VP Debate: President Attended Moderator’s Wedding.

President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.

After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.

Both Politico and The Daily Beast jumped to ABC and Raddatz’s defense. The Huffington Post, a liberal news outlet, joined them shortly thereafter, while calling “unusual” ABC’s attempt to kill the story before it gained wide circulation.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/10/abc-news-scrambles-to-cover-up-barack-obamas-attendance-at-vp-debate-moderators-wedding/#ixzz29DDpXFjB

Christian Persecution: Proposed French Gay Marriage Law Tramples Freedom of Conscience

Critics fear that a proposed French law that would institute same-sex marriage would also interfere with the rights of conscience of individual citizens.

A LifeSiteNews article says,

There will be no allowances made for conscientious or religious objection in upcoming French legislation instituting “gay marriage,” the French minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, revealed in an interview today …”
She further acknowledged that ‘the proposed law is described as “a social and political revolution.

Holland is planning to introduce similar legislation in early 2013.

More details from the LifeSiteNew article below :

PARIS, September 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – There will be no allowances made for conscientious or religious objection in upcoming French legislation instituting “gay marriage,” the French minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, revealed in an interview today.

Speaking to the mainstream Catholic daily La Croix, Taubira gave the broad outlines of the same-sex “marriage” bill to be presented by the government by the end of October. That Taubira chose the quasi-official newspaper of the French Catholic bishops conference is being seen as a strategic move to head off Catholic and other religious objections.

She acknowledged in the interview that the change would constitute a “societal and legal revolution.”

The socialist Hollande government, elected in May, is wasting no time fulfilling its promise to bring the legislation forward. Most observers expected that the bill would not be introduced before the beginning of 2013, allowing the defenders of traditional marriage some time to organize their response after the politically sluggish summer months.

Taubira said that the bill will legalize same-sex “marriage” and adoption by homosexual “spouses,” giving them most of the same legal rights and obligations attached to marriage. It does not include, however, access to artificial procreation, including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Neither does it legalize surrogate motherhood.

Also, the legal “presumption of fatherhood” in which the law designates the husband in a marriage as the legal father of any child born to the couple, would not be applied to homosexual partners. In a same-sex “marriage,” one partner would have to adopt the biological child of the other to obtain parental rights.

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

Some believe that the restrictions are intended to lessen opposition to the bill among traditionalists in parliament and the concessions may indicate that support for the scheme is less enthusiastic than expected, even among socialist members. It is thought likely that any restrictions included in the bill will be overturned later by the European Court of Human Rights.

In a decision involving a French lesbian wanting to adopt the child of her partner in a civil union, Gas v. France, the ECHR affirmed in March of this year that France had the right to deny the adoption in the interest of the child as long as homosexual couples had the same rights as heterosexual couples in the same legal situation. Once complete marriage equivalence is established, this situation would no longer apply. In addition, where heterosexual couples have access to artificial procreation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, it will be argued that homosexuals cannot be excluded.

Christiane Taubira told La Croix that “discussions” have started with proponents and opponents of the bill. Included in these, she said, are several representatives of the association of 36,000 French mayors who officiate at civil marriage ceremonies. But these discussions will not change the government’s stance, Taubira said.

“We are in a state of law; the civil code will be modified, it will be imperative for everyone, including mayors.”

Resistance to the bill will also be hampered by the country’s hate crime laws which have been broadened to include “discrimination” on the grounds of sex and “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.”

The goal of instituting “same-sex marriage” is rooted in the Left’s ideological notion of “absolute equality” in all matters, a cornerstone of socialist political theory. For this reason, it is believed that the current French government will in reality tolerate no opposition to the bill. (Read more here.)

Christian Persecution: Canada and Catholic Schools

Deacon Greg Kandra, who blogs at The Deacon’s Bench, just published a post titled Canadian official: Catholic schools cannot teach that abortion is wrong.

The post reads in part:

Details from the web site New American:
The Education Minister of Ontario, Canada — a professing Catholic who sends her children to Catholic schools — declared October 10 that the province’s publicly funded Catholic schools may not teach students that abortion is wrong because such teaching amounts to “misogyny,” which is prohibited in schools under a controversial anti-bullying law.
“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” Laurel Broten said during a press conference.
“Bill 13,” she asserted, “is about tackling misogyny.”
Passed in June, Bill 13 requires schools to provide “a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.” The law specifically mandates that schools — Catholic schools included — establish “gay-straight alliance” organizations. Now, it seems, it will also be used to infringe even further on religious freedom by prohibiting Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is sinful.(Read more here.)

Freedom From Religion Foundation Takes On Texas Cheerleaders

I just love it when militant secularists pick the wrong opponent. Anyone dumb enough to take on a group of Texas cheerleaders deserves the ensuing fight.

According to an ABC News story, a cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, near Beaumont Texas, were in the habit of holding up banners with Bible verses painted on them at football games.

