Evangelical preacher the Rev. Franklin Graham is celebrating a "victory for religious freedom" after a federal judge dismissed three lawsuits against Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who refused to sign her name to marriage licenses for gay couples.
"I thank God for men and women willing to take a bold stand for biblical truth — no matter the cost," Graham wrote on Facebook on Saturday, describing how Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples last year because of her Christian faith, which led to her spending six days in jail.
The Liberty Counsel, which has been representing Davis, reported on Friday that all three marriage license lawsuits against the Kentucky clerk have now come to an end, with the federal district court dismissing the case, closing the files, and removing pending cases from the docket. more >>
Distinguished scholars at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland released a new 143-page report on Monday that argues that there is not enough definitive scientific evidence available to suggest that gay, lesbian and transgender individuals are born with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity.
In the three-part report published by The New Atlantis, Lawrence Mayer, a scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University's psychiatry department and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, and Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, take on prevailing claims that sexual orientation and gender dysphoria are caused by natural traits.
Additionally, the scholars challenge the claim that discrimination and social stigma is the sole reason why those with same-sex attractions or transgender identity suffer higher rates of mental health problems. more >>
A big-time threat to religious freedom in California has been somewhat mitigated — showing once again our prayers and efforts make a difference.
It can seem to us that each day brings news of yet another setback or some new ominous cultural development that's concerning to Christians, each one another straw on the back of an already overloaded camel.
But as recent events in California demonstrate, these trends can be resisted and, if not reversed, at least held at bay. more >>
Vatican leader Pope Francis and French President François Hollande held a private meeting on Wednesday where they discussed the murder of a priest at the hands of Islamic State supporters in July, finding unity following major disagreements over gay marriage and homosexuality earlier this year.
AFP reported that Hollande said he wanted to discuss "religious freedom, secularism and unity with respect for everyone."
"French secularism's message is one which unites, not one that wounds," Hollande said. "The Republic must defend the right to believe and also to not believe. more >>
In his new book "The End of White Christian America," billed "quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year," Robert P. Jones, founding CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, says white Christian America is dead and the general election in November could be a referendum on it.
"I begin the book with an obituary for White Christian America, and I conclude the book with a eulogy. This construction is consistent with the book's stark title. My argument in the book is that we have already experienced the passing of White Christian America," Jones told The Washington Post in an interview with John Sides, an associate professor of political science at George Washington University who specializes in public opinion, voting, and American elections.
"While this claim is grounded in demographic changes, it is also supported by the fading power of major institutions, such as the National Council of Churches or the Christian Coalition of America. There are no indicators that the country will see the likes of White Christian America as a dominant cultural force again," he said. more >>
This week, Pew Research Center released a poll of over 4,000 individuals who had attended a religious service within the past few months. It asked respondents how often clergy had spoken out about various social and political issues.
An impressive 64 percent of respondents reported that they had heard clergy speak about at least one of the six issues included in the survey. However, the survey indicates that when it comes to polarizing morality policy issues, majorities of churchgoers hear nothing.
Only 40 percent of respondents stated that clergy had spoken about religious liberty. Similarly, 39 percent stated that clergy had spoken about homosexuality. Finally, only 29 percent of respondents recalled hearing about abortion. more >>