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Study Says, “Christians Hate People Different from Them.” Except it Doesn’t

A recent study claims, “Religiosity Means Love of Neighbor–If Values Line Up.”  You’ll probably be seeing more of this study since it seems like another opportunity for the secular world to prove that “those Christians” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.   The problem is, the study doesn’t actually say what the headlines say it [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 27, 2014

4:00 – How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps
American evangelicalism has recently experienced a new openness to Roman Catholicism, and many evangelicals, both famous and ordinary, have joined the Catholic Church or are considering the possibility. Christian Smith is here to help sort out the kinds of concerns that typically come up when Evangelicals discern whether to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In simple language, it explains many theological misunderstandings that evangelicals often have about Roman Catholicism, and suggests the kind of practical steps many take to enter the Catholic Church. He speaks first-hand as an Evangelical-turned-Catholic.


5:00 – A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters
More than twenty years ago, Chai Ling led the protesters at Tiananmen Square and became China's most-wanted female fugitive. Today, she's finally telling her astonishing story. Though haunted by memories of the horrifying massacre at Tiananmen and her underground escape from China in a cargo box, Ling threw herself into pursuing the American dream. She completed Ivy League degrees, found love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. Yet her longing for true freedom, purpose, and peace remained unfulfilled. Years after Tiananmen, she was still searching to find meaning in all the violence, fear, and tragedy she'd endured. She is here to tell her tale of passion, political turmoil, and spiritual awakening . . . and the inspirational true story of a woman who has dedicated everything to giving people in China their chance at a future. 

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 27, 2014

4:00 – How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps
American evangelicalism has recently experienced a new openness to Roman Catholicism, and many evangelicals, both famous and ordinary, have joined the Catholic Church or are considering the possibility. Christian Smith is here to help sort out the kinds of concerns that typically come up when Evangelicals discern whether to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In simple language, it explains many theological misunderstandings that evangelicals often have about Roman Catholicism, and suggests the kind of practical steps many take to enter the Catholic Church. He speaks first-hand as an Evangelical-turned-Catholic.


5:00 – A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters
More than twenty years ago, Chai Ling led the protesters at Tiananmen Square and became China's most-wanted female fugitive. Today, she's finally telling her astonishing story. Though haunted by memories of the horrifying massacre at Tiananmen and her underground escape from China in a cargo box, Ling threw herself into pursuing the American dream. She completed Ivy League degrees, found love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. Yet her longing for true freedom, purpose, and peace remained unfulfilled. Years after Tiananmen, she was still searching to find meaning in all the violence, fear, and tragedy she'd endured. She is here to tell her tale of passion, political turmoil, and spiritual awakening . . . and the inspirational true story of a woman who has dedicated everything to giving people in China their chance at a future. 

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 27, 2014

4:00 – How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps
American evangelicalism has recently experienced a new openness to Roman Catholicism, and many evangelicals, both famous and ordinary, have joined the Catholic Church or are considering the possibility. Christian Smith is here to help sort out the kinds of concerns that typically come up when Evangelicals discern whether to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In simple language, it explains many theological misunderstandings that evangelicals often have about Roman Catholicism, and suggests the kind of practical steps many take to enter the Catholic Church. He speaks first-hand as an Evangelical-turned-Catholic.


5:00 – A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters
More than twenty years ago, Chai Ling led the protesters at Tiananmen Square and became China's most-wanted female fugitive. Today, she's finally telling her astonishing story. Though haunted by memories of the horrifying massacre at Tiananmen and her underground escape from China in a cargo box, Ling threw herself into pursuing the American dream. She completed Ivy League degrees, found love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. Yet her longing for true freedom, purpose, and peace remained unfulfilled. Years after Tiananmen, she was still searching to find meaning in all the violence, fear, and tragedy she'd endured. She is here to tell her tale of passion, political turmoil, and spiritual awakening . . . and the inspirational true story of a woman who has dedicated everything to giving people in China their chance at a future. 

