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Catholic Culture: Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman who faces a death sentence after being convicted of violating the nation’s blasphemy law, has undertaken a rigorous Lenten fast, prompting relatives to fear for her health.
Toronto Star: Through the project, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will work with the Rainbow Refugee Committee to share the cost of sponsoring gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual and bisexual refugees overseas to Canada.
The Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday approved controversial legislation that would make the state the first in the nation to ban abortions conducted due to the race or gender of the fetus.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been informed that five Iranian Christians, who were recently sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for crimes against the Islamic Order at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, will stand trial in a lower court on blasphemy charges in fifteen days time.
LifeSiteNews: for Practical Ethics claims that humanity has a “moral obligation” to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to select the most intelligent embryos for the good of society, with the obvious implication that the less intelligent “surplus” embryos should simply be destroyed.
ADF attorney David Cortman writes at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: No one likes bullying (except maybe the bully). It should not be tolerated–regardless of the reason for it. So is one type of bullying worse than any other? Does the student that is being bullied feel any better if he is being bullied for certain, more politically correct reasons, but not others? Don’t think so. So why does the left play the bullying card so much when it comes to promoting the homosexual agenda in public schools? And why does the left so quickly accuse Christians of bullying merely because they believe that the Bible teaches against homosexual behavior? It seems to me that there is a tremendous difference between refusing to condone or approve such behavior and advocating violence. It’s the old admonition to “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
ADF attorney Gary McCaleb at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Thus, when ADF opposes same-sex “marriage” in the civil realm, it isn’t defending some “homophobic” limitation of rights, as our opponents love to claim. ADF is instead defending liberty on a deeply reasoned, philosophical foundation. This, ADF has done for well over a decade, and this ADF will do, with the grace of God, for some decades to come.
C-FAM: The cohesion of the American family is about the worst in the world, according to a new UN report. Rather than recommending policies reinforcing traditional family roles, the study recommends social policies reflecting the new reality . . . he report promotes the concept of “social fatherhood,” which “encompasses the care and support of males for children who are not necessarily their biological offspring.”
The Republic: A bill that would require facilities that provide non-surgical abortions to be regulated by the Arkansas Health Department has advanced to the House.
AP: The U.N.’s top human rights body has replaced its traditional condemnation of religious ‘defamation’ with a resolution underlining the right of individuals to freedom of belief.
Wall Street Journal (full text access via Google): “For weeks, the nation’s attention has been drawn to the storm in Madison over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit the power of government unions. Yet 500 miles to the southeast, in Columbus, Ohio, Gov. John Kasich is on the verge of passing a more extensive reform.”
AP on Yahoo: The court ordered police to seize all draft documents and copies of investigative journalist Ahmet Sik’s book, which reportedly focuses on the influence of an Islamic group within the police force.
Varldenidag.se (Google translation): Ebtisam Aldebe was a juror in Stockholm Administrative Law, appointed by the Centre Party in Solna. Here she has in the past four years have helped to determine at least 40 cases before the Immigration Court.
Christian Institute: Homosexual activists have protested outside the home of a Christian florist in Canada because she will not provide flowers for a lesbian wedding.
Great Falls Tribune: About a dozen picketers demonstrated outside the Helena Civic Center on Thursday to protest the Helena Independent Record newspaper’s decision to bar Planned Parenthood of Montana from participating in a health fair.
NECN.com: “The panel voted 5-4 Wednesday evening in favor of the bill. Rep. Kim Pearson, a Pleasant Hill Republican, joined Democrats in opposing the bill. She favors a ban on all abortions.”
GhanaWeb: The Dean of Faculty of Psychology and Education of University of Education Winneba (UEW), Rev Fr Dr Anthony Afful Broni, has called on Africa leaders to reject homosexuality in the sub-region.
Miami Herald: The candidate, Don Haase of Valdez, also admitted under questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that his official resume failed to disclose his leadership role in Eagle Forum Alaska, which advocates for social conservative issues.
NY Times: New York’s two senators, Charles E. Schumer and Kristen E. Gillibrand, joined a growing list of celebrities and public officials on Thursday by appearing in a series of 30-second ads supporting same-sex marriage rights. The ad series is being coordinated by the Human Rights Campaign . . .
Guardian: “The UK can learn from Europe by enshrining dignity as a fundamental part of – rather than adjunct to – our human rights.”
Claims That Bibles Were Distributed to Alabama Elementary Students Are Inaccurate, School Superintendent Says
Fox News: An Alabama superintendent is denying allegations that a fifth-grade teacher and a librarian distributed Bibles during class at a public school, saying the claims are either “inaccurate or false.”
USA Today: Potential GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann saluted conservative Iowa voters yesterday, praising them for ousting three state Supreme Court judges involved in legalizing gay marriage.
The link between the home-school movement and the tea party activists that have reenergized – and at times hijacked – the Republican party is not often made. But it was apparent here that home-schooling parents are a key constituency that is hoping to make a splash in Iowa, as three presidential hopefuls took turns courting the activists.
LifeSiteNews: It turns out that Gardasil’s flat and declining sales are due to a design flaw. To be completely immunized, women and girls have to receive a series of three injections over six months. Many women and girls didn’t do so.
Washington Independent: “He said at the time he hoped the Internal Revenue Service would come after him for violating his church’s tax exempt status. The church also participated in last year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a national effort organized by the conservative Alliance Defense Fund aimed at convincing pastors to endorse political candidates from the pulpit in violation of tax code. ”
LifeSiteNews: Pro-lifers crashed a Planned Parenthood rally last week, bringing pictures of aborted babies to the Seattle stop of the abortion giant’s nationwide “Truth Tour.”
