Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
AP: The trigger is a heatedly debated plan by the ruling party, the separatist Parti Quebecois, to make the provincial government religion-neutral. It wants to do so by banning symbols of religious faith such as Jewish skullcaps, Sikh turbans, Muslim head scarves and large crucifixes from public work places.
AP: Hundreds of Egyptians are holding candles, waving pictures of slain protesters and demanding retribution from former generals while marking the second anniversary of the killing of 26 people, mostly Christians, in a military crackdown.
Australian doctor could be struck off after refusing to carry out abortion on woman who didn’t want to have a girl
Daily Mail: An Australian doctor could be struck off for refusing to abort a baby girl because the child’s parents only wanted to have a boy.
AP: Women from the feminist group Femen have staged a topless protest in the Spanish Parliament against the conservative government’s planned abortion law reform.
AP: Christian leaders in Israel are up in arms over what they say is a string of relentless attacks on church properties and religious sites – most recently the desecration of a historic Protestant cemetery where vandals toppled stone crosses from graves and bludgeoned them to pieces.
AP: The Cairo-based Arab League has condemned remarks by the Czech president about moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling them a violation of Palestinian rights and international resolutions.
CBC.ca: Galati says only judges from Quebec’s appeals or superior courts, or lawyers who have belonged to the province’s bar for at least 10 years, can be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Christian Concern: Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, is under pressure to explain the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute two doctors revealed to be offering abortions based on gender.
The Independent: The number of same-sex couples ending their civil unions leapt by 20 per cent last year, seven years after their introduction in 2005. Overall there were 794 dissolutions in 2012, almost 60 per cent of which were female couples, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
Economist: However, as Professor Jeffrey Haynes of London Metropolitan University goes on to show in a recent paper, the end of the cold war ushered in some new planet-wide conversations about “values” and “behaviour” along with cultural and economic globalisation. And that created an opening for “faith-based organisations” of every kind, from religious charities and lobbies to churches to supra-national bodies like the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) today released a detailed analysis of Bill 52, a provincial bill which would permit euthanasia in Quebec. In the paper, Quebec’s Bill 52: Euphemisms for Euthanasia, the EFC recommends that the elected members of Quebec’s Assemblée nationale act to stop the proposed legislation.
Independent.ie: Ms Teehan previously gave birth to a baby girl in 2007 and was ruled ineligible for a home birth as the HSE does not cover home births where women have had prior caesarean sections.
A Married Mom and Dad Really Do Matter: New Evidence from Canada | Mark Regnerus at Public Discourse
Mark Regnerus at Public Discourse: A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.
AP: In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday
LifeNews: 9News National in Melbourne, Australia, reported this morning that Dr. Mark Hobart has been under investigation for months after refusing parents’ request to abort their daughter. The couple reportedly sought an abortion because they had discovered that they were pregnant with a girl. Despite the investigation, Dr. Hobart defended his decision. “The pregnancy was well advanced, and I refused to refer the patient because there was no medical reason to do it.”
Christian Concern: The practice of swearing on the Bible in court could be banned as magistrates open debate on whether to ban the oath for both witnesses and defendants.
Guardian: It would be impossible to prove that two doctors authorised abortions solely on the basis of the baby’s gender, the director of public prosecutions has said in an explanation of why charges were not brought against them.
Yorkshire Post: CAMPAIGNERS are calling for renewed action over forced marriages after Muslim clerics were apparently recorded by undercover reporters agreeing to conduct marriage ceremonies involving girls as young as 14.
USA Today: Violence erupted Monday between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian security forces. Several people were killed as court rules Muslim Brotherhood is an outlawed group.
The Express Tribune: Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.
AP: A Japanese court on Monday ordered a group of anti-Korean activists to pay a Korean school in Kyoto 12 million yen ($120,000) in compensation for disturbing classes and scaring children by holding “hate speech” rallies outside the school.
NCPA Policy Digest: The United States is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift that is reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditional energy-rich nations, says the Wall Street Journal.
McClatchyDC: Egyptian security forces on Sunday openly beat demonstrators sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, without any provocation, in a sign of how the once powerful group has become the target of official suppression.
Telegraph: Doctors have been informed that they can carry out sex-selective abortions in certain circumstances, the Director of Public Prosecutions has disclosed.
Maggie Gallagher at National Review: Using Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples. From the abstract, yes, published in a peer-reviewed journal . . .
Christian Concern: Only 1.1 per cent of Britons describe themselves as homosexual, and a further 0.4 per cent as bisexual, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
Christian Post: “[The] Chinese human rights situation really demands or requires more public education to the free world because people now see China more on the economic booming, skyscrapers…the military might, but not very many, from the freedom deficit and repressive and also the freedom hungry inside China,” Fu told The Christian Post.
