3 - CT graduation at church stymied by court
In what can be regarded as a blow for religious liberties, a Federal judge has ruled against a Connecticut school district that had planned to hold graduation for 2 of its schools in a large Bloomfield, CT church. When it was announced that 2 Enfield schools were planning to expose students involuntarily to a religious atmosphere, complete with religious symbols, the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State cried foul and filed a lawsuit. The judge, after touring the facility, came down on the side of the ACLU. The school board narrowly decided not to appeal. The Christian Post has the story.
Interestingly enough, this had been a common practice in the school district for years. In fact, because of space considerations, school districts will turn to churches to hold major school-related events. This is another indication of the extent to which the ACLU and like-minded organizations will go in order to intimidate and thwart religious expression, as if somehow being in a church building would be coercive to students. As it has been pointed out, the building is not the church, and using a church's facility cannot be construed as forcing a person to be inappropriately exposed to religious activity.
2 - John Wooden dead at 99
He was known first as a man of great character, I believe, a leader's leader, who not only trained young men in basketball, but in life. Former UCLA head basketball coach John Wooden has died at age 99. The accolades continue to pour in for the coach, who was an active Christian, an avid Bible reader, and was outspoken about his faith. He was involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I would dare say that his many of his "maxims" were consistent with Biblical truth. I appreciated the observations of Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.org.
The Los Angeles Times, in a blog post, listed some of Wooden's maxims, or quotes:
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
"Never mistake activity for achievement."
"Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."
"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
"Be prepared and be honest."
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."
"Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character."Wooden is a great example of someone that made the most out of life, someone recognized for achievement off-the-court, perhaps more than the championship on it. He exemplified the importance of character, and displayed strong leadership skills, as he cultivated a host of admirers.
1 - Gay agenda continues advance; Obama expands domestic partner privileges
Just a few months ago, President Obama came under fire from one of his major constituencies, the gay and lesbian activists, who felt the he had not done enough to advance their cause. In the State of the Union message this year, he vowed to overturn the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy currently in use in the military with regard to homosexuals in the armed services. He is also on record as opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (which Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan stated the Administration does not support, even in a feeble attempt to "defend" the law), which supports marriage as a man and a woman. And, last week, ignoring the statements from the leaders of the 4 branches of the Armed Forces, the U.S. House attached a repeal of this policy to a Defense Authorization Bill, presumably pending the results of a study to be completed later this year. Action is pending in the U.S. Senate on similar legislation.
And, this week, the Administration expanded another set of benefits to same-sex couples, following a granting of some benefits in action last June. CitizenLink has this report.
The President has also proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth Against Homosexuality has astutely pointed out that the 2010 proclamation (Obama also made a proclamation in 2009) calls for a repeal of DOMA. What we are watching is an attempt to redefine the institution of marriage and grant rights to individuals based on sexual orientation. Homosexual behavior is clearly characterized in Scripture as being sinful, so to give these special rights based on what many regard as a lifestyle choice is a disruptive path regarding the stability of our culture and its families. And, next up: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which could force Christian employers to hire homosexuals.
Wycliffe announces "Last Languages" campaign
Ted Haggard announces plans for new church
Christians take case to advertisers about Comedy Central's "JC" series