A spokesperson for the National Organization for Marriage is detailing why her group has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, even though his state—while Romney was governor—was the first to legalize same-sex marriage. The endorsement came shortly after Rick Santorum suspended his campaign last week. NOM spokesperson Maggie Gallagher told onenewsnow.com one reason her organization made this decision is because it believes it is important to see that President Obama does not get an opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. “I think it will mean ‘gay marriage’ in all 50 states,” she warned. “It’ll be the Roe v. Wade of our generation if that happens. And for this and for other reasons, we decided that now that it’s clear who will be the GOP nominee, we needed to start putting our oars in and helping elect him.” Gallagher said that President Obama has undercut marriage at every chance he has been given. For example, he has refused to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act. As for the former Massachusetts governor’s role in making that state the first to legalize gay marriage, Gallagher asserts he is not responsible—the state Supreme Court passed the ball to the Massachusetts legislature to legalize it. In other news, the selection of Beth Myers, longtime advisor to Mitt Romney, to head the vice-presidential search is said to be a bit of a slap in the face to pro-abortion President Barack Obama and top pro-abortion Democrats who have been accusing Republicans of engaging in a so-called war on women by opposing Obama’s mandate forcing religious groups to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs. The list of potential running mates for Romney includes a plethora of pro-life advocates said to be sure to please pro-life voters who are looking for a solid pro-life ticket to challenge Obama and his lengthy pro-abortion record. At the top of the list, reports lifenews.com, is pro-life Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Romney told ABC Rubio is “one of the terrific leaders” of the Republican Party. Romney would not say if he is on the short list.
- Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain is urging area Catholics to help collect signatures to place a referendum seeking repeal of Washington State’s newly enacted gay marriage law on the ballot in November, reports The Christian Post. Archbishop Sartain has written to area parishes to support Referendum 74, which would put the gay marriage law on the ballot if at least 120,000 signatures are collected by June 6, according to ABC News. Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat and a Catholic, signed the marriage equality legislation into law on Feb. 13, making Washington the seventh state to grant gay couples the right to get married. “The word ‘marriage’ isn’t simply a label that can be attached to different types of relationships,” Sartain said in his letter to the churches. “Instead, ‘marriage’ reflects a deep reality—the reality of the unique, fruitful, lifelong union that is only possible between a man and a woman. There is nothing else like it, and it can’t be defined or made into something that it isn’t.” Archdiocese’s communications director Greg Magnoni said he was “confident” about the church’s ability to get the signatures to place the law on the ballot. “We have 170 parishes and over 140 pastors and the vast majority of them are supporting the bishop in his strong desire to put Referendum 74 on the ballot so that voters can decide the issue of marriage in Washington state,” he was quoted as saying. The same-sex marriage bill was sponsored by Democrat Sen. Ed Murray from Seattle, a Catholic and a gay man. He said the church’s initiative was “fairly reprehensible.” “To use church resources, in advancing a measure that promotes discrimination, is incredibly disappointing,” he was quoted as saying. “As a gay person, and a Catholic, I can understand their refusal to perform marriages. Using the church in promoting a referendum is very disappointing.” In his letter, the archbishop explained that treating different things differently was not unjust discrimination. “Marriage can only be between a man and a woman because of its unique ends, purpose and place in society.” He added that the state’s domestic partnership law already grants rights and privileges of married couples to gay couples. Magnoni defended the petition drive, pointing out that it concerned an issue and not a candidate. “It is not a candidate campaign so we are allowed to participate in issue campaigns, especially when they have a strong moral dimension like this one does.” While the majority of the parishes are supporting Sartain’s initiative, St. James Cathedral and St. Joseph Parish are among a few that have refused to participate. Sartain had earlier testified against the gay marriage bill in Olympia. “The natural structure of human sexuality orders the transmission of human life through man and woman,” he said. “Because only the union of a man and woman can generate new life, no other human relationship is its equivalent. Were the definition of marriage to change, there would be no special laws to support and recognize the irreplaceable contribution that these married couples make to society and to the common good by bringing to life the next generation.”
