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Kevin Theriot at Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Recently, Bill Hybels, Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, had to defend his church’s loving and biblical morality teachings against an attack from a homosexual activist who persuaded the head of Starbucks to breach his contract to speak at the church’s leadership summit.
Big Government: Parents in Wisconsin are voting with their feet. Or at least their kids’ feet.
The New American: The Air Force appears to be on an intense crusade to sanitize religious content from its training courses. As reported by The New American, in late July the Air Force suspended a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” after a group of missile launch officers complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that the ethics course included the Bible and other Christian-themed material. Barely three weeks after the original incident, another Air Force instructor forwarded Power Point slides from a second class to the secularist watchdog group, complaining about that course’s Christian content.
Telegraph: Chang Xueli, 26, a graphic designer in Beijing, will marry her 28-year-old husband Xie Zi at the end of the year, even though he does not have a house.
Christian Newswire: St. Gianna Physician’s Guild today launched an online petition (www.StopTheBirthControlMandate.com) requesting the Obama Administration and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to immediately withdraw all references to contraception and contraception counseling from the “Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services” under The Affordable Care Act, and to provide a conscience clause to protect the religious freedom and beliefs of Catholics.
Thestar.com: Canadians are demanding better health care that addresses the needs of an aging population but as governments prepare to negotiate new funding agreements, doctors stress that money alone will not transform a crumbling system.
LifeNews.com: The Wisconsin affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business is facing tough economic times following a decision by state legislators to cut off $1 million in taxpayer funding for the agency.
Dawn.com: The number of Muslims continues to grow, and most are Brazilians who are converting. We recruit members mostly online,” said Sami Isbelle, a spokesman for the Beneficent Muslim Society (SBMRJ). “In Rio, there are about 500 Muslim families, 85 per cent of them Brazilian converts who have no Arab links,” Isbelle said.
LifeNews.com: new book has raised hackles among abortion advocates about just how much the UN Population Fund is to blame for more than 160 million missing girls in Asia: aborted in the quest for sons. Mara Hvistendahl’s Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men . . .
Desoto Times Tribune: Prayers were scattered throughout the stands instead of spoken over the loudspeaker during last night’s DeSoto County football games after the DeSoto County School Board received a letter of complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
LifeNews.com: As debate over the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill heats up in the Philippine legislature, a new documentary highlighting the fight for life in the Philippines is set to air on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The short documentary film “The Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life,” produced by Human Life International (HLI) . . .
Human Events: Of course, it’s Biden’s reference to China’s forced abortion policy that will generate the big headlines, and deservedly so. Even by his standards, it’s an epic outburst of moral blindness and pure stupidity.
LifeNews.com: An abortion business in Pensacola is the latest to close its doors and the closing follows a 40 Days for Life prayer campaign where local pro-life advocates prayed this would happen.
The Christian Institute: David Cameron has hit out at a “slow-motion moral collapse” and said family and parenting is the place to start to fix society.
Baptist Press: The Chinese government announced Aug. 8 plans to restrict sex-selection abortions, but a leading American foe of Beijing’s coercive population control policy expressed skepticism.
AP: When the nearly 300 students of the Irene-Wakonda School District returned to school this week, they found a lot of old friends, teachers and familiar routines awaiting them. But one thing was missing: Friday classes.
LaTimes.com: An appellate panel hears arguments in an assault case against a gay inmate in which a lesbian was dismissed during jury selection. Defense lawyers want the panel to consider constitutional issues.
The Canberra Times: Gay and lesbian teenagers could be called upon to star in an anti-homophobia video for ACT schools. Education Minister Andrew Barr has flagged the idea after the Victorian Safe Schools Coalition released a similar clip this year.
CNN.com: ow, a new study suggests you can add a better survival rate after heart surgery to the list of health perks. Overall, people who were married when they had coronary artery bypass surgery were 2.5 times more likely to be alive 15 years later than unmarried people, and the happily married fared better than those in unhappy marriages.
MiamiHerald.com: Schneller sounds confident that he can navigate the policy change as an infantry company commander, but he’ll have to work through a few gray areas that are arising because of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that bars gay marriage. For example, line commanders will have to decide whether to grant emergency leave in certain situations for gay soldiers if their partners become seriously ill.
