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N.Y. Gay Marriage Bill Faces Tough Political Road

posted by akornfeld

Syracuse, N.Y. – Despite support from all statewide elected leaders, prospects for a same-sex marriage bill passing the state Legislature this year appear shaky at best.
Political observers say its fate will hinge on the votes of a handful of state senators — particularly Republicans who are willing to make up for defections from the Democratic side of the aisle.
“There are at least a handful of Democratic senators who have said publicly they would not be supporting the bill if it came to a vote,” said state Sen. David Valesky, a Democrat. “With a 32-30
(Democrat-Republican) split, those votes would have to come from the other side of the aisle.”
Gov. David Paterson announced plans Thursday (April 16) to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, making a political gamble that he can ride the momentum of other states that have recently allowed it.
Valesky opposes same-sex marriage and said he would vote against Paterson’s bill. He favors civil unions instead.
State Sen. Darrel Aubertine, another Central New York Democrat and a practicing Catholic, also opposes the legislation and said he would vote against it, as he did in the Assembly in 2007.
The bill, if passed, would offer same-sex couples the same legal status and treatment as heterosexual couples.
A total of 1,324 rights — including health care, pension and property rights — come with a New York marriage license, said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group.
The bill would not require clergy to perform same-sex ceremonies.
The governor’s proposal is the same bill the Democrat-controlled state Assembly passed in 2007 before it died in the state Senate, which was under Republican control at the time.
Now, Democrats control the state Senate, but opponents of the bill are vowing to make sure it fails, as well.
With several Senate Democrats opposing the matter, state leaders say they hope Republican senators “vote their conscience” and approve the measure despite pressure to oppose it from their party.
Leaders say changing people’s minds about same-sex marriage is possible. Sen. Charles Schumer, for example, has long supported civil unions, but in March decided to support same-sex marriage.
“This is a civil rights issue,” Paterson said. “We have a duty to ensure that equality exists for everyone.”
Forty-one percent of New York voters believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, while 33 percent think they should be allowed to form civil unions but not to marry, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted during the first week of April. Just less than 20 percent of voters said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex unions.

By Delen Goldberg
Religion News Service
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



  • JohnQ

    Well, opponents of same-gender marriage were right…..it is a slippery slope!
    As soon as people in one state achieve equality….other states slide right behind. Soon, there will marriage equality in all 50 states….and then, we can focus on other important issues.
    Peace!

  • nnmns

    I hope it makes it through this time and y’all don’t have to wait a year or more.

  • cknuck

    Marriage is the joining of opposites other wise there is no such thing as marriage if both subjects are the same.
    Homosexual marriage will make marriage a matter laughable it will be meaningless. It may have all of the legal side but it will never be holy.

  • nnmns

    “Holy” is in the mind. If Fred and George think their marriage is holy that’s all that matters. And if your marriage is worse because Fred and George are married, you have a strange marriage.
    But if Fred and George can’t get married and one or more of the 1,324 rights that marriage would give costs them, your strange view of your marriage has helped cost them; perhaps a lot of money or grief. I’d urge you and people like you to stop worrying about things that just do not affect you.

  • Husband

    “Marriage is the joining of opposites other wise there is no such thing as marriage if both subjects are the same.”
    Says you.
    “Homosexual marriage will make marriage a matter laughable it will be meaningless.”
    Sez you.
    “It may have all of the legal side but it will never be holy.”
    Sez you.
    You seem to forget (as usual) the many, many SSMs that are being performed in religious faiths other than yours. Don’t you believe in freedom of religion? Why do your religious tenets trump others’, especially in a land with freedom of religion?
    Oh, and P.S. you’re still talking in the wrong tense. Same sex mrriages “will” not accomplish any of your ridiculous prognostications – since they’re already happening and have not done so. Learn something, wouldja?

