Most shifts in history do not come with easy-to-remember dates associated with them. I could not tell you exactly when the U.S. war with Mexico began, though that war gave flesh and blood and considerable real estate to the U.S. claim that our "Manifest Destiny" was to push on through our western frontier “from sea to shining sea” and eventually become a power in the Pacific, where we would come into conflict with imperial Japan at a place called Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
In the ongoing effort by concerned parents and disillusioned educators to find ways of improving education for today’s youngsters, there’s a new kid on the block. And, from all appearances, one that is already making a mark on the learning landscape.
In its 93-7 approval December 1 of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1867), the U.S. Senate took yet another step in the campaign to give practicing homosexuals full and open access to the U.S. military. The bill, which earlier received unanimous approval by the Democrat-led Senate Armed Services Committee, includes a provision that repeals Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) — a measure that bans soldiers from engaging in either sodomy or bestiality.
Confronting elements of President Obama’s healthcare legislation that are so fundamentally restrictive of religious freedom that Jesus “would not qualify as ‘religious,’” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been engaged in a protracted struggle to defend the integrity of Roman Catholic doctors in the face of a federal government seemingly bent on requiring them to act against their consciences. As a reward for their labors, House Minority Leader — and self-proclaimed “devout Catholic” — Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has belittled the bishops as nothing more than “lobbyists in Washington, D.C.”
Five years ago Cross City, Florida, resident Joe Anderson decided to pay for and donate to Dixie County a granite monument (left) that would make clear to future generations that America was founded upon the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible. Since 2006, the monument, which bears the Ten Commandments — along with the simple exhortation, “Love God and keep his commandments" — has stood silent witness in front of the court house in this tiny county in north central Florida. “I just thought it was a good thing to do,” Anderson recalled. “A simple thing to do.”
Christian quarterback for the Denver Broncos Tim Tebow has taken a lot of flak for his faith. Players from other teams, as well as fans, have openly mocked and ridiculed Tebow’s Christian beliefs, and even media outlets have taken jabs at his faith, albeit in mostly subtle ways. Still, Tebow has remained steadfast and has attracted the attention of fellow Christian Kurt Warner, a former quarterback for the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams, who has some advice for Tebow: Tone down the public displays of your faith.
Ignoring protests from residents and a resolution from state legislators calling for the state’s seasonal celebratory tree to be called by its Christmas designation, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (left) insisted that the blue spruce that graces the Statehouse this year be referred to officially as a “Holiday Tree.”
Here’s a switch! The ACLU has come down on the side of students in Brownsville, Texas, who were told by the local school district that they should not openly display their rosaries. As reported by the San Antonio Express newspaper, the ACLU’s Texas franchise is “looking into whether the Brownsville Independent School District’s policy on wearing rosaries and crosses is violating students’ religious rights.”
The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence of South Carolina is a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He has remained with that old, American Episcopal Church, which during the Revolutionary War had been the church for American patriots who, for logical reasons, could no longer belong to a church intimately connected with the British Crown, despite its many changes.
It has been a holiday tradition for as long as anyone can remembers: Salvation Army bell-ringers standing at the entrances of stores and malls, their red kettles at the ready, beckoning for shoppers to drop in their spare change or a few dollars for those less fortunate. And, for the past few years, it has become a tradition for homosexuals activists to bang their drums of grievance in a call for friends, enablers, and fellow “gays” to boycott the compassionate Christian organization for what they argue is “anti-gay” discrimination.
I entered graduate school to study English literature in the late 1980s, eventually receiving a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature, and have been a professional academic ever since. I have reached that point in life where I am sufficiently wizened — and sufficiently jaded — to be allowed the luxury of griping about how much tougher it was growing up for my generation. As a life-long teacher, I might also be granted indulgence if I grumble about how little my college students actually know compared to what I learned. And although there is as much justice as exaggeration in these observations, the thing that never ceases to amaze me is how morally stunted and ethically underdeveloped our students are, how utterly unable to make even obvious moral distinctions, and how completely uninterested in differentiating between virtue and vice.