American Family Association News/ Christian News:
Political Correctness on Masculinity; Religious Freedom; Planned Parenthood
Every month American Family Association provides Issues at Hand in a useful summary of the Christian Worldview, so you can be up-to-date with many issues important to you, all in one post. ~C.D.
Political Correctness: Masculinity dangerous … really?
December 2016 – A student advertisement for an event at Claremont College in California read, “Masculinity can be extremely toxic to our mental health, both to the people who are pressured to perform it and the people who are inevitably influenced by it.”
As writer LaShawn Barber for World Magazine pointed out, such language used in relation to women would be described as misogyny.
Students stated that the event was comprised of mostly women, and that the consensus was that masculinity “is harmful to those who express it and those affected by it.”
Churches take stand for Religious Freedom
December 2016 – Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Massachusetts churches over a new law that allows individuals legal access to bathrooms or locker rooms based on perceived gender identification versus biological sex. The state has identified churches as places of public accommodation and therefore bound by the law.
Plaintiffs are Horizon Christian Fellowship, Abundant Life Church, House of Destiny Ministries, and Faith Christian Fellowship in Haverville. Defendants are members of the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination and state Attorney General Maura Healey.
The law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate or to incite others to do so. ADF argues the state intends to “force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s views.”
onenewsnow, 10/11/16, 10/12/16
Planned Parenthood celebrates 100 years, 7 million dead babies
Margaret Louise Sanger (1879-1966) (above) was an activist for birth control, population control, and eugenics. Her legacy is being carried on by Planned Parenthood, which pretends to help the poor while hiding the reality that it targets the vulnerable.
December 2016 – In October, Planned Parenthood Federation of America celebrated its 100th year since Margaret Sanger opened the first clinic in Brooklyn, New York. She believed in “improving” the human race by discouraging reproduction among persons she presumed to have undesirable traits.
What began with birth control in 1916 has become the largest abortion provider in the country. Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report (2014) shows that 43% of the abortion provider’s revenues came from taxpayers via state and federal government health services grants and reimbursements in the amount of $553.7 million.
While Planned Parenthood celebrated 100 years of death, pro-lifers and Christians observed the century milestone in a different way, by gathering to pray for an end to the destruction Planned Parenthood has perpetuated over the years.
“They have an underlying and faithful ally in the media and Hollywood,” said Eric Scheidler, spokesman for Pro-Life Action League.
“We cannot match Planned Parenthood dollar for dollar, yet we can confront them with something they have none of. They don’t have the power of our Lord and prayer.”
Prayer vigils were held at more than 100 Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country on October 15.
cnsnews.com, 10/17/16; onenewsnow.com, 10/14/16
Suit claims companies illegally profited from sale of fetal tissue
The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation, created the graphic above by distilling invoices and price lists subpoenaed by the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives in April 2016.
December 2016 – Two California medical companies have been accused of illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue in a lawsuit filed by the Orange County district attorney’s office on October 11. Prosecutors are seeking a $1.6 million fine as well as an injunction to prevent future profits.
Undercover videos circulated last year by the Center for Medical Progress vividly informed the public about the harvesting of aborted baby organs. The lawsuit does not name abortion providers but claims DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics collected tens of thousands of dollars in profit from fetal tissue and stem cells they received from abortion providers.
While it is legal for organizations to charge a fee to recover expenses incurred in the process of collecting and donating fetal tissue, the lawsuit alleges the companies sold to research groups at least 500 times between 2012 and 2015 for more than what it cost to process, handle, and ship the body parts.
onenewsnow.com, 10/12/16; dailysignal.com, 4/20/16
Religion contributes $1.2 trillion to society
December 2016 – A study published in September in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion details the $1.2 trillion contribution that religion makes to the U.S. annual economy. In areas from health care to education to philanthropy, the benefit of religion for the American economy is greater than the top ten tech companies combined, including Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
Interestingly, the impact of church congregations is the second greatest player in the economics of religion, constituting 36.1% of the total $1.2 trillion. Businesses with religious backgrounds are number one, making 37.8% of the contribution. Charitable institutions generate 26.1%.
The impact is not only monetary. Highly religious individuals are more likely to donate money and goods and time to volunteer, according to Pew Research polling that asked adults about their activities in the prior week. Congregations coordinate 7.5 million volunteers in 1.5 million social programs, and religious organizations have tripled the amount of money they spend on social programs in the last 15 years.
cruxnow.com, 9/14/16; faithcounts.com
Anti-Freedom of Speech: Attorneys can’t discuss ‘harmful’ subjects
December 2016 – New ethics rules established by the American Bar Association in August prohibit attorneys from “harmful” verbal conduct that could include discussing or debating same sex marriage, religion, or immigration. Under the speech code, attorneys could be disciplined or removed from the bar if they are seen as manifesting bias or prejudice.
“What it really does is shut down everyone from saying anything that might be controversial for advocating for your clients vigorously or even selecting clients,” said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh.
Anti-police rhetoric has consequences
December 2016 – With all the recent media attention on police officers, those who wear a badge are feeling extra pressure. For example, a female officer in Chicago, Illinois, recently felt the stress while being attacked by a 28-year-old male high on PCP.
The man attacked her viciously, slamming her head into the pavement. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for multiple injuries, and bits of concrete had to be removed from her face.
Eddie Johnson, police superintendent, said, “This attack went on for several minutes. As I was at the hospital last night visiting with her, she looked at me and said she thought she was going to die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy. But she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news.”
Marketing human trafficking
December 2016 – New Mexico Advocacy Coalition, an anti-human trafficking group, is launching a campaign against major booksellers that sell how-to manuals for pimps. The group found at least 15 such titles on Amazon.com, along with reviews such as “required reading for the pimp in training. Written as an instructional manual.”
While Amazon has a vague restriction against offensive sexual content in books, the New Mexico Advocacy Coalition is petitioning the online seller to step up enforcement of guidelines and stop selling such books. Jet.com, Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart were also found to be selling some of the same titles.
U.N. voting on worldwide LGBT advocate
December 2016 – In June, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in Geneva voted to establish an LGBT ombudsman, an official designated to monitor complaints of infringement of LGBT rights and launch investigations in different countries. The ombudsman would determine how U.N. affiliated organizations interact with countries based on how they treat special rights for homosexuals.
Stefano Gennarini, spokesperson for Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, suggested that such a position would pressure countries to enact homosexual rights and give the LGBT agenda a foothold of power with the U.N. A November vote was planned to determine the outcome of the decision.