Wendy Wright at Turtle Bay and Beyond: Inevitable. So we are told. Abortion and sexual rights (like same-sex marriage) will become universally accepted, so opponents might as well surrender. Not so fast. Take a look at what is happening in Brazil.
Christian Concern: Two of the most prominent figures in the abortion debate went head to head last night in London over the issue of whether it is right to use graphic abortion imagery outside UK abortion clinics.
Christian Concern: Next Monday (7th October) Christian Concern is set to launch ‘Wilberforce Publications’, a new publishing house equipping Christians to “face the challenges of the secular world”.
Washington Times: A pregnant Chinese mother of one was unceremoniously yanked from her bed in the middle of the night, dragged to a medical facility and forced to abort her unborn child, just three months shy of her projected delivery date.
AP: Egyptian riot police fired volleys of tear gas and locked down Tahrir Square and several other Cairo streets Friday as clashes briefly broke out in a rare push by Islamist supporters of the ousted president to take control of the iconic square.
Eugene Volokh at Volokh Conspiracy: According to the Copenhagen Post (Sept. 18, 2013), Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan was convicted under “anti-racism legislation” for posting this blog entry on a newspaper Web site, quoting and endorsing an earlier statement by Lars Kragh Andersen . . .
Volokh Conspiracy: The Council of Europe in Strasbourg has recommended nations consider banning child circumcision. Jewish groups, and the State of Israel, are predictably outraged by the recommendation, which if adopted would make traditional (and not just religious) Jewish life impossible on the Continent. Thus the law has been denounced as anti-Semitic.
Forum 18: Twenty years after he began living in Kazakhstan, of which his wife and their three children are citizens, Baptist pastor Viktor Lim has been deported for leading a registered religious community.
AP: In a non-binding resolution this week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said circumcision was “a violation of the physical integrity of children.”
Christian Institute: If marriage is redefined in Scotland, legalising polygamy could be next, a senior MSP has said. Labour’s Elaine Smith raised concerns about the proposals, saying there is “no logical reason” to discriminate against a relationship of three or more people if “love” is the driving force behind the legislation.
AP: It’s an impressive show of survival, giving the image that the Brotherhood is everywhere, just under the surface. But the Brotherhood is in an existential crisis . . .
Rebecca Oas at C-FAM: Most countries in Asia and Africa object to homosexuality. Globally, 80 countries have sodomy laws. Less than 20 recognize same-sex couples, and only 14 allow persons of the same sex to marry.
Rebecca Oas at C-Fam: Connelly’s question illustrates the uneasy fit between the global feminist movement and the population control movement, which have found common ground in promoting contraception. To feminists, family planning (that is, avoiding children) is a means for women to achieve their aspirations; for environmentalists it is a way to ensure fewer people.
Jerry Newcombe at Townhall: But it turns out that the last century was the worst century ever for the persecution of Christians and martyrdom. Dr. David Barrett, a leading church statistician, says there were more Christians martyred in the 20th century than had been murdered in all previous centuries combined.
AP: A Spanish anarchist group has claimed responsibility for setting off an explosive device in a cathedral, saying it was because of the church’s alleged links with Spain’s fascist past.
NC Register: Dr. Helen Watt discusses the objective morality of new scientific research in genetics and embryology.
Catholic Culture: Father Kevin Doran told the Irish Catholic that he left the governing board because “I can’t reconcile my own conscience with thee statement, largely because I feel a Catholic hospital has to bear witness.”
allAfrica.com: Polygamy and polyandry in our modern society have elicited varied reactions and perceptions. The practice of polygamy was common and widely accepted in ancient society, where society was governed by customary law. Modern society has opted for civil marriages in the codified statutes, and religious marriages. However, there are parties who still opt to conduct customary law marriages.
The Independent: Britain’s most senior female judge has expressed disappointment at the failure of her male colleagues to promote another woman to the top of the judiciary.
LifeSiteNews: In a dramatic move, New Zealand’s Labour MP, Maryan Street has withdrawn her End of Life Choice Bill from the parliamentary ballot box.
LifeSiteNews: In an exclusive interview with ChinaAid.org, 31-year-old Li Fengfei relayed the horrifying story of her forced abortion at the hands of Chinese family planning officials. Li was newly pregnant with an unauthorized second child in her hometown of Qingmen, Qinsha county, in April when superiors at her job unlawfully framed her for embezzling money from the business.
Tory Councillors believe redefining marriage will cost votes, conservative association memberships down
Christian Institute: Close to two thirds of Tory councillors believe redefining marriage will be a vote loser at the next election, a new poll shows. And reports from local Conservative associations show a rapid decline in membership, with gay marriage seen as one of the reasons.
Jewish Press: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an international organization whose resolutions are non-binding but heavily influence the European Unions, is voting Tuesday on defining ritual circumcision as a “clear human rights violation.”
