A surprise announcement by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to reverse its decision to fund Planned Parenthood has pro-life groups and advocates shaking their heads, reports The Christian Post. The reversal will mostly likely alienate supporters on both sides, causing even more trouble for the breast cancer group. The nation’s leading advocate for breast cancer awareness previously gave abortion provider Planned Parenthood millions of dollars in grants, including at least $700,000 in 2011 alone. Then the group’s announcement last Tuesday that they would no longer continue funding Planned Parenthood brought abortion supporters—most notably a group of Democrat U.S. Senators—out of the woodwork, creating some intense political drama that most likely contributed to the reversal. In citing reasons for the group’s reversal, Komen CEO Nancy Brinker said Friday the foundation now has new standards for withholding funds for nonprofits under investigation, saying they must be “criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.” Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) has spearheaded the effort to investigate Planned Parenthood, which led to the group’s initial decision to withhold dollars from the abortion provider. There has long been a dispute over whether PP actually provides breast cancer screenings and exactly how public funds are used to perform abortions. “It is deeply disappointing that Susan G. Komen for the Cure found it necessary to reverse its decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood,” said Faith & Freedom founder Ralph Reed in a written statement. “Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation for numerous alleged violations of the law, do not offer mammography services to women, and have failed to comply with Komen’s guidelines and metrics for grantees. It is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood put politics ahead of women’s health. This issue will not go away,” Reed wrote. In addition to the direct fallout that Komen may feel in direct contributions and involvement in their fundraising activities, they will continue to face even more pressure from their retail partners who help fund the organization. In December of 2011, Lifeway Christian Resources decided to pull all pink Bibles from their shelves after learning that a portion of the one-dollar donation from the sale of each Bible may be going to Planned Parenthood. “I am deeply disappointed with today’s announcement from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation if it means a reversal of Komen’s decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood,” noted Dr. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. “I renew my strong encouragement of Komen’s leadership to end that relationship permanently, and restate LifeWay’s commitment to not be involved, even indirectly, with Planned Parenthood.” The impact of the group’s flip-flop may not be known for a while. However, Brian Harris, director of Tennessee Right to Life, thinks the reversal will ultimately backfire on Komen. “This seems like a terribly stupid public relations move. Pick a side and stick with it but don’t alienate everyone on both sides of the issue.”
- Christian missionaries in Mexico, including foreigners, face more security challenges after a married couple who had served for nearly three decades as Baptist church missionaries were killed, Worthy News learned. Americans John Casias, 76, and Wanda Casias, 67, were found strangled Tuesday, Jan. 31, with electrical cords when one or more intruders broke into their house in Santiago, Nuevo Leon. Christians said the attacker stole a safe, televisions, and mission group vehicles, along with other items. Mexican investigators told reporters that they suspect the missionaries knew their attacker because no doors or locks were forced. Their children said they knew the dangers in the area, where they had worked for some 29 years. The couple was murdered about one year after another missionary from Texas was killed in Mexico.
- A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters has revealed that more than one in four voters pointed to celebrated Denver Broncos’ player Tim Tebow when asked which NFL playoff quarterback they would choose for president of the United States in the elections, reports The Christian Post. The online survey of 2,475 people was conducted just ahead of the Super Bowl, pushing the extremely popular player to first place as presidential material, even though his team did not qualify for the final NFL event. The poll’s results were released Friday. New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, who is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, came third in the poll, preceded by one percentage point by the New York Giants’ Eli Manning. Tebow, well known for public expression of his Christian faith, was the overwhelming first choice of Republicans in the poll, taking 39 percent of their vote, Reuters reported. He was second to Manning among Democrats and third among those identifying themselves as independent. Geographically, Tebow’s biggest strength was in the South and the West, where he nearly doubled his closest rivals’ support. And during an interview with golf commentator Dave Feherty, Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow said he wouldn’t rule out running for office when his football days are over, perhaps a senator, reports conservativebyte.com.
