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Christian Post: More than half of evangelical Christians (52 percent) view Islam as “essentially a violent religion,” a new report from Barna Group reveals, though only about a quarter (26 percent) of all American adults feel the same way.
Alan Sears at Townhall: The Play’s the Thing
NBC: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given tacit approval to the Boy Scouts’ proposal to allow gay youth to join, saying they “appreciate the positive things” included in the plan to end the organization’s controversial ban on gay boys.
David Lapp at Family Scholars: In “Promises I Can Keep,” Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas find that among the poor single mothers they interviewed, “Nearly everyone has a morality tale to tell of two fools who rushed into marriage only to divorce.” And, “The harshest condemnation is reserved for those who marry because of pregnancy. Such marriages, they believe, are almost certain to end in divorce, and thus benefit neither the couple nor the child.”
The Collapsing of the American Skull: The parameters in which we allow ourselves to think about vital issues shrink remorselessly. | Mark Steyn at NRO
Mark Steyn at NRO: One of the most ingenious and effective strategies of the Left on any number of topics is to frame the debate and co-opt the language so effectively that it becomes all but impossible even to discuss the subject honestly.
Washington Times: He’s referring to what You Can Play Project co-founder Patrick Burke calls “casual homophobia,” the kind of language he hopes to get rid of as part of an initiative with the NHL and NHL Players’ Association.
God Discussion: Howard Philips, who co-founded the so-called “Moral Majority” and is considered an architect of the modern Christian Right has died at 72 on Saturday. He had been suffering from dementia before his death according to Salon. L. Brent …
Washington Times: “This is no compromise; it is capitulation, plain and simple,” said David Cortman, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which supports the BSA’s current membership policy that bans “open or avowed homosexuals” from Scouting.
David Bohon at the New American: Referring to the BSA’s century-plus tradition of moral excellence, David Cortman of Alliance Defending Freedom warned that the proposal represented “the beginning of a sea change, as those promoting this agenda won’t rest until there is complete acceptance of any sexual preference for both leaders and members.” Cortman counseled the Boy Scouts to recall “that the Constitution protects — and the Supreme Court has affirmed — their freedom to promote and practice the values that have served to shape our nation’s boys into leaders for well over 100 years.”
Christian Institute: report for the Church of Scotland on same-sex relationships has suggested an order of service for a civil partnership blessing. The liturgy contains ideas for scripture readings, including passages about David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi.
Anthony Esolen at Public Discourse: The Boy Scouts are en route to holding that there is nothing to being a boy, and nothing to the boy’s becoming a man; they might as well be the Unisex Scouts, as they are in Canada, where the scouting movement has collapsed.
Daily Mail: Hymns have been dropped from assemblies at a Church of England school which has also introduced separate prayer rooms for girls and boys to cater to its mostly Muslim students. Daily assemblies at Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College, where 75 per cent of pupils are Muslim, are not based specifically on the Bible, but may make reference to it alongside other religious texts.
BSA Executive Committee’s decision on resolution caves under the guise of compromise | Alliance Defending Freedom
Going against its longstanding membership policy, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee has now decided to push forward a resolution allowing members to be of any “sexual orientation or preference.” This is only the beginning of a sea change, as those promoting this agenda won’t rest until there is complete acceptance of any sexual preference for both leaders and members. This is no compromise; it is capitulation, plain and simpl
The Boy Scouts’ Ill-Considered Proposal to Revise Its Membership Policy on Homosexuals | Ed Whelan at NRO
Ed Whelan at NRO: Unfortunately, the proposed resolution gives ample signs of being ill-considered and unsustainable. Some observations . . .
Emma Margolin at MSNBC: In a controversial resolution released on Friday, the group proposed lifting its ban on gay scouts–a significant shift in policy for one of the nation’s largest and most prominent youth development institutions–while still maintaining its current position excluding gay adults as potential leaders. If approved, the policy would take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Business Insider: These trends create an even higher demand for education among women. Education is insurance against divorce risk, but it also creates more unstable marriages, which in turn increases demand for more education. And since the marriage market is filled with more educated women, it’s more difficult for uneducated women to find a mate — making the marriage market more competitive.
