As the state of New York prepares to officially legalize homosexual marriage on July 24, at least one local government official has made the decision to put moral principle above political expediency. On July 11, Laura Fotusky, clerk in the Town of Barker in central New York, submitted her resignation to the town board, explaining that her Christian beliefs would not allow her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as her position would require. Municipal clerks in New York issue and sign marriage licenses, and under the state’s new same-sex marriage law, Fotusky would eventually have found herself faced with the dilemma of following the new mandate or obeying a higher authority.
Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, have used $130,000 in federal stimulus money to purchase 8,000 “social justice” diversity manuals that include inherently racist assertions and tout the federal government as the only thing capable of ensuring equity. The manuals will be required staff reading for employees at Omaha schools.
Claiming allegiance to a "higher law than the law of the land," a town clerk in western New York has submitted her resignation rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as required by the Marriage Equality Act the New York Senate narrowly passed on June 24 at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill had previously won approval in the state Assembly and Cuomo immediately signed the bill into law, effective July 24. Laura Fotusky, the town clerk in Barker, notified town officials that she was resigning effective Friday, July 21, three days before the new law takes effect.
While the ACLU worries about whether a Christmas decoration in the public library or a moment of silent prayer in school violates the First Amendment, other non-Christian nations have no trouble at all with combining religion and government. The notion that a “separation of church and state” is indispensable to civil liberty would have flabbergasted the Founding Fathers. In fact, when the Constitution was adopted, about half of the original states had a “state” religion. Eventually all of these states were disestablished (the “state” religion status was ended) but this had absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, whose clear words collectivists always seem unable to read: “Congress shall make no law….” is how that amendment begins. Congress did not mean state legislatures.
A significant change to the constitution of the liberal Presbyterian Church (USA) — (PCUSA) — took effect July 10 that allows practicing homosexuals to serve as clergy in the storied mainline denomination. Last year delegates to the PCUSA endorsed the change to drop the requirement, written in the church’s constitution, that church ministers live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The change required approval by a majority of the church’s 173 regional presbyteries, which occurred in May of this year, with Minnesota’s Twin Cities district casting the deciding vote.
Thirty percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, according to a recent Gallup survey. While nearly 50 percent agree that Scripture is “inspired” by God, only three in ten say that it should be interpreted literally. Another 17 percent say the Bible is merely an ancient book of stories recorded by man.
Delegates at the most recent national meeting of the United Church of Christ (UCC) agreed overwhelmingly July 4 to strike the term “heavenly Father” from the denomination’s constitutional definition of the local church. By a vote of 613 to 161, the delegates voted to change language in Article V of the church’s bylaws (see page 3) from describing a local church as composed of persons who believe in “God as heavenly Father” to those who believe in “the triune God” — thereby relieving UCC members of the responsibility of acknowledging God as masculine.
A year-long investigation by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) produced a startling 800-page report just released by Gov. Nathan Deal (R, pictured left) that reveals rampant teacher cheating and unethical practices in the 55,000-student Atlanta public school system. Investigators conducted over 2,000 interviews and canvassed 800,000 documents in what is likely the most comprehensive and meticulous investigation of public-school cheating in U.S. history.
With a falling birth rate in a country having one of the world’s highest abortion rates, concerned Russian lawmakers passed a bill on July 1 requiring that all abortion advertisements carry health warnings. “Under the new law approved by the lower house of parliament [Duma, pictured left], 10 percent of the space used in abortion ads must carry a list of possible negative consequences for women, including infertility,” reported Reuters News. Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, is expected to follow the Duma in approving the measure, and President Dmitry Medvedev will likely sign the legislation into law.
A coalition of pro-family, anti-porn, and decency organizations have banded together in an effort to convince NBC that it should scrap one of its new fall programs, The Playboy Club. NBC is touting the show as a “provocative new series [that] captures a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary created an empire, and an icon changed American culture.”