Maryland’s Baltimore County is considering an ordinance that critics warn would allow transvestites, cross-dressers, and men confused about their gender to access women’s bathrooms, showers, and dressing rooms. Tom Quirk, the county council member who is sponsoring what he calls the “Act Concerning Human Relations” (Human Relations Bill No. 3-12), insisted that the measure is designed to address discrimination by employers based on an individual’s sexual orientation and gender identity. “It’s my strong belief that the only thing that should matter is someone’s qualifications for a job,” Quirk told the Columbia Patch, a local newspaper.
The 70-year-old Rabbinical Alliance of America has called upon Republican primary voters in South Carolina to reject the candidacy of Mitt Romney. The socially conservative organization — which represents more than 850 orthodox rabbis — is asking Christians in the state to bypass the former Massachusetts Governor on the ballot because of his stance against certain traditional values, specifically his support of the homosexual lifestyle as acceptable and normal behavior.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a pair of cases involving the offering of prayers at county and school board meetings, continuing its decades-long tradition of steering clear of ruling on the supposed constitutionality of public prayers. According to BloombergNews.com, the High Court “hasn’t ruled on the constitutionality of prayer at government meetings since 1983, when the justices said lawmakers could begin sessions with nonsectarian prayers offered by a state-employed chaplain.”
New York City police arrested 43 pastors and church members who used the occasion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s January 12 State of the City speech to protest the city’s ban on the longtime practice of churches using public schools for worship services. The arrests occurred at the Bronx public school where Bloomberg was speaking.
As Minnesota voters gear up to vote on a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, the Catholic Church’s archbishop for Minneapolis and St. Paul has ordered priests in his diocese to show their support for the amendment effort — and the church’s stand on the institution of marriage, which they promised to defend when they were ordained — or remain silent.
In what pro-family groups are calling the most important broadcast indecency case in over three decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments January 10 on the extent to which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the authority to implement rules concerning what is permissible on television, and to fine networks which push the boundaries. If the High Court rules against the tighter controls, as networks hope, nudity, immoral sexual content, and profanity will overwhelm the airwaves, the conservative watchdog groups warn.
Even as Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow (left) is arguably responsible for the Broncos turnaround season, helping them win the AFC West and win a spot in the playoffs, he continues to be the source of contention for some football fans who are offended by his staunch Christianity. Last week, after the Broncos suffered a loss to the Buffalo Bills, atheist comedian Bill Maher sent a blasphemous tweet that offended football fans and Christians across the nation.
A broad coalition of non-Catholic Christians as well as Jews has sent President Obama a letter protesting the new and narrower definition of “religious employer” for purposes of the exemption of the ObamaCare contraceptives mandate. Among the variety of organizations signing the letter were colleges, rescue missions, and religious schools — all of which would be required, under the definition now used by the Obama administration, to provide not only birth control but also abortifacient (abortion-inducing) drugs and sterilizations without a co-payment.
Twenty-one-year-old Sam Schmid (left) had an extra-special gift for his family, presented to them just in time for the Christmas holiday. Days after an October 19th car accident that left him in an apparently irreversible coma, and just as medical professionals were set to suggest that it might be time for his family to think about end-of-life options for him, the University of Arizona student amazed the medical staff and everyone else by responding to a simple command from his doctor. Two months later on Christmas Eve, instead of grieving for her son, Schmid’s mother was watching him take short steps with a walker, and even speak in brief, broken sentences.
The Pew Forum’s just released study Global Christianity: 2011 Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population, shows that at 2.18 billion adherents, or around a third of the world’s 2010 population of 6.9 billion, Christianity is still, by far, the predominant faith across the globe.
Officials at Travis Air Force Base in California decided days before Christmas that the nativity scene and menorah gracing the grounds of the military facility would stay, in spite of demands from a secular group that they must be removed. A secular grievance group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) had threatened to file a lawsuit against the Air Force base unless the Judeo-Christian display, located in a high-traffic area of the base, was relocated to the base’s chapel grounds. A spokesman for the base said that the display has been a tradition for the past 17 years, with no complaints until this year’s assault by the MRFF.