Physician-assisted suicide, much like abortion and same-sex marriage, has become something of a cultural bellwether. Support for the right to end your own life indicates that you are a progressive-minded, compassionate person sensitive to the unique feelings and experiences of individuals facing terminal illness or chronic pain. It means you value the right of self-determination, and oppose the would-be tyranny of moral absolutes promoted by the politically conservative and spiritually religious.
The Discovery Institute's Wesley J. Smith recently penned a piece for First Things discussing the media's treatment of the issue of suicide. Smith cites a recent NBC story featuring NPR's Dianne Rehm, whose husband John committed suicide by dehydration and starvation to escape the ravages of Parkinson's Disease:
"In the story's telling, John's suicide was necessary. The only question should be how best to get it done. It is a profound disservice to the gravity of this issue that the media give scandalously short shrift to the many stories of people who find meaning and hope in life even as they grapple with the anguish of profound disabilities. But the stories are not hard to find – if only journalists were as interested in promoting hope as they are assisted suicide." more >>
It's a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict "belief organizations from requiring belief."
The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.
Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn't it? more >>
Arkansas State University violated the law when they ordered football players to either remove or modify crosses they had affixed to their helmets, a prominent religious liberty law firm alleges.
The cross decals were meant to memorialize former player Markel Owens who was killed in January and former equipment manager Barry Weyer, who was killed in a June car crash.
"ASU's actions in defacing the students' memorial stickers to remove their religious viewpoint is illegal viewpoint discrimination against the students' free speech," said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute. more >>
Atheist author Sam Harris has joined the growing list of secular and religious voices who have called out President Barack Obama for comments he made on terror group ISIS, suggesting that the group is not Islamic.
"As an atheist, I cannot help wondering when this scrim of pretense and delusion will be finally burned away — either by the clear light of reason or by a surfeit of horror meted out to innocents by the parties of God," Harris wrote in a blog post titled "Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon," in response to Obama's address to the nation on Wednesday.
"Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas — jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy — reliably lead to oppression and murder?" more >>
An atheist airman who is refusing to say "so help me God" in the Oath of Enlistment statutorily required to reenlist in the Air Force, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the Department of Defense. He now has until November to comply with the requirement or leave when his contract expires, according to an Air Force official.
Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson told the Air Force Times that the unidentified airman stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada continues to serve and will remain in service until November, when his contract expires. If he does not take the oath as required by then, he will have to leave.
"The airman's term of service expires in November," said Richeson. "He has until this time to complete the Department of Defense Form 4 in compliance with the Title 10 USC 502." more >>
The American Humanist Association announced Monday a "Don't Say the Pledge" campaign, arguing that their recent AHA poll found a third of Americans support removing the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Christian groups dispute the poll's findings, saying other polls show overwhelming support for keeping the phrase.
Roy Speckhardt, executive director for AHA, told The Christian Post that the "under God" in the pledge leaves out atheists, and thus negates "the all-important 'indivisible' that follows." more >>