It’s no secret that Christmas has been under attack by secular groups for the past several years, with court challenges to nativity scenes becoming nearly as much a seasonal tradition as the crèches that have graced cathedrals, churches, and chapels for more than a century throughout America.
Even as atheists in the Army are lobbying for chaplains for unbelievers, pagans and Wiccans at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, have a place to cast their spells. And their new open-air “Stonehenge-like” ring of stones was provided at a cost of nearly $80,000 to the American taxpayers.
The death of longtime homosexual activist Frank Kameny offered an opportunity for “LGBT” professionals to gather and celebrate their increasing presence in the federal government, as well as to insist that more be done to advance their interests.
While churches, pastors, and Christians everywhere bemoan the state of spirituality in today’s culture, Americans can point to few notable Christian leaders in the nation. The findings of a November 21 study led the Barna Group to conclude that there are gaps to be filled — if not for national leaders, at least for “more local and regional Christian leaders to emerge — whether in churches, ministries, or a variety of other capacities.”
Raise the issue of religious lobbying and the average American will immediately think of groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, which enjoyed their heyday back in the 1980s and ’90s. But a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that the number of religious — and anti-religious — groups pushing a plethora of values-based agendas has exploded over the past 40 years.
Catholics who believe the federal government should not be able to compel healthcare providers to perform abortions “have this conscience thing” that they really need to overcome, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Washington Post recently. Otherwise, she said, women “could die” from a lack of access to abortion services.
A half dozen Republican candidates capitalized on their faith in an attempt to woo conservative voters in Iowa November 19, meeting with the faithful at an event entitled the Thanksgiving Family Forum (at left, candidates Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum). Sponsored by a state organization called the Family Leader, with the help of Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link and the National Organization for Marriage, the event was “meant to mimic the holiday dinner, with six candidates — Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum — gathered around a table participating in a discussion moderated by [conservative pollster] Frank Luntz,” reported the Los Angeles Times. The Times identified the lead sponsor of the event as Bob Vander Plaats, “a three-time gubernatorial candidate [who] founded Family Leader to be a galvanizing force for social conservatives ahead of the state’s lead-off nominating caucuses.”
Four of MF Global’s former clients have made public their experiences with the failed financial derivatives broker, each of them losing their money and two of them their businesses as a result of MF Global’s bankruptcy.
Citing the uncertain economy and the scarcity of needed capital, the company that launched the first government funded embryonic stem-cell trials announced that it is halting further stem-cell research and will lay off nearly 40 percent of its staff. The California-based Geron Corp., which began the first FDA-approved stem-cell trials in 2010, said that it would shift its focus to cancer research.
On Veterans Day, November 11, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired shots with a Romanian Cugir SA (semi-automatic rifle) from the general direction of the Ellipse and Washington Monument toward the White House. One of the bullets was found between the outer glass and the bulletproof layer of a window on the White House’s second floor, which is part of the first family’s residential quarters, in a largely unplanned apparent assassination attempt on President Obama.