A month after a similar amendment was rejected by voters in Mississippi, pro-life leaders in Colorado have announced that they will work to place a proposed “personhood” amendment on the ballot in their state. The amendment, which has already failed twice in the state, is meant to “protect every child, no matter their age, race, gender, location, or size,” explained Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, the Colorado group behind personhood amendment efforts in a number of states.
Proponents will need to get approval for the amendment from the Colorado Secretary of State, as well as about 79,000 petition signatures from state voters, in order for the amendment to make it to the ballot.
While past personhood amendment language has been confined to a one-sentence declaration that defines unborn children as persons under the law beginning at conception, the new proposed amendment states: “In order to affirm basic human dignity, be it resolved that the right to life in this Constitution applies to all innocent persons.” The amendment goes on to declare, among other specifications, that the “intentional killing of any innocent person is prohibited,” and that “no innocent child created through rape or incest shall be killed for the crime of his or her father.”
As for the pertinent definitions, the proposed amendment specifies that “‘person’ applies to every human being regardless of the method of creation,” and that a “‘human being’ is a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development.” Additionally, the amendment specifies that a “child” includes “a human being prior to and during birth.”
The community of San Juan Capistrano, California, has backed down from ticketing a couple for holding Bible studies in their home after the couple’s attorneys filed a religious-freedom lawsuit against the city. Back in September, city officials had fined Chuck and Stephanie Fromm $300 after determining that the couple was in violation of a municipal code that prohibited “religious, fraternal, or non-profit” groups to meet in residential neighborhoods without a permit.
As reported by The New American, the couple hosted a mid-week Bible study that drew some 20 participants, as well as a Sunday service with an attendance of around 50. According to the code, institutions needing a permit included “churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, religious retreats, and other places of religious worship and other fraternal and community service organizations.”
The highly controversial sexual molestation charges against the assistant football coach at Penn State have now been followed by similar allegations against the assistant basketball coach at upstate New York’s Syracuse University.
Syracuse recently fired its assistant basketball coach, Bernie Fine, after allegations surfaced that he had for years sexually molested young ball-boys for the basketball team, dating back to 1984. The university was reportedly “shaken” by the allegations.
According to WSYR Channel 9, “Fine has been the subject of a sexual molestation investigation involving several law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s office, Onondaga County District Attorney’s office, Syracuse Police, and New York State Police.”
One of Fine’s alleged victims, Bobby Davis, now 39, told “Outside the Lines” that he was sexually abused by Fine for six years, starting in 1984, while serving as the basketball team’s ball-boy, at both Fine’s home and the university’s basketball facilities. He claims that the abuse continued until he was 27 years old.
Following the revelation of Davis, another alleged victim came forward — Mike Lang, 45, stepbrother of Bobby Davis who also served as a ball-boy for the basketball team. Lang asserts that Fine molested him while he was in the fifth or sixth grade.
Barney Frank, the first openly homosexual Congressman, whose “alternative” lifestyle at times spilled over into his public life, has announced that he is retiring at the end of his present term, ending a 30-year career as one of the most liberal members of the House of Representatives. In his official announcement, Frank explained that he had been contemplating retirement for the past year, and, facing a reconfigured district that would require him to aggressively campaign among hundreds of thousands of new constituents, he decided instead to drop out.
A political insider told the Boston Globe that “the new district in which Frank would have had to run next year was a major factor in his decision. While it retained his Newton stronghold, it was revised to encompass more conservative towns while Frank also lost New Bedford, a blue-collar city where he had invested a lot of time and become a leading figure in the region’s fisheries debate.”
Frank complained that the political arena had changed “in a way that makes it harder to get anything done at the federal level.” He reflected that as a legislator he had been effective at “working inside the process to influence public policy in the ways that I think are important. But I now believe that there is more to be done trying to change things from outside than by working within.”
An ex-employee of London’s buzzing Heathrow Airport is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that she and other Christian staff were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. According to the U.K.’s Sunday Telegraph, Nohad Halawi, who migrated to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, professed "that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross."
Halawi worked at the airport as a saleswoman at World Duty Free, where she sold perfumes at a commission-based pay position, but was dismissed in July, after working for the airport shopping outlet for 13 years. While nurturing many relationships amongst staff of all religious affiliations, she was fired following "unsubstantiated complaints by five Muslims about her contact," reported Christian Concern.
A complaint from a colleague was reported after Halawi described a Muslim staff member as an allawhi, which means "man of God" in Arabic, but another worker nearby thought she said Alawi, a branch of Islam that the worker is affiliated to. The misunderstanding instigated a heated exchange and Hawali was suspended immediately, and then fired in July.
While churches, pastors, and Christians everywhere bemoan the state of spirituality in today’s culture, Americans can point to few notable Christian leaders in the nation. The findings of a November 21 study led the Barna Group to conclude that there are gaps to be filled — if not for national leaders, at least for “more local and regional Christian leaders to emerge — whether in churches, ministries, or a variety of other capacities.”
Barna’s latest study —based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 1,007 adults in the continental United States, aged 18 and older — reveals that no single Christian leader has emerged to a level of influence that captures the attention of the nation. Indeed, when asked to identify the single most influential Christian leader today, 41 percent of respondents were unable to think of anyone meeting that description.
The death of longtime homosexual activist Frank Kameny offered an opportunity for “LGBT” professionals to gather and celebrate their increasing presence in the federal government, as well as to insist that more be done to advance their interests.
On a mid-November evening, a group of D.C. bureaucrats gathered at the Cannon House Office Building to remember the “gay rights pioneer,” who, reported the Associated Press, “is credited with staging the first gay rights protests in front of the White House and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. He had been fired from his job as a government astronomer for being gay. Kameny took that case to the Supreme Court 50 years ago.”
John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, told the gathering — which included White House staffers, Congressmen, and a Yale Law School professor — that Kameny was responsible for blazing the trail “that I and countless others followed into public service.” Berry, who in 2009 became the Obama administration’s highest level homosexual appointee, told the assembled group that Kameny’s “unrelenting and unceasing fight for gay rights enabled other Americans to step out of the closet and into the full light of equality. But most importantly, his long battle and eventual triumphs show the miracles that one person wrought upon the world.”
While Berry may be one of the most high-profile homosexuals serving in the Obama administration, he is by no means the only one.
They call it Dearbornistan, Michigan, for more than one reason. Yet another surfaced last week week when The Detroit News and the Associated Press reported that a male nurse, fired for treating women Muslim patients at a taxpayer-subsidized health clinic, has filed a lawsuit against Dearborn.
That’s right. According to the lawsuit, John Benitez, Jr. was terminated for doing his job because “conservative” Muslims complained about him treating women wearing the hijab, although he did so under the orders of a doctor.
Some 30 percent of Dearborn residents are Arabs, although it is unclear what percentage of those are Muslims. One indication is that Dearborn boasts the largest mosque in North America. Another is the mounting evidence of bias against Christians in such places as Fordson High School, where the student body is 80 percent Arab.
No Male Nurses for Women Muslims
A nursing as well as Army veteran, Benitez, 63, began working at the clinic in September 2010, AP reported, citing the complaint filed by his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon.
In a deep bow to the homosexual lobby, a small army of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced legislation that would extend employee benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers. Under H.R. 3485, homosexual partners of federal employees would be eligible for such benefits as retirement, life insurance, health insurance, workers compensation, and death benefits.
“The federal government must set an example as an equal opportunity employer,” the bill’s sponsor, lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was quoted by The Hill as saying. “If we are to treat all federal employees fairly and recruit the best and the brightest to serve in government, we need this legislation.”
Predictably, among the bill’s co-sponsors were three other homosexual Democrats: David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Also not surprisingly, Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added her signature to the bill’s sponsorship. The Hill reported that Ros-Lehtinen, “who has a transgendered daughter, has said recently that her views have evolved on gay and lesbian rights over the last several years. Earlier this year, Ros-Lehtinen supported a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law she voted for in 1996 under which the federal government defines marriage as between a man and a woman.”
Raise the issue of religious lobbying and the average American will immediately think of groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, which enjoyed their heyday back in the 1980s and ’90s. But a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that the number of religious — and anti-religious — groups pushing a plethora of values-based agendas has exploded over the past 40 years.
Those groups include such broadly focused entities as Focus on the Family (FOTF), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, People for the American Way, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Family Research Council, as well as such special interest organizations as the American Life League, the National Right to Life Committee, Bread for the World, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and the National Organization for Marriage.
According to the Pew study, the number of groups “engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C., has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today.” The total of 212 organizations analyzed by Pew collectively employ at least 1,000 staff members and spend more than $390 million annually to influence Congress and other Beltway movers and shakers on some 300 policy issues. “Religious advocacy is now a permanent and sizable feature of the Washington scene,” said Allen Hertzke, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma and lead author of the report.