"19 Kids & Counting" star Jessa Duggar exchanged vows with her fiancé Ben Seewald on Saturday, Nov. 1, in front of family and friends, but saved her first kiss for after the ceremony.
The couple said "I do" in front of nearly 1,000 guests at the First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Younger sister Jinger served as the maid of honor, while Ben's best friend Dylan McMahan was the best man. Jessa and Ben wrote their own vows for the ceremony and had an unexpected surprise for the crowd … they did not kiss, as is tradition at the end of the wedding.
Brittany Maynard, the young woman who was at the center of the right-to-die argument, took her own life on Saturday, Nov. 1.
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more. The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!" she wrote on Facebook before taking a lethal dose of medication.
Maynard had originally intended to take her life on Nov. 1 but changed her mind because she was feeling better. She had been diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer in April and was given six months to live. Maynard made the decision to end her life and moved to Oregon, where medically-assisted suicide is legal; it is one of only five states to permit suicide. more >>
Should we make an example of Houston Mayor Annise Parker? Absolutely.
I was born in Waco, Texas, and lived in Houston, so I've got a dog in this hunt. Really, we all do.
Parker has disqualified herself from the privilege of serving the people of south Texas. She must either resign, effective immediately, or Houstonians should begin, without delay, the process of recalling her from office. Strike while the iron's hot, I say, and right now it's glowing cultural Marxist red. more >>
Did you know that September is ex-gay awareness month? Honestly, I did not realize such a commemoration took place either until last year. I received an invitation to attend the first annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Conference hosted by Voice of the Voiceless, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Equality And Justice For All. This introduction coupled with stories shared by some of the most courageous men and women I've yet to encounter illumined me to the love and support the ex-gay community deserves as they face tremendous hostility from gay activists.
But it's not just gay activists who belittle the ministry of ex-gay awareness advocates, therapists and support group leaders. By now you've likely heard RNS News report that Dr. Russell Moore has supposedly "denounced reparative therapy" for same-sex attracted individuals who wish to change their sexual attractions and join the ex-gay community. But if you read all of Moore's statements, you cannot find him downright rejecting sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Instead, he's putting therapy in its place on the hierarchy of healing, as I explained over at The Christian Post while rejecting that notion that the solution is ultimately change.
Unfortunately, the voices not heard in this sudden revival of debate are those within the ex-gay community, many of whom have used therapy for wise counsel, accountability and healing. more >>
While the Republican Party is far from perfect, it is currently the political party that polls show most closely matches the core policy beliefs of values voters: evangelical, "born again" Christians and Catholics. According to pollster George Barna, there are 77 million "born again" evangelical and Catholic voters in the United States, but only about 30.6 million of them voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Roughly 20 million voted for President Obama. The shocking number, however, is that 26 million values voters stayed home, not bothering to vote at all. The reasons cited are complicated and numerous: everything from discomfort with Mormonism to election apathy, to a distrust of the establishment.
As the 2014 midterm election approaches, disengaged values voters must understand that elections at every level of government have consequences. Look no further than Houston, Texas, where Mayor Annise Parker is trampling the constitutional rights of church pastors by attempting to force them to turn over their sermons on same-sex "marriage."
On the federal level, it was the conservative-leaning values voters' lack of participation at the polls that gave us Barack Obama. But there were 20 million values voters who did vote for the president. They, like the rest of America, bought into the president's promise of hope and change — only to find out that what they got was what most people of faith feared, a president who would flip flop on marriage, a president that would force taxpayers to pay for abortions, a president who would seem to turn a blind eye to Christian persecution worldwide as its branches of religious repression grow in our own country, and a president who's lack of support for our Judeo-Christian brothers and sisters in places like Israel would create a playground for terrorists worldwide. more >>
Dear Mr. President:
This morning, you gave a speech in Rhode Island that was centered on women's equality. You addressed the important issues of equal pay for equal work, paid maternity and family leave, and the high cost of daycare.
But you also made a statement that is very concerning to stay-at-home moms around the nation. In fact, your statement makes us wonder if you consider us as equal and contributing members of society. We've always been a substantial part of society, and we're becoming even more so. From 1999 to 2012, the share of stay-at-home moms grew by 6 percent , after a nearly three-decade decline in our numbers. In 2012, there were 10.4 million of us around the nation. more >>