LaTimes.com: A New Jersey bridal salon is getting a surge of publicity, but perhaps not the kind it wanted. Here Comes the Bride is making news for refusing to sell a gown to a lesbian who plans to marry in neighboring New York, which legalized same-sex marriage earlier this summer.
San Jose Mercury News: Lavi Soloway, an attorney for Venezuelan citizen Alex Benshimol, says Immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter administratively closed the deportation case against his client at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jeffrey Toobin at The New Yorker: These tempests obscure a larger truth about Thomas: that this year has also been, for him, a moment of triumph. In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication.
Fortune: Brought down to individual terms, a typical Wharton MBA in this class will graduate with average debt of nearly $124,000. With monthly payments of $1,477 over 10 years, the total would come to $177,256, including nearly $53,000 in interest alone. It would be the proverbial bite that would be hard to chew for most because a graduate would need an annual gross salary of $176,560 to comfortably pay down the loan, according to financial advisors. That’s not a comforting thought when the median starting pay of a Wharton grad was only $110,000 last year. (You can crunch your own numbers on an online loan calculator to estimate the impact of your own debt.) And none of these numbers include the debt assumed by students during their undergraduate years.
Brisbane Times: Queensland federal MPs have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to same-sex marriage, buoying conservative Christian lobbyists ahead of tomorrow’s discussion of the issue in the House of Representatives.
Albert Mohler at LifeSiteNews.com: Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as “reduction” — a word that sounds like math, but really means murder. The August 14, 2011 edition of The New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.”
LifeSiteNews.com: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has estimated that practicing homosexual men account for 61% of the new HIV infections in the United States while they only amount to about 2% of the country’s population.
The Hill: House Republicans on Friday accused the Obama administration of making a “blatant attempt” to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants with changes to deportation rules.
LifeSiteNews.com: President Obama’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is “an impeachable offense,” according to Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina must fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business while it moves forward with the lawsuit it filed against the state over a decision by state lawmakers to revoke its taxpayer funding in the state budget.
“Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.”
O. Carter Snead at Public Discourse: Public officials—especially the President—are obligated to protect the intrinsic equal dignity of all human beings, regardless not only of sex and race, but also without regard to age, size, condition of dependency, vulnerability, or the esteem of others. Abortion and embryo-destructive research are profound and lethal violations of this principle of equality to which the law (and the President) must respond.
StraitsTimes.com: Cairo police arrested a man who allegedly ‘insulted Islam’ in postings on Facebook after they tracked him down through his internet address, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
The Volokh Conspiracy: Student loan debt has grown by 511% over this period. In the first quarter of 1999, just $90 billion in student loans were outstanding. As of the second quarter of 2011, that balance had ballooned to $550 billion.
BlueRidgeNow.com: The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina has put jurisdictions such as Henderson County on notice that they are breaking the law if their practice of sectarian prayer before government meetings continues.
Charisma: “School districts shouldn’t be bullied into exposing students to sexually explicit materials,” says ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The ‘Don’t Filter Me Initiative’ would be better named the ‘Public School Porn Initiative.’ . . . “The materials that the ACLU wants children exposed to is sexually explicit enough that just mentioning them in an email to adult district officials triggers an ‘offensive content’ filter,” says ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “The ACLU cannot mask its attempts to turn school computers into porn portals for children with a supposed concern for censorship. Parents expect schools to be places where their children learn—not places where they access pornography.”
NYTimes.com: Of all the places to hear fulminations against President Obama, one of the least expected is the corner of 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard, in the heart of a Congressional district that propelled Democrats like Geraldine A. Ferraro, Charles E. Schumer and Anthony D. Weiner to Washington.
Michael Barone at Rasmussen Reports™: One of the few issues on which opinion has moved left over the last few years is same-sex marriage. In 1996, Gallup found that Americans opposed it by a 68 percent to 27 percent margin. Last May, Gallup found Americans in favor by 53 percent to 45 percent. That’s a huge change in 15 years.
