While the biggest news to come out of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s 221st General Assembly in Detroit last week was the decision to allow clergy to officiate same-sex weddings in states where gay marriage is legal, pro-life groups are calling out the denomination for its weak stance on protecting babies who survive botched abortions.
By a wide margin last Thursday, the PCUSA's General Assembly voted 465 to 133 against a measure asking its members to reflect, for two years, on the plight of unwanted children, both the born and preborn.
The measure, brought before the members by the Presbytery of South Alabama, was spurred by the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, as well as abortion clinic employees going public about unsafe and allegedly illegal practices that led to the temporary closure of a Delaware Planned Parenthood facility, among others. more >>
The Hobby Lobby case unfolds like a modern-day David versus Goliath: David Green, the evangelical conservative founder of this arts and craft chain, challenges the powerful Obama Administration over a facet of the unpopular Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires all employers to cover the costs of contraceptives and abortifacients, which business owners of faith find morally reprehensible. Under the ACA, refusal to comply brings a daily fine that could threaten their very existence. Now, in the temple of the Supreme Court–today's culture battlefield–Hobby Lobby confronts the Obama Administration, arguing that they should not be forced to violate their principles just to stay in business.
Undoubtedly, religious freedom advocates would claim a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby as a huge victory. It would expand the rights of employers of faith and create a precedent to fight other forms of government coercion and compulsion.
But would a win for this David be a victory for what really matters? more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a law in Massachusetts creating abortion clinic buffer zones for pro-life demonstrators was unconstitutional.
In a unanimous decision, the high court ruled Thursday morning that Massachusetts could not force pro-life demonstrators into "buffer zones" to prevent them from being located near an abortion clinic's entrance and exits.
According to SCOTUSBlog, the main focus of the decision stemmed from the buffer zone ordinance including public ways and sidewalks. more >>
Rogue employees at the Environmental Protection Agency might not have an affinity for the phrase "cleanliness is next to godliness," because the fecal contamination found inside their government building has been deemed a "health and safety risk."
Human waste contamination isn't being hidden behind the closed doors of the ladies and gents restrooms. Instead, at least one government employee is opting to relieve himself in the office hallway.
"Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colorado, wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway," the Government Executive publication reported Wednesday. more >>
In a scientific breakthrough seen as a ray of hope for stroke and brain injury victims, a paralyzed man was able to use his thoughts to move his hand and fingers through the use of a device called Neurobridge, which was developed in a partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.
Neurobridge, according to a release from OSU, is "an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb."
Ian Burkhart, 23, a quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, was the first of a possible five participants to test the technology in a clinical student. more >>
A months-long measles outbreak in multiple Amish communities in Ohio has sparked local health officials to set up clinics so members of the religious group may receive the vaccination for the first time in their lives.
As NPR reports, nurse Jacqueline Fletcher of the Knox County Health Department was sent out to take samples from a local Amish community after the department received a phone call indicating two families had measle-like symptoms. When Fletcher arrived the next day to collect blood and nasal samples, she found the beginning of what could be an epidemic.
"The very next morning we were out to collect samples, collect nasal swabs and also draw blood. And it was just textbook measles," the nurse told NPR. "The rash. They had the conjunctivitis in the eyes, their eyes were red," she says. "They don't want the light, they sit in the darkened room, wear dark glasses. I mean they were just miserable. High temperatures, 103, 104 temps. So this was the measles." more >>