  • Kathleen

    Chuck, What’s with the “holy” obsession? Maybe you can explain what “holy” is? Do you even know? And, how does it apply to marriage? And, where is it written that a man and women being married creates “holiness”? And maybe you can explain, without misquoting the bible, how gay marriage is going to ruin society and destroy your “holy” union. Can any one of you homophobic, narrow-minded, Super Christians give a rational reason why ALL people in this country should not be provided with equal rights? Can you? I doubt it. Because the first thing you always do is quote some ridiculous passage from the Old Testament that claims homosexuality is demonic, unnatural, and evil. Meanwhile, the bible also claims if you mix linen with cotton you should be stoned to death. Do you take everything literally? Because that is in the bible also. The New Testament also claims that marriage is only for those who can procreate. Hmmmm, how shall we handle those who cannot have children? I guess we shouldn’t give them the rights…according to your thinking.
    Holy…give me break!

  • pagansister

    It’s all about EQUALITY, and has nothing to do with a religious view. Marriages take place all the time without any minister, Rabbi, priest etc. presiding. So why should religion have a say in the definition of the word “marriage”? If the 2 parties want to marry in a religion…they can…if not…they can. Religion enters only if the 2 parties what it that way.
    NY…go for it! Do what is right!

  • Guarddog

    In the end- and the beginning btw- our founding fathers based Everything on Christian values, and with God in mind-90% of them were “bible thumping” men of God- and instituted All of our rights in the Natural Order of things. Our society & country has watered down so much of our constitution it is now nothing but a joke. Today its Gay marraige-tomorrow, how about polygamy? as long as there’s a commitment, whats wrong with having more than one wife (oops-”partner” must be politically correct)?? Yeah..think about it for a second. The institution of Marraige was created, and meant for Man+Woman=Family. Anything else is just a perversion of the original Ideas & benefits behind it.

  • FlexSF

    It’s a wonderful feeling to see the legalization of gay marriage. For us to live happy, healthy, equally, under the law, along with everybody else, is the kindest revenge.
    If we don’t get it this quarter, semester, or session, we can try again next time. I do expect to see it legalized, in numerous states, before the end of 12′, along with the repeal of prop 8!
    Happy days are on the horizon!

  • Mordred08

    cknuck:
    “Homosexual marriage will make marriage a matter laughable it will be meaningless.”
    You may be laughing at us LGBT folk, but we’re laughing at you too. And if you decide your marriage is meaningless because Adam and Steve decide their marriage has meaning to them, whose marriage is more laughable?
    “It may have all of the legal side but it will never be holy.”
    Works for me. To be honest, I lost a lot of respect for “holy” marriages when I discovered from the conservatives here that all that stuff about love and commitment was some liberal hippie nonsense and that marriage was really a glorified baby-making industry.

  • nnmns

    The institution of Marraige was created, and meant for Man+Woman=Family. Anything else is just a perversion of the original Ideas & benefits behind it.

    Then people started having children and perverted the whole thing. Must be that sinning in the garden of Eden thing.
    “our founding fathers based Everything on Christian values”
    Then it’s amazing they didn’t mention that or the Bible even once. And when they mentioned “God” it was “nature’s God”, not a particularly Christian sounding god. I suspect a lot of the Framers of the Constitution would not be welcome in a lot of conservative Christian churches now. We were fortunate.

  • pagansister

    Sorry Guarddog, this isn’t a Christian nation…and wasn’t intended to be by the Founders. It is a nation of many religions and those who choose to have none. I’d be surprised of 90% of the Founders were “bible thumpers”. Even if they were…what has that got to do with now? Some of the Founders had slaves too? Should we go back to that time? Took a long time to solve that situation. The bible doesn’t have reign over who marries who, or their gender combinations. Fortunately this country is FINALLY waking up to this. Who someone marries has, in the end, absolutely nothing to do with your life.

  • cknuck

    H22 quote “Sorry Guarddog, this isn’t a Christian nation…and wasn’t intended to be by the Founders.”
    then the bible was in every school and required reading because they were as nnmns suggests nature worshippers? History cannot be erased anymore than the fact that there is scripture on the Washing monument and in congress.

  • cknuck

    Mordred even Jesus would say you keep the government part I’ll take the holy part.

  • cknuck

    nnmns quote, “I’d urge you and people like you to stop worrying about things that just do not affect you.”
    That’s what they said about pollution at one time also, everything we do today affects something tomorrow.

  • Mordred08

    cknuck: “That’s what they said about pollution at one time also, everything we do today affects something tomorrow.”
    So are you in agreement with the Pope that homosexuality is as big a threat to mankind as global warming?

