Many ministries have established initiatives focusing on prayer for our nation during the 2012 election season. “It is right that we remember the need for prayer,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “Our nation’s Christian heritage depends on it.”
Dave Butts, Harvest Prayer Ministries founder, has been at the forefront among leaders calling Christians to pray with the website www.40daysofprayer.net. The site provides information, prayer guides and links to other ministries. The emphasis is not to pray for a specific candidate, but simply to have 24-7 prayer for our nation.
AFA created a button that can remind concerned citizens to pray that godly men and women will be elected to office from the local courthouse to Washington, D.C. The button can be purchased at the AFA store or by calling 877-927-4917.
In the midst of a busy summer, AFA’s OneMillionMoms.com continued working tirelessly to protect children and families, launching a brand new Website for even greater impact.
OMM was among many Christian and conservative groups supporting Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s stand for biblical marriage. August 1, Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, was a tremendous success, and the company had record-breaking sales as Christian families turned out en masse to show their support for the company’s firm adherence to biblical principles.
After TV Land began airing the sitcom The Soul Man, which blasphemed the name of Jesus Christ and mocked pastors and Christianity, OMM urged the program’s sponsors to withdraw their financial support. Many of the sponsors, including IKEA, Allstate, PetMeds and Chobani, responded by promptly pulling their ads from the TV show.
In addition, OMM actively worked to end the promotion of anti-family values by NBC, Sears, JC Penney, Marvel and DC Comics, Oreo and GAP.
Pastor Appreciation Month, started in 1994 by Focus on the Family, is observed every October to recognize one of the most trying professions in the world. The special emphasis was inspired by 1 Timothy 5:17: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is teaching and preaching.”
FOTF has developed a guide with ideas for individuals and congregations to pay special recognition to their pastors. The Clergy Appreciation Month Planning Guide can be downloaded free by visiting www.thrivingpastor.org. For more information, visit that website or call toll-free 877-233-4455.
AFA’s boycott of Home Depot continues to shed light on the company’s overt support for homosexual marriage.
AFA has not called a boycott of Sears, but it continues to monitor the company’s website where Sears sells hard-core pornography featuring sadomasochism, bondage and other X-rated products.
For more information: www.boycottthehomedepot.com.
The American birthrate is now estimated to be 1.86 children per woman. This is a significant drop from the average 2.1 children of the last few decades, and is the lowest birthrate since 1987, according to Demographic Intelligence. It is estimated that a birthrate of 2.1 is necessary to maintain a country’s population and work force. (Click here for chart.)
Analysts point to the poor economy as the cause for rapidly declining birthrates, as parents delay or avoid having children in order to further their education or career.
Sam Sturgeon of Demographic Intelligence said, “There’s a sense of hesitancy, especially for those of prime child-bearing age. The key word would be uncertainty, a lot of uncertainty.”
The Nigerian Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum to the country’s Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan (at left), who was elected last year: “repent and forsake Christianity” or resign.
The group has claimed responsibility for numerous lethal bombings and other attacks, according to CNSNews.com, and has vowed to eradicate Christianity in Nigeria’s northern region, which is controlled by Muslims.
Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, said Nigeria’s president must either convert or step down if he wants the terrorist group’s violence to subside. The group has also warned Christians that they “will not know peace again” if they do not convert to Islam.
On August 6, an unnamed group attacked a church during a worship service killing 19. The attackers stood outside the church with AK47s and began shooting. The pastor was among the dead.
www.theblaze.com, 8/7/12; www.cnsnews.com, 8/7/12
Contrary to some media reports, Boy Scouts of America is not changing its policy prohibiting homosexuals in membership or leadership positions.
Boy Scouts representatives did hold a meeting, as a courtesy, with a group that conducted an online poll regarding the issue. In addition, Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesman from the national headquarters, said a voting member at the annual meeting in May introduced a resolution to change the policy, which was handled by a committee.
“We do not have plans to change the policy,” Smith told OneNewsNow. “We will, as outlined by our bylaws … take a careful and respectful look at the resolution, and that committee will make a report to the national executive board, but any decision on any policy is made by the national executive board.”
The policy is that the Boy Scouts does not grant membership to those “who are open homosexuals or who would engage in a behavior that would distract from the mission of the Boy Scouts,” he said.
Sociology professor Mark Regnerus at University of Texas at Austin has added his voice to those researchers who say the evidence points to an advantage for kids raised by their biological mom and dad. (Click here for chart.)
In a study published in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research, Regnerus examined the effect on a child if he realizes one or both of the parents are homosexual. Such children do far worse on a wide variety of measurements than do children raised by heterosexual parents, but especially striking was the incidence of subsequent abuse and sexual dysfunction. (See chart below.)
Summarizing the results of Regnerus’ study, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow said: “Those who knew that their mothers had had a lesbian relationship fared significantly worse on measures of educational attainment and household income, reported more depression, used marijuana more, more often reported forced sexual encounters, felt less close to their biological mother, felt less safe and secure in their family of origin, had more often pled guilty to a minor criminal offense and were more likely to be on public assistance. Those who knew their fathers had had a gay relationship were more likely to have been arrested, to have thought recently about suicide, to feel depressed, to report sexually transmitted diseases and to have experienced forced sex.”
www.lifesitenews.com, 6/11/12; www.foxnews.com, 6/12/12; www.sciencedirect.com, 7/12
The American Association of Christian Counselors (www.aacc.net or 800-526-8673) has created a professional division of Abortion, Sexual Trauma and Healing. This move by the world’s leading faith based counseling organization testifies to the reality of devastating psychological injury caused by experiences like abortion or sexual abuse.