- A conservative activist says that the state of California intends to continue the borrow-spend-borrow cycle despite an announcement that the state is officially out of cash, reports onenewsnow.com. In a letter to legislative budget leaders, State Controller John Chiang said California will run out of cash on March 1 unless something is done quickly. Chiang suggested that the state should delay payments and borrow around $3.3 billion because tax revenues are $2.6 billion lower than lawmakers assumed. State legislators were surprised at Chiang’s announcement because they believed there was enough money to last until the end of the fiscal year in June. Regina Risolio, the state vice-chair of the Christian Coalition of California, says borrowing money is not the answer and argues if legislators have to stop spending, they should have to do that. “Let them feel it in their own pocketbooks,” she advises. “Let them stop and be realistic—because the more you borrow, it’s not solving any issues.” Without action, the state controller said California would end up $730 million in the red on March 8. “They should be focused on bringing businesses in—which creates more employment, which creates more personal revenue, [and] creates more business revenue,” says Risolio. “Then they would have a larger general fund to spend. And the second point is, they’re spending money on frivolous areas.” Chiang said his proposed $3.3-billion solution is a “measured course of action.”
- The controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funding scheme, is boasting of preventing an outspoken retired general from speaking at an upcoming prayer breakfast at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, reports WorldNetDaily. Retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a strong critic of CAIR, has recommended a WorldNetDaily Books best-seller, Muslim Mafia, that exposes the group’s role as a front group in the U.S. for the Muslim Brotherhood, the originator of most of the world’s major Islamic terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Fox News reported that while West Point defended its invitation to Boykin, the retired general voluntarily withdrew amid pressure from CAIR and VoteVets.org, who complained of his “Islamophobic” views.
- Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi warned earlier this week that his country is on the brink of plunging back into a volatile cycle of sectarian violence that could greatly harm the country’s diverse population, including the Christian community, reports The Christian Post. “Al-Maliki is pushing my country to reach a turning point with [a] deeply sectarian dimension,” the self-exiled al-Hashimi told CNN Sunday during an exclusive interview in Iraq’s semiautonomous northern Kurdish region. “The future of Iraq is grim,” al-Hashimi warned in the interview. Political tensions have been on edge since U.S. forces pulled out of Iraq in December and Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused Vice President al-Hashimi, a Sunni, of being responsible for running a death squad targeting government and security forces. Hashimi escaped to Kurdistan to avoid detainment under the terrorism charges. The situation between al-Hashimi and al-Maliki has caused a political tug of war that has propelled Iraq into an even deeper Shia-Sunni power struggle that Hashimi warns could implode into all-out sectarian violence to the levels witnessed in 2007. As the future of Iraq remains at a volatile tipping point, the prospect for all-out sectarian violence comparable to 2007 would have a destitute impact on not only Iraq’s Shia and Sunni Muslims, but also on the country’s various minority groups, including its persecuted and rapidly diminishing Christian population.
- “Many of us who are biblical scholars have watched Mr. Obama’s use, or should I say abuse, of the Bible with dismay,” says Dr. Michael Youssef, well-known speaker and commentator, reporting at onenewsnow.com. “Who can forget when he gave a speech mocking the ceremonial law of the Old Testament then saying something to the effect of, ‘How can you govern by the Sermon on the Mount?’ ” asked Youssef. “Well, he did it again at the National Prayer Breakfast. . . . I never understood that name since very little prayer, if any, takes place. Instead, perhaps it should be called the National Breakfast Gathering. The president quoted the Bible to justify punishing those who have worked hard, and most of whom are very generous givers, in order to take their money and give it to many of his constituencies who are always standing outside the doors of the White House with out-stretched hands. Mr. Obama, in justifying his misguided policy, quoted Jesus in Luke 12:48: ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.’ No, you do not have to have a seminary degree to know that Jesus is talking about individual stewardship in an individual’s relationship with God. For it is God who gives each person different portions of gifts, talents, and treasure to manage according to His sovereign will. It is God who entrusts people with what they have, not the government. God is the One who will judge the faithfulness of each individual’s stewardship and blessing, or lack thereof. In Luke 12:48, Jesus, God the Son, is exhorting individuals to be faithful and give generously without regret. Understanding this, one has to wonder if Mr. Obama has replaced God with his administration. He must believe that when he says ‘much is given,’ he refers to what is given by the government; and ‘much is demanded,’ as that which is demanded by the government. This is 180 degrees opposite to the truth. This is a very dangerous precedent. We have had egotistical presidents before, from both political spectrums, but never to my knowledge have we had one who saw himself as replacing God, or one who views his administration as acting on God’s behalf or instead of God. Misquoting the Scripture is a common practice by some politicians to advance their cause, but this abuse of the Scripture and viewing one’s administration as the judge and executioner—not for crimes, but for personal stewardship—has reached a new low in egotism. Mr. Obama needs to issue an immediate and urgent apology for his misuse and mangling of the Scripture.”