  • Henrietta22

    Ck, I haven’t quoted Guardog, just now reading this. It was Ps quote.

  • Scott R.

    Who cares WHAT the Founding Fathers believed?
    This nation is now made up of tens of millions of people of different faiths – all of which must be respected under the constitution. Xianity is just one of many religions. Nothing special about it.

  • Henrietta22

    We’re all Americans and we are all equal, now is the time to recognize this fact no matter what religion we belong to or no religion.

  • cknuck

    Christianity made it possible that this country would be made up of so many different folk ya can’t change history, No one group has been more responsible for this country being what it is, but with the light also comes the dark.

  • cknuck

    You don’t have to be American to be equal, but men are men and women are women, husband and wife are man and woman. Anything else is just that, something else.

  • pagansister

    And what is wrong with “something else”. cknuck? Nothing.
    No one is trying to undo history, just that it is now plus 200 years later. Would you want to return to slavery (in Colonial times too), wives being the property of the husband, no votes for Blacks, segregation, no votes for women etc.? Those things are part of history also….but fortunately they are still not occuring. Nothing remains the same…some change is for the good, some not. Equality is for the good…marriage for all consenting adults, no matter the gender…is good.

  • Your Name

    Xianity may have been responsible for the beginnings of this country, but it is an idea that has come and gone.

  • Mordred08

    Guarddog: “Today its Gay marraige-tomorrow, how about polygamy? as long as there’s a commitment, whats wrong with having more than one wife”
    I know I’m expected to say that polygamy is very wrong, after which you’d probably call me a hypocrite for not approving of something you yourself don’t approve of. But the more I think about it, the less it bothers me. If there’s enough support for allowing marriages between multiple partners, I’d support it. I just think it’s going to take a long time for that to happen.

  • Your Name

    “Today its Gay marraige-tomorrow, how about polygamy?”
    Man, it drives me nuts when people of faith (especially Christians and Jews) say that gay marriage will open the door to polygamy and act as if polygamy is a horrible and unheard of thing, when in fact at least a third of the world practices polygamy, there is legal recognition of polygamous marriages in many countries (mostly Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia), and many of the greatest heroes of the Bible and Torah were polygamists. There is much debate as to whether the polygamy of these Biblical patriarchs was approved or condoned by God (I’m not getting into that), but the Bible’s record of it alone indicates that marriages besides the Adam and Eve paradigm have been around for a long time.
    And I honestly do not see how gay marriage would open the door to polygamy, as they are totally unrelated (except for the fact that they are not monogamous heterosexual marriages). In most places where gay marriage is legal (certain European countries, South Africa, Canada, certain US states) polygamy is certainly illegal and regarded as abhorrent by most of the population. In contrast, most of the countries in which polygamy is legal do not allow gay marriage (many of those countries consider homosexuality to be a criminal offense), and most of these countries’ citizens regard homosexuality as a grave sin. I do not see how the acceptance of gay marriage would lead to the acceptance of polygamy (and vice versa), because most places that accept gay marriage do not accept polygamy, and most places that accept polygamy do not accept gay marriage.

  • Your Name

    To “Your Name”,
    What is disturbing to many people is not what other countries are doing but what is occuring here in the USA.
    Sure times are changing as people become less religious but that is the trend. Although there are many cases of people in the bible who practiced polygamy it was not the original design for marriage, one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve). If it had been the Lord would have given Adam more than one wife in the garden.
    It is only after the “fall” do we find the drift to immorality.
    When we read the bible with discernment we do not look for what we want to find that might support our sinful desires. In contrast we read it to understand all of the implications of decisions made by sinful people that lead to their demise as well as the results for their descendents.
    What we are seeing today in our country is a small minority pushing for something that is wrong. Homosexual marriage may be about love but that love is a mutation of the original design for love between one man and one woman.
    It will open the door to other minority groups who are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the doors to be opened so they can get in line and present their case.
    Just because some people do not see what is over the next hill does not mean danger is not there. It just means you cannot see it.