The division’s director, Julie Woodley, said, “My vision is to mobilize both mental health professionals and lay counselors to respond to the deep wounds of post-abortion, sexual trauma, human exploitation, trafficking and prostitution.”
Woodley and the AACC have produced a DVD series, In the Wildflowers, to help individuals heal from childhood sexual abuse. Another DVD series, Into My Arms, helps women recover from abortion.
In a July court case that confirms the need for such couseling, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a South Dakota bill, H.B. 1166, requiring that before an abortion can be performed, the woman must be advised that receiving an abortion can increase risk for depression and suicide. In a vote of 7-4 the court ruled that, “On its face, the suicide advisory presents neither an undue burden on abortion rights nor a violation of the physician’s free speech rights.”
The law is based on a 2005 study that found a 248% increase in deaths from suicide, accident and homicide within a year following an abortion.
www.ChristianNewswire.com, 7/31/12; www.OneNewsNow.com, 7/24/12; www.lifesitenews.com, 7/24/12
Religion may not be as fashionable as it once was, but atheists should be careful about crowing. A recent study released by Georgetown University said children raised in atheist households are the least likely to hold onto their beliefs when they become adults.
According to the Christian Post, the “retention rate” among atheists was the lowest among 20 categories surveyed by researchers.
“For any religion, the percentage of adults who remain affiliated is called the ‘retention rate,’” explained Mark M. Gray of the university’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducted the study.
For example, while 84% of those who grew up in a Hindu home remained in that faith, only 30% of those raised in an atheist home did so.
Other faith retention rates included: Jewish (76%); Muslim (76%); Greek Orthodox (73%); Catholic (68%); Baptist (60%); Lutheran (59%); Methodist (46%); Non-denominational (44%); and Presbyterian (41%).
“Some 70% of Americans raised to believe God does not exist end up being a member of a religion as an adult,” said Gray. He added that “about one in five former atheists drift off to become an open-minded agnostic” or simply declare themselves a “None,” i.e., unaffiliated with any particular religion.
www.christianpost.com, 7/11/12; nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com, 6/19/12
The city of Steubenville, Ohio, was recently forced to change its city logo because a cross was depicted in it. The suit was brought by the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
City leaders say the cross is not a statement on religion at all, but a show of support to one of its top employers, Franciscan University.
University vice president Michael Hernon said, “This out-of-town and out-of-touch group decided that they wanted to purge all references to religion from the public life.”
Teenagers are more likely to remain sexually abstinent than they were 20 years ago, according to the latest statistics released by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Using data obtained through the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, CDC reported in July that 53% of high school students have not had sex, an increase of 15% since the early 1990s, according to the Heritage Foundation.
In June, another report, issued by the National Abstinence Education Association, revealed that a solid majority of teenagers are opposed to premarital sex at their age. (See chart at right.)
“Youth must receive the skills and reinforcement to continue their present trend away from early sexual initiation,” the NAEA report said. The group lobbies for an abstinence-only approach to sex education in the nation’s schools.
That approach was validated by a U.S. House subcommittee report. It revealed that abstinence education is a better approach to preventing teen pregnancy than comprehensive sex education, which relies heavily on the use of condoms by young people.
National Abstinence Education Association director Valerie Huber said the report from the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee reinforces the conclusion of a separate report her organization released a month earlier.
“This was not just written by a member of Congress, and it didn’t just emanate out of any committee,” she said. “The fact that this report came from the committee in the House where policy for sex education emanates is very, very important.”
Huber said the House report outlined the need “to encourage teens to wait [until marriage] to have sex and to reinforce the many good behaviors that so many teens are already exhibiting.”
www.abstinenceassociation.org, 6/12; www.onenewsnow.com, 6/25/12, 7/11/12; blog.heritage.org, 7/5/12; www.lifenews.com, 7/9/12
In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring … they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues.
On July 13, two FBI agents investigated pro-life activist Andy Moore and questioned him intently on the activity of the pro-life movement. The investigation followed complaints from Southwest Women’s Surgery Center, an abortion clinic, that Moore had violated local noise ordinances, trespassed on its property and was “too aggressive.” However, such charges were not sufficiently substantiated by the clinic. The incident would seem to confirm earlier reports that pro-life activists are considered a threat.
An April 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same sex marriage “as the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”
The DHS later pulled the report, but still held a seminar on “pro-life terrorism” for DHS and FBI agents.
“Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008” also stated that organizations dedicated to a single issue – such as “anti-abortion groups” posed the most enduring threat to American safety and well-being.
The Democratic Party has come out of the closet on same sex marriage.
In May, the party’s standard bearer, President Barack Obama, announced that his views on homosexual marriage had “evolved” and he now supports efforts to legalize it.
In July, the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee also made a big announcement. It voted to include language in the party platform in support of same sex marriage in advance of the party’s convention in September.
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, were expected to formally approve the platform at the same gathering where President Barack Obama will be nominated to run for re-election.