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Greenfield Reporter: A Senate committee will hear from the public this week whether New Hampshire should reinstate a requirement that girls first tell their parents or a judge before getting an abortion.
Baptist Press: Fulfilling a promise to hold a worship service outside despite government demands, a large Beijing unregistered church — saying it would rather obey God than the Chinese government — saw 47 church members arrested Sunday in a public square, one week after 160 of its members were arrested by Chinese officials.
Religion Clause Blog: The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in two companion cases, Kentucky Baptist Homes v. Pedreira (Docket No. 09-1121, cert, den. 4/18/2011) and Pedreira v. Kentucky Baptist Homes (Docket No. 09-1295, cert. den. 4/18/2011). (Order List.)
Baptist Press: The Tennessee House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on legislation to prevent local governments from enacting ordinances such as a controversial one approved by the Nashville City Council that protects employees based on their “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
LifeNews: The Indiana state Senate today voted to end taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business less than a week after Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted down a House Republican measure yanking federal funding.
Washington Post: While Christians and Muslims have shared the same soil in the nation for centuries, the election result showing the Christian president’s more than 10 million vote lead over Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari stoked popular resentment
Daniel Pipes at National Review: Elections in Finland today saw the True Finns Party (PS) win 39 out of 200 seats in parliament, a huge increase over its one parliamentary seat in 1999, three in 2003, and five in 2007. In percentage terms, they went from 1, 2, and 4 percent of the vote to 19 percent.
Washington Examiner: Dean Steven Goldschmid of the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson says the bill jeopardizes the accreditation of the college’s obstetrics-gynecology residency program. Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy denies that, saying the accreditation standard provides an exception for states where law bars public funding for abortions.
Politico: The catalyst for a renewed fight over pornography is a recent, little-noticed move by Attorney General Eric Holder to shutter the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a special Justice Department unit set up during the Bush administration under pressure from conservatives upset about the proliferation of obscene material on the Internet.
US Birth Rate Bottomed Out in 2010 According to New 2011 U.S. Fertility Forecast Published by Demographic Intelligence
Christian Newswire: Demographic Intelligence (DI) today released The U.S. Fertility Forecast™, which projects U.S. fertility from 2010 through 2015 for the juvenile products industry. The report indicates that U.S. births bottomed out in 2010 and are now rising–a good sign for the juvenile products industry, according to Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, President of Demographic Intelligence.
Telegraph: A controversial new corner of the web has finally opened for business after a decade-long regulatory wrangle, offering addresses ending in “.xxx” to pornography websites.
Washington Post: Egypt’s security chief has traveled to a southern province to end a campaign of civil disobedience over the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor.
Daily Mail: Shocking figures reveal that births outside marriage are at their highest level in two centuries and nearly half of children can expect their parents to separate by the time they turn 16. Nine out of ten couples now live together before – or instead of – tying the knot.
Christian Science Monitor: Will the U.S. lose its status as the safest place to invest? That was the question for Fast Money traders Monday morning after Standard & Poor’s analysts cut the U.S. long-term debt outlook rating to negative from stable.
LifeNews: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is earning strong criticism from a pro-life group who says the self-declared pro-life senator who is working overtime to cover up his support for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Christian Newswire (Georgia Right to Life): Thursday, April 14, marked the end of the annual forty-day legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. It also marked a new low in the State House’s relationship with Georgia Right to Life and its prolife base. For the second year in a row, there was no prolife legislation enacted. In contrast, the Senate leadership has led by example and passed strong prolife bills each of the last four years.
AP: epublicans have moved quickly to convert November election gains to legislative advances in the states. A look at some GOP successes, and setbacks, in the first months of the new order . . .
Religion Clause Blog: Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) said he had been “reliably informed” that high-level Justice officials in the Obama administration chose not to seek indictments against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), its co-founder and other Muslims groups. He said the decision came over vehement objections from FBI agents and prosecutors who wanted to pursue the case.