  • Rich R

    revious post by Rich R. Farmington, NH

  • JohnQ

    I think it is pretty obvious that if God had wanted two men to marry each other….God would have made the men gay.
    If God had wanted only mixed marriages….God would not have led man to form the UU, UCC, TEC, UMCC churches nor, the non-orthodox synagogues.
    Peace!

  • nnmns

    Actually, Rich, as any real church-goer knows Adam and Eve were Edenites. Thus any marriage not between male and female Edenites is a mutation of the original design for love between one male Edenite and one female Edenite.
    If we let others marry it will open the door for marriage between dogs and cats or mice and elephants.

  • JohnQ

    Rich-
    I noticed you did not mention Lilith. While it is usually presented that Adam and Lilith did not work out because of Lilith’s willfulness. Is it possible that the failure was was Adam’s fault?
    Regardless, want to limit marriage to male-female….but, you have no problem with how many times a man takes a wife?
    Peace!

  • Your Name

    As I stated – marriage is for one man and one woman.
    Should one spouse die then the other is free to marry again.
    One man, one woman.
    I did not promote divorce at all, did I?
    What God has joined let no man separate.

  • JohnQ

    Your Name-
    No, you did not promote divorce….but rather adultery. Lilith was still alive when Adam procreated with Eve.
    Peace!

  • Your Name

    Have any of you ever heard of separation of church and state? Who are you to impose your religious beliefs on the rest of the world, especially in a nation that was founded on religious freedom. How hypocritical.

  • nnmns

    Well I’ve been doing some Bible study and I see Eve was made from Adam’s rib. So, Rich, you’ll be happy to know we can narrow down the list of acceptable marriage partners a lot more.
    Clearly God’s design is for a man and a woman made from that man’s rib to marry, and any other marriage is a perversion of the ideal and will immediately spoil all existing right marriages.
    It’s wonderful the things we can learn from the Bible.

  • Henrietta22

    …..And from each other, for instance from John Q, I didn’t know that Lilith was still alive when Adam used his rib to make Eve and then married her in front of Lilith! Men were always insensitive I guess. From nnmns I’ve learned why our little dog is chasing the little mouse that lives in a pile of mulch in the back of our yard….I’ll have to stop this chase right away!!!

  • cknuck

    nnmns it is only wonderful when one actually learns something not when one uses it as a play toy for their own mind twisting. Your approach of bible study is an exercise in mind masturbations nothing more.

  • cknuck

    JohnQ, quote: “No, you did not promote divorce….but rather adultery. Lilith was still alive when Adam procreated with Eve.”
    Is there no depth you would sink to? There is one mention of this name in the bible and it does not have anything to do with Adam but you base an argument on this when over six times the bible mentions homosexuality as sin and abominations to God and you ignore the six to lift the one. Strain out the gnat and shallow the camel.

  • irina

    We can each only speak to our own experience. In my experience, the act of sodomy is conceptual. We cannot see what is conceived because obviously, lacking male and female gametes, there is no physical body created. What is created is a plasma lifeform. Amortal. (Neither mortal nor immortal, but something else entirely). Of course the great attraction of sodomy over the millennia is that it does not result in babies. But to maintain that it does not result in conception is drawing a false conclusion, one that has been exploited by amortal entities for a very long time.
    We built a house on property where my father in law trysted with his gay lover and it took me many years to determine the nature of the entity which inhabits it. (Of course, I did not know the sexual history of the land at the time). This is my experience. If you don’t like it, ignore it, but remember the next time you engage in sodomy there will be a little niggling question mark in your mind regarding what you are conceiving . . .

  • nnmns

    “Your approach of bible study is an exercise in mind masturbations nothing more.”
    Ah, that’s what you call it when someone reaches into the Bible and pulls out something you don’t like. I’ve learned something else today.
    But in fact I was using pretty common reasoning about the Bible: that if a thing is done one way in the Bible that’s the only way it’s supposed to ever be done. That was Your Name’s reasoning at 8:41 AM and it’s the reasoning of the RCC regarding female priests, etc. You just don’t like it because it works just as well for other people, too.
    Loosen up, cnuck, there’s a lot to be learned from the Bible if we just apply ourselves to it.

