Christians across the nation are mobilizing to defend a group of Houston pastors who were ordered by the city to turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity issues or Houston mayor. Their message is simple – Don't Mess with Texas Preachers.
Dave Welch, the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, is one of the five ministers who received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by Annise Parker, who is the city's first openly lesbian mayor, nor will he comply with the city's demands.
"My answer to that is – bring it on," he said. more >>
The story sounds like something you'd read on a crazed e-mail forward — the city of Houston demands to see the contents of pastors' sermons on the topic of homosexuality, gender identity, and . . . restroom access. In fact, when I first heard the story from a parent at my kids' school, I didn't believe it.
But, yes, it's true. In fact, the reality is even worse than the reports. Houston — as part of its litigation strategy opposing a voter lawsuit filed after the city rejected voter petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into bathrooms — has issued subpoenas that don't just demand pastors' sermons on the topics of "equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity," (and, of course, "restroom access"), they also demand all documents including "emails, instant messages, and text messages" on those same topics.
So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on "restroom access," that has to be produced. more >>
Congresswoman Gwen Moore, D-Wis., has addressed criticism toward the handling of Ebola cases by local and federal U.S. officials and said that despite Americans' fears, people from the affected West African countries should be allowed to continue to travel to the U.S.
"Understandably, many Americans have grown increasingly worried about the recent confirmed cases of Ebola within our country's borders. This response is certainly reasonable, and I share my constituents' concern, but it is important to ensure that our alarm about this virus doesn't lead to unreasonable and dangerous actions," Moore said in a statement.
She noted that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden and his team are working to educate the public on transmission risks and safety protocols, following news that a second Texas nurse contracted the deadly virus. more >>
On Monday, the Vatican released an interim report, known as a relatio, which is a non-authoritative document, similar to an advisory, for its synod of bishops to consider when they next discuss issues related to the family, marriage, divorce and sexual orientation.
The media responded, sadly, as it often has, in a frenzy of inferences rather than researching and reporting facts. Reuters proclaimed the Catholic Church has made a "dramatic shift in tone" about same-sex couples— an "earthquake." The New York Times reported the Vatican was calling on the church to "welcome and accept gay people."
The media's ignorance about religious beliefs is well known but the refusal to actually do their job and report facts is astounding. more >>
Recent events have brought the debate on so-called "death with dignity" and assisted suicide into the spotlight again. And yet, the argument is not really a new one. No less a light than William Shakespeare extensively dealt with the subject in his writing.
"Death with dignity" is essentially a code word for suicide, sometimes in the face of a terminal illness. As one humanist put it, he wants to kill himself on his own terms rather than die from some disease. He said it would be like telling God, "You can't fire me---I quit."
In the Netherlands, they accepted the basic concept of doctor-assisted suicide ("death with dignity") many years ago. But they have now reached the point where the level of involuntary deaths has exceeded the number of voluntary deaths. 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 >>