All posts from “September 2009”

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September 17, 2009

What to Watch: Pro-life Reaction to Baucus Proposal

Here are the items we're watching today:

-- Some pro-life groups say the health care bill proposed by Senator Max Baucus would allow the government to pay for abortions.

A Rasmussen Reports survey suggests that 48 percent believe any government-subsidized health care plan should be prohibited from covering abortion while 13 percent believe a plan should be required to cover it. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed favor a more neutral approach with no requirements in either direction.

-- The president of Notre Dame plans to participate in the March for Life in January in Washington, D.C. John I. Jenkins took heat after the school invited President Obama to speak at commencement and gave him an honorary doctorate.

Continue reading What to Watch: Pro-life Reaction to Baucus Proposal...

September 15, 2009

What to Watch: Police Say No Evidence Muslim Family Threatened Runaway Teen

Here's what we're reading today:

-- Florida authorities found no credible threats against Rifqa Bary, a 17-year-old who fled from Ohio to Florida because she claimed her Muslim family would kill her for converting to Christianity. Here's more form the St. Petersburg Times.

The FDLE's report, though, which a judge in Orlando unsealed Monday evening, says there's no evidence of any abuse, and also no indication that she's in danger of being killed. The report calls that fear "a subjective and speculative concern."

FDLE asked the girl's father if he was going to kill her.

"Absolutely not," Mohamed Bary told investigators.

FDLE did not investigate the Islamic community in Columbus or the mosque the Bary family sometimes attends.

-- Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler plans to introduce legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The bill has the support of at least 75 lawmakers, according to the Associated Press. A spokesperson for Rep. Barney Frank told the AP he believes the legislation would have a small chance because it would allow same-sex couples to take their benefits across state lines.

Continue reading What to Watch: Police Say No Evidence Muslim Family Threatened Runaway Teen...

September 14, 2009

What To Watch: Obama Calls Pro-Life Activist's Killing 'Deplorable'

After a week of vacation (my new last name might give it away), here's a round-up of items I'm catching up on:

-- President Obama called the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon "deplorable."

"Whichever side of a public debate you're on, violence is never the right answer," he said in a statement released yesterday.

-- An adopted Christian teenager could face deportation to England for refusing a vaccination. Simone Davis says she has no reason to receive Gardasil, which protects from sexually transmitted HPV, because she has taken a virginity pledge, ABC reports.

-- A group called Personhood USA tells the Associated Press that it has chapters in 29 states trying to get "personhood" measures passed that would define fertilized embryos as persons.

Continue reading What To Watch: Obama Calls Pro-Life Activist's Killing 'Deplorable'...

September 3, 2009

What to Watch: UN Draft of Sex Ed Guidelines Draws Complaints

Here's what we're reading today:

-- Time reports that a United Nations agency is preparing guidelines that recommend that school systems begin sex education at an earlier age than they do now, drawing criticism from conservatives. The agency is also preparing to suggest that as students mature, teachers should offer them more detailed information about avoiding pregnancies and disease, aiming to reduce the 4.4 million abortions sought by 15 to 19-year-olds annually. Here's more from The New York Times.

Conservative groups have also criticized the draft guidelines for discussions of condom use, sexually transmitted diseases and the assertion that “legal abortion performed under sterile conditions by medically trained personnel is safe.” The guidelines suggest discussing “access to safe abortion and post-abortion care” and the “use and misuse of emergency contraception” with those ages 12 to 15. The guidelines recommend that “the right to and access to safe abortion” should also be discussed.

-- Dan Gilgoff tweets that Sojourner's Jim Wallis has hired Burns Strider, who used to work on Hillary Clinton's campaign.

-- Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley defended his participation in Ted Kennedy's funeral after hearing opposition from some conservative Catholics because of Kennedy’s support for abortion, the Boston Globe reports. The New York Times writes that Kennedy calls the 1969 car accident that killed a woman “inexcusable” in a new memoir coming out. Kennedy writes in another portion of the book, "Some people make mistakes and try to learn from them and do better. Our sins don’t define the whole picture of who we are.”

-- Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin says the Senate is swamped and has little time to go over the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that does not allow openly gays to serve.

Continue reading What to Watch: UN Draft of Sex Ed Guidelines Draws Complaints...

September 2, 2009

What to Watch: Hubby Hubby Ice Cream

It's a fairly quiet morning, but here's some articles we're watching today.

-- Vermont began allowing same-sex marriages yesterday. To mark the occasion, Ben & Jerry's changed its “Chubby Hubby” ice cream to “Hubby Hubby” during September. In case you were wondering, the flavor combines peanut butter cookie dough ice cream, fudge and pretzels.

-- Alliance Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Idaho public charter school, claiming the state illegally barred use of the Bible as a teaching material. According to the Associated Press, the school had planned to use the Bible as a primary source of teaching material, but not to teach religion.

-- A a federal agency announced yesterday that President Obama's "United We Serve" initiative has made August 31 through September 6 as "Interfaith Service Week." The press release states that in Orlando, college Jewish students from Hillel, the Hindu Students Association, Muslim Students Association will join evangelical students from Joel Hunter's Northland Church as part of a September 6 project to help the homeless.

-- Bloggers are buzzing about Levi Johnston's latest claim in Vanity Fair that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wanted to adopt Bristol Palin and Johnston's son.

Sarah told me she had a great idea: we would keep it a secret—nobody would know that Bristol was pregnant. She told me that once Bristol had the baby she and Todd would adopt him. That way, she said, Bristol and I didn’t have to worry about anything. Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was nagging—she wouldn’t give up.

Politico's Ben Smith points out that it contradicts Johnston's previous statements.

KING: Levi, was abortion ever considered?
L. JOHNSTON: No.
KING: Giving up for adoption ever considered?
L. JOHNSTON: Oh, no.
KING: When the two of you talked and the baby, Tripp, was born, was there ever a thought that you would not be the -- I mean not be the active father of that child?
L. JOHNSTON: No.

September 1, 2009

Obama's Ramadan Dinner

Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter attended President Obama's Ramadan dinner tonight, another instance of an evangelical commemorating the Muslim holy month.

Brian McLaren is fasting in observance of Ramadan. However, Hunter, who has reached out to Muslims in the Orlando area in the past, attended due to his role on the faith-based office's advisory council. Ramadan commemorates the month during which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to Mohammed.

Portions of Obama's remarks from t he dinner can be found after the jump.

Continue reading Obama's Ramadan Dinner...