  • JohnQ

    Opponents of same-gendered marriage are right. Our society will never be the same.
    I was thinking about this during Coffee Hour after services at church this morning. While watching two gay teenagers (16yo & 17yo) being themselves….and, no one cared. And watching my two children along with a dozen other children of same-gendered parents play with the ~20 other children with mixed-gender parents. All in a room of ~100people of all ages up to their 90′s…….who love and accept all of the children for who they are….not based on their sexuality….nor, that of their parents.
    I realize this is not the case (yet) in all parts of our great nation….but, here in CT we have a whole generation (the 1st) growing up with gay/lesbian/bisexual role models. A generation growing up knowing that they can marry the person of their choice regardless of gender. A generation growing up knowing that some of their teachers are openly gay/lesbian/bisexual….some of their ministers….state and local politicians…etc. Growing up seeing openly gay/lesbians/bisexual characters on tv/in movies who are not in the story to be the butt of the joke or the twisted character to dislike/feel sorry for. A generation growing up seeing straight…..learned men/women of law (judges), great political leaders (senators, mayors, governors) calling for and putting and to discrimination in the laws of our land. A generation growing up seeing straight men/women of God proclaim we all are God’s children and calling for an end to discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry in the church, the laws of our land, as well as in our everyday lives.
    So, what does this mean…a generation with less divorce because husbands and wives will not be breaking the hearts of their spouses when after years of marriage and/or a couple children, they decide they can no longer live a lie. A lie that they are straight and married either to hide from themselves and/or others…..or, married to conform to what they thought society demanded of them. A generation with gay priests who joined the priesthood because they have been called rather than to hide. A generation of honest…..straight, gay, or bisexual ministers who became ministers because they were called….not because the ministry along with their mixed marriage was a way to pretend they were straight. A generation much happier and healthier than those before us.
    Peace!

  • nnmns

    That’s a powerful statement JohnQ. I hope a lot of people read it.

  • cknuck

    I am pretty loose nnmns but thanks for the concern there is nothing in the bible I don’t like I was just remarking on how some people use it to their own whatever. Like I prefer JohnQ’s “I was thinking” speech to his underhanded use of the creature Lilith earlier. Regardless dragqueens/transgender/gay/lesbian/bisexual or attempts at sex changes are not role models that are desirable and they certainly are not biblical. That for me and millions more Christians will not change unless of course we give in to a way that seems right to man but then at that point anything goes. Is that light enough for you.
    Oh yeah JohnQ “butt of the joke”; was that a pun?

  • pagansister

    JohnQ:
    The paragraph you wrote about today describing your coffee hour after church and your children playing with other children whose parents are same gender/mixed gender parents, was powerful. Most of all, it was what all folks should work towards. I’m glad you have a congregation/church that is so accepting, and that that congregation is of all age groups. You are indeed lucky (as are your children).
    It is still somewhat amazing to me how much discussion on the “validity” of what is in the Christian holy book is used to affirm or deny same gender marriages. If indeed Adam and Eve actually existed…and had 2 male children…one of whom killed his brother…how did humanity start??? Guess there must have been some other humans about somewhere, huh? Folks worry about what a book written by a bunch of men (having been edited to take the female written book out) over 2000 years ago says? One bases their love life on a 2000 year old male written book…which includes all kinds of behavior…wars…sex….cheating…and yes, some homosexuals I expect. Glad our government doesn’t base our laws on it. We’d still have slaves.

  • Wannabe Theo

    Rich R. Farmington wrote: “Homosexual marriage may be about love but that love is a mutation of the original design for love between one man and one woman.”
    “mutation” is neither necessarily good nor bad. Your comment could be understood as saying homosexual love is a more evolved form of love than heterosexual.

  • Henrietta22

    John Q your post of your coffee hour was like Pagansister said, “powerful”. It’s powerful because of many reasons; your fellow Christians are Episcopalian, they are some of the first truly loving and understanding Christians in America, and someday it will be the norm all through America. You should send this to a few magazines and see if they will print it. You should send this to President Obama and the First Lady.

  • Your Name

    I am learning that the opinions of conservative Xians – as well as their religion – are completely irrelevant to my life.

