While churches, pastors, and Christians everywhere bemoan the state of spirituality in today’s culture, Americans can point to few notable Christian leaders in the nation. The findings of a November 21 study led the Barna Group to conclude that there are gaps to be filled — if not for national leaders, at least for “more local and regional Christian leaders to emerge — whether in churches, ministries, or a variety of other capacities.”
Raise the issue of religious lobbying and the average American will immediately think of groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, which enjoyed their heyday back in the 1980s and ’90s. But a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that the number of religious — and anti-religious — groups pushing a plethora of values-based agendas has exploded over the past 40 years.
Catholics who believe the federal government should not be able to compel healthcare providers to perform abortions “have this conscience thing” that they really need to overcome, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Washington Post recently. Otherwise, she said, women “could die” from a lack of access to abortion services.
A half dozen Republican candidates capitalized on their faith in an attempt to woo conservative voters in Iowa November 19, meeting with the faithful at an event entitled the Thanksgiving Family Forum (at left, candidates Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum). Sponsored by a state organization called the Family Leader, with the help of Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link and the National Organization for Marriage, the event was “meant to mimic the holiday dinner, with six candidates — Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum — gathered around a table participating in a discussion moderated by [conservative pollster] Frank Luntz,” reported the Los Angeles Times. The Times identified the lead sponsor of the event as Bob Vander Plaats, “a three-time gubernatorial candidate [who] founded Family Leader to be a galvanizing force for social conservatives ahead of the state’s lead-off nominating caucuses.”
Four of MF Global’s former clients have made public their experiences with the failed financial derivatives broker, each of them losing their money and two of them their businesses as a result of MF Global’s bankruptcy.
Citing the uncertain economy and the scarcity of needed capital, the company that launched the first government funded embryonic stem-cell trials announced that it is halting further stem-cell research and will lay off nearly 40 percent of its staff. The California-based Geron Corp., which began the first FDA-approved stem-cell trials in 2010, said that it would shift its focus to cancer research.
On Veterans Day, November 11, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired shots with a Romanian Cugir SA (semi-automatic rifle) from the general direction of the Ellipse and Washington Monument toward the White House. One of the bullets was found between the outer glass and the bulletproof layer of a window on the White House’s second floor, which is part of the first family’s residential quarters, in a largely unplanned apparent assassination attempt on President Obama.
An Iowa baker who declined to bake a wedding cake ordered by two women after she discovered it was meant for their lesbian “wedding” is being boycotted by homosexual activists, and may face legal action for discrimination. As reported by FOX News, “Victoria Childress, the owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage in Des Moines, has been accused of being anti-gay, homophobic, and a bigot after she refused to make a cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers.”
According to a study published in the Journal of Religion and Health recently, regular attendance at religious services produces a more optimistic outlook on life and a reduced inclination to depression. Those respondents to the survey who attended religious services more than once a week in the prior month were 56 percent more likely to be above the median score on a measurement for optimism than those who had not attended religious services at all. Respondents who attended weekly religious services were 22 percent less likely to be depressed than those who did not attend religious services.
Tens of thousands of Christians descended upon Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, on November 11 and 12 to pray for the restoration of a city that has been decimated by poverty, crime, corruption, and hopelessness. Sponsored by The Call, a group of pastors, church leaders, and young people committed to praying for a spiritual transformation in America, The Call Detroit 11.11.11 gathered individuals, churches, and organizations from nearly every corner of Detroit to seek God’s mercy and ask for His blessing over the area.