A regional court in Cologne, Germany, has determined that religious circumcision of young boys constitutes “illegal bodily harm,” even when performed with the consent of the parents, and that the “fundamental rights of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents.”
The case arose after the circumcision of a four-year-old Muslim boy led to severe bleeding and other complications. The German physician who performed the operation, identified in the proceeding only as “Dr K,” was charged by German prosecutors. The Cologne court declined to convict the physician, noting that “Dr K” had no way of knowing that the circumcision would be ruled illegal; however, the court held that the procedure itself was criminal.
Eugenics is a system of controlling life through sterilization of unwelcome members of a species or through the destruction of those unwelcome members. In modern parlance, the species is generally considered to be the human race. In the last century eugenics had some heady supporters. Applying eugenics to today's world, does the European Union guarantee parents the right to know if their unborn children aren't perfect? Or do the unborn have human rights too?
The Charlotte, North Carolina, police department has made it clear that Jesus is not welcome at its functions. According to the Associated Press, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has informed its volunteer chaplains that they are not to mention Jesus’ name when they pray at official ceremonies. The Charlotte Observer reported that the new policy was announced by the head of the department’s volunteer chaplain program, Major John Diggs, who explained that the goal was to make sure the chaplains were sensitive to the variety of religions practiced by the department’s more than 2,000 employees. “This is not in any way an effort to demean anybody’s Christian beliefs,” Diggs assured. “It’s to show respect for all the religious practices in our organization. CMPD is not anybody’s church.”
Sixty-six members of Congress have penned a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking him to address what they say is an “alarming pattern of attacks on faith in the Air Force.” According to the Air Force Times, the congressmen blame Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz for cultivating the attack on religious expression, which they say includes removing Latin references to God in an Air Force unit logo, deleting Christian references from a missile training course, taking Bibles off an Air Force accommodations checklist, and prohibiting commanders from informing Air Force service members about Chaplain Corps programs.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 21 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over-enforced its own laws when it fined the Fox and ABC networks for incidental obscenities uttered during televised awards shows and a brief display of nudity during an episode of a police drama series. But the High Court refused to issue a larger ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC’s broadcast decency measures, meaning that the enforcement agency will be free — for the foreseeable future, at least — to keep broadcasters on a short leash relative to potentially immoral and obscene broadcast content.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America’s largest Protestant denomination, made history June 19 when it elected the Rev. Fred Luter its president, the first black leader in the SBC’s 167-year existence. Luter was chosen in his native New Orleans, where the SBC was meeting for its annual denominational conference, and where Luter pastors Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.
A small Texas town has taken a bold stand for prayer and patriotism. CBS News reported that on June 12 the city council of Weatherford, a west-central Texas community, voted four to one to bring back the tradition of a regular invocation, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance to both the state and U.S. flags, following a 37-year absence of the rituals.
A New York City principal caused quite a stir when she banned a patriotic song from being performed at a kindergarten graduation ceremony, and opted instead for a pop-culture hit, asserting she did not want to offend other cultures. Though her decision angered local residents and parents, the New York City Board of Education has now come to her defense, prompting a great deal of debate over political correctness in the school system.
Greta Hawkins, principal at P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, found herself in some hot water with parents after she asked teachers to remove the song “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood from the program for the kindergarten graduation ceremony. According to school staff, Hawkins said she was afraid that such a song might “offend other cultures.” Instead, she opted to have Justin Bieber’s hit song “Baby” played during the ceremony.
Tens of thousands of Christian and pro-life activists gathered in over 160 cities across America on June 8 to take a public stand against President Obama’s impending contraception mandate that would require employers to include free contraception in the health insurance they provide their employees. Such contraception would include abortion-causing drugs such as RU-486, referred to by pro-life activists as the “abortion pill.” Religious leaders have expressed alarm that the mandate would apply not only to secular businesses, but also to Christian institutions and non-profits, as well as to Christian business owners who are morally opposed to birth control and abortion.
Despite decades of taxpayer subsidies to preach the theory of evolution in government schools, a recent Gallup survey showed that slightly more Americans believe the biblical account of creation today than 30 years ago when polls on the subject first began. Just 15 percent of respondents thought godless evolution explained the origin of man.
About 46 percent of those polled said they believed in what is known as creationism — that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so. In other words, almost half of Americans support a literal interpretation of the Bible's book of Genesis, which says that the Creator made Adam and Eve after creating the Earth in six days.