Enter the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison Wisconsin. These folks, with their extraordinary sensitivities, were evidently so outraged at the thought of high school banners 1200 miles away that they felt compelled fire off one of their threatening phone calls to the Beaumont school superintendent.

The superintendent then forced the cheerleaders to stop holding up the banners.

Presumably, this allowed the outraged Wisconsin Freedom From Religion people to go back to sleeping at night, assured that they had stamped out the great banner threat to their goal of ending freedom of speech when they don’t like what’s being said. But they didn’t reckon with who they were dealing with. Evidently cheerleaders in Wisconsin are made of different stuff than they are in Texas. If the FFR people had asked me, I could have told them they were in for a fight.

You don’t mess with Texas.

You really don’t mess with Texas cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders are going to court. The ABC News article says in part:

Texas Cheerleaders Fight Back Over Bible Verses
Ryan Owens (“ABC News,” October 4, 2012)

Cheerleaders in a small East Texas town that worships two things — God and football — are now fighting back after the Bible verses they painted on banners to display at games were banned.

The cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, just north of Beaumont, Texas, would show their support for the team, and also display their religious beliefs, by painting Bible verses on the banners players run through before every game.

“We just wanted to encourage the boys,” one cheerleader said.

The banners apparently offended someone, though, and that unidentified person complained to an atheist group, which argued that the Bible banners amount to a public school’s advocating a particular religion, which is unconstitutional.

“This is not a Christian school and they cannot misuse their authority,” Annie-Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.

Ultimately, school superintendent Kevin Weldon forced the cheerleaders to stop using scripture on the banners.

That was when the squad members put down their pompoms and picked up the phone, calling attorney David Starnes, who argues that the banners are not school sponsored.

“It was student led … student initiated,” Starnes said.(Read more here.)

The Debate: What Do You Think?


I didn’t feel up to watching the debate last night.

For those of you who are in the same boat, or if you just to see it again, go to 2012 Election Central.

According to a CNN poll, the debate was a tie.

Who do you think won last night? Biden or Ryan? Which Catholic boy came out on top?

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: They Preached. They Endorsed. Did They Break the Law?

Despite 60,000 letters from Americans United for Separation of church and State, some 1,500 pastors of various denominations took to the pulpit to endorse political candidates last Sunday.

This action is not only controversial in the nation as a whole, clergy are divided about it, as well.

At the very least, Pulpit Freedom Sunday raises the question of whether or not the government can limit critics from having their say from the pulpit. A Baptist Press article about Pulpit Freedom Sunday says in part:

Charlotte, USA – Baptist Pastor Mark Harris stood before his flock in North Carolina on Sunday and joined hundreds of other U.S. religious leaders in deliberately breaking the law in an election-year campaign that tests the role of churches in politics.

By publicly backing candidates for political office from the pulpit, Harris and nearly 1,500 other preachers at services across the United States were flouting a law they see as an incursion on freedom of religion and speech.

Under the U.S. tax code, non-profit organizations such as churches may express views on any issue, but they jeopardize their favorable tax-exempt status if they speak for or against any political candidate.

“Pulpit Freedom Sunday” has been staged annually since 2008 by a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. Its aim is to provoke a challenge from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in order to file a lawsuit and have its argument out in court.

The event has grown steadily in size, but the IRS has yet to respond – even though the pastors tape their sermons and mail them to the agency.

Now in an election year, where a few swing states – including North Carolina – will be crucial, political analysts say pastors campaigning from the pulpit could have an impact.

Critics say the movement threatens the U.S. constitutional principle of separation of church and state and makes pastors look like political operatives rather than neutral spiritual leaders.

“When the church further divides the country, where’s the win in that?” asked Reverend C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, and an opponent of “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”

In his sermon at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Harris endorsed a Republican candidate for the state’s Supreme Court, but did not specifically takes sides in the Nov. 6 contest for the White House between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“I don’t feel I’m breaking the law,” Harris said before addressing a congregation of almost 1,000. “I am speaking as a pastor and as a citizen of the United States where we have that freedom of speech.” (Read more here.)

Voter Guide: Obama vs Romney on Religious Freedom

The Catholic Association has issued the Voter Guide on Religious Freedom you see below. Have a look and see if it will help you in your considerations as to who will get your vote in the upcoming election.

First Day of the Year of Faith and I’ve Swiped My Mother’s Wheel Chair

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith.

I began this auspicious year by swiping my 87-year-old mother’s wheel chair.

It all started when I ran out of Diet Coke. I was eating lunch. I drained my glass of Diet Coke. So, I picked up the empty Coke can and a bag of chips I wanted to put away and a glass I wanted to fill with more ice and a couple of other things I can’t remember now. I planned to get another can of Coke and come back to finish my lunch.

I stepped out onto the perilous carpet of my house. And my foot slid. I turned one ankle, tried to right myself, turned the other ankle and went down. Hard. I went down hard.

Chips were everywhere. It looked like a chip snowfall. But my major problem was my left foot. The top of it was all dented in and looking weird … and it hurt. It hurt enough that for the first time I kind of understood those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials.

