Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park has made some unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included the message “Marriage Is So Gay,” inside out to avoid offending other park patrons. In early July, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, same-sex partners Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton visited the park with some friends, including the friends’ eight- and five-year-old daughters. Odom wore a shirt with a message that was “intended to be a statement supporting same-sex marriage,” reported the paper. As the group entered the park, an employee taking tickets told Odom that she would have to turn her shirt inside out. “I questioned why,” she recalled to the Sentinel, “and he told me because it was a family park.”
While Odom complied, she and Tipton later contacted “the recently formed Campaign for Southern Equality, a support group for gay, lesbian and transgender people who are the subject of discrimination, harassment or violence,” the Sentinel reported. “The campaign’s Jasmine Beach-Ferrera suggested the couple write a letter to [Dollywood] as a first step.”
According to recent news stories by typically Right-leaning media outlets, Judge Sterling Lacy of Texas has taken a stand against the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer in the courtroom, justly provoking a patriotic outburst by Natalie Nichols, a county clerk who stood up to the judge and now reportedly faces prison as a result. A number of media outlets have run with the story, including Fox News and World Net Daily. But the accuracy of the reporting must at least be questioned since Judge Lacy is an ordained minister, served as president of a Christian college, and wrote a book entitled Valley of Decision: The War on God, Family, and Country. Who’s Waging It? Why? What Can You Do About It?
Here is how LibertyCentral.org presented the story:
When we hear about the implantation of human genes in animals, it may conjure up images right out of the story The Island of Dr. Moreau. Of course, present-day experiments of this kind take a more modest form, such as the Chinese’s introduction of human stem cells into goat fetuses or U.S. scientists’ proposal to create a mouse infused with human brain cells. Yet the possibility that H.G. Wells’ nightmare could one day be made reality is troubling some researchers, prompting them to ask for new regulations governing the humanization of animals. Writes Reuters:
Willow Creek Community Church, a Chicago-area mega-church that gained fame 20 years ago for its “seeker-sensitive” approach to evangelizing non-Christians, has announced that it will no longer partner with Exodus International, a national ministry that reaches out to individuals wishing to leave the homosexual lifestyle.
Willow Creek officials said the move has more to do with the church’s overall ministry approach than to a change in its view on homosexuality, which has been traditionally viewed by Christians as sinful. Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, told Christianity Today that the congregation has an open-door policy toward individuals struggling with same-sex attraction. “Willow Creek has a whole host of ministries for people dealing with these issues, and we would never intend for them to feel sidelined,” DeLay said. “All we’ve changed is how we’ve gone about inviting them into the church, which is the primary issue here.”
Another political sex scandal has surfaced, as U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.), has been exposed for indulging in elicit relations with an unidentified 18-year-old woman, only a few weeks after Rep. Anthony Weiner was caught sending lewd photos to young women on Twitter — and only a week before the U.S. default deadline. According to The Oregonian, the incident occurred last November, and the woman is the daughter of one of Wu’s longtime friends. Wu’s victim was reported to be "distraught" and "breathing heavily" when she called his Portland office this spring, accusing him of an aggressive and "unwanted sexual encounter." Wu acknowledged the incident, but insisted that the encounter was consensual. "This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family," the Congressman said.
Wu claims his behavior was a culmination of mental health problems in 2008, stemming from marital issues and an eventual separation from his wife. But troubling behavior is nothing new for the Congressman, as his actions have reportedly been so bizarre at times that aides have had to cancel meetings and public appearances.
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."