2014

Judges are Striking Down Gay Marriage Bans - How Can Christians Turn the Tide?

Courts are striking down state bans on gay marriage at a staggering rate. The latest to fall is Virginia's ban which the State Supreme Court decided against on Thursday.

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September 09, 2013

Air Force shoots down vet over biblical marriage views

An Air Force veteran of 19 years was relieved of duty last month because of his beliefs about same-sex marriage, according to Fox News. Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, ran into trouble when he disagreed with his senior officer about whether she should severely punish a chaplain who had expressed objections to homosexuality. Breitbart reported that Maj. Elise Valenzuela lives an openly lesbian lifestyle and ordered Monk to tell her whether he thought those who disagreed with same-sex marriage discriminated against homosexuals. Monk is a Christian and believes marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

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August 20, 2013

Pennsylvania nurse on trial for ‘helping’ dad die

A Pennsylvania woman is headed to trial for allegedly giving her father the bottle of morphine that killed him. A Schuylkill County judge this month upheld the assisted suicide charge against Barbara Mancini, 57, while proponents for so-called “death with dignity� hailed her as a “hero.� “She told me that her father wanted to die and she gave him the morphine,� Pottsville Police Capt. Steve Durkin testified at Mancini’s preliminary hearing earlier this month.

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August 20, 2013

Egypt: Coptic church cancels Sunday mass for 1st time in 1,600 years

Amid escalating violence against Egypt’s Copts, churches in Minya, located in upper Egypt, cancelled Sunday Mass for the first time in 1,600 years. Other churches in Minya also didn’t hold prayer services. “We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years,� Priest Selwanes Lotfy of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram Monastery in Degla, just south of Minya, told the al-Masry al-Youm daily.

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August 19, 2013

Egypt’s Christians Are Facing a Jihad

Violent aggression by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, including those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, continues to be directed at one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, following the military’s break up last week of Brotherhood sit-ins. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has been inciting the anti-Christian pogroms on its web and Facebook pages. One such page, posted on August 14, lists a bill of particulars against the Christian Coptic minority, blaming it, and only it, for the military’s crackdown against the Brotherhood, alleging that the Church has declared a “war against Islam and Muslims.� It concludes with the threat, “For every action there is a reaction.� This builds on statements in the article “The Military Republic of [Coptic Pope] Tawadros,� carried on the MB website in July, about the Coptic Church wanting to “humiliate� Muslims and eradicate Islam.

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August 15, 2013

‘Bias’ Against SSM?

In San Antonio, where the mayor is rising Democratic star Julian Castro, a broad new anti-discrimination ordinance under consideration may catch opponents of same-sex marriage in its net, in what opponents consider a disturbing infringement on liberty of conscience. The ordinance would prohibit bias toward people on account of sexual orientation. Opponents are concerned that opposition to same-sex marriage or other viewpoints about homosexuality would be considered bias.

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August 14, 2013

The Quiet Gay-Rights Revolution in America’s Churches

For most gay Americans in the 20th century, the church was a place of pain. It cast them out and called them evil. It cleaved them from their families. It condemned their love and denied their souls. In 2004, a president was elected when religious voters surged from their pews to vote against the legal recognition of gay relationships. When it came to gay rights, religion was the enemy. A decade later, the story is very different. Congregations across the country increasingly accept, nurture, and even marry their gay brethren. Polls show majorities of major Christian denominations -- including American Catholics, despite their church's staunch opposition -- support legal gay marriage. Leaders of some of the most conservative sects, like the Southern Baptists, have moved away from the vitriolic rhetoric of yesteryear and toward a more compassionate tone. Mormons march in gay-pride parades. A sitting Republican senator, a Methodist from the heartland state of Ohio, says the question was settled for him by "the Bible's overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God." A new pope says, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

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August 14, 2013

Jerry Brown signs bill empowering transgender students Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/0

California students will soon be able to use the bathrooms and join the teams that best match their gender identity, as Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill enshrining rights for transgender youth. The legislation, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, advanced from both houses of the Legislature on largely party-line votes. Supporters said the bill protects young people who often endure intolerance and bullying as they travel a twisting road toward self-awareness. Although California law already shields transgender students from discrimination, Ammiano argued his bill would guarantee uniform treatment across the state's hundreds of school districts. It clarifies that individual districts cannot bar students from a single-sex setting like a men's basketball team or a women's locker room.

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August 14, 2013

Ex-Gay Community, Baptist Leadership Say DC Officials Are Infringing on Pastor’s Civil Rights Read m

Supporters of the ex-gay community are speaking out against Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the Arts and Humanities Commission after Pastor Donnie McClurkin announced he was uninvited from performing at the "Reflections on Peace: from Gandhi to King" MLK Memorial concert on Saturday, Aug. 10, following complaints by pro-gay activists. The Rev. Patrick J. Walker, president of Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity, and Christopher Doyle, the president and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals and people who have unwanted same-sex attraction, see the city's actions as a violation of McClurkin's civil rights.

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August 13, 2013

Swiss asked to ditch God from national anthem

Switzerland is holding a competition to rewrite its national anthem because it currently focuses on God. Over £7,000 is being offered as a prize for rewriting the song, which is called the Swiss Psalm. The man in charge of the competition claims Swiss society is “religiously neutral�, but in a 2010 census two thirds identified themselves as belonging to a church.

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August 09, 2013

Oregon Health Care Board Denies Chemotherapy, Will Push Rationing Under Obamacare

Oregon rations healthcare to Medicaid recipients. Terminal cancer patients are denied chemotherapy to extend life–and now the Oregon rationing board wants to go deeper into the weeds. From Hope Landsem’s Wall Street Journal blog:

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