Houston Mayor Annise Parker's original demand that five Houston pastors turn over their sermons and communications under the threat of fines and/or incarceration created a First Amendment firestorm. She's now withdrawn her demand. However, given the history of Parker's tenure as mayor, it's clear this was never about sermons or speeches -- or even about biblical teaching on human sexuality -- it was about political intimidation.
Many Houston area churches were stirred from their slumber as Parker began to push an agenda that she herself admitted was "personal." This personal "to-do" list included a special rights ordinance, which not only made public bathroom selection a matter of multiple choice, it set religious freedom and sexual expression on a collision course.
The citizens responded to the leading voices of Houston's biblically orthodox churches and within a 30-day period over 55,000 citizens, well over the 17,296 needed, signed petitions to place the Mayor's ordnance on the ballot for repeal. The response was overwhelming from a public that had been relatively lethargic toward the openly lesbian mayor who was ushered into the city's top job when only 16 percent of voters turned out to vote. more >>
South Carolina, the only state under the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where the same-sex marriage ban is still enforced, is now facing another lawsuit by those who refuse to have their same-sex spouses' family names written on their driver's license.
The American Civil Liberties Union and S.C. Equality filed the lawsuit in federal court Friday on behalf of people who were married in other states and could not get their surnames changed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to The Associated Press.
While a woman in Lexington County filed a similar lawsuit challenging the state's gay marriage ban last month, other lawsuits are pending in federal court. 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 >>
WASHINGTON — Poor people, especially poor children, are the real victims of a declining marriage culture, professor Robert P. George said.
His liberal colleagues often ask, George recalled, why he spends so much time on the politically-charged issue of marriage, rather than spending his time and talents on helping the poor.
His colleagues do not understand, George said, that he is "in the marriage fight, to fight for the marriage culture precisely because I want to fight poverty. Because I want young people to grow up with the kinds of material, moral and spiritual advantages that you have only where there's a healthy marriage culture." more >>
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has recently published an essay on its website acknowledging that founder Joseph Smith had a teenage spouse. The founder of the Exmormon Foundation, however, says the essay is misleading, because Joseph Smith had more than one teenage bride.
In an essay about polygamy, the church noted the various wives that Smith married, acknowledging that at least one of them was not yet 15 when she married the religious leader.
Titled "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," the essay had a section specifically focused on Smith's marriages, listing those whom he wedded. more >>
WASHINGTON — Intact families, or when children are raised by their married, biological mother and father, are a key factor in producing economic success and personal well being, according to a new report presented Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute.
Those who grow up in intact homes are better educated, more likely to be employed and have higher levels of income than those raised in broken homes, even after controlling for other factors. This is one of the key findings in the report, "For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America," authored by Robert I. Lerman, professor of economics at American University, and W. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.
Family structure matters to individuals, and the impact is cyclical, the report shows. Married men have higher levels of income, and married women do not suffer income loss and women raised in intact homes who enter the workforce flourish more than women raised in broken homes. Plus, children raised in intact homes are better educated and more likely to get and stay married, which contributes to higher levels of income. more >>