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Hannah Cummings

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Obama faith-based order makes ‘few changes’ to Bush’s original order

WASHINGTON (BP)–Although much of the religious community feared what President Obama’s recent executive order regarding the faith-based initiative would entail, he made few changes to President Bush’s original executive order, observers said. “The most important thing to note about the amended EO is how few changes it makes. The principles it sets out are refinements, […]

Pro-life leader: movement at ‘tipping point’

WASHINGTON (BP)–Although 40 Days for Life only has two full-time employees, the organization continues to make significant pro-life progress both nationally and globally. “Momentum is building, results are accelerating and we are seeing more people in more places having more impact than ever before,” David Bereit, the national campaign director for 40 Days for Life, […]

Speaker decries U.S. ‘polyamory’ culture

WASHINGTON (BP)--The deteriorating moral state of America can be blamed on a rising culture of polyamory, a culture that endorses serial relationships rather than lifelong, monogamous relationships, said Patrick Fagan in a lecture at the Family Research Council.

High court weighs violent video games ban

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Supreme Court must decide whether violent video games fall under obscenity for minors, a category that would exempt them from free speech protections. “We have here a new medium that cannot possibly have been envisioned at the time when the First Amendment was ratified,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito said in oral arguments […]

Justices examine Ariz. school choice law

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Supreme Court must further clarify the barrier between church and state in a case about an Arizona tax credit given to citizens who donate to tuition programs that provide scholarships to religious schools. “If you placed an electronic tag to track and monitor each cent that the [citizens] pay in tax, not […]

White House criticized for ‘politicizing’ faith-based office

WASHINGTON (BP)–The Obama administration has come under criticism for using its faith-based office to push the president’s political agenda. “The government — and especially those who lead the faith-based initiative — ought to do everything they can to avoid the appearance and reality of politicizing the initiative,” said Stanley Carlson-Thies, a former staff member with […]

China’s ban on Lausanne delegates called ‘gross violation’ of rights

WASHINGTON (BP)--The Chinese government's refusal to allow Christians to participate in the Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization was a "gross violation of the rights guaranteed to them by their country's constitution as well as the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights," Southern Baptist religious freedom specialist Richard Land said.       "This brazen act by the Chinese government reinforces the world's negative opinion about that government's treatment of its people," said Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and a member of the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom. "If China wants to be respected as a great power, it needs to respect the human rights of its people."       Christian house church groups in China were invited to attend the global gathering, Oct. 17-24 in Cape Town, South Africa, encompassing 4,200 delegates from 198 countries. The Chinese groups had made plans to send about 200 delegates.

USCIRF: 8 nations, including Russia, failing religious liberty pledge

WASHINGTON (BP)–Several countries in the Organization for Security and Co-operation have violated religious liberty commitments set forth by the organization, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “An increasing number of participating states have abused their responsibility and have introduced measures that undermine the right of individuals and communities of individuals to profess […]

High court weighs speech limits in Westboro case

WASHINGTON (BP)--While an overwhelming number of Americans are disturbed with the message the Westboro Baptist Church promotes, many fear rights protected by the First Amendment could be jeopardized if the U.S. Supreme Court does not rule in its favor. [QUOTE@right@120='My heart tells me they should be outlawed from doing this; however, my head tells me that anytime we allow the government to restrict religious speech ... we are setting a very dangerous precedent.' -- Richard Land]      The high court heard oral arguments Oct. 6 in the controversial case involving protests at military funerals. Albert Snyder, father of deceased Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, filed suit against Fred Phelps and his Topeka, Kan., independent church, saying a protest by the group outside his son's funeral in 2006 caused him extensive emotional anguish and invaded his family's right to privacy. The church is not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention or any other denomination.       "I don't know what the rules ought to be there," Associate Justice Stephen Breyer said during the arguments, referring to the right of an individual to put anything online or on television even when the material "attacks ... the most private things of a private individual."       Phelps and his congregation are known nationwide for their inflammatory demonstrations, often outside the funerals of U.S. armed services members who were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Three decades of one-child policy plagues China

WASHINGTON (BP)--China will have, by 2020, 40 million more men than women under the age of 20 -- a number equal to the current total of men under the age of 20 in the United States, Chinese population experts are projecting. [QUOTE@right@120='This is the Tiananmen Square massacre happening every hour.' -- Chai Ling on forced abortions]      "Tens of millions of Chinese men will never be able to marry because potential wives don't exist," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said in a news conference commemorating the 30th anniversary of the one-child policy in China.       The controversial Chinese policy permits only one child in the majority of Chinese families. While some exceptions may be made for ethnic minorities, rural families and couples who are the only children of their parents, most Chinese families are forced to abide strictly by the law.       Prior to the one-child policy, the Chinese government encouraged large families because it believed a high population meant a greater work force. However, this caused a population boom, and China couldn't sustain itself -- famine and starvation killed an estimated 30 million people.       "The one-child policy was the only choice we had, given the conditions when we initiated the policy," Chinese legislative body spokesman Wu Jianmin said in a Sept. 25 press conference.       The Chinese government says the policy has prevented a reported 400 million births. The government may celebrate that number, but the law also has come at a cost.