This week's edition of "The 3" features a critical religious expression case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, a potentially limiting piece of legisltation tucked into a broader bill in the U.S. House, and a major Christian conference designed to equip and motivat Christian leaders.
3 - Supreme Court hears Mojave Desert cross case
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week regarding a cross posted in a remote area of the Mojave Desert. The monument was erected as a memorial to World War I veterans, then the land on which it stood became federalized by the Clinton Administration, the cross was presumably returned to private property through a land swap between the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Park Service, but nevertheless, the ACLU still wanted it taken down. Currently, the cross stands with a sheet over it, surrounded by plywood, so it cannot be seen.
LifeSiteNews has further background on the case.
Liberty Counsel has a concise press release on the case.
2 - Hate Crimes bill slipped into Defense Authorization act
For years now, the U.S. Congress has been attempting to classify certain types of crime as "hate crimes". According to analysts of this type of legislation, if it can be determined that a crime was committed against someone based on, among other factors, sexual orientation, then there would be stiffer punishment for that perpetrator, as well as perhaps those who helped to influence the perpetrator's point of view. The bill has become politically unpopular, to the extent that the Senate attached its version to another, more popular bill, and the House has followed suit, this week approving a Defense Authorization bill with the unrelated "hate crimes" rider attached. A number of Christian and pro-family organizations have expressed concern about this type of legislation, fearing it could cause pastors or others who speak against homosexuality to be charged with contributing to a "hate crime". CitizenLink, a web site of Focus on the Family Action, had a report.
1 - Thousands gather to discuss being a "Catalyst" in the culture
The annual Catalyst conference took place this week in Atlanta, with thousands flooding the Arena at Gwinnett Center to hear from the keynote speakers, as well as attend motivational lab sessions. Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, Chuck Swindoll, Tony Dungy, and others addressed the gathering.
Catalyst was conceived by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, John Maxwell, Lanny Donoho and a number of young leaders, designed to, according to www.catalystspace.com, "meet the felt need that existed within the church leader space for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders." To read blogs from this year's conference, you can go to www.catalystbackstage.com.
Franklin Graham cuts retirement contributions
New film reflects athiest worldview