The Thanksgiving weekend edition of "The 3" includes a rather offbeat website surrounding a purported life-or-death choice, that has created controversy around the world. Also, a Christian legal advocacy group highlights retailers and their use of "Christmas" in their ads and stores. And, Thanksgiving provides the theme for the #1 story of the week.
3 - Abortion poll site admitted to be a hoax
It really had all the makings of a hoax website - a domain called www.birthornot.com, a couple with rather sketchy biographical information posted on the site, and the disturbing premise of encourging visitors to "vote" on whether or not an unborn baby should live or die.
Even after interviews in which the couple apparently was calling out to be taken seriously, the father of the real baby "Wiggles" (named because the baby was moving around so much in utero) has basically stated that the couple never intended to abort their baby, but did want to generate some discussion over the controversial topic of abortion. The mother, Alisha Arnold, who reportedly favors legalized abortion, and her husband, Pete, generated over a million votes for this fictitious "choice" - the baby is real, the ultrasound images apparently real, too, but the cover is blown and the parents will one day face the challenge of breaking the news to their child that they actually pulled this sort of stunt. Here's the latest narrative from LifeNews.com.
I guess you could say that the silver lining is that the website actually got people talking about the subject of abortion, but I don't think the couple actually used the site to credibly make the case for life - and have made themselves to be a laughingstock in the process. Sure, this is a topic that needs to be in the national dialogue, but this is definitely not the right way to go about it.
2 - Christian legal group releases "Naughty and Nice" list
Each year, there is a dynamic of the Christmas season that deals with how retailers commemorate the holiday. Another of the prevalent dynamics is how governmental entities allow Christmas to be celebrated, and I am sure there will be some instances that I will highlight throughout the next few weeks, such as the recent occasion in the beautiful city of Maryville, Tennessee (not far from where I went to college), where last year the reading of the Christmas story was banned from the annual city-sponsored event - that reading was restored this year, thanks to the involvement of Liberty Counsel, who wrote a letter to city officials underscoring the constitutionality of the practice.
Liberty Counsel, in addition to defending free speech surrounding the expression of Christmas greetings and exercises, annually calls attention to retailers who do and don't include the word, "Christmas" in their advertising and their retail stores and even websites. As part of their "Friend or Foe" campaign, the organization has released its "Naughty and Nice" list - highlighting the "naughty" retailers who do not acknowledge Christmas and the "nice" retailers who do. In fact, two retailers have flipped this holiday season - Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods, who initially were not including the recognition of Christmas, but who have indicated they intend to do so. You can find Liberty Counsel's list at this link.
Also, Rising Voice, the outreach to millenials from CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, has suggested shopping retailers who engage in "socially responsible" activities, such as donating a portion of their profits to charity. Rising Voice is also partnering with the ministry of Children's HopeChest to help rescue Russian girls who could possibly be incorporated into human trafficking. You can find Rising Voice at www.risingvoice.com.
1 - Christians usher in holiday season with Thanksgiving, charitable giving
Thanksgiving Day is a great time for Christian families to reflect on the blessings of God and to reach out to unsaved loved ones during family gatherings with the love of Jesus Christ. And, as we have been blessed by God, we reach out to others with his love as an expression of our gratitude for giving us the greatest gift of all, making salvation possible through Christ.
Just before Thanksgiving, Christians all across the U.S. took part in Operation Christmas Child and filled shoeboxes with school supplies, games, toys, hygiene items and more, to be distributed throughout the world through Samaritan's Purse. National Collection Week ended on November 22nd.
A number of Christians have begun to shop with an eye on charity through gift catalogs published by various organizations, such as Samaritan's Purse or World Vision. The good news is that apparently there is a significant number of Christians who are planning to reach out with gifts to charity...According to a World Vision survey, more Americans (7 out of 10) indicate they'll spend less on Christmas gifts this year, but just over half said that they would consider a charitable gift as a present this year. Here is more results and analysis from World Vision.
So for that dad who doesn't need another tie or the aunt who just might not want another statuette to sit around on some shelf, a gift to charity in their honor can warm their hearts and bless people in need.
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