- - Friday, April 22, 2016


(1) Texas Won’t Let This Same-Sex Marriage Opponent Marry His Laptop (HuffPo)

(2) Third of suicides in US are among Middle-aged whites (AP)

The report doesn’t try to answer why certain trends are occurring. Other experts have speculated that middle age can be a particularly hard time for whites, who - compared to some other racial and ethnic groups - commonly don’t have as many supportive relationships with friends, family, or religious communities,

Money was a factor, too, they say. The economy was in recession from the end of 2007 until mid-2009. Even well afterward, polls showed most Americans remained worried about weak hiring, a depressed housing market and other problems.

White people, in particular, seem to expect financial comfort and happiness by middle age - and have difficulty coping when things get worse instead of better, Emory’s Kaslow said.

(3) Weighing Therapists’ Right To Religious Objection: For TN Gov. Haslam It’s All About Values (NPR)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he is deciding whether to sign legislation that would allow therapists to refuse service based on religious objections.

In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, he said he is “talking to a lot of folks to get some input” on the bill and that he had boiled his thinking down to this central question: whether therapists could truly leave their values out of their work.

On one hand, he points out that the American Counseling Association “says you should always counsel from a valueless position. In other words, you don’t put your own values into the conversation; you’re there to help.”

But, he added, “I personally wonder … regardless of whether you’re a religious person or not, everybody comes into every conversation with a particular worldview and things that you believe are right or wrong. The question is can you counsel from a totally non-value-based position?”

(4) At Public Event, Harvard Law Student Asks Tzipi Livni: ‘How Is It That You Are So Smelly? (Tablet)

***Student incredulously claims the comment was not intended to be antisemitic. Which would mean, in effect, “I’m not antisemitic, I just have no manners whatsoever.

I want to be very clear that it was never my intention to invoke a hateful stereotype, but I recognize now that, regardless of my intention, words have power, and it troubles me deeply to know that I have caused some members of the Jewish community such pain with my words. To those people I say, please reach out. Give me an opportunity to make it right.

(5) David Brody: Evangelicals could reap Trump whirlwind (CBN)

A Trump nomination becomes a Trump presidency only if grassroots evangelicals start doing the hard work of proselytizing and organizing for him. Whether they will is up in the air right now. Trump could help make it happen by trumpeting issues close to the hearts of evangelicals. He could keep the flock happy and attract new converts by using the bully pulpit to defend religious liberty, denounce attacks on Christianity, talk up a crackdown on homegrown terrorism in American mosques, and emphasize steroid-strength support for Israel … and then actually acting on all of that.

(6) Ryan Anderson: ESPN Has a Right to Fire Curt Schilling (Daily Signal)

…ESPN didn’t want to be associated with Curt Schilling’s message. The same is true for the bakers, florists, and photographers, only more so. They have beliefs about marriage—that it’s the union of husband and wife—and they don’t want to be forced by the government to convey a contrary message.

Whether we agree or disagree with the bakers, florists, and photographers isn’t at issue here. At issue is their beliefs and the messages they send. Taking photographs of a gay wedding ceremony and then creating a visually appealing slide-show and photo album, or arranging altar flowers for same-sex nuptials, or decorating a cake with rainbow frosting and two grooms on top all convey messages these professionals say they can’t send.

And yet, while liberals are cheering ESPN and celebrating its freedoms, they are working to pass laws that would eliminate similar freedoms for religious institutions and wedding professionals. While they celebrate ESPN’s rights, they want to deny similar rights to others.

(7) Why We Need Anonymous, Plodding Church Planters, by Scott Slayton

…The man who plants this kind of church must be willing to do work that doesn’t make for interesting tweets. He must be a man who cultivates his relationship with Jesus, his wife, and children each and every day. He has to be willing to spend hours glued to his chair with his head in the Bible so he can faithfully teach it to others. This man will dedicate significant time each week to purposeful conversation with other Christians, helping them to understand how to follow Jesus.

We need the man willing to work in obscurity because the real task of church planting is not easy or glamorous. At the same time the task is worth every ounce of effort. What can compare with seeing men and women pass from darkness to light? How much joy does it bring to see young believers maturing and progressing in their faith? And how great a blessing is it to see people we knew as young Christians become faithful leaders who are called to plant churches as well?

I once heard Mark Dever say that men often overestimate what they can accomplish in five years and underestimate what they can do it ten. When our desire is immediate numerical success, we never stick around long enough to see the real glories of Gospel ministry. However, when we plant our lives in a place, doing the hard and anonymous work which must be done for the sake of the Gospel we have the opportunity to see great things happen.

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