This week, Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with David Lane of the American Renewal Project, hosted a tour with roughly 100 ministers and faith leaders to follow the steps of three world leaders who greatly influenced world history for the better, with the hopes that these leaders would return to America empowered to do likewise.
Retracing the steps of Pope John Paul II in Krakow Poland, Margaret Thatcher in London England, and Ronald Reagan in California, The Journey: A Spiritual Awakening, was designed to exemplify how "God raises extraordinary leaders for extraordinary times." Huckabee explains, "their lives and messages brought hope to generations and freedom to millions by confronting evil everywhere. From their lives and their leadership we can extract immeasurable lessons for every nation wishing to be free and great."
In the wake of Houston Mayor Annise Parker's subpoena of emails and sermons of ministers, his timing, many argue, could not be more relevant. On Friday, November 14, Journey attendees visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and a museum located in the administrative building of Oskar Schindler's enamel factory. On route to Auschwitz, Lane referenced similarities between 1930 Germany and 2014 America. Quoting from Inside Hitler's Germany, Life Under the Third Reich, he paraphrased Martin Bormann's assessment that national socialism and Christianity are "irreconcilable." more >>
You're sitting in the Publix parking lot at dusk and notice the unsupervised 12-year-old riveted to his iPhone with his wide-eyed friend looking on.
Walking through the mall you see three teen girls seemingly oblivious to surroundings as they stroll together each focused on their phones.
Munching their curly fries at Arby's, each of five youths are simultaneously engaged with their phones. more >>
Hillsong Church and its band Hillsong United received special recognition on ABC News' "Nightline" Thursday evening.
The Pentecostal megachurch was founded in Australia in 1983 and today has over 30,000 members, according to Hillsong officials. In addition to their powerful ministry, Hillsong produced the award-winning worship band Hillsong United, which has toured the world performing at various Hillsong church location and concert venues. On Thursday, "Nightline" highlighted the achievements of the church and its music while featuring its New York leading pastor Carl Lentz. The segment aired at 12:35 a.m. ET.
Just weeks before "Nightline" featured Hillsong, the church's band Hillsong United was nominated for an American Music Award in the Contemporary Inspirational Artist category. It marked the band's first AMA nomination. The 2014 AMA's will be broadcast from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater on Nov. 23 on ABC. more >>
On past episodes of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews has likened America's two major political parties to household parents. In that, the Democrat party resembles overprotective mothers coddling and nurturing. While Republicans reflect disciplinary fathers offering protection, security and encouraging independence. This year, polls proved that when it comes to America's "family values," voters are looking for a father figure.
On November 13, 2014 Washington D.C.'s Brookings Institute and the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) co-hosted a panel discussion to uncover what exactly motivated religious and non-religious voters during the midterm elections and what we can learn looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election. Panelists included Joy Reid, Host of MSNBC's The Reid Report, Henry Olsen, Senior Fellow of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, and Melissa Deckman, Chair of Washington College's Political Science Department.
Before panelists weighed in on the election, Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, presented his organizations' post-election 2014 American Values Survey of 1399 constituents questioned before and after the midterm polls closed. According to survey results, 61 percent of voters who admitted they are worried that either they or a family member will be the victim of terrorism cast their vote for Republican candidates. more >>
In a brief, nationally televised announcement on August 7th regarding the Islamic State, which invaded the multicultural, northern Nineveh Province of Iraq this summer, President Obama observed "these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yazidis."
The brutal persecution of Iraq's non-Muslim religious groups is part of a human rights atrocity that is as grave as it is overlooked in American foreign policy. The president's eight-and-a-half-minute speech hardly scratched the surface. In fact, what the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, is undertaking in Iraq, as part of its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate, is a religious cleansing intended to eradicate the entire presence of the country's non-Muslim citizens. Nor is this campaign restricted to Iraq. Similar campaigns are under way in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They are being carried out by a multitude of extremist groups and directed against a variety of minorities, although they are directed most commonly and with special zeal against Christian communities that in some cases have coexisted with Muslims for more than a thousand years. Militant groups such as the Islamic State are mostly to blame, but extremist influences have also gained official footing within some governments. In most places where religious oppression of Christians is taking place, Christians and other targeted religious communities find that their governments typically turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their plight.
In Iraq and Syria, for example, the two-thousand-year-old Christian communities are facing an intense wave of religious persecution that has led to a panicked exodus of their members from the region. Even before this past summer's attack by the Islamic State on the Christian centers of Mosul, Qaraqosh, and all other Nineveh towns, leaders of the Iraqi church reported that one million, or between one-half and two-thirds of their community, have fled the country since 2003. more >>
Joaquin Phoenix recently addressed his family's brief connection with the Children of God religious group, explaining his parents' desire to belong to a community who believed in Jesus.
The "Inherent Vice" star said that his experience with the religious group as a child was only fleeting and that his parents had wanted to belong to a group of people who shared their faith in Jesus Christ. However, Children of God has a long history of sexual exploitation. It first formed in Huntington Beach, Calif. in 1968 and consisted mostly of converts from the hippie movement. With an initial message of salvation and spiritual "revolution," the group later began using a method of evangelism known as "Flirty Fishing," which uses sex to exhibit God's love and win converts.
"My parents had a religious experience and felt strongly about it," Phoenix told Playboy magazine. "They wanted to share that with other people who wanted to talk about their experience with religion. These friends were like, 'Oh, we believe in Jesus as well.' I think my parents thought they'd found a community that shared their ideals." more >>