- A U.S. House candidate in North Carolina, who is also a young Christian businessman, is releasing a campaign ad that asks Congress to get some wisdom from the Bible, and not read “President Barack Obama’s book,” to help rid America of its problems, reports The Christian Post. “Congress should stop reading Obama’s book, give up the New York Times, and pick up the Bible,” Ethan Wingfield, a 26-year-old running for the open seat in North Carolina’s District 11, told CBN’s “The Brody File” prior to the release of his ad. “They can start with Proverbs 22:7. ‘The borrower is slave to the lender.’ Washington either hasn’t read that, or doesn’t care. But I do.” A tech entrepreneur and strategy executive at Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, Wingfield says he is concerned because the United States is borrowing trillions of dollars from countries like China. “Our debt is 100 percent of GDP. And if we don’t act soon to cut spending and get a handle on this immoral debt, things are only going to get worse.” On his campaign website, Wingfield points out that nearly 25 million Americans are either jobless or underemployed, and a debt crisis is threatening economies around the world as well as at home. “If we do not address these problems and reduce our debt now, mine could be the first generation to leave to our children an America weaker and poorer than the one we were given because we put our wants before our children’s future.” Wingfield may be young, but he says he is in touch with the reality. “Unlike many of the out-of-touch politicians in Washington, he understands the joys and challenges of growing a small business—making payroll, dealing with government regulations, serving clients, and creating opportunities for hardworking Americans,” he says. He attributes his accomplishments to the values he learned while growing up in the mountains near Weaverville. Wingfield and his wife, Jacqueline, who live in Arden, N.C., attend Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville. While doing his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Brown University, Wingfield served as the president of a Christian fellowship on campus. He says he has also helped conservative Republicans campaigning for offices ranging from city council to the United States Senate. Wingfield says America’s economy can get going again if its budget is balanced, wasteful spending is eliminated, Obamacare is repealed, taxes are lowered, 2nd Amendment rights are safeguarded and the sanctity of life is protected.
- Kuwait’s parliament provisionally passed amendments to its penal code Thursday requiring the death penalty for anyone who curses Allah, the Prophet Mohammad, or his many wives, reports Worthy News. Forty-six MPs voted for the amendments: a second and final vote will take place in two weeks. Shi’ite MPs also demanded the death penalty for anyone who curses their sect’s 12 revered Imams, but the Sunni-dominated parliament rejected it. The vote to stiffen penalties for religious crimes comes after authorities arrested Shi’ite Hamad al-Naqi last month for allegedly cursing Mohammad, his wives and some of his companions on Twitter. Sectarian tensions often arise between Sunni and Shi’ia, who comprise about one third of Kuwait’s more than one million Muslims.
- Christians in India’s eastern West Bengal state were recovering of their injuries April 12 after Muslim militants broke up a prayer meeting and beat up believers, including women, reports Worthy News. The March 30 attack in the village of Nutangram in Murshidabad district involved “about 100 Muslim radicals” led by Muslim leader Mohammed Aanu Shaike, local Christians explained. There was no immediate reaction from the leader and no group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Muslim mob allegedly “barged into the prayer meeting” at the home of a Christian and verbally abused them and mercilessly beat up the Christians including women.” Muslim women were also provoked to beat up Christian women, witnesses said. The Muslims reportedly chased the Christians, including children, with a knives, threatening to murder them all.
