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Air Forces revises religious liberty policy

November 28, 2014 --

Catholic-League-American
By Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights

Bill Donohue comments on the latest directives issued by the U.S. Air Force on the subject of religious expression:

The revisions are a major step forward for religious liberty. Air Force Instruction 1, Section 2.11 no longer says that “an individual’s free exercise of religion” must be balanced against the “governmental establishment of religion.” When Madison wrote the so-called establishment clause, he, and those who ratified it, meant it to prohibit the establishment of a national church and governmental preference of one religion over another. They also insisted that the government was prohibited from encroaching on religious expression, not vice versa.

Also deleted from 2.11 is the invidious rule that Airmen “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs.” It is one thing to badger others, quite another to merely state, unapologetically, one’s personal religious beliefs. Also stricken is any talk about “potential” problems that might occur: such language is overly broad and can be used to censor speech indiscriminately.

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Jesus, girls & Duck football

November 26, 2014 --

Check out this viral video of a 6th grader, from O’Hare Catholic school in Eugene, who got ask a Duck football coach a question at a press conference. Watch the video below.

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Pastor refuses to pay $1M in taxes

November 24, 2014 --

Oregon-tax-newsCoquille couple face charges of tax evasion
By Oregon Tax News,

Coquille couple Ronald and Dorothea Joling are facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and tax evasion. The couple owes $1.1 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties dating back to 1994. The couple are on trial at the US District Court in Eugene. If found guilty, they could both be sent to prison.

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Busting the Charity “Overhead” myth

November 21, 2014 --

BBBBy Katherine Hutt
Oregon Better Business Bureau

When it comes to your charity dollars, what’s more important than how much a charity spends on its fundraising and administrative costs? Well, a lot actually.

Three leading charity evaluators say effectiveness is key and that the “overhead myth” that emphasizes financial ratios leads to simplistic information that can be misleading.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance has joined with GuideStar and Charity Navigator to urge charities to “help crush the false notion that overhead ratios serve as the sole basis for trusting a charity.”

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Finding faith in loss of children — a local story

November 19, 2014 --

robinsonsForest Grove community bands together to remember two children killed in fatal crash
By Michal Ann McArthur,

The Forest Grove community has banded together to remember two children killed in a fatal car accident one year ago. On October 20, 2013, two stepsisters, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt (6) and Abigail Robinson (11), were playing in a pile of leaves across the street from their home when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver. Anna was killed instantly; Abigail died later in the hospital.

This October on the anniversary of the tragedy, firefighters blocked a portion of Main Street for an hour while firefighters, friends, and neighbors gathered around the girls’ memorial tree to show their support. Many neighbors also set out candles in white paper bags in front of their homes at sunset to honor Anna and Abigail, something the girls’ parents, Susan Dieter-Robinson and her husband, Tom Robinson, have been doing each night since the girls were killed. Since October 7, neighbors have been raking and hauling away leaves in the Robinson’s yard three times a week.    The Robinsons have been relying on their faith in God to help them survive and rise above the personal crisis.   They share on how they know that many families that endure a loss of a child often divorce at an 80% rate following the tragedy.   This made it more important to rely on God for strength and direction that they did not have themselves.

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Atheist trend: Nicer, more inspirational

November 14, 2014 --

In his new book “Waking Up,” neuroscientist and popular atheist Sam Harris recounts that “a feeling of peace came over me” as he followed in Jesus’ footsteps on a hill by the Sea of Galilee, and it “soon grew to a blissful stillness that silenced my thoughts. In an instant, the sense of being a separate self—an ‘I’ or a ‘me’—vanished.”

Mr. Harris doesn’t use religious terms, but his musings about meditating on a mountaintop have left some fans wondering what happened to the pugilistic author of “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation,” which declared that “faith is nothing more than the license religious people give to one another to keep believing when reasons fail.”

Mr. Harris isn’t the only one who has changed his tone. The atheist Richard Dawkins recently devoted an entire book, “The Magic of Reality,” to showing how scientific inquiry has made sense of the seemingly miraculous—from rainbows to the origins of the universe. The discoveries of science, Mr. Dawkins writes, offer as much wonder and life satisfaction as religious belief. The evolutionary biologist and atheist Olivia Judson calls “the knowledge that we evolved a source of solace and hope.”

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Faith response to Brittany’s assisted suicide

November 12, 2014 --

Brittany Maynard

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon

Please visit his blog

It was announced that on Saturday Nov 1st, 29-year-old terminally ill Brittany Maynard chose to end her life under Oregon’s physician assisted suicide law. It’s heavy on my heart that this happened only minutes from where Nanci and I live. I am very sad for Brittany and her family. I’m also sad for the way her case has been used to promote the legitimacy of doctors facilitating people’s suicides, and how this changes the nature of the medical profession.

Many of you know that Brittany had made videos talking about why she moved to Oregon to have the legal right to die on her own terms. Several days ago she made another new video with an update. As I watched her video, my heart truly went out to her. I have no desire to judge or criticize.

Many people are angry at those who don’t believe in physician assisted suicide. At the same time, Brittany did not make this a private decision, but a very public one, so it forced the issue into public debate. She chose to go public as an example to others of how they might choose to end their lives.

Two decades ago I joined others, including many physicians, in expending a lot of time and effort to oppose Oregon’s move to become the first place in human history (yes, even before the Netherlands) to legalize physician assisted suicide. We failed, obviously.

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Climate change & pro-life connection

November 10, 2014 --

Krattenmaker-tom
By Tom Krattenmaker

 Award-winning Portland-based writer
Recent book: The Evangelicals you Don’t Know
– Article Also featured on..
USA TODAY,

This is not a column dedicated to bludgeoning those unmoved by liberals’ warnings about climate change. It is an invitation to people, especially Christians, to think about what’s happening to the water, and what will happen to us if there’s not enough of it to go around.

For whatever reason, 58% of California is in “exceptional drought,” which is even worse than “extreme.” Also in the headlines: a tap-water drinking ban in Toledo, Ohio, precipitated by Lake Erie algae blooms that researchers attribute, in part, to warmer temperatures.

These and similar phenomena are more than a boutique concern for silly liberals. If you care about life — and I know you do, especially if you’re a Christian who believes in the sanctity of life — please pay attention to what is happening with the water.

In California’s Central Valley, the rich bounty of agricultural products is in jeopardy as the water becomes scarcer. People are rightly worrying about what they are going to drink if the drought goes on. If this isn’t a “life” issue, it’s hard to say what is.

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Religious liberty worsens in 55 nations

November 7, 2014 --

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 11.54.58 AM

Bill Donahue,
Catholic League

Aid to the Church in Need monitors religious liberty around the world. Its latest report covered the period October 2012 to June 2014. It concluded that of the world’s 196 countries, changes in the condition of religious liberty were noted in 61 of them: in only six countries did things improve; conditions worsened in the other 55.

In 81 countries, or 41 percent of the total, religious freedom was recorded as either impaired or in decline. Muslim countries were the worst offenders: no group was persecuted more than Christians; also, Jews and other Muslims did not fare well. Secular authoritarian regimes, e.g., North Korea and China, also have a horrible record.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Houston’s religious liberty scare

November 4, 2014 --

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon

Please visit his blog

You may be aware of the situation in Houston, Texas, where five pastors who have been vocal in opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) were subpoenaed by the mayor, demanding that they hand over materials related to what they may have said about gay and lesbian issues, and about the mayor herself. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to those who imagine there has been no serious erosion of religious liberties in America.

Al Mohler offers a perspective worth reading:

Read the full article and discuss it »
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