Interfax: The first person of “the most peaceful trend in Islam” again urged to aggressive actions against Christians. It evidently proves that official Wahhabism-Salafism is identical to the ideology of terrorists, who are in fact destroying Christian churches and their parishioners from Pakistan to Nigeria, working especially hard in Syria,” Silantyev told Interfax-Religion.
The Diplomat: Nevertheless, Najib and Malaysia’s opinion in the Islamic world does carry some weight and his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week on the fast-evolving Sunni-Shia conflict which is taking root in much of the Middle East was refreshingly honest. He put it bluntly, saying a battle is being waged for the future of Islam.
HurryetDailyNews: The president of the Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Mehmet Görmez, has dismissed suggestions that Islam could be used to justify recent attacks on civilians in Kenya and Pakistan, saying terrorism had no place in Islam.
Hassan Hassan at Foreign Policy: The situation inside Syria has just gotten a lot more complex. Syria’s exiled opposition and the United States have invested heavily in propping up the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as a counterweight to radical groups that emerged as key players in areas liberated from Bashar al-Assad’s rule. But that effort is now circling the drain.
NY Times: But in 2006, the late Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Singh Judeo arrived in Ara with the sole agenda of converting 300 Christian families to Hinduism. Mr. Kujur’s was one of them.
PBS: Are recent waves of religiously-motivated or sectarian violence part of a larger worldwide trend? Gwen Ifill talks to Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, about the importance of promoting religious freedom around the world.
AP: Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng announced Wednesday that he had new affiliations with three U.S. institutions after leaving New York University under disputed circumstances. He said they would provide him a fresh platform to speak out against the Chinese’s government’s “inhumane brutality.”
Saskatoon shifts to non-specific religious prayer, but fight not over for atheist who made complaint
National Post: The City of Saskatoon is fighting calls to ban religious prayer from city events, asking its solicitor to find a way to maintain the tradition in the 130-year-old city founded by temperance Christians while being as inclusive as possible of residents in the rapidly growing city.
Aleteia: Prayer vigils continue to be held in order to pray and raise awareness for Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who is still being held in an Iranian prison on an eight-year sentence.
Tunisia Live: Yesterday, a group of citizens rebelled against their local imam, who led the five daily prayers at a small mosque in the town of Ghardimaou in the Jenouba governorate. The congregants threw him out, accused him of being an extremist, and replaced him with a more “moderate” prayer leader.
Globe and Mail: A number of legal commentators have expressed dismay at the reports that former Supreme Court justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé has signed a petition in support of the much-maligned Charter of Quebec Values, a highly problematic law that, if passed, would prohibit public servants from wearing “overt” religious clothing or symbols at work.
AP: Terrified Muslim families hid in forests in western Myanmar on Wednesday, a day after fleeing new sectarian violence that erupted even as the president toured the divided region.
Telegraph: A Belgian has been killed by medical euthanasia after pleading for death because a botched sex change operation to turn her into a man had resulted in “a monster”.
CBC.ca: On Monday Sept. 30, the city’s executive committee asked the city solicitor to take another look at a proposal it had put forward. The report proposed the city should either adopt a non-denominational prayer that would apply to more people, observe a moment of silence instead, or eliminate any kind of prayer altogether.
Montreal Gazette: Prime Minister Stephen Harper dipped into the ranks of the Federal Court of Appeal on Monday to nominate Justice Marc Nadon to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada.
Religion Clause Blog: Subsequently Feliciano justified his actions on Twitter, saying that the women were violating Art. 208 of the Brazilian Penal Code that prohibits disturbing a ceremony or practice of religious worship.
Con Coughlin at the Telegraph: In short, the longer the Obama presidency continues, the more America’s status as a superpower ebbs away.
ProLife.org.uk: On September 20th, during a Papal Audience, a man drew close to Pope Francis, carrying with him a somewhat suspicious looking bag. Inside were half a dozen surgical instruments of various types and sizes which he, Dr Antonio Oriente from Messina, ex-abortion gynaecologist, wanted to deliver at all costs to the Holy Father.
Morningstar News: A group of Muslims robbed two Egyptian Christians living in Libya, then tied up and shot them to death after the two Copts refused their demand to convert to Islam, relatives said.
AP: The world is aging so fast that most countries are not prepared to support their swelling numbers of elderly people, according to a global study being issued Tuesday by the United Nations and an elder rights group.
AP: President Thein Sein toured Myanmar’s conflict-torn west on Tuesday as sectarian violence once again gripped the state of Rakhine, with Buddhist mobs killing a 94-year-old Muslim woman and torching more than 70 homes, officials and panicked residents said.
AP: China’s notoriously opaque courts have suddenly embraced social media to provide a window into their proceedings, to boost a skeptical public’s confidence in the country’s Communist Party-controlled legal system.
Morningstar News: Incidents of violence against Christians in India’s Karnataka state have spiked since June, including hospitalization of a school helper this month after Hindu extremists beat her and marched her through the streets.