The U.S. government will continue to provide military assistance to four African nations that were recently found to be actively recruiting child soldiers in their national militaries. Child protection experts condemned the decision.
The White House announced Tuesday that at least half of the countries listed on its Child Soldiers Prevention Protection list would receive national interest waivers and subsequently would not lose military assistance despite the Child Soldier Prevention Act, which was passed in 2008. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan will continue to receive millions of dollars in U.S. military assistance and arms sales.
CSPA was enacted by Congress to restrict U.S. military support to governments that recruit children or people younger than 18 in their armed forces; however, the United States has taken to using waivers for select nations considered to be critical partners in countering terrorism. Other nations on the list are Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sudan, Syria and Yemen. more >>
The beginning of American law, the concepts of independence and freedom, is rooted in the belief that moral absolutes exist within a universal standard of justice independent from political rulers. The Judeo-Christian faith is not separate from but foundational to just and fair public policies that encourage human flourishing.
More than 2,000 Bible verses teach civics, providing examples of good and evil rulers, judges, and political authorities. These instructions on civics are informed by approximately 500 verses on salvation, 400 on hell, and 250 on Heaven — with the overall foundation that right living best leads to a peaceful, thriving society.
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, has commented on the recent NASA discovery that suggests there might be flowing water on Mars, by stating that finding alien life could paint a different picture to who God is for Christians.
"The important thing is to recognize that the universe is created by God, and however God did it tells us something about God's personality," Consolmagno said, according to Vatican Radio.
"If God chose to make a universe where we are the only creatures, that is interesting, that tells us something about God and us," he added. more >>
While pop sensation Justin Bieber has developed a close relationship with Pastors Carl Lentz and Judah Smith, the 21-year-old admits that he's often rejected his faith and communion with other Christians by going to church, where "weird" people go.
"Christians leave such a bad taste in people's mouths. I was like, 'I'm not gonna go to church.' I had these church friends and I was like, 'You guys are cool, I like you guys, but I'm not going to church,'" Bieber said during a Complex magazine interview published earlier this week.
"Then it was the same thing of, 'Just because you went to a weird church before doesn't mean that this is weird.' It doesn't make you a Christian just by going to church. ... " more >>
Thousands of Evangelical Christians from over 80 countries reportedly flocked to Jerusalem this week for the Feast of Tabernacles to show support for Israel, and anticipate biblical prophecy centered on the eventual return of Jesus Christ.
"The Bible says, the Word of the Lord will go out of Jerusalem to the ends of the Earth," said International Christian Embassy Jerusalem Director Juha Ketola. "Today the ends of the Earth are coming back to bless the Jewish people!"
The Associates Press reported that the summit, based on the ancient biblical festival, reached its apex on Thursday with the Jerusalem Parade. The Feast of Tabernacles is the Christian term for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which is marked by a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. more >>
The Vatican has clarified that despite the much-publicized private meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky clerk Kim Davis last week in Washington, D.C., the meeting should not be equated to the pontiff giving his support for Davis' position on refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
"The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," wrote Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office, in a statement released by the Vatican on Friday.
Lombardi added that Davis was only one of several dozen people the pope privately met during his week in the U.S., and it would be incorrect to read too much into the brief encounters. more >>