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CULTURE DIGEST: Olympic star Lolo Jones stands firm on virginity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones created a buzz when she told the world on an HBO talk show that at 29 she’s a Christian, a virgin and delaying sex until marriage.

Her revelation on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” quickly made the news and surfaced on social media outlets, with some noting similarities to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

With three NCAA titles and 11 All-American wins, Jones hopes to qualify for this year’s Olympics after a disappointing 7th place finish in the Women’s 100M Hurdles at the 2008 games in Beijing. But her hardest challenge is remaining a virgin and enjoying a healthy dating life.

“This journey has been hard,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “Harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage.

“It’s just something, a gift I want to give to my husband,” she said.

The trouble is, she’s having trouble finding a steady date, even after taking her quest to social dating sites and Twitter.

“I’ve had guys tell me, ‘Hey, you know, if you have sex it will help you run faster,'” she said. But she didn’t fall for the line. “I’d like to be married. If you marry me, then yeah.”

Jones grew up in poverty, often homeless, and said she wants to enjoy the commitment that escaped her parents who never married.

Contra Costa Times writer Tony Hicks suggested in a recent column: “Tim Tebow, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Mr. Tim Tebow … Seriously — Tim Tebow, pick up the phone. If you don’t, you’re a complete idiot. Call this girl; she’s perfect for you. I won’t even charge you a finder’s fee.”

RELIGIOUS LEADERS SILENT ON MAJOR CULTURAL ISSUE — On the issue of President Obama’s support of same-sex “marriage,” too many religious leaders have been silent, a conservative commentator has lamented.

Richard Viguerie, described as one of the architects of the conservative tide that swept Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980, said since the 1960s the left has been winning the culture wars.

“Those who want to tear down traditional Judeo-Christian moral values have been fully engaged in the battle, but those in leadership positions who should be protecting our culture and the values that are fundamental to its strength have been mostly AWOL,” Viguerie wrote May 11.

Among the few who have been outspoken, Viguerie noted, are Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright, who told the Associated Press that Obama made a “calculated, politically expedient decision that completely ignores the biblical foundation of marriage,” and the SBC’s Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Land told The New York Times he was “saddened and mystified” by the president’s declaration and added, “When the president comes out in favor of something it has an impact, and that saddens me because I think embracing same-sex marriage would be a terrible mistake for the country.”

Viguerie wrote, “These individuals have been leaders, but in many American religious and political organizations, the silence and lack of leadership in opposition to Obama’s support for same-sex marriage has been deafening. Most priests, pastors, rabbis and politicians have failed to publicly promote, protect and defend America’s traditional moral values.”

Silence is evil’s best friend, Viguerie wrote, and the United States needs leaders “who will stand for the values and principles that are the foundation of our culture and national strength.”

Warren Cole Smith, writing for World magazine, added Billy and Franklin Graham to the list of those who have defended traditional marriage.

“The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association took full-page ads out in North Carolina newspapers in support of Amendment One,” Smith wrote, referring to the proposal to define marriage in the state constitution as between a man and a woman.

GERMAN DOCTORS APOLOGIZE FOR ATROCITIES — The German Medical Association has asked for forgiveness for atrocities committed by physicians under the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s.

In a statement approved May 23 in Nuremberg, the association said many doctors under the Nazis were “guilty, contrary to their mission to heal, of scores of human rights violations and we ask the forgiveness of their victims, living and deceased, and of their descendants,” Medical Daily reported.

The association’s statement also clarified that the Nazis did not order physicians to experiment on or kill concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust. Rather, the doctors participated as enthusiastic supporters of the Nazis, the association said.

“[O]utstanding representatives of renowned academic medical and research institutions were involved” in the mass killing of millions of people during the Holocaust, the association said, according to Medical Daily.

“[T]hese crimes were not the actions of individual doctors but involved leading members of the medical community,” according to the association’s statement.

German physicians conducted experiments on prisoners and played a major role in forcibly sterilizing or euthanizing the mentally ill and others considered “unworthy of life,” Medical Daily reported.

“I don’t know if forgiveness will be forthcoming,” said Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

“But in the history of apologies for crimes and abuses carried out in the name of medicine this is the most important ever made,” Caplan wrote on his blog for MSNBC. “It does nothing to soften the horror of the Holocaust but it both ascribes responsibility where it belongs and ends any further efforts to deny or obfuscate what actually happened.”

Pro-life bioethics specialist Wesley Smith said on his blog the statement “doesn’t bring back the lives lost, but at least it does help set history straight. And, of course, none of the current members of the association bear any personal responsibility — undoubtedly making the apology easier to make. But it does help us accept that all that evil did not arise from ‘The Nazis,’ which too often becomes a defense allowing us to rationalize our own anti humanism because we don’t goose step on parade.”

The German Medical Association represents nearly 450,000 doctors.

LA. SENATE PASSES PAIN-CAPABLE ABORTION BAN — The Louisiana Senate approved unanimously May 22 a ban on abortions at 20 weeks or more into pregnancy based on evidence a baby in the womb experiences pain by that point.

The Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the Senate passed 36-0, awaits action by the House of Representatives.

Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, estimated 150 babies a year will be saved if the measure becomes law.

“Currently in Louisiana, there is nothing to stop an abortionist from performing an abortion up until the moment right before birth,” Clapper said in a written statement. “Through [the bill], we can protect [an] unborn child at 20 weeks and put a dent in the abortion-on-demand mentality advanced by the abortion industry.”

Seven states have enacted pain-capable abortion bans.

DOCTOR TO PAY FOR CARE OF CHILD HE FAILED TO ABORT — A Spanish judge has ordered a doctor to pay the equivalent of more than $1,200 a month to a mother whose baby he tried but failed to abort.

Judge Jose Perez Martinez’s decision called for the unnamed gynecologist and his clinic to pay a total of more than $338,000, which amounts to the monthly rate of more than $1,200 until the boy turns 26. Martinez also ordered the doctor to pay nearly $188,000 in “moral damages,” according to the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.

The mother underwent a supposed abortion in April 2011 at the clinic in Majorca, Spain, but returned three months later in the belief she was carrying another child, the Daily Mail reported May 24. Tests showed the previous abortion attempt failed. The clinic sent her to a Barcelona clinic, which declined to perform an abortion because the mother’s pregnancy was beyond the legal time limit.

GA. PROHIBITS PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law May 1 a measure prohibiting physician-assisted suicide.

Enactment of the bill followed a February state Supreme Court decision that invalidated a law that barred the advertising of assisted suicide services, according to American Medical News. The new law does not include in the definition of assisted suicide measures taken to relieve pain.

A health care provider found guilty under the new law may receive a prison sentence of as much as 10 years.
Compiled by Erin Roach, Diana Chandler and Tom Strode of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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