Friday, June 29, 2012

Christian Student Expelled Over Her Views on Homosexuality Loses Lawsuit Against GA University

There’s a tricky and potentially-troubling situation going on when it comes to individuals who are studying counseling in college, but who happen to oppose homosexuality. Jennifer Keeton, a Christian, learned this the hard way after she was expelled from the graduate program at Georgia’s Augusta State University in 2010 for expressing her disagreement with the same-sex lifestyle. Now, two years later, she has lost a subsequent court case defending herself against the school’s decision.
Here’s how the situation unfolded. The university‘s program apparently stressed that students couldn’t discriminate against others based on any indicators, including sexual orientation. But Keeton, citing her religious views, refused to alter her engagement with gay students and clients (clearly, these views impacted her relations with these individuals). It’s not clear exactly what Keeting said inside or outside of the classroom that created such a stir, but this is certainly an interest First Amendment case to continue watching.
While the school argues that Keeton deserved to be dismissed, the former student says that she, in fact, was the victim of discrimination — especially considering the fact that she was kicked out of the program explicitly over her personal beliefs.


Obamacare Makes Christians Complicit in Abortion

The United States Supreme Court voted to uphold the individual insurance requirement of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), maintains that Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children.
As she sees it, Thursday’s decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing.
“Over the last four years, President Obama has revealed his loyalty to the abortion industry. At no time was this clearer than during the health care reform debate, when he fought tenaciously for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade,” Dannenfelser says.
“As the presidential race heats up, the Susan B. Anthony List will continue to remind American voters where the President’s allegiance truly lies. We will not stop fighting until every U.S. taxpayer is freed from under-writing the abortion business.”


Christian group backs away from ex-gay therapy

The president of the country's best-known Christian ministry dedicated to helping people repress same-sex attraction through prayer is trying to distance the group from the idea that gay people's sexual orientation can be permanently changed or "cured."
That's a significant shift for Exodus International, the 36-year-old Orlando-based group that boasts 260 member ministries around the U.S. and world. For decades, it has offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer, infuriating gay rights activists in the process.
This week, 600 Exodus ministers and followers are gathering for the group's annual conference, held this year in a Minneapolis suburb. The group's president, Alan Chambers, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the conference would highlight his efforts to dissociate the group from the controversial practice usually called ex-gay, reparative or conversion therapy.
"I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included," said Chambers, who is married to a woman and has children, but speaks openly about his own sexual attraction to men. "For someone to put out a shingle and say, 'I can cure homosexuality' — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth."

Officers hide in La Grange church, nab man suspected of stealing donations

La Grange police officers hiding inside a church arrested a man suspected of stealing money from donation boxes, police said.
St. Francis Xavier Church had noticed a pattern of money missing from candle and St. Vincent DePaul donation boxes, according to Patrick Fulla, an investigator with the La Grange Police Department.


Three Missionary Wives: The Martyr, the Heroine, the Forgotten

The motto of every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or school master, ought to be "devoted for life." –Adoniram Judson

Although five young men were commissioned as missionaries on February 6, 1812, considerable interest was concentrated on the three young wives who were so publicly expanding expectations of the role and capabilities of women in missions. Prevented by cold weather, distance and preparations for her imminent marriage to Samuel Nott, Roxana Peck of Franklin, Connecticut was the only one unable to attend the ordination at Salem.
Roxana was twenty-seven years old at the time she married Samuel Nott the week after the Salem commissioning service. Ann "Nancy" Hasseltine Judson of Bradford, Massachusetts was twenty-three and had married Adoniram the day before the commissioning. The darling of the three was Harriet Atwood of Haverill, Massachusetts – beautiful, delicate and only eighteen years old. She married Samuel Newell just days after the commissioning.
After their departure for India on two different ships, the lives of the first three missionary women, intertwined by fate and the public imagination, took surprisingly different turns. Each in her own way became a model for the practice of women in mission. United at first by circumstances, by similar spiritual experience, and by shared goals, the lives of Harriet, Ann and Roxana demonstrated how a range of hard realities could reshape mission theory and dictate practice.


Trafficking: 'Tricked, Trapped, Traded'

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Sandy Wisdom-Martin didn't realize what she was getting into when she stepped through the doorway of the Diamond Cabaret, a strip club in East St. Louis, Mo.

It was 10 years ago, during Southern Baptists' evangelistic Crossover outreach that precedes each year's Southern Baptist Convention.

Wisdom-Martin was part of a Crossover team working to share Jesus with exotic dancers, a job "way outside" her comfort zone. The goal was simple: free these women from the exploitation and oppression of the sex industry through an encounter with Christ that would radically change their lives. Little did Wisdom-Martin know the experience would radically change her life as well.

Today Wisdom-Martin, executive director/treasurer of Texas WMU, was tapped to lead a breakout session on human trafficking during WMU's Mission Celebration and Annual Meeting in New Orleans, June 17-18, in conjunction with the SBC annual meeting.

The breakout, titled "Tricked, Trapped, Traded (Project HELP: Human Exploitation)," focused on raising awareness about human trafficking and giving WMU attendees practical steps they can take to join the fight. Project HELP is Woman's Missionary Union current initiative against human trafficking.

"The issue of human trafficking is part of a larger worldwide issue of slavery," Wisdom-Martin told the breakout audience, explaining that human trafficking is generally divided into two categories: sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

She introduced statistics from the anti-human trafficking website,, which reports there are 27 million slaves in the world today, the majority in India and African nations. Every year, thousands of slaves are trafficked into the United States, working in fields, homes, brothels and restaurants. The average cost of a human slave sold around the world is $90.

"Many victims that are trafficked to the United States do not speak English so they can't communicate with service providers or law enforcement officials who might be able to help them," Wisdom-Martin said.