Christian

High Court Rules Against Obama’s Abortion Pill Mandate in Hobby Lobby Case

By Editor WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two historic rulings today ruling against Obama’s abortion pill mandate, upholding the right of Christian business owners to refuse to provide contraception drugs that may cause abortion to employees in a 5-4 decision. What will go down in history as two of the most important rulings that will affect Christian business owners and their businesses for many years to come was decided today in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government cannot force owners of closely-owned corporations to provide contraceptive drugs to employees if they hold religious beliefs that oppose them. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the main dissent. In the 5-4 decision, the majority of the justices ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to privately-owned businesses, such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties which argued against the mandate. “As applied to closely held corporations the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate RFRA,” the court held. Alito wrote that “RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for profit corporations like Conestoga and Hobby Lobby,” and “he HHS …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Religion

Israel’s top court says mother need not have son circumcised

By Ari Rabinovitch By Ari Rabinovitch (Relatives look at a baby after his circumcision in Jerusalem September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun) Israel’s Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by a court of rabbis that would have forced a mother to have her son circumcised under the terms her divorce. Circumcision is not legally obligatory for Jews in Israel, but a rabbinical court presiding over the woman’s divorce case had ruled she must fulfill her husband’s wish to carry out the procedure in a religious rite known in Hebrew as a “brit milah”. Last year, the court had ordered her to pay a 500-shekel ($150) daily fine until she complied. The mother then appealed to Israel’s highest court. Circumcision is one of Judaism’s most fundamental decrees, symbolizing the covenant between God and the Jewish people and nearly all Jews in Israel abide by it, performing the ritual when their babies are eight days old. Rabbinical courts in Israel have jurisdiction over matters of marriage and divorce and operate under the Justice Ministry. But the Supreme Court, which has overriding legal authority in the Jewish state, ruled that because the health of the child was at stake, the rabbinic judges had overstepped their mandate. It also said that since the boy was …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Education

Preventing School Shootings: Mental Health Treatment Needed at School

By jdonzelli FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, FL – “If we do not make changes, then our past will determine our future and we will continue to have school shootings.” This statement was a part of my first testimony before Congress in March 1999 shortly before the massacre at Columbine High School. My testimony focused on the need for increased mental health services for students in our schools. I’ve been personally involved in providing direct on-site services in the aftermath of 13 school shootings and have consulted with school personnel after many other shootings and have stayed abreast of the latest research and literature. I’m very aware of the societal changes being called for by parents who lost their children in these tragedies. They’re calling for more religion, better parenting, controlling guns, reducing media violence and increasing mental health services for our youth. There’ve been few changes and little agreement about what needs to be done. What do we know about school shooters other than they are exclusively male? Are they ordinary kids? A school shooting took place at Chardon High School (Ohio) and much to my dismay, USA Today (March 2, 2012 ) published a headline on this tragic event describing the teenage shooter with misleading words: …read more Source: NSU News     ...
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Religion

U.S. cancels visa of hardline Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, his group says

By Reuters Staff By Reuters Staff (A Buddhist monk from the “Buddhist Power Force” holds up a placard as they march towards the Indian High Commission during a protest against the Indian government in Colombo July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte ) The United States cancelled the visa given to a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk heading a hardline group accused of involvement in violence against Sri Lanka’s minority Muslims, an official of the group said on Monday. Clashes erupted on June 15 in Aluthgama and Beruwela, two towns with large Muslim populations on the island’s southern coast, during a protest march led by the hardline group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or “Buddhist Power Force”. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, a Buddhist monk and the secretary general of the BBS, had been told of the decision, the official said. “An official from the U.S. Embassy called Gnanasara thero (monk) on Friday and informed him that the State Department wants to convey him that he cannot use his existing visa to enter the United States,” BBS spokesman Dilantha Vithanage told Reuters by telephone. A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Colombo said the U.S. government would not comment on individual visa cases. The State Department’s decision came after BBS on Friday said Facebook accounts of its …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Christian

City Cancels Chick-fil-A Sponsored Event, Cite Owners’ ‘Criminal’ Beliefs

By Garrett Haley NANAIMO, British Columbia – The city council of a small Canadian town canceled an event in a city-owned facility last month after learning that the event was to be sponsored in part by Chick-fil-A. Nanaimo, Canada, is a small town in southwestern British Columbia with a population of approximately 85,000. The city had planned to rent out an event center to a Georgia-based leadership organization for a simulcast on May 9, but that changed when city leaders learned that the event would be sponsored in part by Chick-fil-A. Evidently, the Nanaimo city councilors took issue with the Christian faith of Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy. According to minutes from a May 5 city council meeting, city leaders voted 8 to 1 to cancel the event because they did not want to be associated with Cathy’s Christian beliefs. “s owners of the facility,” the event-canceling motion states, “any events that are associated with organizations or people that promote or have a history of divisiveness, homophobia, or other expressions of hate not be permitted .” As previously reported, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has drawn sharp criticism from pro-homosexual advocates in years past, including when he criticized the Supreme Court’s decision …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian

Obey God or Government? U.S. Supreme Court May Force Christians Out of Business

By Editor WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to make a historic ruling on Monday in two cases that will impact Christian businesses owners across the country, and may put them in a difficult position of having to choose between obeying God or government. As previously reported, the Obama administration had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court in September of last year in an effort to force the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby to comply with the abortion pill mandate in the Affordable Care Act. It asked the court to overturn a preliminary injunction that was granted to the company in July of last year. Hobby Lobby offers birth control coverage to its employees but refuses to provide coverage for the morning-after and week-after pill, which it believes are abortifacients. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, the plaintiff in the second case before the court, filed suit in December 2012 against the mandate, stating that it has never provided insurance coverage for medications that induce abortions, and doesn’t plan on doing so. It explained that terminating a life after conception violates its sincerely-held Mennonite beliefs, stating that it “is an intrinsic evil and a sin against God.” However, a federal judge appointed by George W. …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Religion

