International pop star Katy Perry is at the center of a legal battle between a Los Angeles Archbishop, who's trying to sell a Catholic convent, and two nuns who've decided to sell their former home to a buyer whose bid is $1 million higher than Perry's offer.
Perry, the entertainer who was named No. 3 on Forbes' recent list of the highest paid celebrities in the world, said she's prepared to pay Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez $14.5 million for the former Catholic convent in the the Los Feliz neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles that she wants to turn into her home, according to The Los Angeles Times. Perry's plans, however, are being thwarted by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who believe the convent is theirs to sell and already struck a $15.5 million deal with restaurateur Dana Hollister.
While 52 Immaculate Heart sisters once lived on the property that Perry has reportedly been eyeing for three years, Sister Catherine Rose told the Times that many were moved out of the property "against their will" in 2011. The nuns said they gathered their money collectively to purchase the property at a discounted rate from a benefactor decades ago and worry that if the diocese completes the sale with Perry, the sisters will not see any of the money which is needed to cover their living expenses. more >>
For Christians, the emotional response to the Supreme Court's decision on marriage has run the gamut, and understandably so. It would be impossible to overstate the significance of Friday's announcement.
In my statement to the media, I urged believers to continue engaging the culture with loving kindness and to be a light in these dark times. I joined many other Christian leaders in signing the "Here We Stand" evangelical declaration that, among other things, cautions against responding in panic to this ruling.
To be sure, it's a sobering time, but it's the era we find ourselves in. God didn't promise us a life free of oppression. A rudimentary study of the Bible shows us story after story of persecution, and we've seen plenty of news stories of how our Christian brothers and sisters are currently facing extreme oppression at the hands of groups like ISIS. more >>
Following the Supreme Court's ruling last Friday that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, at least two county court clerks in Mississippi and Arkansas have already resigned because they will not comply with the court's ruling, while other clerks across the nation have had differing responses to the ruling.
On Tuesday, Linda Barnette, a circuit court clerk in Grenada County, Mississippi, announced her resignation and explained that it was due to the fact that the Supreme Court's ruling conflicted with her Christian belief that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
Barnette, who held her position for 24 years before her resignation, said she is choosing "to obey God rather than man." more >>
"Love wins" is the hashtag of choice for those in support of the newest Supreme Court decision that passed that legislative body by a 5-4 vote. If you're not content with that, you're just an evil bigot who needs to shut up and support this new legislation. Forget the fact that you have very rational reasons for keeping marriage between a man and a woman: genderless marriage changes the cultural understanding of marriage from the well being of children to merely the romantic desires of adults. For kids who all deserve a mom and a dad and need a culture to support that, love hasn't won.
But you are to pay no attention to the children behind the curtain! If you don't change your bigoted position (which isn't really bigoted) many in the "Love wins" crowd will see to it that you are fired, fined, sued, run out of business and forced to violate your conscience and God. Churches too! (Wow, if this is "love," I'd hate to see what hate looks like!)
Each side on this issue believes the other side is wrong. There is a moral judgment being made whether you are for or against redefining marriage. Morality is always legislated (or judicially imposed). So what is the right morality? more >>
Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments display on the capitol grounds of Oklahoma City must be removed.
In a 7-2 decision released Tuesday, the state's highest court concluded that the privately-funded 6-foot tall granite monument violates the Oklahoma constitution, which states, "No public ... property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any ... system of religion ...."
"Because the monument at issue operates for the use, benefit or support of a sect or system of religion, it violates Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution and is enjoined and shall be removed," concluded the opinion, overturning a lower court decision. more >>
One of my favorite TV scenes from childhood is when the Whos in Whoville gather on Christmas morning to sing, despite the Grinch allegedly stealing their Christmas. I know it's cheesy, but I think Dr. Suess' story has become a Christmas classic because it expresses a meaningful truth. Yes, the Grinch could take the Whos tree, their toys and their trimmings. But, he could not steal something in their hearts: he could not steal Christmas.
I couldn't help but think of that classic scene this past Sunday, when our church family gathered for worship. Like the Whos, we Christians last week lost something very dear to us – something far more precious than Christmas decorations and presents. We lost the state's recognition of a fundamental building block of our society. We lost the privilege of making the rules. We lost the security that our religious freedoms will be protected – that we'll be able to live and work according to our convictions without being ostracized or even jailed.
Yet, like the Whos in Whoville, we sang with the same joy, the same hope and the same exuberance that we do every Sunday. Truthfully, just like the Grinch could not steal Christmas, the Supreme Court cannot steal marriage, nor what it represents. Christian husbands and wives remain united to each other by a sacred bond. The church remains the Bride of Christ. And, Christians continue to anticipate, perhaps even more intensely, the return of our beloved Bridegroom – Jesus Christ. more >>