Os Hillman at Christian Post: The battle for the family is heating up with one of the most important issues that could cause a huge tipping point in culture-the redefining of marriage by the Supreme Court. This is part 3 of a 4 part series on the topic of gay marriage. In this segment we look at how the failure of Christian marriages and how it has contributed to the issue of the rising gay community and the agenda of the gay community.
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: A faction in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) just proposed a resolution to change BSA’s longstanding policy regarding openly homosexual behavior, one that will subject them to crippling lawsuits and cannot possibly survive over time. Regardless of where a person stands on the question of whether there should be open and avowed homosexuals in the Boy Scouts, this policy doesn’t make sense either way.
Reuters: Chanting “We don’t want your law, Hollande!”, some 50,000 protesters massed behind a banner reading: “All born of a Mum and a Dad” and said it was undemocratic to bring about such a fundamental social change without holding a …
Deseret News: Now think about that for a minute. This is the most famous newspaper in the world, the New York Times, in its popular and highly read Style section, not condemning Partilla and Riddell for deserting their families and children but featuring them positively because, instead of “denying their feelings and living dishonestly,” they had the courage to be “brave enough to hold hands and jump.”
“Sex After Christianity: Gay marriage is not just a social revolution but a cosmological one.” | Rod Dreher at The American Conservative
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative: It seems that when people decide that historically normative Christianity is wrong about sex, they typically don’t find a church that endorses their liberal views. They quit going to church altogether. This raises a critically important question: is sex the linchpin of Christian cultural order? Is it really the case that to cast off Christian teaching on sex and sexuality is to remove the factor that gives—or gave—Christianity its power as a social force? . . . Our post-Christian culture, then, is an “anti-culture.” We are compelled by the logic of modernity and the myth of individual freedom to continue tearing away the last vestiges of the old order, convinced that true happiness and harmony will be ours once all limits have been nullified.
Robert J. Samuelson at Washington Post: It’s hard to overstate the breakdown of marriage and the rise of single-parent families. Consider out-of-wedlock births. In 1980, about 18 percent of births were to unmarried women; by 2009, the proportion was 41 percent. Among whites, the increase was from 11 percent to 36 percent; among African Americans, from 56 percent to 72 percent; among Hispanics, from 37 percent (1990) to 53 percent. Or look at the share of children living with two parents. Since 1970, that’s dropped from 82 percent to 63 percent. Among whites, the decline is from 87 percent to 73 percent; among African Americans, from 57 percent to 31 percent; among Hispanics, from 78 percent to 57 percent. Just what caused these changes remains controversial.
WorldNetDaily: Ties to a corporate world that has largely accommodated the gay-rights agenda have brought the Scouts to the point of voting on whether they should abandon their century-old policy of forbidding members who openly declare they are homosexual, argues Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the American Family Association. Sharp’s group is mobilizing supporters to urge Boy Scouts executive board member Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, to resign.
Telegraph: Churches are facing a rebellion in the pews over gay marriage, a wide-ranging study of religious attitudes on the issue suggests.
Barna Group: But that also makes it difficult to define. Leadership is one of those “if you see it, you know it” kind of qualities. It’s something Americans clearly value, all the way from their immediate employer to their minister to their president. And, according to a new survey conducted by the Barna Group, more than eight in ten (82%) Christian adults believe the United States is facing a crisis of leadership because there aren’t enough leaders. What do people value in a leader? What is the Christian perspective of leadership? And is the younger generation looking for a different type of leader?
Hidden implications and roots of the clash between natural law, “natural rights,” the rise of so-called “same sex marriage”
KairosFocus: At least, if we want to understand what is happening in our time as a radical and destructive secularist innovation, the homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law, proceeds apace across the world like a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut in the name of “equality” and “rights.”
David Cortman at Townhall: Why can’t the Boy Scouts of America hold to the same moral code and resulting lifestyle principles they’ve held to since their formation? Has the moral code changed? No. What’s changed is the brazenness of those who oppose both the code and those who stand by it.
Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 71% of American Adults say movies, TV and other parts of popular culture encourage sexual activity among young people. Only 18% disagree, while 11% are not sure.
Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture: During the 1960s the American understanding of marriage was radically altered by the public acceptance of divorce and contraception. Once divorce became socially acceptable, it was no longer possible to assume that any given marriage involved a permanent bond. Once contraception became the norm, it was no longer possible to assume that a marriage was likely to produce children. Permanence and fecundity are the two legs on which the institution of marriage stood; now they were gone. Today a typical American union is a 3-step process.
Christian Institute: People feel forced to say they agree with gay marriage because campaigners have created a society where disagreement is “abnormal” according to an atheist commentator.
LifeSiteNews: Since last Friday, public demonstrations against same-sex “marriage” and adoption in France have been escalating, not only in Paris but also in remote provincial towns and even abroad among French expatriates. The Senate’s approval of the gay marriage bill (known as the “loi Taubira,” after the Justice Minister that proposed the text to the legislature) has sparked off a wave of anger, and groups of determined young people all over the country have decided to make their presence felt.
Robert P.George at First Things: The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.
Susan Hanssen at Public Discourse: Our public debate about religious liberty is missing a clear definition of religion. The absence of that definition has generated confusion, frustration, shrill voices, and short tempers.
CitizenLink is proud to work with the Michigan Family Forum and other organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Summary: A woman’s marital status at the time of her pregnancy is a significant factor in putting her child at risk. Nearly two-thirds of out-of-wedlock births and many of the subsequent health problems are paid for with public funds. Furthermore, unmarried mothers are more likely to depend on public assistance years after the child is born. While most out-of-wedlock pregnancies are unintended and to young women, a surprising number are intentionally conceived.
French cardinal warns coerced redefinition of marriage is sign of societal disintegration and risks violence
Reuters on Yahoo News: Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois told a meeting of French bishops the planned marriage reform, which the government has speeded up amid mounting pressure from opponents, was a sign that society had lost its capacity to integrate different views.
Kevin Swanson at Vision Forum Ministries: What do you do with a society where the young 30-year-old men are playing computer games, and the 65-year-old men are playing golf? What happens to a society where there are far more retirees than Generation Y’s in the work force, especially if the social security system is nearing bankruptcy? This is where we are today, and the economic situation is dire. Unless we change the way we educate, the way we do our economics, and the way we integrate our families, I tremble to think of what will happen in the upcoming decades. Now is the time to redefine a biblical economy based upon the re-integration of the family.
Juliet Eilperin at Washington Post: As abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell begins to draw national attention for how he ran his Philadelphia clinic, it raises a question: Can the allegedly egregious acts of one provider shift the broader abortion debate?
James Taranto at Wall Street Journal: What accounts for the media’s lack of interest in a trial that not only is sensational but implicates the most divisive social and political issue in America? PJMedia.com’s Roger L. Simon has the answer: “The trial of Dr. Gosnell is a potential time bomb exploding in the conventional liberal narrative on abortion itself.” . . . The reductio ad absurdum of the pro-abortion side is Kermit Gosnell. That is why the Gosnell case has crystallized our view that the current regime of abortion on demand in America is a grave evil that ought to be abolished.
Melissa Moschella at Public Discourse: Children’s relationship to the political community is fundamentally different from that of adults, because it is mediated through their belonging to a family and living under the authority of their parents.
Baptist Press also posted at Townhall: Now that the future of marriage is center stage, Kellie Fiedorek hopes that the Supreme Court does not offer a radical ruling that cuts short the debate. A lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, Fiedorek, 29, sat in the courtroom as the justices heard the arguments. She’s been to seven states this year testifying before legislatures about the ways redefining marriage would interfere with religious freedom. She’s learned that many citizens have never had to think about the meaning of marriage and why it matters. Now that people are alert, social conservatives have the opportunity to make their case to a young generation that has both rallied for life and dealt with the aftereffects of divorce. “I think that, as more young people engage in the issue, we will see more of them eager to defend marriage, recognizing how important it is to parents and children,” Fiedorek said.
NBC: By a 49 percent to 43 percent margin, Latinos say they are in favor of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. That’s the widest margin for Hispanics in the NBC/WSJ poll’s history, but it lags behind other traditionally Democratic-voting pillars.
