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.

This graduation season has revealed a heavy bias against spiritual Americans, as a number of school officials and judges have passed heavy-handed rulings indicating that anything remotely related to Christianity be barred from commencement ceremonies. The latest example of such violations of First Amendment rights can be found in Vermont, where a high school valedictorian's commencement address was redacted by the school principal to omit any reference to God's influence upon him.

The name John Hospers may not evoke too many memories among most people, although those in the movement for greater freedom and constitutionalism are well aware of the manifold contributions this man made to the liberty movement in American politics. He died June 12 at the age of 93, after a lengthy battle with various illnesses.

Why is it that so much of the world seems mired in hatreds, violence, slavery, and pain? The reason is not complex: Most of the Old World is a patchwork of empires. America was founded, specifically, to create a republic of ordered liberty and to reject the poison of empire. The British Empire, which America's early settlers had left, was one of the more benign. The Commonwealth democracies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have separated from the United Kingdom gracefully and stayed on good terms with it. Still, would not everyone in Canada have been better off if the French in Québec had been left alone or, now, simply allowed — even encouraged — to form their own nation or a semi-independent polity?

A U.S. Army Ranger who lost a hand while protecting his fellow soldiers from an enemy grenade in Afghanistan will receive the Medal of Honor in a July 12 White House ceremony. The White House announced that Sergeant 1st Class Leroy Petry (left), a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be the second living, active-duty soldier to receive the nation’s highest military honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Petry was serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment when he was wounded during a mission in Afghanistan.