Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dixon, Han Say Idol Tour Fun, But a 'Test of Faith'

Court dismisses suit vs Arizona's Day of Prayer

PHOENIX - A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's proclamations declaring a state "day of prayer."

Judge Eileen Willett granted a motion to dismiss with prejudice, meaning the court cannot be asked to rule on the same issue again.


Warning! Beware of ‘Christian’ Con-Artists

They called K.A. Paul “the Billy Graham of India.” During his heyday in the 1990s, some Christian leaders in the United States gave big donations to the evangelist, assuming he was using the money to feed thousands of orphans and widows.
As it turned out, most of the funds Paul raised were used to buy a huge 747 outfitted with a second-floor cabin that contained his own bed, complete with red and gold lamé bedspread. Paul flew the oversized aircraft to Third World nations where he grabbed as much publicity as possible by staging photo ops with politicians. He tried to convince them that his Houston-based organization, Gospel to the Unreached Millions, was alleviating world poverty.
In actuality, Paul was stealing from Christians to feed his monstrous ego.
When I visited India last week, I learned that Paul was arrested in May and is currently in jail in Andhra Pradesh. Authorities have charged that he hired a man to kill his own brother because the two were having a dispute over ministry properties. Now, this man who claimed to be a counselor to presidents and prime ministers has been placed in a mental hospital while he awaits trial.
How do people who claim to be doing God’s work turn out to be selfish charlatans?
It shouldn't surprise us. Jesus warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and one of His own disciples pilfered the money box and betrayed Him. Judas’ kiss-and-then-stab-in-the-back betrayal was rooted in his love for money and his corrupt character (see John 12:6, Matt. 26:14-16).
The Judas spirit is still working today. Missiologists say an embarrassing percentage of Christian donations from the United States go down the drain because of religious corruption overseas. That’s not to say we don’t have charlatans in this country, but American shysters are a bit more obvious because of the glare of media scrutiny.


Houghton student engages in struggle against human trafficking

Human trafficking has become a widely recognized term in the last decade. An influx of information on labor and sex slavery, both in America and abroad, has caused government legislation and non-governmental organizations to arise against it, as well as movies and press to be produced to spread awareness. A vast number of people have dedicated their lives to eradicating this injustice.

Houghton College senior Alice Browning studied human trafficking and its various forms of exploitation during a study abroad in Thailand and Washington, D.C. Browning’s connections through Houghton have allowed her to connect with various individuals foundational to the anti-trafficking movement who have catalyzed her efforts against human trafficking.

“The more I understand how human trafficking works, the more I believe any estimate is extremely rough at best,” said Browning. “We do not know how many people are being trafficked. It is incredibly difficult to even define who is a trafficked victim, and this means we do not know if the problem is being diminished.”
Browning spent the 2011 spring semester in Thailand with Go-Ed through Houghton College, and saw firsthand how vulnerable many native people were to being trafficked.

“Trafficking is a rampant problem in Thailand, although they have pristine laws against it. A growing demand for prostitutes has led to trafficking many women and children for sex,” said Browning. “Thailand is also a huge sex tourist destination, where tourists come to specifically to purchase sexual services. It has been incredibly eye-opening and life changing to not only read about these issues in a book, but to meet young girls and boys who have been used and abused.”


In many states, voucher programs are helping Christian families, schools turn corners

GARY, Ind. (BP) -- In the Griffin house, even the dog is polite. At a command from dad Roman Griffin, the golden retriever/chow mix skitters to her cage without a whimper. When a visitor steps in the front door, six children ranging from 5 to 17 -- including twins and a nephew -- sit beneath family photos in a red living room to offer their attention.

Naomi, 8, wears Hello Kitty slippers and a toothy grin. She says she'd like to be a preacher, teacher, fireman, policeman, scientist, and "play all the instruments." Her brother, 11-year-old Jailon, wants to "write fiction stories, mostly for kids and babies," and has learned at school that "anything is possible when you have God in your life."

Last year Naomi, Jailon, and an older brother, Roman Jr., left two public schools to attend Ambassador Christian Academy in Gary, Ind. They did so only because state-provided vouchers paid for the $4,300 in tuition and fees. Their parents, Roman and Sheila, support the household of eight with a combined $35,000 or so they net each year from jobs as a barber and receptionist.

Jailon and Naomi will attend Ambassador again this fall with vouchers. Roman Jr. will use one to attend a Catholic high school. Roman and Sheila Griffin aren't sure if they'll have the money to send their 5-year-old twin girls, ineligible for state vouchers, to Ambassador's kindergarten class this year. "If we could afford it they would have all been in a Christian school from the start," Sheila said.

As Indiana's path-breaking voucher program charts its second year, the Griffin children are among thousands of Hoosier students using state dollars to attend private schools. About 300 private, largely Christian schools in the state are accepting voucher students -- and gaining a financial boost as they arrive. The boost once was rare, but the school choice movement is surging, thanks to Republican statehouse efforts with occasional Democratic support. The impact in Indiana could predict how Christian schools will benefit from new school choice programs in states such as Louisiana.

Inside Ambassador Academy on a recent summer day, day campers drew with crayons in art class and jumped to a pop song in gym class. The school, sponsored by a local nondenominational church, crouches in an area of Gary where most streets host boarded windows and overgrown lawns. Ambassador served about 300 students from pre-K to eighth grade during the last school year. A third of them used vouchers.


