On July 23, a bipartisan majority of the House approved amendment 35 to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, effectively defunding square circles . . . er "atheist chaplains." The amendment codified current Department of Defense Policy under which chaplains must be certified by a religious organization whose primary function is to perform religious ministries, whose beliefs are sincerely held, and whose practices and rituals are not illegal or contrary to public policy. In other words, a chaplain is to be religious.
That chaplains are religious is not surprising, since Merriam-Webster's defines a military chaplain as "a priest or other . . . religious leader who performs religious services for a military group." That military chaplains believe in some outside being is not surprising: after all, the chaplaincy's motto is, Pro Deo et Patria (For God and Country).
What is surprising is that prominent humanists like Jason Heap would apply to be chaplains. more >>
Christian ministry pages on Facebook are being targeted for profane harassment, and Facebook is turning a blind eye. I believe it is time for those of us who use social media, especially Facebook, to send them a message.
Last year, I documented Facebook's glaring double standard when it came to allowing all kinds of obscene, Jesus-mocking Facebook pages (along with pages encouraging anti-Israel violence) while shutting down Christian pages that differed respectfully with homosexual activism (in this case, the page devoted to discussion of my book A Queer Thing Happened to America).
Thankfully, after bringing national attention to this issue and working with an internal contact at Facebook, the page was reactivated, with apologies from Facebook. (For the relevant stories, see here and here.) But the extremely offensive sites, replete with profane, Christ-defacing graphics and horrific anti-Jewish images, were not shut down, despite the clear standards articulated in Facebook's Community Guidelines. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear and decide several contentious cases, including matters related to public prayers at government meetings and states' right to restrict access to abortion, as it begins a new session on Monday after a summer break.
One of the cases, Town of Greece v. Galloway, deals with the question whether the public prayer held before a town meeting violates the First Amendment guarantee of separation of church and state.
The verdict in the case – oral arguments of which are scheduled for Nov. 6, according to Reuters – could greatly change the future of public religious expression in the nation. more >>
The mother of an 8-year-old girl is applauding her daughter's recent outspoken objection to a set of children's books that she described as "sexist." The girl's outrage at the contents of the books ultimately led them to be removed from shelves at a local bookstore in Berkeley, Calif.
Constance Cooper, a fantasy and science fiction writer, recently detailed the story of her daughter's "recognition of sexism" on her personal blog, constancecooper.com, writing of how the two were perusing the selection at the local Half Price Books store in Berkeley, Calif. when her daughter, KC, noticed something wrong.
The institution of marriage and issues concerning heterosexual and homosexual relationships and child rearing were all part of a broad discussion at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., Tuesday night, which hosted one of five nationwide ethical discussions during "Doing the Right Thing Week," sponsored by RatioChristi and the Colson Center.
The topic "Sexuality & Marriage: What's Ethics Got To Do with It?" delved into the state of traditional marriage in the United States – the modern-day reasons why each person enters into the marriage contract – as well as the impact same-sex marriage is having on society. Included in the discussion are the myriad of negative impacts single-parent households have had on families since the Johnson administration's slate of Great Society government programs that were created in the 1960s in an effort to reduce poverty.
Instead of helping families, the enacted government programs only led to increased poverty and the dissolution of the American family, according to Ryan T. Anderson, who writes about marriage and religious liberty for the Heritage Foundation, and co-author with Princeton's Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. His co-guest speaker Kellie Fiedorek, litigation counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, also spoke about the implications of an unraveling marriage culture in the United States. more >>
Next month will mark the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The official date is November 10, 2013. However, their website states: "…you are free to choose another date if you wish." Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors has chosen November 3 as their prayer date.
When I was a child, I somehow picked up the notion that persecution against the Christian church basically ended with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
But it turns out that the last century was the worst century ever for the persecution of Christians and martyrdom. Dr. David Barrett, a leading church statistician, says there were more Christians martyred in the 20th century than had been murdered in all previous centuries combined. more >>