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Faith and Family

Stay up to date on the latest news and discussions on religion, faith and family.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

White House says transgender students are a states' rights issue

By Bradford Richardson and Dave Boyer - The Washington Times

Responding to reports that President Trump will reverse the Obama administration's rule on transgender bathrooms for students, the White House said Tuesday that Mr. Trump views it as a "states' rights" matter. Published February 21, 2017

Recent Stories

Dallas Police Sgt. Hall, left, speaks with Rives Grogan, 51, of Mansfield, Texas, who wears a red Trump cap, and other anti-abortion protesters, informing them which sidewalks they can use to conduct their protest, outside of the Planned Parenthood South Dallas Surgical Health Services Center, Saturday morning, Feb. 11, 2017, in Dallas. (Ben Torres/The Dallas Morning News via AP) ** FILE **

Judge blocks Texas cutting Medicaid to Planned Parenthood

- Associated Press

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas can't cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015 that launched Republican efforts across the U.S. to defund the nation's largest abortion provider.

In this April 21, 1996 photo, Robin Williams reads to a group of children during a special children's program at the new main library in San Francisco. Williams helped inaugurate the city's new library by reading stories to the children. Williams was everywhere in San Francisco, it seemed, as he made a place for himself in the everyday fabric of a city where he once said he passed for normal. (AP Photo/San Francisco Examiner, Bob McLeod, File)

20 books to enjoy reading with your children

- Deseret News

There are many books that parents will tire of, or not be able to discuss with their children, But here are 20 books both you and your child will enjoy.

Becoming a doctor? The costs and the rewards

Recently, I was asked to speak on a topic assignment with a national television news organization with respect to a countrywide breaking story titled: "Nine out of 10 Physicians Unwilling to Recommend Health Care as a Profession, Exacerbating Anticipated Physician Shortage."

President Donald Trump tours the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump condemns recent anti-Semitic incidents

- The Washington Times

President Trump spoke out Tuesday against a rash of anti-Semitic attacks and threats across the country, vowing that his administration would fight every form of bigotry and intolerance.

Irish rock star Bono speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Lagos, Nigeria Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) ** FILE **

Top quotes of the week from faith-related newsmakers and columnists

Strachan writes, "And do not forget the thick and terrible irony here: in a world of lies, with evil everywhere at hand, an agent of American government is acting to smash not a terrorist, not a law-breaker, but a well-loved woman who has done nothing other than live out her religious beliefs. This is wrong. This is a travesty. "Justice has miscarried this day.

Ripe for pregnancy? There's an app with answers

Catholic News Agency

Meet Elina Berglund: a nuclear physicist who will be known as the woman who developed the first natural cycle fertility app that is internationally certified to be as effective as contraception.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch meets with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Gorsuch confirmation hearing set for March 20

- The Washington Times

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will face senators for his confirmation hearing on March 21, the Judiciary Committee announced Thursday, giving lawmakers a chance to question him ahead of their planned Easter vacation.

Pope on Dakota pipeline: Indigenous people have land rights

- Associated Press

Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

Construction at a mosque being built with support from the Turkish-American Religious Foundation sits suspended, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in New Haven, Conn.  The city halted construction of a mosque in November because two minarets sent from Turkey are 24 feet too tall. City officials say it's up to the mosque owner, the Turkish-American Religious Foundation, to figure out how to make the 81-foot-tall towers smaller. (AP Photo/Michael Melia)

Turkish mosque construction in Conn. halted

- Associated Press

After exceeding a city height limit, builders of a mosque on New Haven's outskirts are wrestling with how to cut 24 feet from its soaring, crescent-topped minarets.

The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, that it is teaming up with Snapchat to create new shows. (Facebook, Walt Disney Company)

Disney raising ticket prices

- Associated Press

Walt Disney World and Disneyland are increasing single-day tickets at certain times of the year and setting expiration dates on tickets in hopes of preventing overcrowding during the theme parks' busiest times, company officials said Saturday.

Fake News 101: The new civics course in U.S. schools?

- Associated Press

Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news - and why they should care that there's a difference.

Dozens of Coptic Christians were killed in a December bombing at St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo. Each month, about 322 Christians are killed, 214 churches or Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence are carried out on Christians because of their faith, advocates say. (Associated Press)

Liberal Democrats ignore persecution of Christians outside the U.S.

- The Washington Times

Advocates who work to protect persecuted groups say there is a "blind spot" in the West concerning the plight faced by Christians around the world -- a shortsightedness evident in the overwhelmingly negative reaction to President Trump's executive order granting preferred refugee status to persecuted religious minorities.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, left, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades Darker." (Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures via AP)

Glutton for punishment? See '50 Shades Darker'

- Associated Press

In all the kinked knots and twists of satin that adorn "Fifty Shades Darker," none is more worthwhile to uncoil than the tangled absurdities of its central dominator, Christian Grey.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, left, speaks with Majority Whip, Rep. Francis D. Gibson, right, during the House Majority Caucus at the Utah State Capitol Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Chaffetz says he's hopeful President Donald Trump will repeal the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Chaffetz faces harsh criticism during packed town hall

- Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz was met by frequent, deafening boos at a Thursday town hall as constituents grilled him on everything from investigating President Donald Trump's tax returns to Planned Parenthood.

Do you know yourself?

While driving near campus the other day, I noticed a student who was obviously visually impaired. I could tell he was panicked as he continued to walk in the same circle over again, unable to get his bearings and figure out where he was.

During February's American Heart Month, many of us will "Go Red For Women" so we can raise awareness, encourage action, and save lives that are lost too early. (AP Photo)

American Heart Month: Take good care of your ticker

Keeping our heart healthy and strong at every age is indeed as the American Heart Association underscores, "what we all need to take to heart." February is designated American Heart Month, dedicated to cardiovascular health and raising awareness about heart disease.

Vice President Mike Pence swears in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2016, as DeVos' husband Dick DeVos watches. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

DeVos sworn in as education secretary by Pence

- The Washington Times

Betsy DeVos was sworn in as secretary of the Department of Education Tuesday night by Vice President Mike Pence, who said his tie-breaking vote in the Senate was "the easiest vote" of his career.

Harry Connick Jr. sings "How Great Thou Art" prior to a Mass led by Pope Francis at Madison Square Garden Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 in New York. Pope Francis is visiting New York City during a six-day tour of the United States, with stops in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.  (Andrew Burton/Pool Photo via AP)

Harry Connick Jr on faith, family, TV show host

- Catholic News Agency

Harry Connick Jr. has spent the last 30 years entertaining America as one of Hollywood's most versatile talents: singer, songwriter, pianist, actor, and "American Idol" host. Now he's the star of the daytime talk show "Harry," which airs primarily on local Fox affiliate stations nationwide.

This image released by Lionsgate shows Keanu Reeves in a scene from, "John Wick: Chapter 2." (Niko Tavernise/Lionsgate via AP)

'John Wick 2' is an extravagantly violent good time - and rated R

- Associated Press

Before you buy a ticket to see "John Wick: Chapter 2," the improbably fun sequel to the implausibly good "John Wick," you might want to ask yourself how much tolerance you have for gun shots to the head, because there are a lot of those in "John Wick: Chapter 2."

Miss Liberty Gets the Boot Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Attacks on American liberty must be countered

What does it mean for a country to have a presidential adviser say, as Steve Bannon is reported to have said last summer, that he aims to "blow everything up" and "destroy the existing social and political order?" It means uncertainty.

Recent Opinion Columns

What's in your freezer?

What's in your freezer?

Generally speaking, healthier eating is made a lot easier when we have good options readily available. Last week, we spotlighted what essentials should be in our refrigerator. This week, we will discuss our freezers and next week we'll take a look at the pantry.

Thomas Jefferson, upon winning the presidential election of 1800, called for the putting aside of partisan politics. (White House Historical Association)

Trump, Founding Fathers and the elite

Like all previous presidents in my lifetime, President Trump ran against "Washington" and not incidentally, against the elites. This approach is Campaign Strategy 101 for all first-term candidates who had not been vice president first.

At Lake Austin Spa Resort, the days melt by in massage after massage, and weight melts off in effortless hours spent hiking, practicing yoga, meditating, socializing, learning great life skills and finding your center.

12 destinations for your 2017 bucket list

Per Chance to Dream. If dreams, as Freud noted, are the primary pathways to the subconscious, a dream-worthy travel bucket list is a good way to start the journey of fulfillment in becoming a whole and knowing person. A great plan for 2017 might be to get a start on that lofty aim with these amazing travel concepts that will take you to the bottom of Argentina to the eerie night skies of Lapland.

Joel Ng, 5, joins her dad, Ulane Eng (second from left), for meditation Sunday on the Mall as Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters mark the 10th anniversary of a Chinese crackdown on the spiritual movement. It has gained millions of followers since its 1992. founding. (By Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times/File)

Health and the art of meditation

While you most likely made healthy resolutions for this New Year to watch what you consume and to be more physically active, my hope too is that you take aim to cultivate habits that will help reduce chronic stress and anxieties in your life with a goal to increase happiness and overall life satisfaction ... with greater joy and peace!!

George Washington

Rediscovering God in America

America's most iconic author, Mark Twain, once observed that "it ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." And in the United States, our secular academic elite has taught two generations of Americans to know a lot of things for sure that fall into that latter category -- they just aren't so.

U.S. stamp of Patrick Henry. Image created by Scott Lamb using image of stamp from Wikimedia.

Christians need to be involved in government

Are Christians guaranteed political success? Absolutely not, but that shouldn't cause us to shrink back from our duty and leave the results to God. One statesman cannot make every speech, win every legislative battle, or do the heart-change work that is the work of God alone. But we can plead with our fellow citizens.

This file photo taken by Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair shows the cover of the magazine's July 2015 issue featuring Bruce Jenner debuting as a transgender woman named Caitlyn Jenner. (Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair via AP, File)

Trans rights over women's rights?

- Catholic News Agency

Few can forget the media furor over Caitlyn Jenner's cover story in Vanity Fair.

In this Aug. 6, 1986 photo, Supreme Court Justice nominee Anthony Scalia attends a Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings in Washington. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Lana Harris/File)

The wisdom of Antonin Scalia

"I hope to impart to you the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. For decades, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shared some form of this message with countless audiences.