The Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said Monday that "activist judges are overturning the will of the people," when speaking about the 61 percent of North Carolina voters who supported an amendment banning same-sex marriage in their state.
"It's sad when a judge is able to overrule the will of the people. This is a democracy and the people spoke. We're seeing that activist judges across the country are overturning the will of the people," Graham, a native of the state, said in an interview with NBC Charlotte. "We saw that in California. We're now seeing it here in North Carolina now. I don't know what will take place."
Last week a court declared North Carolina's ban, which passed via popular referendum in 2012, unconstitutional. Counties in the state have since been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. more >>
Atheist intellectual and author Richard Dawkins is defending his controversial remarks on Twitter saying that 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai might leave her religion as she gets older.
Dawkins defended his words in a series of tweets on the social media website days after remarking that Malala Yousafzai "is religious now but give her time."
It is, at this point, beyond obvious that quarters of the hard-left academic world are overrun with anti-Semitism disguised as anger at alleged Israeli mistreatment of the terrorist-governed citizens of Gaza. Israeli citizens and soldiers stubbornly refuse to be killed and terrorized into surrender, so they apparently must be punished. Possessing little power but much spite, the members of the American Studies Association (ASA), an otherwise-obscure academic association, voted last year to ban Israeli institutions and Israeli academics representing Israelis institutions from their annual meeting.
No other nationality is subject to such discrimination — not Syrians representing a regime that has gassed its enemies, not Iranians representing a regime that hangs apostates, not Russians representing a regime that has launched an invasion of a neighboring sovereign nation. Instead, they focus their ire on the Middle East's lone democracy, a nation under constant terrorist attack that still grants its citizens — regardless of race or religion — greater civil liberties than any other nation in the region.
While the ASA is entitled to its spite, it may not exempt itself from the consequences of its actions. Yesterday afternoon my colleagues and I at the ACLJ sent a letter to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel reminding the General Manager (and the Hotel's owners) that the hotel may not be dragooned into the ASA's campaign of hate and discrimination. California's Unruh Civil Rights Act bans "business establishments" from discriminating on the basis of, among other things, race, religion, and national origin. If the Westin hotel enforces ASA's ban, it will be guilty of exactly the kind of invidious discrimination the law was crafted to prohibit. more >>
As a Christian and a conservative, I don't often find myself in agreement with liberal comedian Bill Maher and atheist author Sam Harris. I found Maher's so called documentary, Religulous, fatuous and intellectually dishonest. Harris, while perhaps less strident than his fellow New Atheists, is essentially a materialist, grounding his critique of religion in the claim that it is a "failed science." Not surprisingly, I find his work condescending and ontologically off the mark.
Recently, however, Harris and Maher found themselves at the center of controversy for criticizing the Liberal response, or lack thereof, to the atrocities being committed by ISIS in the name of Islam. The imbroglio initially erupted during a taping of Maher's HBO show, Real Time, in which Harris was a guest along with actor Ben Affleck, columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former chairman of the Republican Party, Michael Steele. Maher and Harris were discussing what they see as the clear relationship between the teachings of Islam and the violent, extremist tactics being employed across the globe in the name of Allah. Affleck and Kristof took great offense at this, calling Maher and Harris racists and repeatedly insisting that the brutal thugs currently terrorizing the Middle East do not accurately represent the teachings of Islam. In a subsequent interview with PBS's Charlie Rose – who also appeared offended at the idea that violence and cruelty are inherent to the Muslim faith – Maher defended his assertion that Islam is unique in its intolerance and prescriptions of violence:
"Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second-class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does ISIS do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren't just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. . . . There was a Pew poll in Egypt done a few years ago – 82% said, I think, stoning is the appropriate punishment for adultery. Over 80% thought death was the appropriate punishment for leaving the Muslim religion. I'm sure you know these things. . . . So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naive and plain wrong. It is not like other religions. The New York Times pointed out in an op-ed a couple weeks ago that in Saudi Arabia just since August 4th, they think it was, they have beheaded 19 people. Most for non-violent crimes including homosexuality." more >>
Your vote counted. No it didn't.
Last week, one unelected judge, overturned the will of 1,317,178 North Carolinians when he declared North Carolina's definition of marriage in violation of the United States constitution. Judge Max Cogburn, appointed by President Obama, said that the definition 61 percent of voters approved just two years ago violated the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment—the same rationale used by judges elsewhere to violate the expressed will of the people. This is beyond absurd.
It's absurd rationally because everyone already has equal marriage rights. Every person has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex. That law treats all people equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally. Same sex marriage and natural marriage are different behaviors with different outcomes, so the law rightfully treats them differently. One behavior perpetuates and stabilizes society, and the other doesn't. more >>
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly reappeared in public photos published by North Korean state media in an attempt to halt rumors regarding his whereabouts. Kim, who hadn't been seen in over a month and missed several important public dates, appeared to be walking with the aid of a cane in the new images.
Kim was pictured offering field guidance to a newly built residential district, and visiting the Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, CNN said based on state media reports. The photos show the 31-year-old leader walking with a cane, smiling and surrounded by government officials.
The photos portray Kim's first public appearance since Sept. 3, when he was last seen attending a concert with his wife. more >>