All posts from “February 2010”

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February 26, 2010

What to Watch: Sanfords to Divorce

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's divorce from his wife of 20 years will become final in mid-March, a judge ruled today. He and his wife Jenny Sanford have spoke openly of their Christian faith.

In a recent FocusFamilyINSIGHT from Glenn Stanton, he juxtaposed Jenny Sanford with Gayle Haggard, both of whom recently published best-selling books on their husbands' infidelity.

Given the shattered marriage covenants due to the husbands’ infidelities, both women have biblical grounds for divorce.

Is one’s decision more right, more virtuous than the other? Good question.

Both women have important, honorable and ultimately pro-marriage and family reasons for their very different decisions.

Gayle Haggard recently told Christianity Today her reason for staying,
“I stayed because I believe in the teachings of Jesus, that if we choose forgiveness and love, our relationships can heal. …I wasn't going to let the struggle that had been going on with him disqualify or undo the 30 years of life we had built together… I wasn't going to let this thing deny all of what we have spent our lives invested in.”

That is a remarkably beautiful statement of profound faith and commitment in the face of a very real and very broken situation. Jenny Sanford said publicly she was committed to and very much wanted to save her marriage. But she later concluded that would not be possible because her husband refused to end his adulterous relationship. She made the love-must-be-tough decision that both love and dignity required for herself, her four boys, even her husband.

Other items from the week's news:

-- The President met with congressional leaders yesterday for a health care summit. Tobin Grant rounds up reactions in his weekly Political Advocacy Tracker for CT.

-- A Texas tax appraisal district will begin exempting a $3.3 million jet owned by Kenneth Copeland Ministries from property taxes.

-- A group of Ohio ministers complained to the Internal Revenue Service that a house on C Street in D.C. connected to the Fellowship should no longer be granted a tax-exempt status granted to a church. Here's more from Laurie Goodstein at The New York Times.

Continue reading What to Watch: Sanfords to Divorce...

February 24, 2010

Report: Foreign Policy Must Engage Religious Communities

A new report recommends that the Obama administration should make religion an important part of the United State's foreign policy.

"The success of American diplomacy in the next decade will be measured in no small part by its ability to connect with the hundreds of millions of people throughout the world whose identity is defined by religion," the Chicago Council on Global Affairs states in the release.

Notre Dame's Scott Appleby said in a Washington Post video that some people in government feel hand-cuffed in dealing with religion.

"Many scholars and policy makers are very wary of engaging religious communities abroad because they fear that our Constitution prohibits such engagement, and that fear is not well-founded," he said. He also said that for security reasons, the U.S. is engaged with countries that also repress religion.


Continue reading Report: Foreign Policy Must Engage Religious Communities...

February 22, 2010

Dobson Endorses Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson today endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for re-election, according to CNN.

Perry faces a primary battle against Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was endorsed by former President George H.W. Bush in January.

"Over the years, Gov. Perry has established a record that is consistently pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-religious liberty," Dobson said in a statement. "No other candidate in this race measures up to the high standards established by Gov. Perry on these critical issues of our day."

In the 2008 election, Dobson endorsed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in the primaries and later endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain. Dobson retired from his role at Focus on the Family but announced he would begin his own radio show. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Dobson's show will begin February 26.

February 11, 2010

Dan Coats Enters Ind. Senate Race

Former Indiana Senator Dan Coats threw his hat into the ring yesterday and announced his plan to campaign against Indiana Senator Evan Bayh this year.

Democrats quickly began attacking Coats's lobbying background and criticizing his residency in Virginia. In Talking Points Memo style, Marc Ambinder considers other Republicans the Democrats may have to overcome this year, including Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Simmons of Connecticut, Mike Castle of Delaware, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and John Boozman of Arkansas.

Coats served four terms in the House of Representatives before he was appointed to replace Dan Quayle in the Senate when Quayle became vice president. He was elected in 1990 and in 1992 won the seat outright and served as ambassador to Germany under President Bush. Bayh, a former two-term governor, was elected in 1998 to succeed Coats, who chose not to seek re-election then.

Christianity Today wrote about Evan Bayh's possibility as President Obama's vice presidential candidate and spoke with Coats, a graduate of Wheaton College, when he first retired from the Senate.

February 11, 2010

Clinton Hails Adoption Home That No Longer Exists

In her keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke openly about Mother Theresa's 1994 prayer breakfast speech when she condemned abortion. After the address, Mother Theresa told Clinton she should start a home for babies, which Clinton said she accomplished after cutting through some red tape. Here's how Clinton told the story:

We began to talk, and she told me that she knew that we had a shared conviction about adoption being vastly better as a choice for unplanned or unwanted babies. And she asked me – or more properly, she directed me – to work with her to create a home for such babies here in Washington. I know that we often picture, as we’re growing up, God as a man with a white beard. But that day, I felt like I had been ordered, and that the message was coming not just through this diminutive woman but from someplace far beyond.

...Finally, the moment came: June, 1995, and the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children opened. She flew in from Kolkata to attend the opening, and like a happy child, she gripped my arm and led me around, looking at the bassinets and the pretty painted colors on the wall, and just beaming about what this meant for children and their futures.

World magazine reporter Emily Belz tried to track down the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children and found that it no longer exists.

According to a pastor at the church next door to the home’s former location, the adoption ministry failed to take off because the Roman Catholic nuns who ran it weren’t allowed to care for babies without medical personnel on site. “I’m not sure the legal thing that came down upon them, but they realized they needed to expend their energies in another way,” said Maureen Freshour, who along with her husband, David, pastors Chevy Chase Baptist Church and lives nearby. Freshour has stayed in touch with the nuns from the Missionaries of Charity order who ran the home and said that the remaining three or four sisters have moved to another house in Washington, where they are ministering to the homeless.

February 4, 2010

Hillary Clinton, Tim Tebow, Barack Obama Headline National Prayer Breakfast

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the anti-homosexuality bill proposed in Uganda while President Obama called it "odious" at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. Tim Tebow gave the closing prayer. I tweeted a few updates at twitter.com/ctmagazine and posted video from my phone of Obama and Tebow on YouTube.

I spoke briefly with Tebow after the breakfast who was friendly but was whisked away for a meeting. I also passed South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford in the hallway but could not interview him in time before the breakfast.

Below I've posted Obama's remarks as released by the White House.

Continue reading Hillary Clinton, Tim Tebow, Barack Obama Headline National Prayer Breakfast...