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.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has found a way to solve the problem of chronically sub-standard public schools in his state, while dissolving the barnacles of public education, and its immense bureaucracy: privatize public education. The first part of his plan would authorize management organizations to operate five under-performing public schools in a public-private partnership.
Not surprisingly, New Jersey teachers’ unions have blasted this move as part of the Governor’s “ongoing effort to privatize public education in New Jersey.”
Mere minutes before a midnight deadline, the Alabama State Senate approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, becoming the sixth state to pass a ban on abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy. Following an earlier 66 to 19 vote approval by the state House of Representatives, the Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming 26 to 5 vote margin.
Following an intense campaign by the pro-family Parents Television Council (PTC) to derail it, the controversial teen drama Skins has been canceled by the MTV network after only one season on the air. The program, based on a popular British TV show by the same name, never gained the ongoing popularity enjoyed by its counterpart in the UK, averaging only around one million viewers per week— down from the 3.26 Americans who had watched its premier episode. While MTV said in a statement that Skins “is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped,” other MTV shows with worse ratings continue to air, making it likely that Skins succumbed in large part because of PTC’s campaign aimed at parents, program sponsors, and even the U.S. Congress and Justice Department.
Schoolchildren learn of the crucial and timely role played by France in the American victory over King George III’s redcoats. The personification of the invaluable Gallic assistance to the American cause of liberty is none other than the Marquis de Lafayette.
Several landmark documents from English history have contributed significantly to our own Constitution bulwark of liberty. One of these documents just celebrated a birthday.