Day one of a three-day conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission discussing how Christians should react to the ongoing battle between those framing the homosexual lifestyle debate as a civil rights issue and those supporting what they believe to be biblical moral values, including traditional marriage, featured plenty of fireworks — most happening online through social media.
More than 1,200 are attending the ERLC conference which began on Monday. The conference, themed "The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage" is taking place in Nashville and offered by live stream over the Internet.
"Gotta be careful of making idols out of marriage and procreation when Scripture / Christ do not do so. #ERLC2014," tweeted Rachel Held Evans, author of Faith Unraveled. Evans was one of several Twitter users dishing up a steady volley of criticism over the ERLC conference. more >>
A religious freedom advocacy organization has expressed concern over the U.S. Labor Department's forthcoming new rule against LGBT discrimination among federal contractors, which was submitted for review without public comment and contains little guidance for faith-based federal contractors.
The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance believes the Labor Department rule, meant to implement President Barack Obama's recent executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for federal contractors, does not currently clarify the rights of faith-based organizations.
The rule was sent last week to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is within the Office of Management and Budget, for review. The rule is not yet published, but IRFA has learned that the rule will offer little guidance to faith-based groups with government contracts. more >>
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote an article for Elle magazine denouncing the "stigma" that abortion carries, and confessed that she had an abortion and said it was the right decision and not a difficult one for her family.
"If a woman says that she's relieved after having an abortion, she may be judged for being heartless or unfeeling. If she says that she feels regret, anti-abortion activists use this to push for laws that restrict access to abortion or laws that assume women are incapable of making their own decisions without the interference of others," Richards wrote in the piece, titled, "Ending the Silence That Fuels Abortion Stigma."
She states that stigma is behind what one third of women in the United States experience to be the focus of "intense public debate for decades, with hardly any real firsthand experiences at the center of the discussion." more >>
As the 2014 midterm elections near, the abortion ad war has been heating up as one pro-choice group attacked a pro-life women's group as anti-woman and used a photo suggesting that the pro-life position is akin to sex abuse.
The pro-choice group, NARAL Pro-Choice America, has released a series of political advertisements since Oct. 7 that have criticized the "radical" and "anti-choice" agenda of pro-life candidates that are backed by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List political action committee. The ads seemingly come in retaliation to an early advertisement aired in North Carolina by the pro-life group Women Speak Out PAC that criticized Democratic Senator Kay Hagan for supporting late-term abortions.
The advertisement, which has run in North Carolina and began running in Iowa on Thursday, links the Republican Senate candidates in those states to the "extreme" agenda of the SBA List to and claims the candidates condone sexual abuse and rape. more >>
The United States Supreme Court has issued an order allowing 13 abortion clinics in Texas to stay open, superseding a state law that requires the closure of clinics that fail to meet basic health and safety standards.
In a six to three decision, the order was given Tuesday as a lawsuit against the state's abortion clinic regulations continues to go through the legal system.
Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented from the five-sentence order, reported Adam Liptak of the New York Times. more >>
Women's Rights Without Frontiers president Reggie Littlejohn has said in prepared remarks that both the pro-choice and pro-life movements can work together on ending the practice of forced abortions in China. The remarks are to be delivered on Thursday before Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.
"Few issues divide more sharply than abortion. Longstanding friendships and even family relationships can rupture over the pro-choice/pro-life debate," Littlejohn noted in her remarks.
"But on the International Day of the Girl Child, can we agree to bury the hatchet on two issues: the ending of gendercide, the sex-selective abortion, abandonment, deadly neglect and murder of females just because they are female; and the ending of forced abortion, which is not a choice?" she asked. more >>