After the Thaw






March for Life - ColdAs I continue to defrost and thaw out from the 40th Annual March for Life in Washington, I have had a chance to reflect on being once again among hundreds of thousands of pro -life activists. I have served as a field correspondent for several years now. Each year I am encouraged, inspired, and...

Message to New Yorkers: If the Governor Kicks You Out, You’re Welcome in Oklahoma


NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a now-famous rant, put out the "Not Welcome" mat in front of Empire State pro-lifers.  If you're conservative, he said, you're not welcome in his state.  NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio sided with him "100%".

Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, who has served in the Oklahoma House for 18 years, has published a response to the governor's inflammatory remarks on her blog, Public Catholic, which can be found on the Catholic Portal at Patheos.  

Rep. Hamilton first gratefully acknowledges the statement from Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who publicly responded to the governor's over-the-top political posturing.  Then, she slices the governor and the mayor with her rhetoric.

Rep. Hamilton's well-reasoned perspective is worth reading.  Here is an excerpt:

Rep. Hamilton
I’ve held off writing about this because it is so over the top in terms of acceptable behavior from an elected official that I decided to give it a bit of time to jell. I wanted to allow Governor Cuomo a chance to issue a press release saying, I was suffering from gastroenteritis/drunk/grief-stricken-because-my-dog-had-died at the time and said things that in no way represent what I truly think. Nothing that carries the flat-out I-did-not-mean-it apology which I think is required for such outrageous comments from an elected official has ensued. 

It appears that not just the Governor, but the mayor of New York (or, as we call it where I’m from, New York City) are standing pat. They may not agree on much else, but they agree “100%” that people who think differently from them on a whole range of issues are not welcome in New York. 

This isn’t about pro life vs pro abortion. It’s not about gun control vs the Second Amendment. It’s also not about gay vs traditional marriage. It’s about two elected officials who, from all evidence, have totally lost their sense of what elective office means. Both the Governor and the attaboy mayor following in his footsteps have taken on attitudes and ideas that are antithetical to what public service in the form of elective office entails. 

When you’re elected to office, you represent everyone in the area that elected you. That means, Mr Governor and Mr Mayor, even those who oppose gun control, gay marriage and abortion. You are their governor and their mayor just the same as you are the mayor or governor for your pals and cronies who blow smoke up your skirts and tell you what a “statesman” you are for kicking everyone else to the curb. 

It doesn’t matter if you agree with your constituents. It doesn’t matter if they agree with you. It certainly doesn’t matter if they like you or not. They can call you names and drive you nuts with weird accusations and oddball demands all they want. The office you occupy belongs to them. Not you. 

Governor Cuomo occupies the office of Governor of New York. But the office belongs to the people of New York.  

By the people of New York, I mean all of them, including those that the Governor and his mayoral echo say “don’t belong” in their fair state and city.

It's an excellent analysis.  Read the rest here.

Message to New Yorkers: If the Governor Kicks You Out, You’re Welcome in Oklahoma


NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a now-famous rant, put out the "Not Welcome" mat in front of Empire State pro-lifers.  If you're conservative, he said, you're not welcome in his state.  NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio sided with him "100%".

Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, who has served in the Oklahoma House for 18 years, has published a response to the governor's inflammatory remarks on her blog, Public Catholic, which can be found on the Catholic Portal at Patheos.  

Rep. Hamilton first gratefully acknowledges the statement from Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who publicly responded to the governor's over-the-top political posturing.  Then, she slices the governor and the mayor with her rhetoric.

Rep. Hamilton's well-reasoned perspective is worth reading.  Here is an excerpt:

Rep. Hamilton
I’ve held off writing about this because it is so over the top in terms of acceptable behavior from an elected official that I decided to give it a bit of time to jell. I wanted to allow Governor Cuomo a chance to issue a press release saying, I was suffering from gastroenteritis/drunk/grief-stricken-because-my-dog-had-died at the time and said things that in no way represent what I truly think. Nothing that carries the flat-out I-did-not-mean-it apology which I think is required for such outrageous comments from an elected official has ensued. 

It appears that not just the Governor, but the mayor of New York (or, as we call it where I’m from, New York City) are standing pat. They may not agree on much else, but they agree “100%” that people who think differently from them on a whole range of issues are not welcome in New York. 