Reversing the Moral Decay Behind the London Riots: Britain’s chief rabbi on the moral disintegration since the 1960s and how to rebuild
Jonathan Sacks at WSJ.com (via Google): It was the Judeo-Christian heritage that gave the West its restless pursuit of a tomorrow that would be better than today. The Chinese have learned the lesson. Fifty years after Chairman Mao declared China a religion-free zone, there are now more Chinese Christians than there are members of the Communist Party.
Religion Clause: It found that prayer, church picnics and advertising for fundraisers by houses of worship have been allowed on various state property, while baptisms and religious speeches have not. At issue is the manner in which the state interprets Art. I, Sec. 11 of the state constitution, which provides . . .
Erwin Chemerinsky at SCOTUSblog: The Supreme Court will recognize a right to marriage equality for gays and lesbians; it is just a question of when. It very likely could come this Term, as a case concerning the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act makes its way to the Court. If not this year, it could happen in the next Term as the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 finally gets to the high Court.
SCOTUSblog: The Supreme Court is a legal institution, and it is generally to state laws that the Court says it looks when it is adjudicating fundamental rights, not to Gallup polls.
PinkNews.co.uk (“the premier LGBT news outlet in the UK and beyond”): The Alliance Defense Fund has obtained permission from the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in a total of four appeal cases. All four involve British people who claim to have suffered religious discrimination.
Kristina Bui at the Arizona Daily Wildcat: In a statement, Steven H. Aden, of the Alliance Defense Fund, said Planned Parenthood wouldn’t challenge laws that allow women to make informed decisions if it truly cared about the interests of women. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian nonprofit organization, was part of the legal team defending the act, and Aden argued the case in the Court of Appeals. “The court ruled rightly in this case in rejecting the arguments of the nation’s largest purveyor of abortion,” Aden said. “The protection of women is not unconstitutional.” It’s like women can’t be trusted to do anything right outside of the kitchen, including make their own decisions about their bodies.
Citydesk: But a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund told the Idaho Press Tribune that his group is prepared to take their case to the Supreme Court. David Cortman said the Ninth Circuit “ignored the right of local school districts to choose their own texts and curriculum.” Ultimately Cortman said he’s prepared to file a petition to submit the case for review by the high court.
Sarah Posner at Salon.com: The idea that Christians have a sacred duty to get involved in politics, the law and media, and otherwise bring their influence to bear in different public spheres is the animating principle behind the religious right . . . There are a number of Christian law firms, like the Alliance Defense Fund, formed as a Christian counterweight to the ACLU. Yet outsiders don’t notice that this is all an expression of dominionism, until someone from that world, like Bachmann, hits the national stage.
OneNewsNow.com: Alliance Defense Fund attorney Michael J. Norton says, “On two separate occasions the people of Colorado strongly expressed that no taxpayer should be forced to pay for a procedure that takes innocent human life. That’s why they amended the state constitution to put a stop to it. This is a simple matter of the rule of law.”
Private eye rescues kids in night-time missions: Returns children taken by social services to parents
WorldNetDaily: Harrold-Claeson has been involved in some of the most notorious child-custody cases, including the case of Domenic Johansson in Sweden. Her involvement so alarmed local judicial officials that they ordered the Johansson family to be represented by an attorney of the court’s choosing instead of Harrold-Claeson. That case is pending before the European Court of Human Rights, where the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defense Fund, an international civil and religious rights organization, are arguing Domenic needs to be returned to his parents.
Idaho Press-Tribune: “In our opinion, the court failed to perform any meaningful analysis of any issue in the case, including the seminal one: whether there is any educational purpose to ban all religious documents from objective teaching …” Cortman said.
ADF Attorney Doug Napier at Human Events: Two days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, smoke was still rising from the twisted and burnt material that used to be the World Trade Center. Untold numbers of first responders from around the country were converging on New York City to help look for survivors trapped in the rubble, and the nation as a whole was still somewhere between fear and unmitigated anger: somewhere between “woe is me” and “woe is thee.”
Minnesota Independent: . . . “[T[he Minnesota Supreme Court’s Baker decision is undoubtedly binding and controlling here,” MFC’s attorneys wrote. Those attorneys are from the Alliance Defense Fund, a group founded by prominent religious right groups including James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and the American Family Association, an organization that has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Rhode Island Catholic: The O’Reillys and the inn are being represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based legal organization.
Bloomberg: The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.