The story sounds like something you'd read on a crazed e-mail forward — the city of Houston demands to see the contents of pastors' sermons on the topic of homosexuality, gender identity, and . . . restroom access. In fact, when I first heard the story from a parent at my kids' school, I didn't believe it.
But, yes, it's true. In fact, the reality is even worse than the reports. Houston — as part of its litigation strategy opposing a voter lawsuit filed after the city rejected voter petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into bathrooms — has issued subpoenas that don't just demand pastors' sermons on the topics of "equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity," (and, of course, "restroom access"), they also demand all documents including "emails, instant messages, and text messages" on those same topics.
So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on "restroom access," that has to be produced. more >>
Recent events have brought the debate on so-called "death with dignity" and assisted suicide into the spotlight again. And yet, the argument is not really a new one. No less a light than William Shakespeare extensively dealt with the subject in his writing.
"Death with dignity" is essentially a code word for suicide, sometimes in the face of a terminal illness. As one humanist put it, he wants to kill himself on his own terms rather than die from some disease. He said it would be like telling God, "You can't fire me---I quit."
In the Netherlands, they accepted the basic concept of doctor-assisted suicide ("death with dignity") many years ago. But they have now reached the point where the level of involuntary deaths has exceeded the number of voluntary deaths. more >>
When you went to bed this past Sunday evening, the Catholic Church taught the following:
Marriage is indissoluble.
Catholics who attempt marriage following a divorce—without a declaration that their first bond wasn't after all a valid marriage—enter a (presumptively) adulterous relationship. So long as they maintain a sexual relationship with their new partner, they cannot judge themselves to be in a state of grace and therefore cannot worthily receive Holy Communion. more >>
It would seem the practice of witchcraft would have somehow banished by now – reduced to the image of a cartoon character thus minimizing it to mere fantasy, perhaps in an effort to eliminate man's fears or an attempt to dismiss its spiritual validity. Yet, with each generation we see its subtle influences shed, then re-emerge in a new skin.
Witchcraft has been around for centuries. It's forbidden practice under suspicion and persecution from the Old Testament through the Early Modern Witch Trials and beyond.
Once considered the wise one who lived at the edge of town, the witch was known as the village healer, midwife and storyteller. Many feared this woman who practiced the forbidden arts and who it was said, had the power to summon the dead at the risk of her own life. Yet ironically, when it seemed one's own faith came up short of their wanted desires, they sought answers from what many saw as a peculiar woman. Some even resorted to her counsel, believing God had turned a deaf ear to them as was the case with King Saul. more >>
Our Supreme Court punted on hearing the gay marriage cases recently brought before it. By not hearing the cases, the court allowed same-sex marriages to be legal. 19 states already allow gay marriage; this non-decision brings the number to 30.
So now gays can marry in Oklahoma and ten new states. Oklahoma-born gays cheered the ruling from their fashionable bungalows in San Francisco, Atlanta and New York.
By letting lower court decisions stand, the Supremes did a pocket veto on those who are dead set against same-sex marriage. It was the right decision. The court, like the rest of sensible Americans, handled homosexuality in our time-honored fashion: by knowing it goes on and blissfully looking the other way. more >>
A New York high school has lifted its ban on a Christian student organization after first rejecting the students' request for renewal.
Ward Melville High School of East Setauket decided late last week to renew the group Students United in Faith after receiving a letter from the Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm.
Last year, administrators at the school denied SUIF recognition under the charge that the student organization lacked sufficient numbers of interested persons to garner recognition. more >>