A conservative legal advocacy group has come to the rescue of a New Jersey man who was told by authorities in his community that he could not display a cross in his yard. In early July the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to officials in the township of Livingston asking them to cease from employing an ordinance prohibiting homeowner Patrick Racaniello from displaying crosses in various areas of his front yard. Local police had used the ordinance as justification for ordering Racaniello to remove a cross he was displaying on a tree in his front yard in celebration of Lent, after one of his neighbors had complained.
“It’s ridiculous to stop citizens from displaying a cross on their own property,” said ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs, who is representing Racaniello. “The Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to express their religious beliefs in this fashion, and no local ordinance can trump that.” Scruggs noted that in the present case, “the ordinance itself doesn’t actually even prohibit these crosses. The law is being used in a vague fashion to stop him from doing what he wishes on his own private property.”
A significant change to the constitution of the liberal Presbyterian Church (USA) — (PCUSA) — took effect July 10 that allows practicing homosexuals to serve as clergy in the storied mainline denomination. Last year delegates to the PCUSA endorsed the change to drop the requirement, written in the church’s constitution, that church ministers live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The change required approval by a majority of the church’s 173 regional presbyteries, which occurred in May of this year, with Minnesota’s Twin Cities district casting the deciding vote.
The change will still require the approval of individual presbyteries, and some districts have indicated that they will continue to prohibit openly homosexual ministers. As they have in other mainline denominations, homosexual activists have aggressively pushed for the PCUSA to endorse their lifestyle for the past decade or more, and more than 100 churches have left the denomination as it has increasingly compromised its scriptural position on sexuality.
Thirty percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, according to a recent Gallup survey. While nearly 50 percent agree that Scripture is “inspired” by God, only three in ten say that it should be interpreted literally. Another 17 percent say the Bible is merely an ancient book of stories recorded by man. According to Gallup, the view that the Bible is divinely inspired, but should not be taken literally, has been the most common opinion over the 40 years that the pollster has been querying Americans on the issue. Gallup noted that the “high point” in the number of Americans believing in the literal interpretation of Scripture was 40 percent in 1980 and 1984, with the low coming in 2001, when only 27 percent said they thought the Bible was the actual, literal word of God.
With an increase in a respondent’s education, and with a decrease in one’s church attendance, a literal interpretation of the Bible goes down, found the Gallup pollsters. “A majority, 54%, of those who attend religious services on a weekly basis believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible,” noted Gallup, “more than twice the percentage of those who attend church less often.”
Planned Parenthood is under attack again, this time from one of the nation’s leading pro-life legal groups, Americans United for Life (AUL). Following a study of more than 20 years of Planned Parenthood records, law enforcement reports, and other evidence, the AUL has released an intensive, 181-page report detailing what it charges are large-scale financial irregularities and circumvention of state laws committed by the nation’s leading abortion provider. During 2008-09 Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in government contracts and grants, while its affiliates were responsible for performing more than 332,000 abortions.
“Americans United for Life is calling for a congressional investigation and hearings into the nation’s largest abortion provider,” announced AUL president Charmaine Yoest with the release of the study. “This report provides the intellectual foundation for an investigation of Planned Parenthood, as well as revealing gaps in the information available to the American taxpayer, who is forced to subsidize the politically powerful abortion industry.”
Delegates at the most recent national meeting of the United Church of Christ (UCC) agreed overwhelmingly July 4 to strike the term “heavenly Father” from the denomination’s constitutional definition of the local church. By a vote of 613 to 161, the delegates voted to change language in Article V of the church’s bylaws from describing a local church as composed of persons who believe in “God as heavenly Father” to those who believe in “the triune God” — thereby relieving UCC members of the responsibility of acknowledging God as masculine.
Explaining the change, which reflects a trend toward gender-neutralizing (and in some cases feminizing) God that has been in vogue throughout the denomination for years, UCC spokesperson Barb Powell told World Net Daily: “In the UCC, our language for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit ... is preferred to be more open for different expressions of the Trinity. Heavenly Father is just one vision.”
The RawStory.com headline blurted out a clear constitutional problem with the Michele Bachmann candidacy: "Bachmann pledges to ban ‘all forms of pornography.’" But the headline was a patent falsehood; Bachmann had pledged to do nothing of the sort.
In fact, Michele Bachmann had signed a pledge by the Iowa-based "The Family Leader," a socially conservative organization pushing candidates and pastors to sign its pledge: "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family." The pledge obligates signers to commit to:
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy — our next generation of American children — from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
City and town clerks across New York are preparing for a surge in same-sex (aka LGBT or GLBT) nuptials, the New York Times reports.
Such is the size of the coming fairytale wedding contingent, thanks to the state’s new law legalizing“same-sex "marriage,” that New York City will open its clerk’s offices on July 24, a Sunday. That is the day the law takes effect.
What Christian (or observant Jewish or Muslim) clerks plan to do about being forced to participate in sin is unknown. What is known is that an alleged Catholic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is not a homosexual but is living with with his girlfriend, signed the bill legalizing “marriage” between members of the same sex.
Archeologists are hoping to piece together from ancient remains the history of one of the Bible's great antagonists: Goliath. Most of the excavating has taken place at the remains of what the team believes is the Philistine city of Gath, Goliath's hometown, where scholars are hoping to garner a better understanding of these fierce biblical enemies of the Israelites.
The Blaze writes:
Close to three millennia ago, Gath was on the frontier between the Philistines, who occupied the Mediterranean coastal plain, and the Israelites, who controlled the inland hills. The city’s most famous resident, according to the book of Samuel, was Goliath — the giant warrior improbably felled by the young shepherd David and his slingshot.
With more and more Americans becoming pro-life and states across the nation enacting new laws aimed at restricting abortion while ending tax subsidies for abortionists, the question of Roe vs. Wade and federal courts continues to plague the debate.
Some of the avenues pursued to have government protect the unborn include efforts to pass a constitutional amendment, place pro-life judges on the Supreme Court, or enact various types of legislation. Those remedies, however, have been sought for decades with nothing to show for it but billions of tax dollars showered on Planned Parenthood and other abortionists and pro-abortion lobbying groups.
The British government has given the nod for abortionists to hawk their services on the “telly.” As reported by the London Telegraph, “Private clinics which carry out abortions will be allowed to advertise on television and radio for the first time, under new rules.” The Telegraph reported that with recently approved recommendations, “drawn up by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, which regulates TV and radio commercials, dozens of independent hospitals carrying out abortions will be able to advertise their services to consumers.”
Under previous rules, only not-for-profit abortion clinics could air advertisements, which boiled down to a single organization, Marie Stopes International. That “charity” aired just one advertisement last year, which resulted in more than 4,500 complaints from UK citizens.