Religion Clause Blog: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court disposed summarily of Arizona School Choice Trust v. Winn, (Docket No. 09-988) granting certiorari and remanding the case to the 9th Circuit for further proceedings.
Rebecca Burgoyne at California Family Council: Nationwide today, however, many teens are getting conversations started with honest dialogue about sexuality. Allowing teens with a biblical viewpoint to stand up and express their opinions, today’s Day of Dialogue takes place in response to the homosexual activism on many campuses.
Seattle PI: “Following a letter from federal prosecutors to Gov. Chris Gregoire which said Uncle Sam could and would go after medical marijuana users and providers, the ACLU of Washington sent a fact sheet to state senators saying such claims are not backed up by the federal government’s behavior.”
TimesFreePress.com: On Friday, the Meigs County Courthouse became home to a display of the Ten Commandments, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Commissioners approved a resolution to post the display last month.
Miami Herald: A week after funding for Planned Parenthood was a key sticking point in the congressional negotiations to avoid a federal government shutdown, Republican leaders in North Carolina are seeking to bar the state from granting any money to the organization. The women’s health provider gets $473,000 . . . ”
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys say they are encouraged by the further efforts of the U.S. House of Representatives to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act following the House’s announcement Monday of its official legal team.
LifeSiteNews: John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, was considerably less sanguine about the Scout’s program than was Bishop Moth. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “We are in the process of looking carefully at what appears to be a completely horrendous program being promoted by the Scout Association
Holly Vradenburgh: “Greater transparency: Virginians must learn to ask the right questions during upcoming judicial confirmation hearing”
Holly Vradenburgh at World Magazine: If We the People are going to insist on greater transparency on the part of our judges, this is what we can do: learn to respect the independence of the judiciary and ask the right questions of our nominees.
LifeSiteNews: Priests should not use concerns over “prudence” as an excuse to avoid speaking boldly on the immorality of homosexual acts, says Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Religion Clause Blog: In Florer v. Congregation Pidyon Shevuyim, (9th Cir., April 15, 2011), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Jewish organization that contracted with the Washington State Department of Corrections to furnish Jewish chaplains for prisoners was not a “state actor” . . .
Religion Clause Blog: Purdum v. Purdum, 2011 WL 1430279 (Dist. Ct. Kan., April 11, 2011) (available on Westlaw), involved a defamation claim by plaintiff against his former wife alleging that in the course of ecclesiastical annulment proceedings she submitted a written statement to the Catholic Archdiocese alleging, among other things, that plaintiff “was diagnosed bipolar.”
Religion Clause Blog: In Maroko v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., (D MN, April 14, 2011), a Minnesota federal district court refused to grant summary judgment to a Seventh Day Adventist employee who was terminated from his position as a delivery truck driver because he refused to work on his Sabbath . . .
National Catholic Reporter: Kiec’s resignation comes in the wake of a report from the Office of Inspector General that claimed Kmiec was spending too much time on writings and speeches unrelated to bilateral relations
CBN: Last week, the Senate confirmed Dr. Suzan D. Johnson Cook for the post. President Obama didn’t nominate Johnson Cook until June of 2010. Then, her confirmation was held up in the Senate, and the White House had to re-submit it again in February.
AP: The legislation now under consideration in California would add lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the lengthy list of social and ethnic groups that schools must include in social studies lessons.
AP: Hungarian lawmakers approved a socially and fiscally conservative new constitution Monday that was blasted by rights groups and the political opposition for measures including a ban on gay marriage and protection of the life of a fetus from conception.
In a letter sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.) Monday, Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote that the funds Justice would have used to protect the law should be used by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to protect the act.
Bloomberg: Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general challenging President Barack Obama’s health- care overhaul, is quick to agree that his request for fast-track review by the U.S. Supreme Court is a long shot.
Former Solicitor General Paul Clement has signed up for duty to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. According to the Speaker of the House’s office, Clement will serve as the outside counsel in the House’s defense of DOMA.
