John Stark was a genuine hero of the American Revolutionary War or, if you prefer, America’s War for Independence. That he is not generally known beyond the borders of his native New Hampshire is hardly surprising. After George Washington, not many Americans can name a general of that war. And New Hampshire has made General Stark so much its own that his famous saying, “Live Free or Die,” has been adopted as the state motto and been engraved on all the state’s noncommercial license plates since 1969, replacing the word “Scenic.” The motto has not been universally appreciated, however, and one citizen’s insistence on taping over it became a legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The recent efforts to ban circumcision in San Francisco have brought about one curious unintended result: Muslim and Jewish Americans have teamed up in the city to file a lawsuit against the ballot measure. The “unlikely coalition,” as dubbed by The Blaze, was formed because the ritual of circumcision is common to both the Muslim and Jewish faiths.
As the battle for marriage intensifies in New York, a new survey by the pro-family Alliance Defense Fund has found that a solid majority of Americans believe that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” The ADF survey, which in mid-May polled 1,500 Americans about their opinions on marriage, found that 62 percent agreed with the traditional definition of marriage, with 53 percent “strongly” agreeing.
NBC was forced to issue an apology during its coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 19th after the phrase “under God” was conspicuously omitted from the Pledge of Allegiance during an opening patriotic video segment.
The one-minute segment showed school children reciting the pledge interspersed with video of soldiers in a flag-raising ceremony. While the children could be heard repeating the words “one nation” in the pledge, before they continued the scene cut to soldiers saluting the flag. But when the children continued, the words “under God” and “indivisible” were omitted, with the kids going straight to “with liberty and justice for all.”
Many United Methodist Church clergy are revealing an increasing willingness to disobey church doctrine that prohibits them from officiating at same-sex marriages, regardless of the potential consequences of such disobedience. Trials of Methodist pastors who conduct same-sex marriages have occurred rarely — only once every few years. However, Methodist Rev. Amy DeLong (left) of Osceola, Wisconsin, is currently facing a three-day trial, beginning on Tuesday, on two charges: violating the church prohibition of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” and officiating at the marriage of a lesbian couple.