UK: 0.006% of abortions to save mom's life

A report to Parliament has revealed abortions performed in the United Kingdom to save the life of the mother are a stunningly low 0.006 percent of procedures.
David Alton, who for 18 years was a member of the House of Commons, wrote, “When the case for allowing legal abortion was first placed before Parliament it was argued that the law needed to be changed to deal with extremely serious situations.

“More than six million abortions later the figures reveal that in 99.5 percent of the cases where an unborn child’s life is ended there is no risk to the health of the mother,” he said.

The details came in a response from Earl Howe, the parliamentary undersecretary of state in the nation’s Department of Health, to Parliament. He confirmed from 1968 through 2011, the last year for which details were available, there were 6.4 million abortions for women in England and Wales.

“Of these, 143 (0.006 percent) were performed under Section 1(4), i.e. where the termination is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman,” he wrote.

He noted another 24,778 were done on the grounds that a continued pregnancy would involve more risk to the mother than if the unborn child were destroyed.


Researchers Ask 'Are Women Happy at Church?'

Researchers at the Barna Group on Monday released part one of their "Christian Women Today" series and asked the question, "Are Women Happy at Church?"

The study was conducted by surveying 603 adult women in the U.S. who say they are Christians and have attended a regular church service within the last six months. Overwhelmingly, the majority of women expressed "a great deal of satisfaction within the church they attend when it comes to leadership opportunities," the study's author wrote, but others are not so satisfied.
While 73 percent of women say they are making the most of their gifts and potential in their churches, 72 percent feel their ministry work is meaningful and 59 percent say they have "substantial influence" in their own congregations, some women say their experiences haven't been so positive.
A smaller percentage of women say they are held to low expectations in the church (31 percent), are under-utilized (20 percent), under-appreciated (13 percent) and taken for granted (11 percent). As the study indicates, these percentages are somewhat small but, on a national scale, they represent millions of women.

The FRC Shooting and the Vocation of a Hero

The key-card was required to get into the building and to operate the elevator, a security precaution added years earlier when protestors chained themselves together in the lobby. But when I’d forgot my key—and I was always forgetting my key—he never complained. He never uttered a sarcastic remark or had a passive-aggressive sigh to remind me of my absent-mindedness. He’d just leave the guard-desk and quietly help me out.
I suspect Leo Johnson had the same stoic friendliness today, when a young man in his late 20s who said he was intern at Family Research Council asked to be let in the building. Once inside, the man pulled a gun and fired several shots, hitting Leo in the arm. According to news reports, Leo and others wrestled the man to the ground, disarmed him, and waited for police.
From the latest reports I’ve heard, Leo is in the hospital and in stable condition. While he has been grievously harmed, had he not acted swiftly and courageously, some of my friends at FRC might have lost their lives. “The security guard here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” said Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, “He did his job. The person never made it past the front.” Leo is indeed a hero, but he did much more than his job—he took up the vocation of a hero.


23 gay rights leaders condemn Family Research Council shooting

WASHINGTON, August 15, 2012 ( – Twenty-three organizations supporting gay rights have condemned a shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters Wednesday morning, saying that although the motive of the attack hasn’t been clearly established, the leaders “utterly reject and condemn” such violence.
“We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers,” said the leaders in a statement Wednesday afternoon, hours after the shooting took place.
One security guard employed by the pro-family conservative group was shot in the arm after confronting a heavily armed man who attempted to enter the group’s headquarters, reportedly while making inflammatory statements about FRC’s views. The suspected shooter is in custody, while the guard, identified as head security guard Leo Johnson, is in stable condition, according to D.C. police.


Romney VP Pick Supports Personhood / GOP Platform

DENVER, Aug. 15, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President has selected congressional Personhood co-sponsor Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate for the November election.

Congressman Paul Ryan is known for his defense of smaller government and for his staunch advocacy for the dignity of all human persons. Congressman Ryan is currently one of the 64 co-sponsors of H.R. 212, known as the Sanctity of Human Life Act. He also co-sponsored the 2009 Sanctity of Human Life Act, H.R. 227.

The Sanctity of Human Life Act states that under "Congress' power under section 5 of the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United State ... the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person" and that "the life of each human being begins with fertilization."

The Republican party's platform states that "we support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."

"In supporting Personhood, Congressman Ryan has taken a consistent pro-life position, one that is called for by the Republican party's own platform" remarked Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., Legal Analyst for Personhood USA.

"Far from being extreme, Congressman Ryan has picked up the mantle of President Ronald Reagan in his support for a congressional declaration of personhood," commented Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. "We are hopeful that as Ronald Reagan did before him, Congressman Ryan will use his position of influence to advocate uncompromisingly for the dignity and full legal personhood of the preborn."

On January 14, 1988 President Ronald Reagan called for a National Sanctity of Human Life Day, stating that the "personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land. In legislation introduced at my request in the First Session of the 100th Congress, I have asked the Legislative branch to declare the 'humanity of the unborn child and the compelling interest of the several states to protect the life of each person before birth.' This duty to declare on so fundamental a matter falls to the Executive as well. By this Proclamation I hereby do so."

Contact: Jennifer Mason,
Personhood USA,
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