By Sandy Cunningham, Louisiana Right to Life In late October, U.S. District Court Judge John deGravelle ordered the state to continue using taxpayer dollars to fund Planned Parenthood. On Nov. 4, the state Department of Health and Hospitals appealed that decision to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the appeal, saying the state has the authority to determine which organizations are qualified Medicaid providers, and for multiple reasons "Planned Parenthood is not qualified to do business in our state." Jindal said the state will continue to fight to terminate Planned Parenthood's contracts with Louisiana. In response to the state's decision to appeal the ruling, Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Benjamin Clapper issued the following statement: "We appreciate Gov. Jindal and his administration for their continued efforts to ensure that Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business with a history of selling the body parts of aborted babies, does not receive anymore taxpayer money in Louisiana. "As we have shown, there are Medicaid-eligible alternative provider in place in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to provide the services that Planned Parenthood … [Read more...]
By Todd Starnes, Fox News BREMERTON, Wash. (Christian Examiner) - There's a scene in the great football film "Facing the Giants" when the coach decides to implement a new coaching philosophy – to praise God no matter what the result. Joe Kennedy, a football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington, was so inspired by the film he decided to embrace that philosophy – knowing that to do so could cost him his job. I'll explain why in just a few more paragraphs. Kennedy, a Desert Storm and Desert Shield combat veteran, made national headlines in September after the Bremerton School District launched an investigation into his post-game prayer. To read the rest of the story, click here. … [Read more...]
By Kelly Ledbetter, Christian Examiner WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) - International religious freedom now has its own "special advisor" -- which reports to an ambassador, rather than a "special envoy" which reports to the Secretary of State, the White House has announced. And Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) is challenging how that approach to key U.S. foreign policy objectives works -- especially since the "special envoy" position has been vacant for a while. "The Administration has taken the position that 'promoting and protecting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy,'" the senator wrote in an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, "yet the Ambassador-at-Large for religious freedom is buried in layers of bureaucracy rather than reporting directly to you like the Ambassadors-at-Large for the Office of Global Women's Issues and the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator." A special envoy reports directly to Secretary Kerry, while a special advisor may report to an envoy or ambassador. To read the rest of the story, click here. … [Read more...]
By Tom Strode, Baptist Press WASHINGTON (BP) -- Planned Parenthood's decision to forego federal reimbursements for fetal tissue donation serves as an admission of its guilt and should not halt the congressional effort to defund the organization, its critics say. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) announced Tuesday (Oct. 13) that none of its centers will accept federal reimbursement in the future for expenses accrued in tissue donations from aborted babies for research. In a letter, PPFA President Cecile Richards said the action was taken to "completely debunk the disingenuous argument" used by opponents in the wake of undercover videos providing evidence the country's leading abortion provider trades in baby body parts. Richards' letter to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, followed the release of 10 secretly recorded videos that show various Planned Parenthood officials in different locations discussing the sale of organs from aborted children. The videos recorded and released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) also display PPFA employees acknowledging their willingness to manipulate the abortion procedure to preserve body parts for sale and use. In addition, the videos … [Read more...]
By Andrew JW Smith, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary communications LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) - Christian counselors should be able to speak lovingly and winsomely to people struggling with homosexual attraction, said evangelical leaders during a homosexuality conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The conference, titled "Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counseling for Struggling People," was sponsored by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) on the seminary's campus in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 5-7. "The integrity of our message is at stake in this, brothers and sisters," said Heath Lambert, executive director of ACBC and associate professor of biblical counseling at Southern Seminary and Boyce College. "If we believe that the Bible teaches homosexuality to be a sin, and if we believe that Jesus Christ changes people, but we don't know how to help them, then ... we will make a mockery of the Word of God. If we don't know how to lay hold of the grace of Jesus, we will slander the Word of God and the grace of Jesus." Using Ephesians 4:15 as his text, Lambert said believers should pay close attention to the way Christ modeled "speaking the truth in love," because without Him they will … [Read more...]
By Tom Strode, Baptist Press WASHINGTON (BP) - The fate of multiple abortion clinics awaits the consideration of the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court will have the opportunity to decide this term, which opened Oct. 5, whether state governments may enact rules that result in shutting down most abortion clinics or even the only one remaining in the state. In addition to abortion, the justices also will consider such issues as the death penalty and affirmative action in their term, which will conclude early next summer. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will review rulings by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on abortion regulations enacted by Mississippi and Texas, but the uncertainty is expected to end soon. The high court is likely to make a decision about whether to accept appeals of the lower-court decisions during its conference Nov. 6, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told Baptist Press he is praying the justices will accept the cases and issue "a judgment consistent with life and human dignity." "The Supreme Court has an opportunity to defend the rights of millions … [Read more...]
By Tom Strode, Baptist Press WASHINGTON (BP) - California's newly enacted assisted suicide law is an affront to human dignity and the practice of medicine, Southern Baptist ethicists say. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law Oct. 5, making California the fourth state with legalized, physician-assisted suicide. The measure enables a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness to request a prescribed drug to end his or her life. Southern Baptist ethics leader Russell Moore called Brown's enactment of the bill "a moral injustice." "The value of human life doesn't rise and fall depending on the quality of that life," said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in written comments for Baptist Press. "Legal assisted suicide is a blight upon any culture's conscience, and its emergence in California should ignite us to work for justice and human dignity everywhere." C. Ben Mitchell, another Southern Baptist ethicist, said assisted suicide "is grotesque, especially in the age of effective pain management and palliative care." "If the fears of patients are not adequately addressed, of course they are going to despair, but if pain is well-managed and their fears … [Read more...]
By Gregory Tomlin, Christian Examiner CAPE TOWN (Christian Examiner) – The Dutch Reformed Church (NGK) in South Africa has voted to recognize same-sex marriages and open the way for homosexual ministers to marry their partners. Previously, the church had acknowledged that some ministers were, in fact, homosexuals, but it demanded that they remain celibate. In 2006, South Africa became the fifth nation – and the only nation in Africa – to allow same-sex marriage. According to E News Channel Africa, the measure allowing same-sex marriage in the church and the marriage of homosexual ministers passed by a significant majority – 64 percent. To read the rest of this story, click here.