1.  “We Call It Religious Freedom” by Chuck Colson

It seems one man’s religious freedom is another man’s “ridiculous prejudice.”

One government official fumed that Catholic doctors were refusing to perform abortions—abortions that were perfectly legal. He wrote in a memo: “After all, these scruples are in most cases nothing but ridiculous prejudices . . . One is tempted to ask: where does state authority come in these cases, or else, is the state, perhaps, not anxious to assert its authority in this particular instance?” (read the rest)

2.  Fox News: Gay Curriculum Proposal Riles Elementary School Parents by Katie Landan

A group of parents in a California school district say they are being bullied by school administrators into accepting a new curriculum that addresses bullying, respect and acceptance — and that includes compulsory lessons about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that will be taught to children as young as 5 years old.

The parents from the Unified School District in Alameda, a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland, say these issues are best learned at home and most definitely are not age-appropriate for elementary school children.

The parents are also angry that they will not be allowed to keep their children out of the classes. (read the rest)

HT: Emily Geiger

3.  William Jacobson on the California Supreme Court Split Decision on Prop. 8

The California Supreme Court has issued a split ruling, upholding Proposition 8 but also upholding the validity of gay marriages which took place prior to passage of Prop. 8.

Proposition 8 enshrined in the California Constitution the traditional definition of marriage, providing that only marriages between one man and one woman shall be recognized. Prop. 8 was a reaction to a prior California Supreme Court decision which ruled that denying gay couples the right to marry violated the California Constitution. The passage of Prop. 8 gave rise to boycotts against supporters of Prop. 8, attacks on Mormons, and a Day Without A Gay protest which never gathered much momentum. (read the rest)

4. “Has Grace Made Me Gracious?” by Michael Spencer (Internet Monk)

I’m thinking about grace a lot today after a bit of a mystical experience in church Sunday.

As we were preparing for communion, I was praying. The Spirit brought to mind a series of dark incidents from my own life where God was miraculously gracious to me. I’m not talking about small matters. I am talking about incidents and character failures- most of which I’ve exiled from my mind and memories- where God alone is responsible for the fact that I was not fired, humiliated, divorced, dead or immersed in grief and suffering. Incidents that, if God had allowed them to be, would have been life defining in consequence. (read the rest)

5.  “Calling All Abolitionists” by Lindsay Stallones

When Bethany Hoang (now director of the International Justice Mission Institute) turned in papers on modern slavery for her seminary classes, her professors docked points from her grades for lying.  Eventually she learned to bring in stacks of reports from the CIA and the U.S. State Department to back her citations each time she turned in a paper.  Even so, her arguments met skepticism.  It isn’t any wonder.  The U.S. State Department didn’t even establish the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons until 2000, and it didn’t release its first report until early 2001.

The numbers are staggering.  According to most sources, as many as 27 million people are held in involuntary servitude or forced labor around the world.  To put that into historical perspective, it’s more than twice as many people as died in the Holocaust.  It’s more people than 400 years of the Transatlantic slave trade trafficked.  The State Department estimates that as many as 30,000 people are trafficked across the U.S. border per year, headed for destinations both foreign and domestic.  200,000 slaves live within the borders of the U.S. today.  17,500 of those people are children.  Researchers report that 80% of all slaves worldwide are women, and 50% are children.  Those in highest demand worldwide are young girls between the ages of 10 and 16, forced into prostitution, or as I should state more accurately, raped for profit.  Human trafficking is the fastest growing black market trade, and is on a trajectory to surpass both arms dealing and drug dealing within the next few decades. (read the rest)

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