Presbyterian churchWhile liberal do-gooders have found it difficult to hide their satisfaction and glee over the priest abuse scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church over the past several years, a similar humiliation is unfolding much closer to their own doorstep. The Presbyterian Church (USA), one of the most liberal of the nation’s mainline denominations, has found itself in the middle of a scandal over sexual abuse of minors that occurred for a number of years at overseas missions facilities run by the church. The most high-profile instance so far involves a California man who is suing the denomination, alleging that he was molested by an older boy in 1988 at a church-operated boarding house in Africa, and that church authorities on site allowed it to occur.

churchOver the past year and a half the researchers at Gallup have been taking the spiritual pulse of America, and their findings confirm what has been commonly understood for generations: Individuals who embrace a faith in God that inspires their daily behavior and attitudes are healthier, happier, and better adjusted to their environments than their nominally religious or non-religious counterparts.

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood’s annual report for fiscal 2008-09 shows that the nation’s premier abortion provider received a banner $363.2 million in government funding through grants and contracts over its latest reporting period, a $13.6 million increase over the group’s federal take in fiscal 2007-08.

pregnantThe University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) confirmed that it is giving up its plans to create a clinic in Madison that would provide late-term abortions. In early 2009 the board of UWHC had approved a plan to build a facility that would provide abortions to women in their second trimester of pregnancy (19 to 22 weeks), with projections for around 125 abortions annually.

luke Never before or since has the mere birth of a helpless, powerless baby been so enmeshed in a network of fear and loathing, hope and happiness of a kingdom, an empire, a world. From Matthew’s Gospel, we learn of kings, or wise men, who came to Jerusalem inquiring about the newborn King of the Jews. “For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2) King Herod was not pleased, but was greatly troubled by the threat of competition. From Luke we learn that a tax imposed by Caesar was the cause of the pilgrimage to Bethlehem that fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in the city of David.

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