I crawled — literally — to the refrigerator, opened the freezer door (we have a side-by-side fridge) and pulled out some of those freezer dealies you put in your lunch bag to keep your food cold. I put those on the foot and the pain moved back a bit.

Then, I called my husband. “I broke my foot,” I said. “You’ve got to come home and drive me to the hospital.”

And that is how I came to swipe my mother’s wheel chair.

I have two broken bones in my foot that are split and moved all over from where they should be. The hospital put me in a sort of cast and scheduled me for surgery for next Monday. Then they sent me home with pain pills and a dire warning not to stand on, bang or even jar my foot for fear of moving the bones further out of place and making my injuries worse.

Neato.

I’m sleeping on the sofa (Two-story house; can’t get upstairs) and paddling around with my mother’s wheelchair. It’s not all that bad, unless I move the foot the wrong way, which I’ve learned NOT to do. Me and the ice pack? We’re best buds.

So what does this have to do with the Year of Faith?

Just this: I went to a Catholic hospital built by nuns in the last century to provide health care for anyone who needed it. This hospital has the distinction of not turning people away because they can’t pay for care. I’ve counseled women who were abortion-minded, and part of the reason was a fear of the costs of the medical care involved in having the baby. This hospital provided them with free care.

I remember a few years ago, doing an intake for a woman who had come in, wanting free medical care for her pregnancy. This woman had a rough past and was a confirmed, out-spoken, Catholic hater. The whole time I was filling out the forms and setting her up for free medical care from a Catholic hospital, she was railing at me about the Church. She threw off insults with every breath.

I didn’t rail back at her. I just filled out the forms and sent her along to have her baby with the care and love of a Church that she despises.

I’m talking about my Church; the Catholic Church. The Church that has built hospitals, schools, runs charities and helps people all over the world. In my work as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, I help a lot of desperate people. Oftentimes, the government has no agency or program that can help them. They just fall through the cracks. These are often the most needy people I see.

My first call when that happens is to the Catholic Church, to one of the many programs, agencies, charities the Church runs for people like these.

If I need shelter for a homeless woman, the Church will take her in. If I need to find medical care for the working poor, the Church is there. If some destitute soul needs free legal help, the Church can help. Counseling? Go to the Church.

That, my friends, is faith with legs. (No pun intended.)  It is faith that talks louder than words, that means more than good wishes. Look around you. Look at the universities, hospitals, charities; all built by the hands of Catholics, living their faith.

This is the first day of the Year of Faith. I got a good lesson in living faith yesterday by way of excellent medical care that was given to me by people who also took the time to explain, be gentle and go the extra mile to make things easier for me.

For that I thank them and the many generations of Catholics who went before them and made these things possible.

I am sitting here in my living room, propped up like the Lady of the Manor on my recliner with my ice packs, my laptop, ipad, cell phone, Kindle, pain pills and a thermos of ice water.  I have a remote on the chair arm and a big screen tv awaits my signal to start entertaining me. If you’ve gotta have a broken foot, this is how to do it.

I’m also relaxed. I know I have good doctors. But more importantly, I know that I am, as always, in God’s hands. There’s nothing to fear when you’re on the Jesus, Joseph and Mary team. Whatever happens, be it good or bad, I am safe in His plan.

Make the most of this Year of Faith, my friends. Grow in grace.

Religious Freedom Caucuses Form in Oklahoma and Eight Other States

I am part of a newly-formed Religious Freedom Caucus here in Oklahoma.There are caucuses in eight states, as well. This group has been in formation for several months, at the initiative of the American Religious Freedom Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. I first heard about it when they contacted me last spring.

I am honored to be part of this and grateful to the American Religious Freedom Program of putting it together.

A CNA article about these caucuses says in part:

Washington D.C., Oct 10, 2012 / 12:02 am (CNA).- A group of more than 120 bipartisan state legislators have created caucuses in nine states to address threats to religious liberty and learn from the experiences of other lawmakers.

“These are the first state caucuses ever to focus exclusively on religious freedom,” said Tim Schulz, state legislative policy director at the American Religious Freedom Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“There’s a renewed interest in religious freedom in the country,” he explained, “and this growing attention is bringing together people of all religious faiths and political ideologies.”

The American Religious Freedom Program organized a national teleconference on Oct. 9 to announce the nation’s first state religious freedom caucuses, formed by legislators in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

The caucuses are designed to unite state lawmakers who share an interest in protecting religious liberty. They will facilitate discussion, cooperation and leadership as each group of legislators works to tailor particular laws to strengthen religious freedom amid the specific circumstances faced by their state. (Read more here.)

Check it Out! Patheos’ News and Politics Channel on Facebook

Romney, Evangelicals and the Pluralism Problem

Caesar is Not Lord

Atheists Are Paying (Yes, Literally) for Increased Media Coverage — But Is This Ethical?

If these articles interest you, take a gander at the new Patheos News and Politics page on Facebook. I just looked it over and found several interesting reads for myself.


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