  • Mordred08

    cknuck: “Regardless dragqueens/transgender/gay/lesbian/bisexual or attempts at sex changes are not role models that are desirable”
    Your opinion. Feel free not to desire them.
    “me and millions more Christians will not change”
    Of that I have no doubt, unfortunately.
    “Oh yeah JohnQ ‘butt of the joke’; was that a pun?”
    Oh, that’s real damn mature. I’m definitely going to respect your religious beliefs now.

  • JohnQ

    cknuck-
    Homosexual marriage will make marriage a matter laughable it will be meaningless. It may have all of the legal side but it will never be holy.
    After: Liz Taylor, Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, and “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire”…..what could homosexuals do to make marriage laughable and/or meaningless?
    There is one mention of this name (Lilith) in the bible and it does not have anything to do with Adam but you base an argument on this when over six times the bible mentions homosexuality as sin and abominations to God and you ignore the six to lift the one.“I am not a sola scriptura kinda guy. Any good Jewish religious scholar can tell you a lot about Adam’s Lilith. I was responding to a post that was holding Adam and Eve up as the only model for marriage…..so, my mentioning of Lilith has nothing to do with the number of times she (in this case a different she) is mentioned. If one is going to point to Adam and Eve…then one must look at the whole picture…which would include adultery. I myself would not hold Adam and Eve up as the only model for marriage….but, if one does….we are not just going to exclude part of the picture because it is inconvenient and does not support the poster’s premise.
    Oh yeah JohnQ “butt of the joke”; was that a pun? ” After reading this, I actually googled “butt of the joke” to see if it had another meaning. It took me over an hour to get it (your point). So, no it was not a pun. Regardless of what Modred08 said……I thought your question was funny. One of the things I like about your posts….is your sense of humor….that you share upon occasion.

  • jestrfyl

    Heterosexuals have done precious little to underscore the spiritual value of marriage. The divorce rate of the last decades has been testimony to that.
    So if there are adults who make mature, considered, responsible decisions to commit themsleves to their relationship for more reasons than casual or procreative sex, then it seems to be in the best interests of the entire intitution of marriage to encourage them. That these couples are both of the same gender seems to be less relevant than so many other considerations. There are so many poor excuses for getting married that any reason that emphasizes the loftier aspects of emotional life deserve support. Assuming that sexual behavior is the only reason for marriage limits marriage in an extraordinary way.
    I do not expect that everyone will subscribe to this understanding. But when I grew up interracial couples were incredibly rare and inter-religious couples were almost as rare. Even Polish, Italian, or Irish folks could not comprehend marrying each other either without completely alienating their families. There is always hope for the continuing maturity of humanity in terms of emotional relationships.

  • cknuck

    JohnQ even thought we are at the opposite ends on the subject of marriage I do enjoy you posts they are usually gentle and civil, that I admire. And I agree with the state marriage is in but I hardly agree the fix would be to change it altogether from husband and wife to…I have no words to describe the alternative.

  • cknuck

    jest as rare those marriages were they still held to the standard one man one woman.
    also I cannot see anal sex as casual sex.

  • JohnQ

    cknuck-
    I too enjoy your posts. Though, I am certain you realize I don’t always agree with your pov.
    There is no suggestion that same-gender marriage fixes marriages such as those of: Liz, Anna, Britney, “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire”. However, I will suggest that same-gender marriage in no way makes any marriage any worse than it already might be.
    I will also suggest that the number of marriages that end because one of the spouses decides that they can not continue to live a lie….will indeed decrease.
    Peace!

  • Your Name

    “Regardless dragqueens/transgender/gay/lesbian/bisexual or attempts at sex changes are not role models that are desirable”
    Perhapsnot to you, ck, but then again, you’re betterosexual. For the gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered or transvestite, committed, long-term, loving relationships ar ideal role models to emulate.
    “as rare those marriages were …”
    Rare? Hmmm. Seems there’s plenty of inter-racial marriages. And inter-faith marriages. And outside-of-any faith marriages. Or were you talkingabout Liz Taylor’s eight marriages. Not so “rare” at all it seems.

  • cknuck

    Your Name if I use the term heterosexual then “betterosexual” Is no more than childish name calling and a tacky tactic which is no help to your argument.

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