- A court in Baku will decide next week whether Greater Grace Protestant Church, which has been registered with the state for 19 years, should be liquidated, according to Forum 18 News Service and Worthy News. The State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations filed the suit to liquidate Greater Grace last December; it was the first such suit lodged against any religious community since its strict Religion Law—requiring the re-registration of all religious communities—went into effect in 2009. If the court upholds the liquidation suit by the State Committee, any public communal activity by Grace will become illegal. Judge Tahira Asadova and the State Committee representative claimed that Greater Grace can only operate privately in its own office since the church isn’t an “organization,” but a “religious group.” Greater Grace countered that the court can only liquidate it if it violated the Religion Law. Some church members have complained that Judge Asadova has already decided to liquidate Greater Grace and is just looking for a rationale for her premature decision. The State Committee argued that Greater Grace had to be liquidated as it had not undergone compulsory re-registration, but the Committee hasn’t registered hundreds of religious communities that have applied for the re-registration required by the amendments to the Religion Law. In defiance of its international human rights commitments, Azerbaijan’s Religion Law has banned the exercise of religion and belief without state permission by imposing heavy penalties for any perceived violations.
- The way the Marines have been handling the a case involving Sergeant Gary Stein, who is being less than honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corp for his anti-Obama website, is causing many active and retired Marines to question the motive behind their actions. Stein’s enlistment reportedly ends this July, and the Corps could have avoided all of the negative publicity by just refusing to allow him to re-enlist as he had planned to do, says a report in godfatherpolitics.com. Former Air Force JAG office, Lt Col. John Eidsmoe, who currently works with the Foundation for Moral Law, commented on the handling of Stein’s case, “I don’t think the Marine Corps has any intention of treating him fairly in any appeal. It’s my opinion, but I believe Obama sent orders down from above to get rid of this guy.” A reporter responded to Eidsmoe, “I have to agree with Eidsmoe’s assertion that the order to make an example of Sgt. Stein came directly from Barack Obama’s own hand. He has to put the fear of punishment into all military personnel for speaking out against him. When Obama declares martial law, ends free elections and takes complete control of the government, he has to have the support of the military and if they don’t support him willingly, he has to force them to do so unwillingly. I would not be surprised to see more members of the military receive punishment for speaking out against the president. If Obama can drive out many of the disgruntled service men and women and replace them with his liberal gay and Muslim buddies, he just may eventually have the support of the military, which he obviously doesn’t have at the moment.” According to a WorldNetDaily report, the Marine Corp Times published the results of a Military Times survey that indicated that Obama only received a 25 percent approval rating amongst actively serving Marines, and 44 percent said they disapproved of Obama’s performance as Commander-in-Chief.
- The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the Internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, reports conservativebyte.com. In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world.” “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.” The threat to the freedom of the Internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.
- A major Israel TV station on Sunday night broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike, reports timesofisrael.com. The report, screened on the main evening news of Channel 10, was remarkable both in terms of the access granted to the reporter, who said he had spent weeks with the pilots and other personnel he interviewed, and in the fact that his assessments on a strike were cleared by the military censor. No order to strike is likely to be given before the P5+1 talks with Iran resume in May, the reporter, Alon Ben-David, said. “But the coming summer will not only be hot but tense.” In the event that negotiations fail and the order is given for Israel to carry out an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, “dozens if not more planes” will take part in the mission: attack and escort jets, tankers for mid-air refueling, electronic warfare planes and rescue helicopters, the report said.
- A former North Carolina Democratic Party staffer was sexually harassed by a party official, made a financial settlement with the party and signed a non-disclosure agreement to keep the incident quiet, according to emails obtained by The Daily Caller. “If this hits the media, the Democratic Party, our candidates, and our credibility are doomed in this election,” reads one email exchange between state Democratic leaders. An e-mail chain between those Democratic leaders, obtained by The Daily Caller, indicates the executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Jay Parmley, and the alleged sexual harassment victim both signed non-disclosure agreements. The e-mail chain does not make clear who was guilty of the alleged harassment, the status of that individual’s employment with the Democratic Party or the identity of the victim. President Obama’s re-election team views North Carolina as an important state in the president’s campaign and Charlotte, N.C., is the site of this year’s Democratic National Convention.