More than 150 tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and South from February 28 to March 3, mostly in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama. The twisters — estimated to cost as much as $2 billion in insurance claims — caused 39 confirmed deaths and destroyed countless homes and buildings. But while the tornadoes left overwhelming loss in their wake, they also provided an opportunity for heroism and charity among the citizens.
A same-sex custody battle may prompt Florida state lawmakers to reconsider a 19-year-old law regarding the rights of sperm and egg donors. Likewise, the court case could provoke national debate on the definition of motherhood.
Christian organizations continue to be assaulted on college campuses across the nation. At the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a Christian club is suing the school after it ruled that the group isn’t religious and so must allow students of other faiths — or no faith — to join and even be in leadership if it wants to receive university recognition.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill allowing students and others to offer “inspirational messages” at public-school events. State law already allows students to engage in two minutes of silent prayer or meditation at the beginning of the school day, but S.B. 98, passed March 1 by the state legislature, would broaden the religious landscape at schools, allowing students to make short inspirational speeches or offer prayers at non-compulsory school events.
President Terry O’Neil (left) of the National Organization of Women announced on March 1: “The bishops have not been able to convince Catholic women to not take birth control. We know this because 98 percent of sexually active [Catholic] women take birth control at some point in their lives — just like 98 percent of sexually active non-Catholic women take birth control at some point in their lives. So the bishops have failed and the evangelical preachers that don’t want their women to take birth control — they have failed.”