The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon


Court takes up Obamacare religious liberty case

November 30, 2012 --

By Catholic League for Religious and civil rights

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Fourth Circuit of Appeals to hear the constitutional issues involved in two provisions of ObamaCare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act. Previously, the circuit court ruled that a challenge by Liberty University to ObamaCare was premature, but now the high court has vacated that decision.

Bill Donohue addresses one of the provisions that will now be given a full hearing by the circuit court:

The key aspect of ObamaCare for the Catholic community has always been the religious liberty issue, not the question of universal health care coverage; the Catholic Church endorsed universal health care more than 80 years ago. The contentious part of ObamaCare, as stated by the bishops, is the Health and Human Services mandate forcing Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Pastor offers changes for Black Friday

November 29, 2012 --

Rick McKinley is pastor of Imago Dei
Portland Church

I was asked to contribute to the CNN “Belief Blog” on the topic of Black Friday. Below is a selection from my post. *This content is posted with permission from CNN.

As I watched the scene on TV, I imagined my grandfather fighting his way through the mob as the doors opened and the mad rush began. Though we may never remember that pair of underwear that Grandpa bought for Grandma, we will never forget the punctured lung he received when he was trampled upon by the crowd.

Some Christmas memories are just that special.

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Lawmaker submits Oregon Death Penalty Repeal

November 28, 2012 --

By Oregon Faith News Note,

Oregon state Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) plans to introduce a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to repeal the death penalty and substitute life in prison without possibility of parole. If the legislators pass the bill, Oregonians would then vote on the amendment in the 2014 general election.

One year ago, Governor John Kitzhaber stayed the execution of Gary Haugen, convicted of two murders and sentenced to die by lethal injection. Kitzhaber declared, “I will not allow further executions while I am Governor” and called upon all Oregonians “to consider a different approach.” He asked the legislature to bring potential reforms before the 2013 legislative session.

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Election: Is America getting worse or better?

November 27, 2012 --

By Paul Louis Metzger
Multnomah University Professor
New Wine Skins Ministry

You may have come across statements to the effect that the apocalypse is at hand given the election results. You may have heard similar statements from those whose candidates won, if they had lost. It certainly makes me wonder where our ultimate hopes are placed. It also makes me ponder how much we really value our democracy, which is for all the people. Our candidates may win or lose, but hopefully our democracy is bigger than our selections. One thing’s for certain. We may experience a bit of a mini-apocalypse or meltdown, if we cannot find a way in this democracy to work together across the aisle and across the faith spectrum to make sure that Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg endure—that this “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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Hillsboro sex offender church service raises questions

November 26, 2012 --

A local Hillsboro church is doing something unique by hosting services designed for sex offenders and their recovery. The problem is that the church is located next to a school and has some parents worried. Watch the video below.

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More signs on the War on Christmas

November 25, 2012 --


By Catholic League for Religious and civil rights

One of the most famous atheists in American history, Paul Kurtz, died last month at age 86. While not religion-friendly, he was by no means a hater. Indeed, he hated what he called “angry atheists,” the kind we see with increasing frequency these days. It is hardly a stretch to say that today’s breed of atheists more closely resemble fascists than they do intellectuals like Kurtz. Consider some of their latest attacks.

Students at an elementary school in Little Rock, Arkansas were recently invited to see the play, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” at a local church. Seeking to avoid controversy, no students were required to attend, and bus service was scheduled for those who wished to go. A ruckus ensued when one atheist complained, enlisting the help of a local atheist group.

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Adopting an older child: Is fear holding you back?

November 24, 2012 --

By Holt International
Eugene based chairty

 Shila Ann Henderson is the mother of 10 children, five adopted through Holt, three of whom came home after the age of five. “Some people think it’s too late for older children to be adopted, especially kids who have always been waiting,” says Shila. “Some think children who have experienced a harsh life will never overcome the effects. Those people have never met our Lan Lan, adopted at the age of 11, our Ningjie, adopted at the age of 10, and our son, Vu, adopted from Vietnam at the age of five — the sweetest, most loving children in the whole world!”

By Shila Ann Henderson

Christmas is going to be extra exciting this year with our recent addition of 8-year-old Ningjie. She is already talking about what Santa might bring and I can imagine her huge eyes, filled with delight, seeing gifts surrounding the glimmering tree. Gifts with her name on them. My husband and I will marvel at our own gifts—ten children, including five adopted through Holt International, and three of them after the age of five.

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Kid’s book by 9/11 survivors: What if Jesus was a NY fireman?

November 23, 2012 --

New Children’s Book by 9/11 Survivors Asks, ‘What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?’
By Martin E. Coleman, VICO Publishing,

More than a decade since September 11, 2001, parents and educators seek ways to explain 9/11 to children, many of whom were not even born that day, while survivors and victims’ families work to ensure that the memory of 9/11 does not fade from the nation’s conscience. Joining a genre of books inspired by 9/11, “What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?” is the first in a series of hero-themed stories from VICO Publishing designed to engage young adults and families. The first title is written for children ages 9 and up and is now available in hardcover at and

Authors Thomas J. Vito and Martin E. Coleman were inspired to create “What if Jesus Were a New York City Firefighter?” by their own experiences surviving 9/11. Vito and Coleman worked together on the 61st floor of an office building adjacent to the World Trade Center Towers. They watched the first plane strike before they descended into the chaos on the streets below.

Read the full article and discuss it »

America’s first Thanksgiving controversy

November 22, 2012 --

By Melanie Kirkpatrick,
Senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of “Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad”

It is hard to imagine America’s favorite holiday as a source of political controversy. But that was the case in 1789, the year of our first Thanksgiving as a nation.

The controversy began on Sept. 25 in New York City, then the seat of government. The inaugural session of the first Congress was about to recess when Rep. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey rose to introduce a resolution. He asked the House to create a joint committee with the Senate to “wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God.”

Read the full article and discuss it »

Local critic on “The Shack” devotional book

November 21, 2012 --

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon
Author of Heaven

The Shack spent 50 weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold 18 million copies, and has been translated into 41 languages. November 13 marks the release of another book by the same author, called Crossroads. I haven’t read Crossroads, but I know that it will refuel interest in and generate even more sales for The Shack. In addition, there is now a devotional available titled The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year.

For years I was asked to respond to The Shack, and though I didn’t do so publically, I did write an extensive review of it that I made available to a small number of people privately.

The complete paper, “Reflections on The Shack”, is available on our website. This is deliberately detailed and way longer than a typical review or article. Read it only if you have a special interest in The Shack.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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