Ahead of tomorrow’s feast of St Francis de Sales — the patron of writers and journalists — Pope Francis said the Internet “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.”
And with that blessing, we’re off.
Gays and traditional marriage
Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly and Liberty University’s Mat Staver are among the individuals and groups that have signed a statement saying everyone, including gays, is created in God’s image. Say what? Yup. It’s true. The statement is called the Imago Dei Campaign.
To clarify, the signers of the statement are not saying they support gay marriage.
But on that count, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring said he does. Today he will announce he believes the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down.
A federal judge in Oregon may do the same.
A Republican member of Congress says in a recently released book that a wife is to “voluntarily submit” to her husband, but that it doesn’t make her inferior to him. Sound familiar? If you guessed that Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico is a Southern Baptist, you would be correct.
The poor will always be with you?
Bill Gates thinks the world is a better place than it has ever been. He posts three reasons why global poverty is on the way out:
So the easiest way to respond to the myth that poor countries are doomed to stay poor is to point to one fact: They haven’t stayed poor. Many — though by no means all — of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. And the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990.
The Pentagon has approved a new policy that will allow U.S. troops to seek waivers to wear religious clothing, seek prayer time or engage in religious practices. Some Sikh American organizations criticized the new regulations for not going far enough.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a school board in Louisiana, alleging officials at one of its schools harassed a sixth-grader because of his Buddhist faith and that the district routinely pushes Christian beliefs.
More on the march:
At the March for Life yesterday, speaker after speaker mourned the estimated 56 million fetuses “brutally slayed” by abortion over the past four decades.
Looking for more photos of the march? The Federalist has you covered.
Among those at the rally yesterday: The Rev. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life and a leading anti-abortion crusader. David Gibson writes that Pavone has complied with demands to straighten out the group’s finances and to become accountable to his home diocese in New York.
Of course, not all protested the Roe v. Wade anniversary. In fact, some celebrated with a festive meal.
Not talked about (except by Nicholas Kristof): Today, almost 36 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried women.
In overseas news…
An internationally respected Egyptian political scientist said Wednesday that prosecutors had filed espionage charges against him. Emad Shahin, a scholar of political Islam. Fortunately for him, he’s at a conference in the U.S.
A 20-year-old Indian woman said she was gang-raped on the orders of a village council because she fell in love with a man from a different religion, police said Thursday.
A crowdsourcing campaign will soon kick off with the purpose of raising money to build a multi-faith house of worship in the heart of Berlin on the site of an old church once led by a virulent Nazi pastor.
- Sister Megan Rice, an 83-year-old nun, is considered a terrorist by the American government. She sits in a Ocilla, Ga., jail awaiting sentencing on Jan. 28. She was found guilty of sabotage when she and two other Christian peace activists broke into the National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
- In a new book, Tiger Mother Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld argue that groups that succeed best in America are those that have a superiority complex, a corresponding insecurity and impulse control: Among them: Jews and Mormons.
- Our own Kimberly Winston says atheists want to change the culture of prisons by supplying prisoners with books on unbelievers.
- Jonathan Schorsch has a trenchant commentary on what Jewish foodies, such as Michael Pollan, are missing when they “pig out” on pork. Love this sentence: “A solely materialistic food movement that shares the modern proclivity to dispense with anything cultural it does not understand, likely does not understand what it is destroying. “
Not to be outdone by the pope, the Church of England issued new directives governing Christians’ use of social media. Among them, think before you tweet: “Is this my story to share? Would I want my mum to read this? Would I want God to read this?”