Physician-assisted suicide, much like abortion and same-sex marriage, has become something of a cultural bellwether. Support for the right to end your own life indicates that you are a progressive-minded, compassionate person sensitive to the unique feelings and experiences of individuals facing terminal illness or chronic pain. It means you value the right of self-determination, and oppose the would-be tyranny of moral absolutes promoted by the politically conservative and spiritually religious.
The Discovery Institute's Wesley J. Smith recently penned a piece for First Things discussing the media's treatment of the issue of suicide. Smith cites a recent NBC story featuring NPR's Dianne Rehm, whose husband John committed suicide by dehydration and starvation to escape the ravages of Parkinson's Disease:
"In the story's telling, John's suicide was necessary. The only question should be how best to get it done. It is a profound disservice to the gravity of this issue that the media give scandalously short shrift to the many stories of people who find meaning and hope in life even as they grapple with the anguish of profound disabilities. But the stories are not hard to find – if only journalists were as interested in promoting hope as they are assisted suicide." more >>
Did Jesus really pay for our sins on the cross, taking our punishment for us? Did He really die as an atoning sacrifice on our behalf?
In recent years, this doctrine, known as penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), has come under increasing attack, with some Christian leaders claiming that for God to punish His Son for our sins would be an example of "cosmic child abuse" (Steve Chalke).
This past Saturday, September 13th, I was able to debate this important issue with Pastor Brian Zahnd, who was eloquent in his arguments against PSA, claiming that it made our Father into a "monster god" and a "pagan deity." (You can watch the debate here.) more >>
"Submission never means abuse," Pastor Tony Evans told his Dallas, Texas, congregation on Sunday, making it clear what he believes the Christian position is on domestic violence.
"We've been hearing about one kind of struggle here lately — domestic abuse," said Evans, referring to recent news headlines concerning Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after being caught on tape punching his wife.
"Ladies, you do not have to submit yourself to any man abusing you. You do not submit yourself," he added. "No man has the right to put his hands on him. You shouldn't be putting your hands on him either, but no man has the right to put his hands on you in a violent fashion." more >>
Popular recording artist Carman Licciardello recently spoke out in defense of Joel Osteen, whom he called "a God ordained bridge between the mainstream world and the church," and called for Christian critics to stop "terrorizing" the successful megachurch pastor.
Osteen is often criticized by some Christians for promoting a watered-down Gospel and teaching positive thinking and prosperity instead of preaching about sin and repentance. The megachurch pastor and best-selling author leads along with his wife and other ministers America's fastest-growing church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Osteen always invites listeners at the end of his sermons to make Jesus their Lord and Savior, and encourages them to get plugged into Bible-based local churches.
But those actions matters very little, according to critics, when they are weighed against the content of what Osteen teaches (read Michael Brown's open letter to the Osteens), which some observers feel was typified in a recent YouTube clip posted online of Victoria Osteen making controversial remarks about Christians and worship of God. more >>
It's a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict "belief organizations from requiring belief."
The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.
Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn't it? more >>
Arkansas State University violated the law when they ordered football players to either remove or modify crosses they had affixed to their helmets, a prominent religious liberty law firm alleges.
The cross decals were meant to memorialize former player Markel Owens who was killed in January and former equipment manager Barry Weyer, who was killed in a June car crash.
"ASU's actions in defacing the students' memorial stickers to remove their religious viewpoint is illegal viewpoint discrimination against the students' free speech," said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute. more >>