The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to hear an appeal of a church-state case.
For the Elmbrook School District, near Milwaukee, Wis., graduation ceremonies were a challenge because the high school gym was hot, cramped and uncomfortable. The Elmbrook Church allowed officials to hold the ceremony in the church’s large, modern and air-conditioned sanctuary.
That arrangement worked for a decade, but then nine students and parents sued, claiming the school had violated a constitutional ban on “an establishment of religion” because the sanctuary displayed a large Latin cross. The 7th Circuit Court sided with the plaintiffs; the defendants now want Supreme Court review.
Like so many church-state lawsuits, this one appears driven not by any true state establishment of religion, but by thin-skinned people who think they have a constitutional right to be protected from learning that their neighbors may hold different religious beliefs than their own.
ESPN executives welcomed opinions this week about pro basketball player Jason Collins’ disclosure that he is gay — some opinions, at least.
ESPN reporter Chris Broussard had the PC police working overtime after he called Collins a sinner during the program “Outside the Lines.” NBA players who engage in premarital sex or adultery were “walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ,” Broussard said.
An ESPN honcho quickly followed up by saying the network regretted that a discussion of personal viewpoints had become a “distraction.”
Ever notice how often Christian viewpoints tend to have that effect? Bashing Christianity is just fine, of course, but defending it? Can’t have that.
ESPN added that the network was “fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.” Thanks for clearing that up.
Any kid using the excuse that the Mayan calendar “ate my homework” has lost his leverage. The world didn’t end on 12/21/12, but things are getting curiouser as what was supposed to be mankind’s last year on all calendars trickles to an end.
The pope is now tweeting. The archbishops of Canterbury and York tweeted their Yuletide sermons. And the queen of England gave her Christmas message in 3D.
Pope Benedict XVI’s first use of Twitter (he’s @Pontifex in the tweet world) went out on Dec. 12. Since Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters, full sermons can’t go in one tweet. At least the subject is serious, unlike many tweets.
A 2009 analysis by a market research firm showed that more than 40 percent of tweets can be described as “pointless babble.” Another 10 percent were either self-promotion or spam.
Hard to say in what category to place the millions of tweets about the Last Day on Earth that turned out to be just another Friday.
This will rankle the “new atheist” movement.
Research by the Pew Research Center finds that the number of Americans who definitely believe in miracles has increased from 45 percent to 55 percent over the last two decades. The number who probably or definitely believe in miracles now stands at 79 percent.
Pew found that those who regularly attend church are more likely to believe in miracles, but also found belief in miracles was growing fastest among those who do not regularly attend church. In fact, belief in miracles is increasing even as church affiliation has declined.
That will likely frustrate certain atheists, particularly those who tout themselves as “brights” for rejecting religious belief, a not-too-subtle way of portraying those of religious faith as dullards. Pew’s research shows that traditional religious institutions may face challenges, but Americans retain an abiding belief in evidence of a higher power.
David Northcutt, chairman of the Democratic Party in Bryan County, recently issued a missive he described as “very much in the spirit of Christmas.” Apparently, those words have very different meaning to Northcutt. He attacks Republicans as sore losers, but then personifies the sour-grapes mindset.
Northcutt said President Barack Obama’s election was cause for Oklahoma Democrats to celebrate but “our celebrations were tempered with disdain” by the Oklahoma gains of the Republican Party, describing “feelings of anguish” as he watched Democrat candidates “fall to lesser opponents in Oklahoma politics these last several years.”
Northcutt rightly criticizes those who have called for secession after Obama’s re-election, but then lumps serious leaders like Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor in with them. Even prominent national Democrats have praised Ryan for tackling serious budget problems.
That Northcutt thinks avoiding fiscal catastrophe is equivalent to demanding secession shows why his party is struggling in Oklahoma.
We wrote this summer in praise of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s disaster relief ministry. At the time, members of the group were awaiting a possible call to help victims of wildfires in Colorado, after previously spending two weeks there providing laundry services.
After Superstorm Sandy wiped out portions of the East Coast last month, Oklahoma Southern Baptists again answered the call. They were honored this week with a key to the city of Middletown, N.J., after serving more than 64,535 meals over a period of weeks.
That’s a lot of food, but the convention’s mobile kitchens are well-equipped. The largest can produce 25,000 per day, and the other, smaller units are able to prepare 3,000 to 5,000 per day.
A proclamation from Middletown officials read: “Thank you for bringing warm smiles, hot meals, and enduring friendships at a time when we needed it most.” Oklahomans should be proud of this group’s good deeds.