February 21, 2014
Governor Jindal asks, "What happens when our government decides it no longer needs, 'moral and religious people.?"
Governor Jindal asks, "What happens when our government decides it no longer needs, 'moral and religious people.?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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:
The same day Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, became first-time parents of a baby boy, the United Kingdom took a step to protect children from pornography. Prime Minister David Cameron announced new policies on Monday for filtering explicit web content and preventing the distribution of violent pornographic imagery. “I want to talk about the internet, the impact it is having on the innocence of our children, how online pornography is corroding childhood and how, in the darkest corners of the internet, there are things going on that are a direct danger to our children, and that must be stamped out,” Cameron said, according to the prepared text of his speech. He said the internet is providing kids access to extreme pornography that is “distorting their view of sex and relationships.”
WHAT happens to a modern society when abortion is restricted? This question is at the heart of the debate over Texas’s new abortion law, which bans abortions after 20 weeks and issues health regulations that could thin the ranks of state abortion clinics, making even first-trimester abortions harder to obtain. The law’s actual impact may be less sweeping than critics argue. But suppose for the sake of argument that they’re right and that the legislation will dramatically curtail legal abortion. Then further suppose that it somehow survives the inevitable court challenge. What consequences are likely to ensue?
Hobby Lobby has solidified its victory against the HHS contraceptive mandate, as a lower court agreed with the Tenth Circuit today and temporarily banned the enforcement of the mandate on the evangelical-owned craft chain. "There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved," ruled the court, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby as well as Wheaton College and other high-profile challengers.
For advocates of gay marriage, the Supreme Court's two recent decisions on the subject were a watershed moment. Now the question is: What next? With jurisprudence, public opinion, and state laws all seeming to be moving in their direction, the future looks bright for their cause. But the campaigners at Freedom to Marry, the only national group solely devoted to gay-marriage advocacy, believe it is time not to rest on laurels but to fight harder than ever. And they have a plan to do just that.
The Obama administration announced the final rules under the Affordable Care Act on Friday requiring most employer health insurance plans to cover employees' contraception without a copay. “The health care law guarantees millions of women access to recommended preventive services at no cost,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to respect the concerns of houses of worship and other non-profit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage, while helping to ensure that women get the care they need, regardless of where they work.”
Hobby Lobby stores will not have to pay out millions of dollars in fines next week, despite the company’s choice to stand up against the federal contraceptive health insurance mandate, a federal appeals court said Thursday. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the Christian-owned arts and crafts chain based in Oklahoma City could proceed with its case against the government without being subjected to fines in the process.
Rich Stearns is a servant, a Wharton grad who leapt from the top of corporate America and landed in a stream, knees bent bracing. Arms outstretched, he is a fisher of men, desperate to save the poor, sick and suffering. Stearns’ talent has transformed World Vision into the eighth largest charity in America, with annual revenues of more than $1 billion. Some 40,000 employees are active worldwide doing disaster relief, providing food, and assisting refugees. According to a 2009 interview, Stearns intends to reduce by half the number of children who die daily from poverty-related causes. If he succeeds (count me among those who believe he will) that number will still be 13,000 dead children daily.
You’ve heard it over and over: Gay “marriage” is inevitable. Well, at least that’s what its supporters want you to believe. In his book, “The Black Swan,” Nicholas Nassim Taleb discussed what he calls the “narrative fallacy.” This refers to our “limited ability” to look at a sequence of facts “without weaving an explanation into them.” While this tendency helps us make sense of the world around us, it can and often does mislead us. It creates a mistaken impression that we understand things better than we really do. And, it often causes us to view the facts in ways that are consistent with the narrative we ourselves have created.