- The venerable WMBI-AM of Moody Bible Institute has launched a Spanish language station in Chicago, the only fully operational Christian Spanish-speaking radio station in the city, on Monday, Feb. 6, reports ChristianNewsWire. With the tagline “Compartiendo Esperanza. Siempre Contigo” (Sharing Hope. With You Always), Radio Moody Chicago will broadcast daily on WMBI-AM 1110. “There are approximately two million Hispanics living in Chicago and with no Spanish-speaking, Bible-based Christian radio station serving them, we believe this station and its programming will fill a significant need for this community,” said Collin Lambert, vice president of Moody Radio. “We are excited about this initiative and look forward to hearing from listeners how Moody is ministering to them. The Hispanic community is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, making up 26 percent of the total population in Chicago. Radio Moody Chicago will provide concrete Biblical teaching, address relevant issues affecting Hispanics, and provide the hope of Jesus through inspirational music native to the Hispanic culture. Through this effort Moody is recapturing its original vision for reaching the Hispanic community and expressing a renewed commitment to serve them,” said Elsa Mazon, project manager for Radio Moody’s programming. In addition to original Spanish-speaking programming, Radio Moody Chicago will utilize existing Moody Radio ministry partners with Spanish-based teaching such as Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, Grace to You with Dr. John MacArthur, and Insight for Living with Dr. Charles Swindoll. Of the 16 programs that have been staples on the station, listeners are able to hear the same content from 13 of these ministries on Moody Radio Chicago.
- It is now possible to pinpoint one’s location with nothing more than a cellphone number, reports conservativebyte.com. “Your smartphone always knows where you are. And thanks to the Life360.com service, powered by technology from a company called Loc-Aid, a parent can locate a child by her phone number or even an elderly parent who has wandered away from home. Indeed, network location services can save lives, protect children, and enable business services—and they’re available to anyone. Thanks to a free online demo at Loc-Aid.com, you can type in the cellphone number of anyone in the U.S. and find their precise location in just a few seconds.”
- Israel is facing grave danger, and news reports say that President Obama won’t assist in defending Israel. In fact, he has actually issued a warning to Israel not to take military action against Iran, says the American Center for Law and Justice. “President Obama actually told our greatest ally in one of the most dangerous areas of the world: don’t defend yourself. Iran is reported to be less than a year away from having nuclear weapons, and experts believe that Iran will be able to shield its nuclear program from attack by as early as May this year. Israel must be allowed to defend itself. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei is calling Israel ‘a cancer tumor’ that ‘definitely will be cut off.’ It has been more than half a century since an American President has turned their back on our greatest ally. We cannot turn our back on Israel again.” Meanwhile, Rasmussen Reports says voters nationwide remain firmly convinced that Iran is likely to develop a nuclear weapon in the near future, and if so, will use it against Israel. At the same time, most also think an Israeli attack on Iran is likely to happen within the next year. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 83 percent believe it is at least somewhat likely Iran will develop a nuclear weapon in the near future, including 50 percent who say that is very likely to happen. Only 11 percent say it’s not very or not at all likely Iran will develop a nuclear weapon soon. And cowboybyte.com reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last Thursday that the world is increasingly ready to consider a military strike against Iran if economic sanctions don’t halt Tehran’s suspect nuclear program.
- Supporters of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker are attempting to thwart the recall effort against him with a campaign to get voters to write the governor‘s name in as a candidate in the state’s Democratic primary to seek an opponent for him, reports conservativebyte.com. Walker opponents officially filed petitions last month to force a recall election in an attempt to oust the governor from office.