- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Washington National Cathedral has hosted presidential funerals and national celebrations, and this Friday, it will give thanks to veterans.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the Cathedral is hosting “Letters from War: A Tribute to Veterans,” a tribute concert featuring the U.S. Marine Corps Orchestra and the Washington National Cathedral Choir.

The program includes “Liberty Fanfare” by composer John Williams and “Psalm 23” by composer John Rutter, with the goal of giving “tribute to the service and sacrifice of all service men and women of the armed forces and their families,” according to the event press release.

“Hear personal stories of courage, patriotism, and sacrifice made by those who have risked their lives for the nation,” the release states. “In honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we also hold up those whose experience of war has left scars, both visible and invisible, and for whom the return to civilian life has proved challenging.”

The free concert is open to the public. For more information, visit events.nationalcathedral.org



Bad choice

Brittany Maynard’s decision to kill herself after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer has reignited the debate on assisted suicide, and the Catholic Church is making its opinion known.

This week Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Maynard’s decision should be condemned, according to an interview with Italian media outlet ANSA.

“This woman [took her own life] thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error, suicide is not a good thing, it is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and towards those around us,” Msgr. Carrasco de Paula said. “We always choose by seeking what is good, the problem is when we get it wrong.”

Maynard died Nov. 1 at her home in Portland, Oregon, one of five states with an assisted suicide law.

To be continued

An excommunicated Mormon woman is taking her fight to the church’s highest leadership.

Kate Kelly, founder of the effort for women’s ordination in the Mormon church, announced she would appeal her excommunication to the First Presidency of the Church, after her local church leader sent her a letter saying the excommunication was upheld.

“I implore the First Presidency to find that I was erroneously excommunicated, dismiss with prejudice the case against me, and reinstate my church membership,” Ms. Kelly said in a statement posted on the Ordain Women website. “I hope and pray they will have the wisdom and courage to do so, if not for my sake, for the sake of the thousands of women this disciplinary process has deeply hurt.”

Ms. Kelly was excommunicated in late June on charges of apostasy. In her letter, she said the decision of Scott Wheatley, president of the Oakton Virginia Stake, came without notice, so she “was not adequately prepared or even given the opportunity specifically to fast and pray that the hearts of those on the council would be softened and for a positive result in my case.”

Survey says

A post-election survey from the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that 76 percent of Muslim voters in Virginia went to the polls on Tuesday, with nearly all of them casting ballots for the Democratic Party.

The exit poll, which queried 3,000 registered Muslim voters in six states with large Muslim populations, reflects a pre-election survey that predicted about 70 percent of Muslim voters would be participating in the midterm elections.

“Muslim voters were energized and engaged, turning out at almost twice the average of all American voters in previous midterm elections,” said Robert McCaw, the Council’s government affairs manager.

The poll also showed a slight uptick in support for the Republican Party, “reflecting that party’s national gains.”

Meredith Somers covers religion for The Washington Times.

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