NEW YORK — Victoria Osteen, one-half of the dynamic duo in charge of America's fastest growing megachurch, was far from her Houston, Texas, base on Thursday when she, along with volunteers from Lakewood Church and its service-oriented Generation Hope Project, made an appearance at the Bronx Zoo. She was there, amid a brief period of rain, to visit with about 250 local school children, some of whom were in hysterics when they spotted the petite blond otherwise known as Mrs. Joel Osteen.
Amid squeals of "Victoria!" and whispered observations of "she's so pretty," Mrs. Osteen greeted the Generation Hope Project volunteers manning check-in tables, shook hands with Wildlife Conservation Society officials (in charge of New York City's five zoos), and spent a few minutes with local media, while Lakewood's in-house crew captured it all on film.
However, Osteen spent most of her time under a canopy not far from the main entrance embracing and sharing laughs with the kids, a mixed bunch of predominantly teens and pre-teens, some of whom were clad in their school uniforms. more >>
Christians traveling to the site of the mass shooting in California where 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people before taking his own life, argue that Christians must stand up and speak on these sensitive issues.
"Evangelical church leaders have been largely silent on this crisis and that can't continue. These tragedies are a matter of life and death and they leave individuals, families, and whole communities devastated and in terrible fear. Christian leaders can't simply shrug their shoulders and walk away from such enormous tragedy. Clergy have a unique perspective and unique contributions to make toward solving this problem," the Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday.
The shooting rampage near the University of California at Santa Barbara on May 23 that left seven people dead and over a dozen injured has prompted a national dialogue on the role of men and women in society, particularly in light of Rodger's numerous videos where he says he is carrying out the attack because of his loneliness and lack of success with women. more >>
Taxpayer-funded sex changes: They aren't just for traitors and illegal immigrants anymore!
While the rest of the media was racing from story to story over the weekend, HHS quietly tried to disguise the reversal of a 33-year-old coverage ban on gender reassignment surgery. In a 48-hour span that saw the resignation of the VA chief and the potentially illegal release of five top Taliban terrorists, taxpayer-sponsored genital reconstruction almost seems tame by comparison. Every week, the competition for most scandalous decision gets stiffer, as evidenced by this story - which, under any other circumstances, would be front-page news. Instead, it's just another sign of an administration wildly out of control - and out of excuses - for its taxpayer-funded extremism.
After Friday, HHS has ruled that it's "no longer reasonable" to expect older Americans to pay for their own sexual reassignments. Instead, it now recognizes the surgery as a "medically necessary" and "effective" treatment for people who can't come to grips with their own biological gender. Like Denee Mallon. The 74-year-old Army veteran was the driving force behind the change, even going so far as to sue HHS for the benefit - which, according to some estimates, could run as much as $50,000 a procedure. (And we wonder why America is more than $17 trillion in debt?) more >>
A family owned bakery has been ordered to make wedding cakes for gay couples and guarantee that its staff be given comprehensive training on Colorado's anti-discrimination laws after the state's Civil Rights Commission determined the Christian baker violated the law by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Lakewood, Colorado was directed to change his store policies immediately and force his staff to attend the training sessions. For the next two years, Phillips will also be required to submit quarterly reports to the commission to confirm that he has not turned away customers based on their sexual orientation.
Think of it as reverse conversion therapy (or straight man's rehab) so that the state can mandate diversity through conformity. more >>
I've seen a couple things floating around this week in the media. Laverne Cox, the famous transgender person that stars in the hit series Orange Is The New Black, made the cover of Time Magazine. A big first for the transgender community. Also, you may have seen The Whittington Family: Ryland's Story, a 7 minute YouTube video about a little girl named Ryland who, with the support of her parents, is living her life as a boy.
While I do understand feeling "different" than most people in the sphere of sexuality, I don't understand what people with gender identity issues experience. I've never wanted to be a girl. So I'm not going to be all like "I know what they're going through"-because I don't.
To suffer that sort of inward conflict has to be a level of misery off the charts. To feel a pull toward a completely different identity than the physical make up you exist in has to throw people into extreme levels of confusion and depression, especially if the only person that knows about the inward battle is themselves. more >>
Marie Antoinette may never have said "Let them eat cake," but, in Colorado the seven-member Civil Rights Commission recently declared their intention to make them bake cake, ordering a Christian baker to design and prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples – or else suffer the consequences.
Two years ago, Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, politely declined to make a wedding cake signifying a union between two men. Phillips said he would sell them any baked good in his shop, and would appreciate the business, but he could not craft a cake promoting a same-sex wedding due to his faith and beliefs about marriage.
The couple was not pleased, unwilling to accept anything other than a cake demonstrating full, unequivocal support for same-sex marriages. Enlisting the aid of the ACLU, they brought charges, and an administrative judge ruled that Phillips violated civil rights law by discriminating against the couple. more >>