A panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments on lawsuits pertaining to four states' marriage amendments.
Justices decided Monday to combine the four cases into one appeal, whose arguments will be brought before a three-judge panel on Aug. 6.
Marriage amendments from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee will be on the agenda for the panel, as each one has been declared unconstitutional by lower court judges. more >>
Some Christian groups are worried that President Barack Obama's forthcoming executive order guaranteeing the protection of LGBT individuals from employment discrimination with businesses that have federal contracts may not have sufficient religious liberty protections.
While the order has not yet been written up, concerns have been leveled by various individuals that the order might not include a religious exemption and would force faith-based groups to engage in hiring practices that are in opposition to the teachings of their faith.
"The big question is: will the Executive Order drive out faith-based organizations out of federal contracting?" Stanley Carlson-Thies, founder and president of Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, wrote in an email to supporters. "The federal government doesn't contract only for aircraft carriers, janitorial services, and IT expertise. It also contracts for research, consulting, and technical assistance, and, increasingly, for social services-particularly USAID and the Bureau of Prisons contract for social services." more >>
An online petition calling for the White House to act to save a Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to be executed has gotten more than 50,000 signatories, but it needs to garner 100,000 signatures by June 27 to be guaranteed an official response by the Obama administration.
Posted on the "We the People" site, the petition calls for action to save Meriam Ibrahim, the mother of two young children awaiting a punishment of 100 lashes and execution for allegedly leaving Islam for Christianity.
"We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens), is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum," reads the petition in part. more >>
Benny Hinn, Christian faith-healing evangelist, has asked supporters to step up to "higher seed-level giving" by donating $1,000 to his ministry, with the suggestion that they would enter a "new dimension of favor and increase" like he did after trying out financial teacher Todd Coontz's "thousand-dollar principle."
Hinn, whose followers number more than 1.7 million on Facebook and Twitter, credited Coontz as inspiration for the higher seed-level giving principle in a newsletter emailed to supporters over the weekend.
"I've believed in seed-faith giving for decades, and I've seen it work time after time, but where do you get this $1,000 teaching?" Hinn says he asked Coontz during a conference in Dallas. "He showed me from the Bible how Solomon offered a thousand animals to God. He told me there's something very special about the number 1,000 and the miracles he has seen when people cross that line in giving." more >>
A documentary being broadcast by PBS titled, "The New Black," examines how the Christian right capitalizes on "homophobia in the black community's institutional pillar — the black church" in order to "pursue an anti-gay political agenda."
"The New Black" aims to portray how the African-American community has grappled with issues related to homosexuality in light of the same-sex marriage movement in the U.S., specifically with the successful push to redefine marriage in Maryland in 2012 serving as the backdrop. Featured in the documentary are activists, families, and members of the clergy, all at odds on what proponents deem a civil rights issue and what opponents view as the legimitazion of sinful behavior.
Making an appearance in "The New Black" are Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, executive director and chief executive officer of the National Black Justice Coalition; Derek McCoy, president of the Maryland Family Alliance and the Maryland Family Council and associate pastor at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland; and the Rev. Delman Coates, pastor at Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, and a candidate for lieutenant governor in the state. more >>
Randy Lewis, a former senior vice president of Walgreens, is the author of the highly inspirational book, No Greatness Without Goodness: How a Father's Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement. The book isn't only exceptional reading for business leaders who want their companies to become more efficient and profitable, but it also provides nuggets of wisdom and real life lessons for people who have the desire to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with those around them: friends, neighbors and coworkers.
Lewis and his wife, Kay, have three children. Their middle child, a son named Austin, has autism. During a speech in front of 5,000 Walgreens store managers at a conference in Las Vegas, he shared that "nearly 70 percent of individuals with disabilities and 95 percent of people with severe cognitive disabilities, like Austin, would never hold down a job."
This is not because people with disabilities cannot do the work, it's because many employers fail to realize that hiring people with disabilities will actually increase the overall performance among all of their employees. more >>