Catholic News Agency: Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defense Fund legal group, praised the decision. “Public officials should be able to participate in public prayer activities just as America’s founders did.”
Abducted homeschooler’s case finally advances: Police took child from his parents only because of education at home
WorldNetDaily: It’s been some nine months since family advocates pleaded with the European Court of Human Rights to look into the case of a Swedish child taken by police from his parents and isolated with government-sponsored foster parents because he was being homeschooled, and now a case number has been assigned. The move in Domenic Johansson’s case is significant, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, because once a file number has been assigned, the case can begin to move forward. The HSLDA had joined with the Alliance Defense Fund, an international civil and religious rights organization, to seek help from the ECHR.
Christian Post: Alan Sears, president of the conservative legal group Alliance Defense Fund, has similarly argued, “The administration has ‘expressly disavowed’ the winning legal arguments that the Bush Administration had made in previous cases.”
Bay Windows: “Yes on 8″ attorneys, led by Charles Cooper, Anthony Pugno, and Alliance Defense Fund’s James Campbell, said Walker’s use of the clip violated an order from the U.S. Supreme Court and a policy of the 9th Circuit against broadcast of district court trial proceedings.
Findlaw (AP): “State by state, Republicans are moving at light speed on a conservative agenda they would have had no hope of achieving before the big election gains of November. The dividends are apparent after only a few months in office, and they go well beyond the spending cuts forced on states by the fiscal crunch and tea party agitation.”
Anthony Esolen at Public Discourse: In other words, let the sexual revolution be justified on grounds of the common good. I believe it fails that test miserably, with evidence that is weighty, obvious, manifold, logically and anthropologically deducible, and clearly predictable by wisdom both pagan and Christian. Let them make their case, rather than asserting a principle that, in reality, would destroy the very idea of the common good. For if we cannot appeal to the common good in a matter so fundamental, I do not see how we can appeal to it in any other.
U. of Mich. News Service (Apr. 1, 2011): The first national study of the prevalence of multiple partner fertility shows that 28 percent of all U.S. women with two or more children have children by more than one man. | Hat tip: IMAPP
CNBC: “Because the U.S. has, relative to its ‘AAA’ peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable,” the agency said in a statement.
LifeNews: Local pro-life advocates have obtained more details concerning a woman who was recently victimized by a botched abortion at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Everett, Washington.
Daily Mail: An electrician facing the sack for displaying a small cross in his company van was backed last night by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey. He said it was ‘outrageous’ that Colin Atkinson had been told by the housing association he works for that he cannot show the Christian symbol of his faith on the dashboard.
The Telegraph: The Department of Health is making a High Court challenge today to stop figures being published on the number of late abortions on “less than perfect” foetuses with physical abnormalities, including cleft palate and club foot.
Wall Street Journal: There haven’t been any major earthquakes or wildfires in California recently, but teachers apparently think that the potential budget cuts to education merit a “State of Emergency Week.” The California Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is planning a week of activities in May. The goal is to pressure Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature to raise taxes rather than cut education spending.
Wall Street Journal: The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that’s where the big money is.
Christian Today: Police arrested the senior pastor of one of the largest unregistered churches in Beijing on Saturday and have put many congregants under house arrest for trying to hold Sunday service outdoors, said a rights group focused on religious freedom in China.
Wall Street Journal: A new state law has emboldened the Detroit mayor and schools chief to take a more aggressive stance toward public unions as the city leaders try to mop up hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.
Daily Mail: All this propaganda — for that’s what it is — seems to be part of a drive to soften up public opinion so that any recommendation made by this commission to make assisted suicide legal will be accepted
Christian Concern for our Nation: A CHRISTIAN employee of a private not-for-profit organisation is currently under investigation and faces possible disciplinary action because of his display of a small palm cross in the company van he drives.
Washington Examiner: Evidently terrified at the thought of people praying for divine blessing and peace, the militant atheist organization Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit. Last April, a Wisconsin federal district judge struck down the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional, holding it an endorsement of religion in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. April 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago dismissed the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction.