One of the nation’s largest denominational social services networks is in danger of a major split over the decision by one of the participants to take a tolerant stance on homosexuality. According to a report by the Associated Press, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (logo, top portion), a theologically conservative denomination, has announced “that direct work with its larger and more liberal counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA, logo, bottom portion], has become ‘difficult if not impossible,’ because of doctrinal differences,” including the 2009 decision by the ELCA to allow for the ordination of homosexuals as clergy members. The AP report noted that like Catholic Charities, “Lutheran agencies are some of the biggest service providers in their communities and have been struggling to meet increased demand for help during the recession. Just one of the joint Lutheran agencies, Lutheran Services in America, said on its website that it encompasses more than 300 health and human services organizations with a combined annual budget of more than $16 billion.”

The Rev. Herb Mueller, first vice president for the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said his denomination recognizes that “this is a difficult issue.
 

Al Sharpton, the anti-Semitic demagogue, is expected to take the place of Cenk Uygur on MSNBC in the 6 p.m. weekday time slot. The New York Times reported that Sharpton and MSNBC are prepared to sign a contract, and that Uygur refused to sign a contract to work in a weekend slot. However, the Times article ignored Sharpton’s long history of anti-Semitic and racial instigation, and how he defamed police when inserted himself into the Tawana Brawley case.

On November 28, 1987, 15-year-old Tawana Brawley, supposedly missing for four days, turned up lying in a garbage bag in the street. She was smeared with feces and covered with slurs written in what appeared to be charcoal. She was supposedly nearly unconscious. She mumbled incoherently.

President Obama has formally certified the repeal of the official U.S. policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the military. “Obama said the policy change, which will go into effect in September, means the armed forces no longer will be deprived of the talents and skills of gay Americans,” reported the government’s Voice of America news service. But conservative Christian and military readiness groups condemned the move as a political payoff to homosexual activist groups, warning that the repeal would result in dire consequences for the military.

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality,” said the President late Friday as he signed the certification. The President announced that as of September 20, “service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.”

Norwegian authorities have captured the man suspected of Friday’s bombing in Oslo and shooting at Utoya island, which left 91 people dead. The suspect is Anders Behrin Breivik, 32, whom Norwegian authorities describe as a Christian fundamentalist.

Breivik’s attack on Friday began with a bomb in the capital’s government headquarters, which houses the Prime Minister’s office. Seven people are believed dead in that attack. But Breivik, apparently, was waiting to do murder at the Island, which is about 20 miles from Oslo. There, he gunned down 84.

Said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, "My childhood paradise ... yesterday was transformed into Hell."

A judge in Graz, Austria, has fined the head of the Austrian branch of Human Life International, Dietmar Fischer, and three sidewalk counselors over $12,000 for allegedly stalking abortion doctor Johannes Hanfstingl. Interestingly, Judge Erik Nauta levied the fine against the four pro-life activists after the doctor informed him that he had not been stalked.

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula, interim President of Human Life International, declared: "The complete bias and disregard for the facts in this ruling show the extent to which anti-life advocates, including judges, will go to perpetuate the culture of death. This is the kind of persecution HLI’s pro-life missionaries around the world face on a daily basis."

If you want to know whether homosexuals think size matters, the National Institutes for Health can tell you. That's because NIH dumped nearly $1 million into a study of penis size among homosexuals, the Traditional Values Coalition has revealed.

The study, published in 2009, Fox News reports, is titled “The Association Between Penis Size and Sexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men” and involved 1,000 homosexuals and bisexuals.

TVC says the penis survey was included as part of a larger study that cost nearly $10 million. The study was necessary, Fox reports of the study's claims, because "little research [was done] among men who have sex with men assessing the association between penis size and socio-sexual health."
 

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law July 20 that will ban late-term abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger. Reporting on the new law, LifeNews.com noted that previously in Ohio, a woman could legally abort her baby through the ninth month of pregnancy. “With the passage of H.B. 78 and the ultimate signature by Kasich, babies who can live outside of their mother’s womb will no longer be subject to death via an abortion,” reported the pro-life news site. Commenting on the new law, which is scheduled to go into effect in late October, a Kasich spokesman declared that the governor “is pro-life, has been pro-life throughout his career and believes strongly in the sanctity of human life.” In his own statement the governor declared that life “is a gift from God and one way that we express our ongoing gratitude for it is by respecting it. This bill does that in a very fundamental way and I’m proud to have signed it into law.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings July 20 on a possible repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 15-year-old law that defines marriage in federal matters as between a man and a woman, and allows states the option of not recognizing the same-sex marriage laws of other states. The hearings highlighted the stark difference between the views of homosexual activists, who testified that the foundations of marriage are personal happiness and financial security, and those of pro-family advocates, who explained that traditional marriage is crucial to the stability and survival of society. Over the past months, President Obama has subtly taken the lead on dismantling DOMA, passed in 1996 by his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton. On July 19, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Obama is “proud” to support the Respect for Marriage Act, the legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) that would effect the repeal of DOMA. “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” explained Carney. As reported by The New American, in February the President called DOMA unconstitutional and ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal court.

A conservative legal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of high school students in Roswell, New Mexico, charging that the Roswell Independent School district retaliated against members of a Christian club after they distributed doughnuts with Bible verses to members of the faculty. According to a press release by Liberty Counsel, in addition to giving away doughnuts to teachers, members of the Christian group Relentless in Roswell had, in the past, distributed chicken salad, hot chocolate, and candy canes to both faculty and students. In an effort to use their faith to reach out to others the club had been involved in such projects as assisting teachers with trash in their classrooms, helping fellow students with their trays during lunch, and distributing rocks with encouraging messages such as “U are wonderful” painted on one side and the Bible reference “Psalm 139” on the other.

But members of the group had also made bold statements about their moral and pro-life beliefs by “distributing abstinence wristbands and plastic models of babies at 12 weeks gestation, bringing attention to the life of the unborn,” noted Liberty Counsel. Those actions prompted school officials to give some of the students school suspensions, and to bully other students into toning back their witness, the press release related.

Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), a mainstay of Christian outreach ministries at universities across the U.S. for the past 60 years, is changing its iconic name because “the word ‘crusade’ has negative associations with the bloody Christian conquests of the 11th to 13th centuries,” reported the New York Times. In a press release, the organization itself explained that it was changing its name to simply “Cru” in an effort to “overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.”

CCC’s late founder, Bill Bright, was aware of the perceived problems inherent in the group’s original brand and, said his wife Vonette Bright, “actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago.” She added that with the new name the group hoped “to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived — Jesus Christ.”

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