Culture Wars: TV Commercials, Gay Marriage, Christianity Today
American Family Association Journal
379 companies support gay marriage
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Visa, General Electric, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, eBay, and Coca-Cola are among 379 companies that filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ban on gay marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The companies argue that state laws prohibiting same sex marriage hamper employee recruitment.
A list of the 379 companies that signed the brief favoring same sex marriage is posted at morganlewis.com. Enter “Supreme Court same sex marriage case” in the website’s search engine and select the hyperlink in the press release.
One Million Moms chalks up victories vs Immoral TV Commercials
AFA’s online community for women (onemillionmoms.com) continues to have an impact as members make their voices heard. 1MM director Monica Cole reported these victories: A&E cancelled Neighbors With Benefits after airing only two episodes and receiving a barrage of complaints and advertiser defections from the sex show; Bayer cancelled a disgusting Lotrimin commercial less than 24 hours after 1MM members flooded the company with emails; WE television cancelled S*x Box after airing only five episodes; and Adult Swim posted on its website that the blasphemous program Black Jesus has been cancelled.
“We can have an influence,” Cole said, “if we speak up.”
Pro-life students: Please play fair!
Two Fargo, North Dakota, students were still waiting at press time to learn if their pro-life clubs would be allowed the same privileges as other extracurricular clubs.
At Davies High School, Katie McPherson had been given the runaround since filing in September 2014 for school recognition of Students for Life of America.
“The school promptly brought her in for questioning, asked her a lot of questions about the purpose of the club and her viewpoints, and even asked her what religion she was, even though these are secular clubs,” reported attorney Jocelyn Floyd at the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm which represents the students.
Brigid O’Keefe, a student at Fargo North High School, had faced similar discrimination since filing for recognition in February.
The school district classified SLA clubs as “outside agencies” rather than official school clubs. Thus the pro-life students cannot host events or put up posters to advertise meetings or spread their message.
In Hampton, Iowa, senior Isabell Akers fought the same battle for two years to secure school recognition for Students for Life of America. Her group was allowed to meet, but not to advertise their events.
“Public schools are required by law to treat all student groups equally,” said Floyd. “However, the school district and administrators … are treating pro-life students as second class citizens.”
thomasmoresociety.org, 4/8/15; onenewsnow.com, 8/13/15
Maine food stamps require work or training
Under the leadership of Gov. Paul R. LePage (R), the state of Maine has declined a federal waiver that extends the period of time in which food stamps can be secured. The state had allowed the waiver since 2008 but has now reinstated certain proactive requirements.
Thus, for Maine’s able-bodied adults without minor dependents (Abawds) to receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beyond three months (within a three-year period), they must now do one of three things: 1) work 20 hours per week, 2) take state job-training courses, or 3) volunteer for about six hours per week. Some exceptions may apply.
“You’ve got to incentivize employment, create goals, and create time limits on these welfare programs,” explained Mary Mayhew, Maine commissioner of Health and Human Services. The number of Abawds receiving food stamps has dropped from 12,000 to 2,530 – nearly 80% – since January 2015.
nytimes.com, 4/11/15; thebigstory.ap.org, 3/24/15
What do Americans believe about Jesus?
While many Americans profess belief in Jesus, not all have a saving faith. In research released in April, Barna shared five things people believe about Jesus:
▶ 92% believe Jesus was a real person who lived in history.
▶ 56% believe Jesus was the Son of God.
▶ 46% believe Jesus committed no sins.
▶ 62% have made a personal commitment to Jesus.
▶ 40% believe salvation comes through confessing sins and accepting Jesus as Savior.
barna.org, 4/1/15; onenewsnow.com, 4/9/15
Treatment of Gays in Muslim Countries
Christians treat homosexuals very different than ISIS
In March, ISIS released photos of three men in black ski masks standing on a rooftop with a victim before throwing him down in front of a crowd of onlookers. One image, captioned “stoned to death,” depicted the man face down on the ground surrounded by a small crowd of men holding weapons and stones. According to a March 16 CNN report, the man’s crime was being gay.
In stark contrast to the ISIS solution for dealing with homosexuals, Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reflected the Christian response: “I love gay and lesbian people, and I want them to know that God loves them too, and He is willing and eager to forgive sin – all sin. However, we must repent and turn from our sin and believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Muslims targeting African Christians
African churches, children targeted by Muslim radicals
More than 70 churches were destroyed in January in Niger as Christians in the 98% Muslim-populated country were associated with the Charlie Hebdo publication and targeted for attacks. Christian homes, schools, and orphanages were also looted and burned down. In the capital city of Niamey, 1,000 Muslim rioters spread destruction throughout the city, undeterred by tear gas used by security forces.
“This is the greatest loss the Church in Niger has suffered in recent history,” a worker with Open Doors USA said. “These attacks will have long-term effects on the small community of believers. A large number of local Christian families have lost everything they have labored for their entire lives.”
In neighboring Nigeria, children have also suffered at the hands of Muslim terrorists.
Due to continued attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria, an estimated 800,000 children have been displaced from their homes, according to a UNICEF report titled “Missing Childhoods.”
“Children have become deliberate targets, often subjected to extreme violence – from sexual abuse and forced marriage to kidnappings and brutal killings,” the UNICEF report reads. “Children have also become weapons, made to fight alongside armed groups and at times used as human bombs.”
The terrorist group targets schools, and Nigeria now has the world’s highest number of children absent from primary school. Half of all 1.5 million Nigerians who became refugees in the Islamic uprising are children.
worldwatchmonitor.org, 1/20/15; cnsnews.com, 4/13/15
Taxes take big bite of citizen’s money
This year, Americans worked 114 days to pay federal, state, and local taxes for 2015. April 24 was Tax Freedom Day, the date when Americans have together earned enough to pay the nation’s yearly tax burden. For 2015, America’s federal tax bill amounts to $3.28 trillion, and the total of all taxes is $4.85 trillion, or 31% of national income.
cnsnews.com, 3/31/15; taxfoundation.org, 3/30/15