GROWING CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE OF TWO YOUNG MEN
Two prominent young Christian athletes have been named to Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin made the list, even though one is a backup (Tebow) and the other will miss the remainder of his season due to injury (Lin).
In reporting the story, The Washington Post wrote of Tebow, “The backup quarterback for the New York Jets has become a polarizing figure in football, in part because of his outward displays of Christian faith.” That’s how the world sees forthright Christians these days — if they talk about their faith, they are controversial or polarizing or divisive. Despite the jabs they often receive, these two young men are willing to keep talking about the importance of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In the midst of a constant barrage of sports controversies, Tebow and Lin remain humble and examples of how Christians should conduct themselves.
Lin wrote about Tebow for the Time magazine feature, saying, “He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out.” That should be how all of us who follow Jesus Christ should be trying to live our lives each day. I’m very thankful that these young men are inspiring others, especially young sports fans, how to diligently follow the living Christ.
PERSONHOOD INITIATIVE HITS ROADBLOCK
The pro-life organization Personhood Oklahoma reported on Thursday that Republican members of the Oklahoma House abandoned the Oklahoma Personhood Act (SB 1433), which would have defined the beginning of human life at conception and established that unborn children are possessed of the same rights as all persons.
The bill reads, “The life of each human being begins at conception. The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state. ‘Unborn child’ and ‘unborn children’ shall include all unborn children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.”
The state Senate earlier passed a version of the Personhood Act and said it would have approved the House version. Some reports stated that it was the House Republican Caucus that determined not to hear the bill. But Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) contested that notion, saying, “The idea that this was a caucus decision is bogus. It is my understanding that there was no vote in caucus. Even if there had been one, many members were not present.”
Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, stated, “Not voting on the Personhood Act with majorities in the House and Senate and GOP governor begs the question: if they won’t vote pro-life, why should we vote for them?” It is too bad that political infighting has halted this important bill. As I have noted, I believe that personhood initiatives are critical in the fight for unborn life in our nation.
Mr. Mason says the Oklahoma Personhood Amendment petition drive, launched in March in anticipation of inaction in the state legislature, will attempt to gather the necessary 155,000 signatures that will send the personhood amendment to a vote by the people in November. Let’s be in prayer that the people will vote to protect the unborn in Oklahoma. Follow the action at this website: www.PersonhoodOklahoma.com
BIBLE PURGING AT WALTER REED?
With the aid of Judicial Watch, the Family Research Council (FRC) has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Navy, asking for access to records concerning a policy announced last September in which the use and/or distribution of the Bible or other religious materials was banned by the Commander of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Judicial Watch (www.judicialwatch.org) reported that on September 14, 2011, Col. Chuck Callaghan, Chief of Staff of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, issued a memorandum on behalf of the facility’s commander with the subject heading, “WOUNDED, ILL AND INJURED PARTNERS IN CARE GUIDELINES.” One of its stipulations regarding “Partners in care guidelines” stated “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”
After obtaining the memorandum, FRC officials divulged it to members of Congress. Later, Walter Reed issued a statement retracting the policy, stating, “Bibles and other religious materials have always been and will remain available for patient use at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The visitation policy as written was incorrect and should have been more thoroughly reviewed before its release. It has been rescinded.”
But the FRC wants to know how the policy was instituted in the first place. FRC President Tony Perkins said, “We filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Walter Reed Military Medical Center in hope of understanding who authorized the Bible ban and why. Although the center’s spokesmen assure that the policy has been rescinded, we have yet to see the revised policy. Until then, we’ll push forward with our investigation to see who or what is driving the religious purging. This is yet another troubling instance of Obama administration hostility toward religious liberty, a liberty that is guaranteed by the First Amendment.”
Thank God for the FRC’s bulldog mentality in getting to the bottom of this troubling Bible-ban policy. If government officials want to cancel out our religious freedoms, they need to come out of the shadows and explain their rational for their actions.