Over 50 Evangelical leaders have signed a joint letter warning Texas Governor Rick Perry that the planned execution of severely mentally ill man Scott Panetti, who has been convicted of murder and has said he believes he is battling Satan, would "cross a moral line."
"As Christians, we are called to protect the most vulnerable, and we count Mr. Panetti – a man who has suffered from severe mental illness for over 30 years – to be among them. If ever there was a clear case of an individual suffering from mental illness, this is it," reads the letter by the Evangelical leaders.
"Mr. Panetti is a paranoid schizophrenic, which was apparent at his trial, where he represented himself with his life on the line. He wore a TV-Western cowboy costume and attempted to subpoena the Pope, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ. The fact that his trial was carried out in such a fashion is a mockery of the criminal justice system." more >>
A couple weeks ago, The Washington Post sent a shudder up the spines of its female readers by running a story featuring a new study that found women hold fewer leadership positions within evangelical non-profits than they do in the general marketplace. Pundits are using this study to point to a struggle between submissive women and sexist men within evangelical's supposedly patriarchal community. But more facts need to be known before broad brushing us with the accusation that evangelical non-profits "ignore the gifts of women in leadership."
As easy as it is to demand greater gender diversity within evangelical non-profits, we risk minimizing the professional sacrifices many women choose to make for the sake of their personal lives. Women's juggling of jobs and family at the same time is called work-family balance, and workplace flexibility is the only thing that makes it possible.
As two women, we represent very different seasons in life through which most women go. In our single 20-somethings, women have the time to put in the 12-hour work day the non-profit world often demands, and then commuting the hour-long train or car ride home before driving through Taco Bell and finally calling it a day. The next day, we wake up and do it all over again. This is often the lifestyle it takes for a woman (or man) to climb the career ladder in the public and private sectors. But that's not a preferable lifestyle for most women with children at home. more >>
NEW YORK — Ferguson, Missouri, — and perhaps the entire nation — is bracing for a grand jury decision on whether or not police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. At least one Christian and social justice activist is calling on people of faith to pray, for whatever might ensue once the verdict is revealed, while local churches are planning for overnight vigils.
If news headlines are any indication — "Missouri Governor Outlines Ferguson Preparations;" "Gun sales spike as Ferguson area braces for grand jury decision;" "New Riot Gear at the Ready in Ferguson" — the atmosphere in the 21,000-person St. Louis suburb is taut with anxiety.
Although no one knows for certain when the grand jury's decision will come, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, whose office will make public the decision, has said in a statement that he does not expect the grand jury to give word "until mid to late November." more >>
Brad Pitt's new WWII film Fury is violent, vulgar, maybe not entirely realistic, but also inspirational. He's a veteran tank commander pushing against heavy German resistance during the war's final days. Inflicted with a dangerously raw recruit for his experienced tank team, Pitt compels him to shoot a German prisoner caught wearing an American's coat. Trying to harden the young clerk typist, at one point he points to a burning German village, and he explains that the reality of the world is violence. Later, having passed the corpses of German civilians, including children, hanged by the SS for refusing to resist the Allies, Pitt orders the shooting of a captured SS officer whom a civilian identifies as the culprit.
Amusingly, one of Pitt's tank crewmembers that likes to quote Scripture (and use the F word) confronts the new recruit with, "Are you saved?" The young novice responds, "I am baptized," provoking the Bible quoter accurately to surmise, "You're a Mainline Protestant, aren't you?" It turns out later that the Pitt character also knows the Bible, chapter and verse, which is likely true for the real Pitt, who hails from a Pentecostal background.
The day after watching Fury I sat at a luncheon next to a distinguished 91-year-old retired U.S. Army general that as a young officer commanded an infantry platoon in France and Germany during the war's final year. I told him about the movie scene in which Pitt compelled shooting a German prisoner. The old General recalled some of his men didn't want to take prisoners but as an officer it was his duty to restrain him. I also asked if soldiers then used the F word like a machine gun as most modern movies like Fury portray. Absolutely not, he insisted, they sometimes cussed but not like that. I asked if he knew before the war's end how evil the Nazis really were. He said no, they were just enemies who needed killing, until his unit came across one of the death camps. more >>
The goals of the LGBT movement are not malleable. They are absolute and aggressive. The bakers, wedding photographers, florists and others throughout the country who have declined to provide services for same-sex weddings, knowing that such provision constitutes tacit endorsement, have become targets of often the vilest of attacks, not to mention legal action and media scorn.
To disagree with the full mainstreaming of homosexuality is to be a social pariah in popular culture, education and even professional life. For even mentioning their support of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman, sportscasters, restaurateurs, business leaders and other public figures have lost jobs and been forced from their positions. This is a form of fascism.
When a panel of judges from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pulled the nation back from the brink this week, they provided a rare glimpse of common sense in the debate over ending marriage. The majority opinion asks us to:
Imagine a society without marriage. It does not take long to envision problems that might result from an absence of rules about how to handle the natural effects of male-female intercourse: children. May men and women follow their procreative urges wherever they take them? Who is responsible for the children that result? How many mates may an individual have? How does one decide which set of mates is responsible for which set of children? That we rarely think about these questions nowadays shows only how far we have come and how relatively stable our society is, not that States have no explanation for creating such rules in the first place.
We don't have to look far to "imagine" that dystopia. International activist Masha Gessen has given us a stark vision of what such a society without marriage means. Here, thanks to National Review Online's Ian Tuttle, is the true goal of the marriage-enders. Gessen told a panel in Australia what she and her fellow radicals seek: more >>