A One-Time Catholic Priest Argues That the Celibacy Requirement is ‘Destructive’

Thomas Groome was an ordained Catholic priest in the late 1960s — the kind who preached about marriage without ever being married himself — but it wasn’t long before he began thinking seriously about the whole “priests can’t get married” and “you must remain celibate” things… it wasn’t just out of selfishness. He now believes a change to those outdated and unnecessary rules could help the Catholic faith:

I’ve worked at Boston College for 37 years, and I couldn’t count the number of young men across the years — I would literally say hundreds — who have said to me they’d love to be a priest but they don’t want to accept the celibacy requirement. They want to get married, have a family, which is a perfectly natural desire built into us by almighty God. And to be turning away such high-quality young people or to be sending away some of our finest priests because they wanted to marry seemed, at least, problematic.

This, to me, just speaks to the higher problems within the Church — the same ones Pope Francis is fighting against right now. As relatively progressive as he might be, it’s his Catholicism that holds him back from being even more of a force for good.

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Ann Reid Succeeds Eugenie Scott as Executive Director of National Center for Science Education

It was back in May when we learned that Dr. Eugenie Scott would retire from her position as Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education — after 26 years with the organization. During her tenure, the NCSE was a vocal advocate for good science in public schools, fighting battles against the likes of Creationists and global warming deniers,

Today, the NCSE is announcing her successor: Ann Reid, a molecular biologist who has worked for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and, most recently, was the director of the American Academy of Microbiology:



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On Second Thought, Watauga Schools Will Take ‘In God We Trust’ Posters After All — As a Tool to Teach History

Headline in the Watauga Democrat (North Carolina), November 6:

Schools Decline ‘In God We Trust’ Posters 

Headline in the same newspaper, eight days later:

Schools Accept ‘In God We Trust’ Posters

As regular readers of this site may remember, the posters in question are framed photos of an American flag with the motto “In God We Trust” superimposed on it. They are being offered by American Legion Post 130.

The placards are now welcome in the public schools after all. Why the yo-yo-ing?

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BBC Criticizes U.S. Christians Who May be Playing Hanky-Panky With Martyr Statistics

If Christians are killed by other Christians, do the dead still count as martyrs for Jesus? With that question in mind, Ruth Alexander of BBC News takes issue with the much-bandied-about number that annually, around the world, 100,000 Christians are killed because of their faith.

Alexander looked into that squishy statistic and found that

… it comes originally from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the US state of Massachusetts, which publishes such a figure each year in its Status of Global Mission (see line 28).

Its researchers started by estimating the number of Christians who died as martyrs between 2000 and 2010 — about one million by their reckoning — and divided that number by 10 to get an annual number, 100,000.

But where does that number of one million come from?

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City Council Member Justifies $7,000 Budget Item for Child Evangelism Group by Claiming It’s Not ‘Religious’

Just as the Pierce County Council (in Washington) was getting ready to approve their 2014 budget last week, the council members decided to amend it to include one additional $7,000 expense.

That money would go to Child Evangelism Fellowship, better known to most of you as the group that sponsors the elementary-school-evangelizing Good News Club:

The money would go towards renting space at local fairs, according to the director of the Pierce County chapter Marlene Stoll.

“We just want to push God’s love for us and how it can make a difference in our life,” Stoll said Saturday night.

Jim McCune, the elected official who suggested the donation, offered justification for his lawsuit-worthy decision:

McCune said Friday night Child Evangelism Fellowship is non-denominational, and the money would not go towards religious items.

“Yes, (CEF) may come from a certain book (the Bible), but it’s not a so-called religious foundation. Completely separate,” McCune explained.

what?!

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