Diane Rufino at Beaufort Observer: What exactly do we mean by “Our Christian Heritage”? We certainly don’t refer to it as a way to suggest that Christianity be the official religion of the United States. We have the First Amendment to protect us from the establishment of any one religion, so that our religious conscience is free from the coercion or criticism of other religions (or non-religion) and no one is forced to support an offensive religion with their tax dollars . . . Michael and Jana Novak, “Washington’s Providence,” Alliance Defending Freedom. Referenced at: http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/Faith-and-Justice/5-3/Opinion
Education News: One of the UK’s leading Islamic organisations has warned that plans to revise the school history curriculum risk ignoring the Muslim contribution to western civilisation – an omission that will only foster alienation.The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which claims to represent more than 500 Islamic organisations, is calling for “everyone who cares about the education of British schoolchildren” to lobby the Department for Education (DfE) as the end of the consultation period on the plans looms.
Doug Mainwaring at Public Discourse: Our recent juridical and legislative history is rife with assaults on the rights and needs of children, always trumped in favor of selfish adults. No more. I am confident that the naked overreach of the media and progressive activists on this issue will invite a voter backlash that will either meet or exceed the same-sex marriage movement’s achievements, leading to a thorough rethinking of Roe v. Wade, no-fault divorce, and our debilitating, anti-family, anti-father welfare state.
Jena McGregor at Washington Post: It’s also not leadership. The abrupt surge of officials trying to follow political winds is the opposite of the sort of courageous, principled way most of us hope our officials will lead. Rather than speak out about their true beliefs — it’s impossible to believe at least some of these 14 senators didn’t privately support gay marriage before — they waited until they had the political air cover of Hillary Clinton, one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party.
Ruth Institute: Truth is, African American pastors have been engaged in the real civil rights battle for decades, fighting to end violence and respect human dignity in their communities, while largely ignored by the media. Now that their voices are speaking out on the hot button issue of marriage law, they’re getting attention. But some media seemed not to have noticed that the day they gave the story prominence was the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Oh, the irony.
Kelly Boggs at Baptist Press: While the Army might deem the matter closed, a few things remain troubling to me. If the slide in question was deleted and it was never again used, how — after more than a year — was Alliance Defending Freedom able to obtain it? | also posted at Townhall
NBC Chicago: The African-American Clergy Coalition, a group founded to fight the same-sex marriage bill in the General Assembly, has spent only $11,250 on radio ads, but so far, it’s been enough to keep the bill bottled up in the state House.
LifeNews: Casey Mattox, an attorney with the pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, also noticed the empty benches and responded. “Like many, I’m both not surprised and disgusted by the fact that the bulk of the media continues to ignore the multiple murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist accused of killing a Nepalese immigrant and at least seven infants, born alive and grotesquely murdered with scissors,” he said. “Gosnell’s employees have testified that the babies screamed and flinched when Gosnell and his team snipped their spines to brutally and painfully end their minutes-old lives. Yet, the media deems this not newsworthy. While the first, and perhaps more likely rationale, is that this is exhibit 108 in the ongoing public trial of the media’s integrity on the abortion issue, perhaps there’s another answer. Dog bites man.”
The Age: Larousse, the authoritative French dictionary, has infuriated right-wing MPs after it altered its definition of marriage to a union of “two persons” rather than “between man and woman”.
NY Times: Amid heightened speculation that a male athlete in one of North America’s four major professional leagues will soon publicly declare his homosexuality, the National Hockey League and its players announced Thursday what appears to be the most comprehensive …
Jessica Valenti at The Nation: Conservatives need to understand that what they’re pushing for is an impossible sell: Women’s subservience to the domestic as a cultural grounding force, while men get to work and explore and create? No thank you. We don’t want the good of society on our relationships’ shoulders.
The Pursuit of Happiness, the Pursuit of Virtue, and the Right of Conscience | Bradley Abramson at Townhall
Bradley Abramson at Townhall: In the American Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers proclaimed that we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, we have long forgotten what our Founders meant by that now iconic phrase—“the pursuit of happiness”—and, as a consequence, we are now in jeopardy of losing the very liberty our Founders purchased for us at the risk of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Justin Dyer at Public Discourse: The “traditional Western ethic” holds that life is valuable and inviolate simply because human life is good and it is not ours to take. That ethic is increasingly challenged in our culture, and communicating the pro-life message creatively and winsomely remains a vital task for the generation after Tiller.
