To members of the East Lumberton Baptist Church in North Carolina, Rev. William "Bill" Scott, 68, and his wife, Charlotte, 64, were a happy couple that loved life. So it was quite a shock last Wednesday night when a service at the church was interrupted by the news that Rev. Scott and his wife had been killed.
"We have had a tragedy occur within our church family today. Two of our dearest saints, Rev. Bill and Charlotte Scott, have gone to be with the Lord. The details of the situation are still unknown, so just be in prayer for the family during this time," East Lumberton Baptist Church noted in a brief message on its Facebook page last Wednesday.
While child sex trafficking is a serious crime, those who purchase sex with minors often avoid stiff punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system, according to a new report.
Approximately 40 percent of people found guilty for purchasing sex with trafficked children in the United States avoid felony charges while 26 percent serve no jail time.
Shared Hope International's Demanding Justice Project report studied over 113 cases where buyers were found guilty of buying sex with a minor in various metropolitan regions of the country including Phoenix, Seattle, the Baltimore-Washington D.C. corridor, and Portland. Only five of the cases proceeded to trial while the rest of the cases settled on plea agreements. Only 81 percent of the guilty buyers were convicted of a felony and none of them were charged with sex trafficking. more >>
In the aftermath of the robbery, assault, and then police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I can offer some advice: Be sure not to forget to also steal those AAA batteries for the flat-screen remote. It is frustrating to get home and not have them. Then you just have to turn around and go back to the convenience store, where they are expensive, and choke a hapless clerk to get your batteries.
To be fair, at least when you loot a TV you don't have to fight off that store clerk's hard sell, hot boxing you into buying the extended warranty.
Police shootings are not a major issue. There were 12 million total arrests in the United States in 2012 and, according to FBI statistics; there were only 420 police shootings during those 12 million arrests. The highest percent of those shot, 42 percent, were white. Blacks were 32 percent and Hispanics 20 percent -- about in line with crimes committed. But shootings only happened in .000035 percent of arrests. It is not a "crisis." more >>
The Roman Catholic Church in Australia has often given too much sympathy to pedophile priests and has not taken abuse allegations seriously enough, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart admitted before a child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.
"I would see that people sometimes have a greater deal of sympathy for a church person than they should have, and they didn't sufficiently identify the crime that that person had committed for what it was," Hart told the commission, according to The Guardian.
"I think these times have made us see quite clearly both in what we think and know but also in our action what we must do." more >>
Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, an expert on the Amish lifestyle, spoke with The Christian Post about the group's need for separation from the general public and their understanding of church and community.
"First of all, it's important to note that the Amish are a very, very diverse people, so when we talk about an Amish lifestyle, that means a lot of different things. You have Amish that have indoor plumbing, phones in their entryways, who can hire drivers to take them places, or gas or kerosene and freezers or you have Amish that have none of those," Johnson-Weiner said.
Johnson-Weiner spoke to the difference between the Amish and English (non-Amish) communities and how that can impact daily life for the Amish. more >>
The British ambassador to the United States has revealed that officials "are close" to identifying the Islamic militant with a strong English accent responsible for the beheading of American journalist James Foley last week.
"We're putting a great deal into the search," Peter Westmacott told CNN on Sunday, referring to the use of sophisticated technology to analyze the killer's voice.
Westmacott refused to comment further on the possible identity of the militant, who is seen in the video dressed in black, standing over 40-year-old Foley. more >>