Stop bullying people of faith. That's the bottom line of a harshly worded letter written by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to Houston City Attorney David Feldman.
Feldman's office sent subpoenas to five Houston pastors last month demanding that they turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity issues. They also wanted sermons or correspondence that referenced Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.
The subpoenas were issued in a response to a lawsuit related to Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), also known as the "Bathroom Bill." more >>
NEW YORK — Brian Houston, senior pastor of Australia-based Hillsong Church, was hit with a series of critical questions during a press conference in New York City on Thursday, just hours before he was to take the stage at Madison Square Garden to preach before more than 5,000 Hillsong Conference attendees.
Houston, 60, appeared visibly nervous as he sat alongside his wife and Hillsong Church co-pastor Bobbie Houston and his son and Hillsong United frontman Joel Houston, who also pastors at Hillsong NYC with Carl Lentz. Lentz rounded out the quartet of church representatives at the press conference, where the group welcomed local media to probe them about the conference kicking off that night and issues related to their ministry work through the multi-city megachurch.
Once the floor was opened up for questions, however, it became clear that some members of the press were more interested in hearing about the sex abuse committed by Brian Houston's father in the 1970s, how Hillsong Church spends its money, and how the senior pastor handles cultural relevancy, specifically when it comes to issues of sexuality. more >>
Although some are praising Silicon Valley technology companies Facebook and Apple for offering to pay for their female employees to undergo egg freezing procedures that would allow them to put off childbirth until after the prime of their careers, a Christian ethicist is arguing that companies paying for such fertility treatments send the message that "mothers are not welcomed in the workplace during the prime of their careers."
In order to help attract the top female talents to come work for them, Facebook and Apple are offering a rare benefit that will finance up to $20,000 in annual coverage for women to freeze their eggs through the process of cryopreservation, a process that extracts the eggs from the mother and stores them in sub-zero temperature until the mother is ready to have kids.
Some feel the purpose of undergoing this fertility procedure is to allow women to focus on their careers when they are younger while putting off childbearing and motherhood until they have the flexibility for it later in life, perhaps after their career. The process typically costs about $10,000, while it costs about $500 per year to store the eggs. Facebook has already been offering this perk to their employees, while Apple will begin offering it to their employees in January of 2015. more >>
CHARLOTTE — Southern Evangelical Seminary's 21st Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics shined a light on the problem of Internet pornography with Enough is Enough CEO and President Donna Rice Hughes calling it a pandemic.
"The Internet pornography pandemic has become one of the greatest global threats to children, marriages, families and nations. No one is immune," said Hughes in her Saturday speech.
Citing peer reviewed research, Hughes noted that Internet porn harms children and leads to addiction, divorce and violence against women. It also contributes to the growing sex trafficking industry. more >>
It's hard to believe that a young woman growing up in America's Deep South would choose to convert to Islam because she is a feminist. With bad news focusing on ISIS' enslavement and torture of women, Hamas' use of women and children as human shields, and Boko Haram kidnapping young Christian girls from their schoolyards all with the common quest to implement Sharia Law, Islam just isn't the religion that comes to mind when I think of women's rights and equality.
Still, in her CNN op-ed Islamic feminist Theresa Corbin expressed, "Surprisingly, Islam turned out to be the religion that appealed to my feminist ideals." she continued, "I came to realize Islam is a world religion that teaches tolerance, justice and honor and promotes patience, modesty and balance." The only problem, however, is that this feminist's writings focus on her emotions, Islam's cultural appeals (which apparently include arranged marriages), and not its faith teachings.
It is the same emotional, reductive argument that recently triggered Ben Affleck and Bill Maher's fiery debate over whether Islamists' conquests of oppression and destruction in the name of the Caliphate is a core tenant of the faith. Essentially, Bill Maher said look at the text and Ben Affleck said look at the people. more >>
Houston is home to one of NASA's most sophisticated space centers -- but even it would have trouble finding signs of intelligence in the local Mayor's office. The city's highest official is blowing past the First Amendment at warp speed -- and lighting a political powder keg in the process.
After four years of forcing her extreme agenda on the city, Mayor Annise Parker may have finally picked a fight she's bound to regret. Five months after bullying her way into a Houston-wide "bathroom bill," Parker is furious that the city's voters won't roll over and accept it. Instead, America's fourth-largest city fought back, gathering three times the number of signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. Furious with local pastors for leading the pushback, Parker decided to get her revenge by ordering a Soviet-style crackdown on area churches.
In a story that's spreading like wildfire, the Mayor had the nerve to subpoena pastors for their sermons, text messages, photographs, electronic files, calendars, and emails -- "all communications with members of your congregation" on topics like homosexuality and gender identity. If she thought her religious "inquisition" would scare pastors, she's got another thing coming. Local Christians are more outraged than ever, igniting a firestorm that could awaken a sleeping giant in churches from coast to coast. "We're not intimidated at all," said Rev. Dave Welch. "We're not going to yield our First Amendment rights," he warned -- even if it ends in fines, confinement, or both. more >>