LifeSiteNews: One must honestly ask, how many times and years may a Catholic politician vote for the so called right to abortion, - “murder” in the words of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (58), and still be able to receive Holy Communion?”
Douglas J. Feith writes at the Wall Street Journal (full text via Google): Mr. Obama has the constitutional authority to make his own detainee policy. And, if he wants to, he can issue a regulation or an executive order using principles from Article 75. But the Constitution does not empower him to recognize as a legal obligation a part of a treaty that the Senate has never approved.
OC Weekly: Jordan Lorence, senior vice counsel and vice president of Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian attorneys and organizations backing Prop. 8, reacts: “It is a significant development in favor of marriage.”
Reuters via Westlaw News & Insight: . . . For the government defendants: Deputy Attorneys General Tamar Pachter and Daniel Powell; Kenneth Mennemeier of Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud; Jesse Panuccio, David Thompson, Charles Cooper, Nicole Jo Moss and Peter Patterson of Cooper & Kirk; Andrew Pugno of the Law Offices of Andrew P. Pugno; James Campbell and Brian Raum of Alliance Defense Fund.
Christian Post: “It is a significant development in favor of marriage,” Jordan Lorence, senior vice president and senior counsel of Alliance Defense Fund, said of the ruling.
C-FAM: The final decision can be summarized by the concurring opinion of Judge Giovanni Bonello who wrote, “The Convention has given this Court the remit to enforce freedom of religion and of conscience, but has not empowered it to bully States into secularism or to coerce countries into schemes of religious neutrality.” “It is for each individual State to choose whether to be secular or not, and whether, and to what extent, to separate Church and governance.” . . . A loss in this case would have meant, in essence, that it would be illegal under the European Convention on Human Rights to have religious symbols in any state institution anywhere in Europe,” said Roger Kiska, Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund that represented 33 Members of the European Parliament in the case. “That would have set a dangerous example for the rest of the world.”
One News Now: The L.A. Unified School District is an $8 billion entity; trying to get them to take any action is difficult at best, and in this case, although it took the filing of a federal lawsuit and an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, it was certainly good news,” Cortman says.
CNN: CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
Wisconsin’s Battle Supreme: Liberals in the state are trying to make the April election for a state supreme court justice a referendum on Governor Walker.
Wall Street Journal: State supreme court justice elections are typically slam dunks for the incumbent unless there is a scandal or a high-profile court decision that galvanizes opposition. In this case, incumbent David Prosser is caught in the crossfire over collective bargaining issues. Conservatives currently hold a 4-3 majority on the Wisconsin court, but an upset would give liberals the balance of power.
Linda Greenhouse writes at the NY Times: “Among common impressions of the current Supreme Court are that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are joined at the hip and that the majority tilts reflexively in favor of corporations and employers.”
Des Moines Register: “Iowa’s three new Supreme Court justices said they are prepared to campaign in 2012 when they face a retention vote.”
NY Times: “Members of the Supreme Court appeared frustrated Wednesday during an argument about whether poor people facing jail time for failing to pay child support are entitled to court-appointed lawyers. It seemed that there were procedural and practical problems with almost every potential ruling.”
ABC.net.au: A Melbourne law firm has begun a legal challenge against the way religion is taught in Victorian government schools.
Miami Herald: From reviving a measure to require a woman to receive an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion to a blanket ban that would pose a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, at least 18 bills are filed.
Catholic League: Indeed, as a practicing Catholic, I never once heard a homily on homosexuality; even passing references have been few. A recent ABC News and Washington Post poll disclosed that, for the first time, the majority of Americans favor homosexual marriage (53 percent). It should be kept in mind, however, that public opinion polls are not an accurate barometer of serious public sentiment: there have been more than 30 state initiatives on this subject, and never once have voters elected to support same-sex marriage.
Heritage Foundation: “What happens when a city buys the liberal dream hook, line and sinker? Just take a look at the City of Detroit. The once-great city lost 237,493 residents over the last decade according to the 2010 Census, bringing it to 713,777 – a population plunge of 25%. That’s its lowest population since 1910 . . . And the city’s big problem today is that its road forward is blocked by the very same political machine that helped deliver it to its state of ruin. Case in point: the state’s powerful teachers unions.”
Pacific Justice Institute: In a move that some parents and educators see as further proof that state legislators have lost touch with economic realities, the California Senate Education Committee on Wednesday will consider a bill that would require schools to spend scarce resources to become more gay-friendly. SB 48 . . .
SCOTUS Blog interviews the author, Ross Guberman: “There are a lot of books about legal writing out there; what separates this one from the others? The book focuses on what goes right, not what goes wrong. It crystallizes 50 concrete writing techniques through hundreds of bite-sized, timely, and diverse examples from recent high-profile cases and appeals. It ferrets out how the most in-demand advocates write differently from other lawyers. Finally, it’s styled as a trade book, so it’s written as a one-on-one conversation with what I hope is a personal touch.”
“This week marks the first anniversary of ObamaCare, and if you are wondering where that coercive law is headed, we’d point to a case in federal court. That’s where Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled that Americans have a legal obligation to accept subpar government health benefits.”
Keen News Service: Defense lawyer Byron Babione, representing the Family Council Action Committee, also told the court that the issues in the case were part of the state’s larger policy of defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Act 1, he said, serves to encourage marriage and to channel children into “home environments where they do best” and are “less likely to be subject to risks.”
CNBC: “The US ranks near the bottom of developed global economies in terms of financial stability and will stay there unless it addresses its burgeoning debt problems, a new study has found. In the Sovereign Fiscal Responsibility Index . . . ”