Daniel Kuebler at Public Discourse: There are two problems with this type of reasoning. First, it’s questionable whether sexual orientation is biologically determined. Second, even if genetic and developmental factors cause one to have same-sex attractions, it does not follow that one’s biology should determine one’s behavior, much less dictate one’s morality.
Guardian: The Church of England has ruled out offering blessings to same-sex couples, insisting that such public gestures belong only to heterosexual marriage.
Observer-Reporter.com: “We were told under all circumstances that we were inherently equal,” he said, adding that he’s always been perplexed by people who assume he should think a certain way because he’s black. “My family was not inferior. I have never believed it and I never will.”
CBN: Senator Rand Paul: “I think it’s important that people know that for the country to get better it needs more than just politicians. Politicians aren’t enough and it needs resurgence through churches, through revivals through a spiritual cleansing of the people.”
CNSNews: Sen. Rand Paul (R- Ky.) said keeping the same-sex marriage debate at the state level will allow supporters of traditional marriage to turn public opinion that he said is shifting to the other side.
Christian Post: Long-time evangelical Left leader Jim Wallis, founder and CEO of Sojourners, has changed his position on government recognition of same-sex marriage. He announced his support in a Friday interview with The Huffington Post.
Columbia Political Science Professor Equates His Incestuous Relationship With Daughter to Homosexual Sex
Liberty News: The headline for the Daily Mail article focuses on David Epstein’s equation of sex with his biological daughter with homosexual sex, but I was stunned by the admission that a member of the Political Science staff at Columbia was having sex with his adult child . . .
LifeSiteNews: Ann Widdecombe, a former Conservative Party MP and social commentator, has written in the Daily Telegraph that British people are fed up with the increasingly unfunny and hateful barbs against Christianity in comedy programs.
“If Knot Now, When? The Impact of Delayed Marriage Among Twenty-somethings” | Meg McDonnell at Public Discourse
Meg McDonnell at Public Discourse: Young adults desire stable marriage and family life even while they engage in unmarried sex and parenting. We should encourage and help young adults achieve these goals instead of trying to make birth control “sexy.”
LifeSiteNews: “Gay marriage is inevitable.” That’s what we’re told by gay activists. It’s a taunt devised to pick off the more faint-hearted clingers-on of traditional marriage by exploiting the human instinct to be on the winning side. And sometimes it works.
World Magazine: Now that the future of marriage is center stage, Kellie Fiedorek hopes that the Supreme Court does not offer a radical ruling that cuts short the debate. A lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, Fiedorek, 29, sat in the courtroom as the justices heard the arguments. She’s been to seven states this year testifying before legislatures about the ways redefining marriage would interfere with religious freedom. She’s learned that many citizens have never had to think about the meaning of marriage and why it matters. Now that people are alert, social conservatives have the opportunity to make their case to a young generation that has both rallied for life and dealt with the aftereffects of divorce. “I think that, as more young people engage in the issue, we will see more of them eager to defend marriage, recognizing how important it is to parents and children,” Fiedorek said.
Yahoo News: “The Republican Party is going to be torn on this issue. The bulk of the party is going to be very resistant and is very supportive of traditional marriage, and parts of the party are going to flake off. Parties do that,” Gingrich told a group of reporters at a breakfast meeting at National Review magazine’s Washington, D.C., office. “The country is gradually evolving. The country is thinking this thing through. It creates complexities.”
Chicago Tribune: With the measure a dozen votes or less shy of the 60 required for final approval, advocates on either side of the issue consider the 20 black House members key swing votes in the spring session.
Indian Congressman Marlin Stutzman has issued this press release that includes this: “Regardless of any ruling, referendum, or law, marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” said Stutzman. “Washington cannot redefine marriage any more than it can govern gravity. As the cornerstone of society throughout history, marriage is a unique institution and the safest environment for raising children. My commitment to marriage is matched by my abiding commitment to the civil rights of all individuals—every American must be treated with dignity and respect. However, marriage is neither a civil right nor a political platform . . . ”