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The executive order has an exemption after all… but it’s not enough

Last week, I wrote about two different groups petitioning the President about a forthcoming Executive Order (EO). News reports said that the EO would prohibit government contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A group of prominent religious leaders wrote the President asking him to include religious exemptions, but a group of legal scholars wrote asking him to do the opposite. Continue Reading →

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Are Christian Colleges free to be Christian?

Are Christian colleges still free to be Christian in this country? You may think that an unserious question, but if you’ve been paying attention to recent events surrounding Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, you know it’s a very pressing question indeed.

Last month, Gordon College President Michael Lindsay added his signature to an open letter asking President Obama to include a religious exemption in a forthcoming executive order. The executive order will bar federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus any group receiving federal funds would be subject to this order. Those who signed the letter—including Rick Warren, Gabe Lyons, and several others—are concerned that the president’s executive order would prevent some religious organizations from requiring employees to hold to a Christian sexual ethic. Continue Reading →

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Do you know who our last living WW1 veteran was?

I have been enjoying William Manchester’s magisterial three-volume biography of Winston Churchill. Right now, I’m in the first volume when Churchill served as the First Lord of the Admiralty during World War 1.

Reading about that war got me to wondering whether there were any American veterans of that conflict still alive today. It turns out that our last one passed away three years ago, and his name was Frank W. Buckles. Not many people born during the administration of President McKinley lived to have a Facebook page, but Mr. Buckles did. He was 110 years old when he died in 2011. Continue Reading →

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Louis Zamperini, RIP (1917-2014)

The news just came out this morning that Louis Zamperini has died. Zamperini will be known to history as an Olympian and World War II hero, but his life was so much more than that. In fact, his story is larger than life, painted on a global canvas, encompassing the heights of human triumph and the depths of human degradation. In short, Zamperini went from juvenile delinquent to Olympian (who met Hitler!) to bombardier to lost at sea to abused POW to home again. The story is vast and incredible.

Zamperini had been a prisoner of war for two years in Japan during World War II. No one ever wants to be a prisoner of war, but the Japanese POW camps were the worst of the war. Survivors of European POW camps reported far different experiences from those in the Japanese camps. The Japanese were especially cruel, beating their prisoners mercilessly, starving them, turning them into slave labor, working them until they died, and depriving them of human dignity. Many Americans who survived the Japanese camps experienced great emotional and psychological trauma for the rest of their lives. Continue Reading →

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What’s at stake in the Hobby Lobby decision tomorrow?

Ross Douthat said something last week that sums up my feelings exactly: “Not ashamed to say that I fear only three things: nuclear war, carnies, and the Hobby Lobby decision.” It is a clever line that might have been funny if it weren’t true. There is so much riding on what the Supreme Court decides tomorrow morning. What is so alarming about our national debate, however, is that so few of our countryman seem to be aware of what is actually at stake. The court could do the right thing and protect our first freedom, or the court could end religious liberty as we know it. Is anyone paying attention? Continue Reading →

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The Wild Goose Festival wilder than ever

Readers of this blog know that I have written in years past on the annual “Wild Goose Festival,” which is taking place right now in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The yearly meet-up is a kind of Woodstock for progressive Christians. It features music, speakers, art displays and more. Many of the personalities there are disaffected evangelicals. In fact, Frank Schaeffer described it today as a place for “survivors of evangelical backgrounds.” He writes: Continue Reading →

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Supreme Court strikes down “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics

The Supreme Court just ruled that “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics restrict the free speech of sidewalk counselors wishing to persuade women not to have abortions. The decision nullifies a Massachusetts law that creates such zones. The court overturned the law in a unanimous 9-0 ruling. So far, so good.

There is another side to this ruling, however, that is not so good. The Court refused to recognize that the Massachusetts law unfairly targeted pro-life speech in particular. For this reason, Scalia issues a scathing opinion. He writes: Continue Reading →

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Why surgery is not the answer for transgender

This should be the last item on transgender for the week, but it is one that readers will want to pay very close attention to. Dr. Paul McHugh is the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and he has penned a revealing column for The Wall Street Journal opinion page. In short, he challenges the notion that sex-reassignment surgery is good for transgendered persons. His data are very compelling. He writes: Continue Reading →

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The Rescue at Dunkirk

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the great rescue at Dunkirk. On May 27, 1940, the British army had fallen back to the beaches of Dunkirk in the north of France. In front of them was the German army, and behind them was the sea. These British soldiers and their French allies were the last line of defense between England and Hitler, and they were about to be crushed. There were over 300,000 of them trapped on the beach.

What happened next is the stuff of legend. Some say it was nothing short of a miracle. In his biography of Winston Churchill, William Manchester narrates it best: Continue Reading →

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