This week's edition of "The 3" has another development in the ongoing debate on health care, the seemingly never-ending saga of Christmas controversies, and the passing of a well-known Christian leader.
3 - Nelson signs on to health care - key issue: abortion
Late Friday night, apparently satisfied by the U.S. Senate leadership's attempts to prevent or at least limit taxpayer funding of abortion, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson agreed to vote for cloture in order to cut off debate and bring the massive health care legislation to the floor of the Senate. Nelson had used his leverage to get concessions on the abortion issue and was one of the Senators opposing the so-called public option. Here is a report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday night's developments.
2 - News from the Christmas (Twi-) Light Zone
News affecting the celebration of Christmas continues to emerge across America. Good news this week includes a victory from an elementary school in Oregon, where the principal, fearing parent backlash, had removed a giving tree from the school lobby and replaced it with some snowmen. The principal recanted this week. Liberty Counsel had sent a letter to the administrator, attempting to educate her with respect to the constitutionality of the original display. Here is their report.
Meanwhile, it could be a dark, wintry night in Homewood, Alabama (outside Birmingham) this Christmas Eve, as the fire chief is attempting to enforce a law that requires 4 firefighters be on duty at each candlelight service in the city. You can read my blog post from this past Thursday for additional information.
1 - Oral Roberts dead at 91
This week, well-known evangelist Oral Roberts died at the age of 91, the result of complications from pneumonia. Here is the press release. As I see it, 2 of the most noted contributions of Oral Roberts to the spiritual fabric of our nation were:
1) his use of the media. Rev. Roberts was perhaps the first televangelist in the modern sense. He allowed cameras in his crusades and used television to communicate his message on a widespread basis.
2) vaulting Pentecostal/charismatic thought into greater visibility. He was best known, doctrinally speaking, for his teaching and preaching on miracles, especially divine healing. While critics would say that he concentrated more on the healing than the Healer and that his crusades called too much attention to his own role in what became a healing spectacle, nevertheless he brought the knowledge of the charismatic experience into not only the crusade events, but in the homes of thousands of people.
In addition, Roberts founded Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and established the City of Faith hospital.
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