Liberty Counsel: Upcoming conference to focus on “consequences” of homosexual attraction

by D. Bennett

The Liberty Counsel has announced an upcoming conference at the Liberty University School of Law discussing “homosexuality and its consequences,” which will take place February 12. The School of Law will also be hosting a symposium on gay rights and the First Amendment on February 13.

“The broader homosexual agenda has politicized radicalism of homosexuality,” the Counsel writes. Such an agenda is, according to the Counsel, “aggressive and intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms of anyone who may disapprove.”

As such, “this conference is vitally important.”

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IRD: Episcopal Church wrong

by Ruth Moon

In an e-mail update, Mark Tooley takes to task the Episcopal Church for approving same-sex marriage. He says:

Christians and Jews traditionally have believed that marriage as man and woman was part of God’s original order of creation.  But supposedly trendy church officials think that secular culture should redefine for the Church what marriage actually is.   These faddish church prelates, striving to be relevant, always end up making themselves, and their churches, irrelevant, as they float endlessly with the tide, unmoored to any anchor.

Mary Glasspool “has unapologetically taken sexual expression outside of the God-ordained boundary of Holy Matrimony,” IRD’s Jeff Walton said in an e-mail. “In the view of the wider Anglican Communion, this practice makes her unqualified to serve in the role of a bishop.”

Al Mohler: “Gracious restraint” is bad leadership

by Ruth Moon

Archbishop Rowan Williams’ call for “gracious restraint” in dealing with the recently-appointed lesbian Episcopal bishop Mary Glasspool is a poor choice. “When truth is at stake, denominational etiquette is no basis for courageous leadership,” Mohler says. “A call for ‘gracious restraint’ is no leadership at all.”

Francis Collins’ announcement of the new stem cell lines open at the NIH raise questions about his faith.

The Swiss minaret ban is “a cowardly move that contradicts Swiss commitments to religious freedom and tolerance.”

IRD: Abortion, health care and the church

by Ruth Moon

In an e-mail update, Mark Tooley asks for donations “to ensure that … radical church lobbies in Washington, D.C. do NOT successfully persuade Congress and the media that they speak for millions of churchgoers” about government-funded abortion.

Tooley takes issue with a new report by a Massachusetts advocacy group which states  that U.S. Christians are manipulating African Christians to believe homosexuality is wrong. He also says the U.S. should not withdraw quickly from Afghanistan, calling that “unrealistic pacifism.”

In response to the United Methodist denomination and others calling for abortion coverage in the health care bill, Tooley said:

For the mostly new Evangelical Left and the old Religious Left, government-imposed universal health care is a long-time totem for which their activists have toiled across years and decades. Politically liberal evangelicals who still are pro-life, or who at least care about gathering support from the majority of evangelicals who are, remain anxious to preserve Stupak-Pitts.

The old Religious Left, which has enthusiastically supported unrestricted abortion since the 1960s, sees the proposed abortion funding restriction in Obamacare as a nightmarish stain upon their utopian dream of socialized medicine.

United Methodism officially opposes partial-birth abortions and abortions for gender-selection or birth control. But the ultra-liberal United Methodist Capitol Hill lobby office interprets the stance as supporting unrestricted abortion rights.

Evangelical Left activists like Jim Wallis desperately want Obamacare – even if it entails abortion restrictions – and see Stupak-Pitts as a sweetener for their constituency. Hard-line old Religious Leftists portray Stupak-Pitts as an outrageous accommodation of theocracy.

Both Evangelical Left and Religious Left are united in their messianic hopes for socialized health care and almost certainly will support Obamacare ultimately in any form.

Concerned Women for America

by R. Burge

In an email sent out by the CWA they highlight the story of 8 year old Isabella Miller who is caught up in a custody battle. According the description of the case Isabella has a biological mother, Lisa Miller, who at the time of birth had a homosexual marriage in Vermont with Janet Jenkins. The relationship between the two fell apart and Miller took Isabella to live in Virginia and converted to Christianity, renouncing her former lifestyle. Lisa Jenkins sued for custody of the child in Vermont family court and the request was granted. Lisa Miller has now appealed that decision in Virginia. The CWA asks that its members pray that the appeal will overturn the original ruling. Wendy Wright concludes, “Pray that they will have compassion on a little girl and not allow homosexual activists to use children as pawns in their war for affirmation.”

The Manhattan Declaration: Christians Unite on Life, Marriage, & Liberty

by Tobin Grant

Yesterday, a coalition of Christian leaders (some political, some not) announced the “Manhattan Declaration“.  Most of the leaders were Evangelicals, but conservative leaders from Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox churches were also signatories.

The Declaration is a call “to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good…These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.”

You can read more about the Declaration at the NYT.

Most of the signatories are conservatives, both politically and religiously.  However, there were many influential conservative groups that are part of this coalition.  Here is a breakdown of which of the groups we tracked signed the Declaration.

Groups that were original signatories:

  • ADF
  • Al Mohler
  • Chuck Colson/Break Point
  • Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Richard Land
  • Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Family Research Council
  • Focus on the Family Action
  • Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • Susan B. Anthony List

Groups that were not original signatories:

  • ACLJ
  • AFA
  • AUL
  • CBN
  • Center for Just Society
  • Center for Moral Clarity
  • CWA
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Liberty Counsel
  • National Right to Life Committee
  • Relevant’s “Reject Apathy”
  • Sojourners
  • Traditional Values Coalition

Family Research Council

by Jessica Bryan

The FRC criticized the FBI for not “swooping in” when they saw the emails between “the terrorist Hasan” and “a jihadist imam in Yemen,” criticized NARAL and Planned Parenthood for threatening not to fund two congressmen because of their votes on the Stupak Amendment, criticized the Democrats for not being able to identify a place in the Constitution that gives Congress the authority to mandate that Americans buy health insurance, criticized Obama for not creating jobs and listed some suggestions for how to create jobs.

A Washington Update email from the FRC discussed the symbolism and creation of Veteran’s Day, voiced opposition to Judge Hamilton’s nomination and urged subscribers to do the same, and criticized the health care bill for helping veterinarians but not doing much for veterans.

A second Washington Update email from the group criticized the D.C. City Council for voting legislation out of committee without creating exemptions for religious organizations, criticized the AMA for its “liberal agenda,” and discussed the penalties for not having health insurance under the current health care reform bill.

A third Washington Update email criticized end-of-life consultations in the current health care bill, discussed the start of the FRC’s new awareness campaign called “Adult Stem Cells Saved My Life,” Lou Dobbs’ retirement, and advertised FRC Radio’s Washington Watch Weekly.