This isn’t about pro life vs pro abortion. It’s not about gun control vs the Second Amendment. It’s also not about gay vs traditional marriage. It’s about two elected officials who, from all evidence, have totally lost their sense of what elective office means. Both the Governor and the attaboy mayor following in his footsteps have taken on attitudes and ideas that are antithetical to what public service in the form of elective office entails. 

When you’re elected to office, you represent everyone in the area that elected you. That means, Mr Governor and Mr Mayor, even those who oppose gun control, gay marriage and abortion. You are their governor and their mayor just the same as you are the mayor or governor for your pals and cronies who blow smoke up your skirts and tell you what a “statesman” you are for kicking everyone else to the curb. 

It doesn’t matter if you agree with your constituents. It doesn’t matter if they agree with you. It certainly doesn’t matter if they like you or not. They can call you names and drive you nuts with weird accusations and oddball demands all they want. The office you occupy belongs to them. Not you. 

Governor Cuomo occupies the office of Governor of New York. But the office belongs to the people of New York.  

By the people of New York, I mean all of them, including those that the Governor and his mayoral echo say “don’t belong” in their fair state and city.

It's an excellent analysis.  Read the rest here.

Message to New Yorkers: If the Governor Kicks You Out, You’re Welcome in Oklahoma


NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a now-famous rant, put out the "Not Welcome" mat in front of Empire State pro-lifers.  If you're conservative, he said, you're not welcome in his state.  NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio sided with him "100%".

Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, who has served in the Oklahoma House for 18 years, has published a response to the governor's inflammatory remarks on her blog, Public Catholic, which can be found on the Catholic Portal at Patheos.  

Rep. Hamilton first gratefully acknowledges the statement from Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who publicly responded to the governor's over-the-top political posturing.  Then, she slices the governor and the mayor with her rhetoric.

Rep. Hamilton's well-reasoned perspective is worth reading.  Here is an excerpt:

Rep. Hamilton
I’ve held off writing about this because it is so over the top in terms of acceptable behavior from an elected official that I decided to give it a bit of time to jell. I wanted to allow Governor Cuomo a chance to issue a press release saying, I was suffering from gastroenteritis/drunk/grief-stricken-because-my-dog-had-died at the time and said things that in no way represent what I truly think. Nothing that carries the flat-out I-did-not-mean-it apology which I think is required for such outrageous comments from an elected official has ensued. 

It appears that not just the Governor, but the mayor of New York (or, as we call it where I’m from, New York City) are standing pat. They may not agree on much else, but they agree “100%” that people who think differently from them on a whole range of issues are not welcome in New York. 

This isn’t about pro life vs pro abortion. It’s not about gun control vs the Second Amendment. It’s also not about gay vs traditional marriage. It’s about two elected officials who, from all evidence, have totally lost their sense of what elective office means. Both the Governor and the attaboy mayor following in his footsteps have taken on attitudes and ideas that are antithetical to what public service in the form of elective office entails. 

When you’re elected to office, you represent everyone in the area that elected you. That means, Mr Governor and Mr Mayor, even those who oppose gun control, gay marriage and abortion. You are their governor and their mayor just the same as you are the mayor or governor for your pals and cronies who blow smoke up your skirts and tell you what a “statesman” you are for kicking everyone else to the curb. 

It doesn’t matter if you agree with your constituents. It doesn’t matter if they agree with you. It certainly doesn’t matter if they like you or not. They can call you names and drive you nuts with weird accusations and oddball demands all they want. The office you occupy belongs to them. Not you. 

Governor Cuomo occupies the office of Governor of New York. But the office belongs to the people of New York.  

By the people of New York, I mean all of them, including those that the Governor and his mayoral echo say “don’t belong” in their fair state and city.

It's an excellent analysis.  Read the rest here.

Message to New Yorkers: If the Governor Kicks You Out, You’re Welcome in Oklahoma


NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a now-famous rant, put out the "Not Welcome" mat in front of Empire State pro-lifers.  If you're conservative, he said, you're not welcome in his state.  NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio sided with him "100%".

Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton, who has served in the Oklahoma House for 18 years, has published a response to the governor's inflammatory remarks on her blog, Public Catholic, which can be found on the Catholic Portal at Patheos.  

Rep. Hamilton first gratefully acknowledges the statement from Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who publicly responded to the governor's over-the-top political posturing.  Then, she slices the governor and the mayor with her rhetoric.

Rep. Hamilton's well-reasoned perspective is worth reading.  Here is an excerpt:

Rep. Hamilton
I’ve held off writing about this because it is so over the top in terms of acceptable behavior from an elected official that I decided to give it a bit of time to jell. I wanted to allow Governor Cuomo a chance to issue a press release saying, I was suffering from gastroenteritis/drunk/grief-stricken-because-my-dog-had-died at the time and said things that in no way represent what I truly think. Nothing that carries the flat-out I-did-not-mean-it apology which I think is required for such outrageous comments from an elected official has ensued. 

It appears that not just the Governor, but the mayor of New York (or, as we call it where I’m from, New York City) are standing pat. They may not agree on much else, but they agree “100%” that people who think differently from them on a whole range of issues are not welcome in New York. 

This isn’t about pro life vs pro abortion. It’s not about gun control vs the Second Amendment. It’s also not about gay vs traditional marriage. It’s about two elected officials who, from all evidence, have totally lost their sense of what elective office means. Both the Governor and the attaboy mayor following in his footsteps have taken on attitudes and ideas that are antithetical to what public service in the form of elective office entails. 

When you’re elected to office, you represent everyone in the area that elected you. That means, Mr Governor and Mr Mayor, even those who oppose gun control, gay marriage and abortion. You are their governor and their mayor just the same as you are the mayor or governor for your pals and cronies who blow smoke up your skirts and tell you what a “statesman” you are for kicking everyone else to the curb. 

It doesn’t matter if you agree with your constituents. It doesn’t matter if they agree with you. It certainly doesn’t matter if they like you or not. They can call you names and drive you nuts with weird accusations and oddball demands all they want. The office you occupy belongs to them. Not you. 

Governor Cuomo occupies the office of Governor of New York. But the office belongs to the people of New York.  

By the people of New York, I mean all of them, including those that the Governor and his mayoral echo say “don’t belong” in their fair state and city.

It's an excellent analysis.  Read the rest here.

Another Victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor

By Kathy Schiffer

The Little Sisters of the Poor enjoyed another victory in the court on Friday, January 24.  The Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, extended the temporary order imposed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor on December 31.  The ruling bars the Obama administration from forcing the Sisters to comply with the contraception coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act while their case is pending in a federal appeals court.

The injunction means that the religious order will not be forced to sign and deliver the controversial government forms authorizing and instructing their benefits administrator to provide contraceptives.  

Mark L. Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who has represented the nuns in their fight against the contraceptive mandate, noted that the ruling also provides protection to more than 400 other Catholic organizations which receive health benefits through the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust.

The Supreme Court justices emphasized that their order should not be construed as an expression of their views on the merits of the case.  And the Court, while ruling that the Little Sisters need not sign a government form that also authorizes their health plan administrator to “process claims for contraceptive coverage,” stipulated that the Little Sisters must “inform the Secretary of Health and Human Services in writing that they are nonprofit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services.”

The ruling is viewed as a setback for the Obama administration's sweeping health care reform law.  U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., in a brief filed January 3, had asked the Supreme Court not to grant the injunction.  The Little Sisters of the Poor, Verrilli charged in the Justice Department brief, "fail to satisfy the demanding standard for the extraordinary and rarely granted relief they seek:  an original injunction from this court."

The Supreme Court has two other cases on its agenda which will potentially impact the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  Those cases involve two for-profit companies:  Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties.  In those cases, the Justice Department has claimed that "a secular company does not engage in any exercise of religion" and "may not impose its owners' personal religious beliefs on its employees." 

The Justice Department continues to insist that the secular employers cannot impose their religious beliefs on their employees, and claims that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the companies would "cripple the government's ability to solve national problems through laws of general application" such as the Affordable Care Act.




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