The Boston Marathon Bombing, where three people were killed and 264 wounded, many with legs or feet blown off, continues to be a big media story, but we are still waiting for answers to many questions. How did our government miss so many clues that the Tsarnaev brothers were a deadly danger to Americans?
They came into the United States as visitors from Kazakhstan, where many ethnic Chechens live without persecution and then cooked up a claim to be refugees, which was a fraud. After a few years, the father returned to Dagestan, Russia, where he now lives safely.
Once admitted into the United States, the entire family cashed in on generous U.S. welfare benefits, cash and food stamps. Those receiving taxpayer handouts included the two criminal sons, both of their parents and, ultimately, Tamerlan's wife and child. more >>
A couple of months back I wrote about the issues of school-based violence and how it is killing our school system and our students. I noted that over 857 students drop out of school each hour of the school day and that some 4,500 commit suicide each year as a result of this violence.
To combat this, I proposed the use of Collaborative Justice principles that marry Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice practices so that victims are given an actual voice and that offenders atone for their offenses through the use of Reintegrative Shaming techniques among others. Finally, I suggested the use of my own Shalom-centric Holistic Intersocial Forgiveness Transformation (S.H.I.F.T.) Theory. Specifically, S.H.I.F.T. is a three-fold understanding of forgiveness based on three distinct definitions of forgiveness as it relates to the three parties to an offense: the victim, the offender and the community. In regards to S.H.I.F.T., I contended that all parties had to forgive in order for them transcend past the conflict.
Since that time, it would appear that I have struck a chord with multiple groups. Non-Christians want to ignorantly throw Deuteronomy in as an alleged "Christian" way of handling conflict and therefore claim that my position is "un-Christian" – which is both absurd and laughable. Some Christians disagree with my stance only because I suggested treating others more as Christ would rather than converting them to Christianity – a difference in theology where I contend that people must see Christ in you so that they can see a compelling justification to turn to Christ as their one and only Savior. Finally, actual professionals in the field of Peace and Forgiveness Studies took exception to by my S.H.I.F.T. Theory because they felt that the use of "must" can easily be translated to mean "forced" in regards to forgiveness – which is a valid point but any forced forgiveness is truly no forgiveness at all if it does not come from the heart. more >>
The state of Pennsylvania will be observing a "National Fast Day" in accordance with a resolution passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year.
Meant to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of a proclamation made by President Abraham Lincoln, the fast day approved via the passage of House Resolution 17 will occur on Tuesday.
Passed with a vote of 160 yeas to 35 nays, HR 17 extensively quotes from the Lincoln proclamation, which was issued during the American Civil War. more >>
We've all heard the startling statistics about obesity in America: over one third of American adults are obese (almost 36%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Obesity puts us at risk for all kinds of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And it doesn't afflict everyone equally: nearly 50% of blacks are obese, and lower income Americans in general are more likely to be obese than others.
In an effort to combat these problems, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted a ban on sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces sold at the city's restaurants, food carts and movie theaters. The plan for enforcement was to disperse food inspectors and to fine businesses found in violation $200 per infraction. The ban received a mixed reaction: some public health advocates saw it as a much needed first step to encourage people to eat healthier. But the ban's most vocal opponents were a surprising collection of minority businessmen who do not always work with conservative business people.
More surprising is the fact that The NAACP, the Hispanic Federation, the New York Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the Korean-American Grocers Association have all opposed the ban. They correctly note that the policy, if enacted, would hurt businesses in an already struggling economy, and a disproportionate number of those businesses would be minority owned. Why? Because such a ban would cut into the profits of food carts and other small delis while leaving expensive sit-down restaurants and large corporations like 7-Eleven unaffected. more >>
R&B singer Maxwell, controversial rapper The Game and Australian band Hillsong United are among some of the big names that have signed up for the new social platform borne from the mind of HopeMob founder and CEO Shaun King.
"It's really different than anything else that exists now," King told CP via phone last week, speaking from Catalyst West, a four-day networking event for leaders, thinkers and influencers.
"It's a little bit of a social network, maybe similar to Twitter or Instagram. But it has much deeper tools that allow people of influence from all genres, be it in the church or out of the church, be it artists, musicians, comedians, photographers – anybody who has really devoted supporters could really benefit from the platform, so we're really excited about it." more >>
Homosexual activists are labeling evangelist Greg Laurie as the "anti-gay California pastor" and are asking government officials to rescind Laurie's invitation to lead National Day of Prayer-related events in Washington, D.C. as the event's honorary chairman.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy group in America, contends that Laurie has a history of speaking out against LGBT Americans. And OutServe-SLDN, an association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, is calling on the Pentagon to remove the pastor from the agenda, citing "his blatantly anti-LGBT message."
"Pastor Laurie's message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe," said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC's Religion & Faith Program. "In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith." more >>