After years off-stage, Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani takes charge

By Reuters Staff By Reuters Staff (Volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi Army to fight against predominantly Sunni militants, carry weapons and a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during a parade in the streets in Baghdad’s Sadr city June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili) Najaf is far from Baghdad’s palaces and the battlefields of northern Iraq. Its mud-brick houses, dirt alleys and concrete office blocks project little in the way of strength or sway. But it is here, where Iraq’s most influential clerics work from modest buildings in the shadow of a golden-domed shrine, that the country’s future is being shaped. Over his past three Friday sermons, Iraq’s top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, an ascetic 83-year-old of almost mythological stature to millions of followers in Iraq and beyond, has seized his most active role in politics in a decade. From his spartan office in the holy city of Najaf, down an alleyway protected by armed guards, Sistani has asserted his dominance over public affairs, demanding politicians choose a new government without delay and potentially hastening the end of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s eight-year tenure. The cleric, a recluse who favors a behind-the-scenes role, kicked off his newly assertive stance on June 13 with a call for …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Religion

On eve of Supreme Court ruling, Americans oppose contraceptive ban: poll

By Reuters Staff By Reuters Staff (Numerous news crews await outside the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron ) A majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage, says a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected on Monday. In one of the most closely watched cases of the year, the nine-member court will weigh whether for-profit corporations may raise religious objections to a mandate in President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 healthcare law that their insurance cover contraceptives. It brings to the forefront thorny questions of religious freedom and reproductive rights, along with enduring politicking over the law known as Obamacare, itself broadly upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. The poll asked whether employers should be able to choose what forms of contraceptives their health plans provide based on their religious beliefs. Of those responding, 53 percent disagreed and 35 percent agreed. Of those surveyed, 12 percent said they did not know. The justices will sit at 10 a.m. ET on Monday for the final day of their nine-month annual term. In the case, two family-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, challenged the insurance requirement for certain employee birth …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Religion

Record turnout for Singapore gay rally amid religious protests

By Tom Heneghan By Tom Heneghan (Participants form a giant pink dot at the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su ) One of the largest crowds ever recorded in Singapore for a civil society gathering turned out on Saturday at a gay rights rally, against a backdrop of noisy opposition from religious groups in the run-up to the event. An estimated 26,000 people descended on Hong Lim Park for the “Pink Dot”, an annual event since 2009 that aims to discourage discrimination against same-sex couples. Sex between two men is illegal in Singapore and punishable with up to two years in prison, though it is rarely enforced. The law, based on English texts from the island’s colonial period, makes no mention of lesbians. The rally, which saw people dress in pink for a picnic and concert in the park and then gather in a circle to form a “pink dot”, has previously taken place without much visible protest. However this year, some Muslim and Christian groups came together to call on their followers to wear white to show their opposition to the event and what they perceive as growing acceptance of homosexuality in Singapore. “This year the extent of the negativity has …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Religion

Sectarian genie is out of the bottle from Syria to Iraq

By Samia Nakhoul By Samia Nakhoul (Shi’ite volunteers patrol an area against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) at the desert region between Kerbala and Najaf, south of Baghdad, June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani ) As jihadists storm through the Sunni heartlands of Iraq towards Baghdad, where a Shi’ite government they regard as heretic clings on, they have lifted the veil on deep sectarianism which has also stoked the fires of Syria’s civil war and is spilling over into vulnerable mosaic societies such as Lebanon. The sectarian genie is now well out of the bottle, eclipsing traditional inter-state rivalries that plague the Middle East – even if these still play a part in the drama. The 1979 Islamic Revolution brought a Shi’ite theocracy to power in non-Arab Iran, giving a sectarian edge to the long-standing, state-to-state contest for influence in the Gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy underpinned by the fundamentalist tenets of Sunni Wahhabi doctrine. And the 2003 US invasion shattered Iraq into ethno-sectarian fragments, giving the majority Shi’ites the whip-hand over the Sunni minority and overturning a century-old balance of power. Now the Syrian conflict pitting a government whose core is President Bashar al-Assad’s …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Christian

The Twenty-Third Chapter: Four Things Which Bring Great Peace

By TomTruex The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisBOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSOLATIONThe Twenty-Third Chapter: Four Things Which Bring Great Peace The Voice of Christ MY CHILD, I will teach you now the way of peace and true liberty. Seek, child, to do the will of others rather than your own. Always choose to have less rather than more. Look always for the last place and seek to be beneath all others. Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you. Behold, such will enter into the realm of peace and rest. The Disciple O Lord, this brief discourse of Yours contains much perfection. It is short in words but full of meaning and abounding in fruit. Certainly if I could only keep it faithfully, I should not be so easily disturbed. For as often as I find myself troubled and dejected, I find that I have departed from this teaching. But You Who can do all things, and Who always love what is for my soul’s welfare, …read more Source: Imitate Christ     ...
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Local News

Broward again eyes fix for timing of red lights

By By Michael Turnbell and Brittany Wallman , Sun Sentinel Broward County has been promising for 40 years to fix the problem of unsynchronized traffic lights. Now officials say they have the solution — a real-time system that can adapt to changing traffic conditions — but it is still about six years away. …read more Source: Broward Politics     ...
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