National Day of Prayer
Millions of people will gather at courthouses, in businesses, around school flagpoles, inside places of worship, and stadiums to participate in the 52nd annual National Day of Prayer on May 1. President George W. Bush and all fifty governors are expected to sign proclamations setting aside the first Thursday in May as a day of intercession for the nation.
"This is a tumultuous time in American history. The conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate, corporate corruption has grabbed the headlines, thousands of people are out of work, families are struggling to stay together, and we daily live under the threat of terrorism. Where can we turn to for help other than God?" said Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. "We are in desperate need of the Lord. But how can we arrogantly ask for His blessings and wisdom when we live contrary to God's standard of righteous living? It is imperative to understand that our survival and well-being as a nation rests solely on our willingness to live according to His purpose."
This year's theme, "Righteousness Exalts A Nation," is based on Proverbs 14:34, Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people. For the third year in a row, the Task Force is asking people to pray the "Prayer for the Nation" at noon, wherever they are, as a sign of unity before God. Honorary Chairman Dr. Luis Palau authored this year's prayer, which conveys the message of the theme.
For more information go to www. ndptf.org.
Marvel Comics: Transforming Old-West Cowboy into Gay Hero
Making comic history, Marvel Comics has introduced its first gay main character in a comic book series. The Rawhide Kid, a part of Marvel Comics since 1955, will make his sexual conversion beginning in a February 2003 issue. The Rawhide Kid series ended in 1979, but now is being reintroduced in a new time and new age as homosexual.
Joe Quesada, the editor-in-chief of Marvel, told the Associated Press that the character "doesn't come out and say he's gay. But it's obvious through his actions and the things he says that his preference is men, not women."
According to published reports, Marvel will release six issues of the series before making a final decision on its status. The first homosexual character that Marvel introduced was in March 1992, in the comic Alpha Flight, which is about a Canadian super hero organization. DC Comics released The Authority in 2000, which included the first homosexual comic book characters, Apollo and Midnighter.
Director of the American Family Association (AFA), Tim Wildmon says that the comics are participating in socializing homosexuality as normal.
"If that's not what is motivating Marvel, then why purposefully take a heterosexual character and change him into a homosexual? I think it's reasonable to assume that the writers of this comic book series have a particular agenda."
The addition of a gay hero to the comic's lineup confirms the comic company's apparent devotion to the immoral and sexually explicit. The comics now come with ratings and labels that identify problem material. One example is the Black Widow series that included images of sadomasochism, profanity, and anti-Christ imagery. However, in an AFA report, writer Ed Vitiagliano notes that the comic is still targeted at kids, because the comic is filled with ads for Starburst candy, Lifesavers, Dr. Pepper, and other kid products like lunch box drinks.
More Moms Staying Home
The trend in stay-at-home-parents is beginning to shift. According to recent reports, in four years, the number of families with one stay-at-home-parent has grown.
U.S. News and World Report recently reported that the percent of young families with one stay-at-home parent has grown from its low of 38.9 percent in 1997 to 41.3 percent in 2001. Also, another factor for staying at home is that child-care costs have jumped 60 percent in the last decade. The number of married couples with at least one child under age 6 and one full-time stay-at-home parent increased by 169,000 over the past four years — roughly a 2 percent change.
Amita Etzioni, a socioeconomist with George Washington University, noted that's more significant than it appears. "When you talk about a society of the size and complexity of our society, a 2 percent change is a very significant one," he said.
Glenn Stanton, social research director for Focus on the Family, added today's moms want something that was missing in their lives.
"(Many) were left at home as latch-key kids … and so they're saying, 'You know what, I don't want that for my children,'" Stanton said.
Family News in Focus, December 6, 2002