A LifeWay Research poll has found that one in three American citizens fear that Islamic Shariah Law could be applied in the United States, following reports of the first known Islamic Tribunal court opening in Texas. The survey also found that only one in four Americans agree that the terror group ISIS represents the true nature of Islam.
"ISIS has stirred an odd religious debate in America today," said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. "In a nation that has long espoused religious freedom, Americans are thinking long and hard about the kind of society Islam fosters — especially the more radical groups that say they are Islamic — and whether Shariah law would ever be adopted here."
The poll found that four in 10, or 43 percent of all respondents, believe that Islam can create a peaceful society. more >>
Pope Francis has said that making the choice to not have children is "selfish." The pontiff made the comments at a gathering at St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, and said that societies that have low birth rates are "depressed."
"If a generous family of children is viewed as if it were a burden, there is something wrong! As the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Blessed Pope Paul VI teaches, but having more children cannot be automatically viewed as an irresponsible choice," Francis told the audience, according to Vatican Radio.
"The choice to not have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished! Children learn to take charge of their family, they mature in the sharing of sacrifices, and they grow in appreciation of its gifts." more >>
I am totally on board with those who, out of pure, gospel-loving and people-loving motives, press back against the legalization of same-sex "marriage." The family dynamic is a dynamic thoughtfully and carefully designed by God Himself, and the preservation of that design is ultimately what is best for the welfare and flourishing of a society – whether it's citizens are Christian or not. Children need a mom and a dad, not two dads or two moms. And marriages need a husband and a wife, so that God's covenantal, gospel love for the world can be effectively depicted through it. I understand that even among heterosexual relationships and families, these ideals are often not met. But this is not reason to not stand for and pursue the ideal.
I am for traditional marriage. I am against the idea of same sex "marriage." But, I think it's time that the church begins to think beyond the political battle. Not to be a pessimist, but I think it's pretty clear that sooner, rather than later, same-sex "marriage" is going to be a legally instituted reality in all 50 states. I truly believe, because of the shape that things are currently taking, that this is actually going to happen whether we like it or not. I'm not saying that the church needs to raise its white flag and to faithlessly bow down to evil, satanic propaganda. But what I am saying is that we need to immediately begin to envision how we are going to continue to engage a post Christendom, same-sex "marriage" culture with the gospel when our current democratic and legislative options are no longer options.
I believe that there are two vital, culture-engaging ways of life that the American Body of Christ needs to begin to pray itself toward. more >>
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cincinnati has warned that the upcoming "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie is a "direct assault on Christian marriage." Archbishop Dennis Schnurr asked churchgoers to boycott the film, which opens in the U.S. on Feb. 13, a day before Valentine's Day.
"The storyline is presented as a romance; however, the underlying theme is that bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism are normal and pleasurable. In the storyline, a young Miss Steele is urged to sign a contract becoming a sex slave and agreeing to an abusive and degrading relationship," Schnurr said in a post on the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
"This movie is in direct contrast to the Christian message of God's design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy. The movie is a direct assault on Christian marriage and on the moral and spiritual strength of God's people. We need to inform our people about the destructive message of this movie and to highlight the beauty of God's design for loving relationships between a husband and wife in the bond of marriage." more >>
Accomplished neurosurgeon and possible Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has called for "true tolerance" after the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled him an "extremist" over his views on gay marriage.
In a statement released Monday, Carson remarked that it "is important for us to once again advocate true tolerance."
President Barack Obama's address at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, 2015 has reverberated through the corridors of the world and provoked shock and dismay in numerous quarters. Even a professor at the University of London commented on his shallow understanding of the Crusades. I hesitated to write anything on the subject because it would drag me into politics or into a sobering critique of Islam. I am not sure that at a time like this either distraction would be wise, so let me keep it to the minimum.
For those who did not hear the talk, it is sufficient to say that it was the most ill advised and poorly chosen reprimand ever given at a National Prayer Breakfast. I have been to several and have never, ever heard such absence of wisdom in a setting such as this. I wasn't at this one but have heard the speech often enough to marvel at the motivation for such thoughts. President Obama basically lectured Christians not to get on a moral high horse in their castigation of the ISIS atrocities by reminding them that the Crusades and slavery were also justified in the name of Christ. Citing the Crusades, he used the single most inflammatory word he could have with which to feed the insatiable rage of the extremists. That is exactly what they want to hear to feed their lunacy. In the Middle East, history never dies and words carry the weight of revenge.
There is so much I would love to say in response but shall refrain. The President obviously does not understand the primary sources of either faith for him to make such a tendentious parallel. The predominant delight in his remarks would be in the Muslim world and the irreligious. The next day Geraldo Rivera, opining favorably, made the oft-repeated lie that more people have been killed in the name of God than in any other cause. Try telling that to the Chinese and the Russians and the Cambodians and the victims of the Holocaust! Such intellectual ignorance gains the microphone with pitiable privilege. If a thinking person doesn't know the difference between the logical outworkings of a philosophy and the illogical ones, to say nothing of the untruth perpetrated, then knowledge has been sacrificed at the altar of prejudice. more >>