Concerned that their group’s name may sound too “regional” for effective outreach throughout the U.S., officials of the 166-year-old Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have announced a task force assigned to study the possibility of changing the name of the 16.16-million member evangelical Christian denomination, the nation’s largest. “Starting a church in New York, or Boston, or Minneapolis, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, it’s really a barrier to a lot of folks in even considering that church or that ministry,” SBC President Bryan Wright told Christianity Today. “When they hear Southern Baptist, it’s a regional perception there. The reason this task force has been set up to study a possible name change is [firstly] to consider a name that is not so geographically limiting, and secondly to help us be better prepared for reaching North America for Christ in the 21st century.”
It is not the first time the SBC has looked into changing its distinctive label. “Motions to study a name change have been presented to the convention on numerous occasions,” reported the SBC’s own Baptist Press News, “for example, 1965, 1974, 1983, 1989, 1990, and 1998.” Additionally, a proposed “straw poll” to consider a name change was defeated at the SBC’s annual meeting in 1999, and an effort in 2004 to put a study in motion was also shot down.
Nearly all the pundits and attorneys are calling Jaycee Lee Dugard’s federal lawsuit a “long shot.” Ms. Dugard, who was abducted with a “stun gun” on her way to school at age 11, then raped and tortured in a shed for 18 years by a federally paroled sex offender with the help of his also-released inmate wife, sued the federal government September 22, citing “gross neglect.”
Even though the Dugard family received a $20-million settlement in 2009 through the California’s Victims’ Compensation Fund, Jaycee Dugard wants to send a message to federal officials and parole agents who “failed on numerous occasions to properly monitor” Phillip Garrido, her captor, a criminal with a history of drug abuse and violence dating back to 1976, when he abducted a woman from the Tahoe area and took her across state lines to Reno, Nevada, and raped her.
Any proceeds from the lawsuit, says Dugard, will go to her private charity, the JAYC Foundation, which assists families recovering from abduction and other trauma. She has quite enough money now, after all. It’s her childhood she can’t recover — and the welfare of two children conceived in rape, whom she still nurtures.
Activists protesting Utah's opposition to same-sex "marriage" (and other statutes dealing with moral issues) have found an effective way to garner public attention: stripping down to their underwear and running through the streets of Salt Lake City. Nate Porter, who planned the so-called Undie Run, said the goal of the event was to organize those frustrated by what he dubbed "uptight" laws in Utah.
He continued, "My goal is to change Utah. To make this state lighten up once and for all. I’m trying to draw people in that are jaded by [the state's] politics.”
According to the Undie Run website, residents of Utah are boring and uptight, and it is the job of the protesters to change that. The site states,
We want each group of friends to come with there [sic] own specific demands written all over your body/undies/signs. Be creative. Get your friends to come with matching undies and help protest for your particular issues. Help us get the message out that Utah needs to lighten up. The Beauty of this event is that it's for you [to] decide. If you check the comments below you will see many voicing there [sic] opinions in many areas that Utah needs to simply lighten up on.
The Michigan legislature facilitated a huge pro-life victory September 21 when the state Senate voted 29-8 to ban late-term, “partial-birth” abortions. That vote followed an earlier 75-33 vote in the state House to approve the measure, which now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Rick Snyder for his expected signature.
A partial-birth abortion entails having an abortionist partially deliver a viable baby, and then kill the child before he or she completely emerges from the womb — making the procedure, by legal reasoning, an abortion rather than a homicide. The ban would make the procedure a felony punishable by a two-year prison term and a $50,000 fine.
Republican Senator Arlan Meekhof, one of the bill’s sponsors, called partial-birth abortion “a barbaric act that we need to stop. I’m proud to sponsor this measure because I believe every life is precious.
Thanks to an unnoticed provision legislators slipped into state law 20 years ago, almost two dozen union leaders in Chicago stand to walk off with a cool $56 million in pension money, the Chicago Tribune reported last week. But only if the Illinois legislature does not repeal the provision, detailed in a lengthy report the Tribune conducted with WGN-TV. Three of the union leaders may earn as much as $5 million.
No one seems to know, the Tribune reported, who tweaked state pension law to permit the looting. Or at least no one will accept responsibility.
An honors student at a Fort Worth, Texas, high school was sent to the principal’s office after he told a fellow student that he thought homosexuality is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary was in his German class “when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany,” reported Fox News. “At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong.’”
A short time later Dakota’s mother, Holly Pope, received a call from an assistant principal at Fort Worth’s Western Hills High School informing her that her son would be serving an “in-school suspension,” along with a two-day full suspension, for his offense. “Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” Pope told Fox News, adding that her son is not only an honors student, but plays on the school’s football team and is involved in his church’s youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes,” she added.
Despite all the controversy surrounding what is usually referred to as the Ground Zero mosque, and the efforts put in place to halt the project in its tracks, the Islamic Cultural Center being constructed near the site of 9/11 attacks hosted a photograph exhibit on Wednesday.
While the entire Islamic Center is not complete yet, the Cultural Center opened its doors for its first exhibit, which featured pictures of New York children from a variety of backgrounds lining the walls of the building. The photographer for the exhibit is Danny Goldfield, a Jewish man who said he was inspired to create the exhibit by the story of Rana Sodhi, a Sikh from India whose brother was killed in a retaliatory hate crime just four days after 9/11.
The exhibit depicts children from 169 countries, and Goldfield said he hopes to find subjects representing 24 other countries to complete the project. Some of the photographs he has taken are currently being exhibited elsewhere.
Since France passed legislation earlier this year banning the Islamic burqas, or face-veils, from its streets, the law has engendered a wave of protest. Now, in a show of opposition against the ban, an Islamic Frenchwoman, Kenza Drider, has decided to launch a bid for the French presidency. “When a woman wants to maintain her freedom, she must be bold,” she asserted.
Drider declared her candidacy on Thursday in Meaux, a city outside of Paris which is run by conservative lawmaker Jean-Francois Cope, a leading advocate of the veil ban. Her announcement is not entirely surprising, as she has been an outspoken critic of the ban virtually since its inception. In May, she declared on a local media outlet, “I would rather go to prison than take off the face veil.”
Once again California has demonstrated why it is called the “Land Where Nothing Is Permitted.” A couple in San Juan Capistrano, a community in southern Orange County celebrated in song as the place to which the swallows return each March, has been fined $300 by the city for holding Bible studies and Christian get-togethers in their home. Ironically, the community was founded as a Christian mission in the 1700s, and is home to the oldest building still in use in California — a Catholic chapel where the mission’s founder, Father Junipero Serra, celebrated Mass.
According to the conservative news site The Blaze, city officials determined that Chuck and Stephanie Fromm were “in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits ‘religious, fraternal or non-profit’ organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.”
Although Mitt Romney has defended RomneyCare as a fitting solution to the medical insurance problem in Massachusetts, he has yet to face another issue which may very well be his Achilles' heel and make his nomination impossible. That is his support of gay marriage and the gay agenda in the schools of Massachusetts.
Amy Contrada, a conservative activist in Massachusetts, has written a 600-page book, Mitt Romney’s Deception, documenting the former Governor’s stealth support of gay rights and gay marriage. She shows how he has worked closely with gay activists and pro-gay rights advisors in his administration. She excoriates him for implementing the controversial gay marriage decision handed down by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, ignoring the call to remove the judges who voted for it.
Contrada carefully documents the pro-homosexual and pro-transgender actions of Romney’s Department of Social Services (DSS). But apparently this trend started before Romney became Governor, which will no doubt be his defense. Contrada writes: