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Faith and Family

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

President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Dateline Israel: Trump amid Jerusalem's jubilee

By Renee Garfinkel

Many Israel-watchers don't believe in coincidence. As they wait for President Trump to arrive, they ponder the significance of the fact that his visit is happening during the week of Jerusalem's jubilee celebrations. Fifty years ago this week Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan, which had captured it in a war of aggression 19 years earlier. Published May 22, 2017

Recent Stories

In this image released by Disney, Javier Bardem portrays Captain Salazar in a scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." (Disney via AP)

Fifth 'Pirates of the Caribbean' flick fights bloat

- Associated Press

The opening scene of the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" is a fitting metaphor for where we stand in this long franchise: A creaky old galleon is unceremoniously yanked up from the ocean depths and the only things aboard are cranky old ghosts.

In this image released by Disney, Johnny Depp portrays Jack Sparrow in a scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." (Disney via AP)

'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' sails into new franchise waters

- Associated Press

Captain Jack Sparrow might be a household name, but despite the cultural clout, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise has gone adrift. In some ways, it's been a series of diminishing returns, and they're not done yet. As the fifth film, "Dead Men Tell No Tales," prepares to set sail Friday, it's already facing a few hurdles, including a changed blockbuster landscape, a star with a diminished profile and a six-year gap between installments.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott talks to reporters outside the White House in Washington in this March 24, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Texas Senate approves 'religious refusal' adoption measure

- Associated Press

Texas' Republican-controlled Senate approved a bill early Monday that allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections.

Illustration on Iran's threat to an independent Kurdistan by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

An independent Kurdistan

In order to assist the creation of a Shia Crescent from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, the question remains: Is Iran working to thwart the creation of an independent Kurdistan? Are they working together with Syria in order to further this strategic goal? According to an Iraqi source, Iran is working to thwart the creation of an independent Kurdistan by trying to instigate a civil war among the Kurds by supporting groups opposed to Masoud Barzani. They are doing this because they perceive Kurdish autonomy in Northern Iraq to be a threat and they view the internal divisions among the Kurds to be the most effective way to destroy the dream of an independent Kurdistan for the Kurds presently are not united.

Kristin Beck, a former Navy SEAL who went by the name Chris Beck, applauded the Obama administration's push to integrate transgender troops into the military. (Associated Press/File)

Peace through diversity?

Thank God President Trump has mandated that his administration restore the strength of our military -- its mission readiness, command proficiency and combat effectiveness.

Probiotics: Pros and cons

Perhaps a friend or family member has talked with you about probiotics? Or you may have walked by the dairy case or health food section - and you see shakes, milk, yogurt, energy bars, ice cream (along with an array of other items) with added probiotics claiming that the product will improve your overall health. But that may not necessarily be fact.

State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, reads a story to Head Start children at Community Action of Southern Kentucky, Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Bowling Green, Ky. (Bac Totrong/Daily News via AP)

Good First Amendment news

Sometimes there's a nugget of something good in the daily ration of bad news. A T-shirt printer in Lexington, Ky., one Blaine Adamson, won a state court ruling early this month that he was within his First Amendment rights to refuse to print an offensive message on T-shirts ordered by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization for a "gay pride" parade.

Much of the architecture in Uzbekistan reflects ancient Persian history.

Uzbekistan: A place where religious tolerance prevails

Our media are inundated with stories of strife, especially from the arch of instability which reaches from the Atlas Mountains to Afghanistan. However, there are some areas where one can experience moderate and tolerant Islam, which lived for centuries in peace with Christians and Jews. Take Uzbekistan in Central Asia.

Contraception in Catholic Colleges Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Catholic collegiate contraception complicity

President Trump's latest executive order titled "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty," potentially ends the enforcement of the Obama administration's Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception mandate requiring all employers -- including religious institutions -- to provide health insurance that covers contraception.

Roy Costner III and Roy Costner IV, of Pickens County, South Carolina

Like father, like son: The Costners on Christianity in public places

My son says, "You can't take God out of me if I go the school. So they can tell me all day long not to bring God to school, but I'm taking him with me." The same thing is true with me whenever I serve in public office. Everywhere I go, I've got God right there with me. And, as Governor Jindal said, "Christians need to wake up." We don't need to be the voices that are hiding in the closet. We need to be the guys that are sitting right out front telling the good news about Jesus Christ.

Police officer escorts two men accused of having gay sex into a holding cell to wait for the start of their trial at Shariah court in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 17,2017. A Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further tarnishing the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)

Shariah court in Indonesia sentences gay couple to caning

- Associated Press

An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy.

In this Saturday, May 13, 2017 photo, Lil Miss Hot Mess, right, compares outfits with 2-year old Eva McInnes after reading to a group of children during the Feminist Press' presentation of Drag Queen Story Hour at the Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York City. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Library brings drag queens, kids together for story hour

- Associated Press

It takes a certain something to be a good storyteller: enthusiasm, timing and a flair for the dramatic. Performers at a children's story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some - they're drag queens.

Pope Francis addresses journalists during the traditional press conference on his flight back to Rome, following a two-day visit at Fatima, Portugal, Saturday, May 13, 2017. Pope Francis added two Portuguese shepherd children to the roster of Catholic saints Saturday, honoring young siblings whose reported visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago turned the Portuguese farm town of Fatima into one of the world's most important Catholic shrines. (Tiziana Fabi/Pool Photo via AP)

Pope hopes to find common ground with Trump

Catholic News Agency

In a press conference on Saturday, Pope Francis voiced hope that he will find "open doors" in his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump later this month, saying he never judges another person's views until he hears them for himself.

A 14-year-old at Rockville High School said she was raped by two illegal immigrant students. The charges were dismissed, but the boys now face child pornography charges for an explicit video the girl sent them, although she has not been charged for sending it. (Associated Press)

Maryland high school rape case refocuses sexting debates

- The Washington Times

Child pornography charges against a pair of illegal immigrants previously accused of raping a fellow student at Rockville High School have refocused attention on the problem of teen sexting.

Bystanders assist  first responders at the scene at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where 2 people died and dozens more were injured after a hit and run. Amos Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah is leading a push to impose a duty on bystanders to take affirmative action to assist those they see in peril. (AP Photo/Colin Kerrigan, File)

Law professor pushes for more stringent bystander laws

- The Washington Times

Kordel Davis, a member of Beta Theta Pi at Penn State University, says he told his fraternity brothers to call 911 after noticing a 19-year-old pledge who had been drinking tumble down the stairs, then end up comatose on a couch.

Members of the Boy Scouts of America stand outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to welcome the Patriot Guard Riders as they escort a 9/11 mobile exhibit to the museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Thursday marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.  (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Emily Rose Bennett)

Mormon church pulls older teens out of Boy Scouts

- Associated Press

The Mormon church, the largest sponsor of Boy Scouts troops in the United States, announced Thursday it is pulling older teenagers from the organization as the religion takes a step toward developing its own global scouting-like program.

Illustration on Mother's Day by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

Honor thy mother as thyself

Mother's Day ain't what it used to be. (Apologies to Mom for using a word she hated.) The day set aside to obey half of the Biblical commandment to "Honor thy father and thy mother" is grounded root and branch in multi-culti faith, whose diverse goals do not always have much to do with motherhood.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters during a meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Richard Nixon, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Saying goodbye to grandma

In his first month in office, Donald Trump delivered on his promise to be an anti-abortion president and help stop our national shame. He reinstated the "Mexico City Policy," which bans federal funding to international groups that provide abortions.

A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, California. Mumps has been reported in 42 states and the District of Columbia, despite a high compliance rate for vaccinations against the viral infection across the country. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Mumps on rise in U.S., say officials

- The Washington Times

Health officials have surmised that the vaccine for mumps is not fully effective, explaining wide-ranging reports of the viral infection with at least three states recording more than 300 cases each since Jan. 1.

Texas triplets graduate West Point together

- Associated Press

Brothers Noah, Sumner and Cole Ogrydziak entered West Point's grueling world of 6:30 a.m. reveille, 60-pound packs and rigorous course loads on the same day four years ago. The three cadets are now preparing to fling their caps together at graduation this month, marking a rare fraternal trifecta at this storied academy.

Recent Opinion Columns

Find your purpose in life with the help of 'The True Jesus'

In his compelling new book, "The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels," David Limbaugh challenges us to examine Christianity's central figure through the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- the men who wrote the first four books of the New Testament.

Illustration on the realities of gender difference by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Sex, gender, confusion and distraction

Sex and gender are serious subjects, but academics, pundits and the pop media have so stretched their meanings to use as weapons of political persuasion that the words sometimes don't mean very much. Communication becomes confusion and distraction.

Pro-life activists converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Safe, legal and not so rare

Bill Clinton famously said he didn't like abortion, and only wanted to make it "safe, legal and rare." The abortion lobby picked it up as a nice slogan, and used it often. But that was then and this is now. The abortion lobby is proposing now in Hawaii that "pro-life counselors" be required to recruit young women for abortions.

Library assistant Sharon Vodraska, at right, helps participants prepare an experiment to test how much salt it takes to float an egg in a glass of water during the Sensory Science program in the Children's/Youth Services room at the Marion Public Library in Marion, Ind., on Thursday, March 23, 2017.  (Jeff Morehead /The Chronicle-Tribune via AP)

Teaching children to love themselves

In today's highly competitive and busy world, kids can easily believe their value comes from what they do versus who they are.

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.

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.

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.

From The Vault

In this Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 photo, members of the Sisterhood Salaam Shalom talk after a unity vigil held at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a national organization that brings together Muslim and Jewish women, organized the gathering as part of the organization's response to President Donald Trump's travel ban. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

US Muslims and Jews strengthen bonds amid acts of bigotry

- Associated Press

They sat on either end of the congressmen's couch, one a Jewish healthcare executive whose parents fled Germany in 1936, the other the Kashmiri Muslim chairman of a well-known American furniture chain. The men, Stanley Bergman and Farooq Kathwari, came to draw attention to an outbreak of hate crimes. But Bergman and Kathwari hoped their joint appearance would also send a broader message: that U.S. Jews and Muslims could put aside differences and work together.

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.

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.

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.