Thousands of Christians are mobilizing efforts to support Chick-fil-A, reports Fox News. Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee led the initiative in declaring Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” Huckabee said. Huckabee noted how the company has come under attack from militant homosexuals and is being “smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.” “The militant homosexual advocates have launched an all-out assault on [owners] Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A,” he said. “The attempts to hurt or destroy Chick-fil-A are nothing short of economic bullying.” “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” Emanuel was vowing his support for Alderman Proco Moreno’s announcement that he would block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his district. Cathy had told Baptist Press that the company was unapologetically in favor of traditional marriage. “Guilty as charged,” he said. “We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” Boston Mayor Tom Menino was the first to announce that the Atlanta-based company would not be welcomed in his city. Mountain View, Calif., a bedroom community of San Francisco, has temporarily blocked the chicken chain from opening. Threats to ban the company have drawn fire from editorial pages across the nation. The Los Angeles Times condemned the decision, calling it far more troubling than Chick-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage. The Boston Globe wondered which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand. Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin said, “Boston’s Founding Fathers must be steaming in their graves.” Donald Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, is backing Huckabee’s efforts, saying he hoped it would generate the largest one-day sales in the company’s history. “I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company,” Wildmon wrote in an e-mail. “It’s a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”
- Jim Henson Studios will no longer allow its Muppet Toys to be used by Chick-Fil-A restaurants because of the chain’s owners support of heterosexual marriage, reports godfatherpolitics.com: “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.”
- Two small portable shrines are giving Bible scholars new clues about Israelite religious practices during the time of David and Solomon, reports Christianity Today. They also indicate a pendulum swing in the world of Biblical archaeology. Hebrew University archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel showcased the shrines at a news conference in May. They were discovered during last summer’s excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a ruin overlooking Israel’s Elah Valley dated to 1020–980 BC. The Elah Valley was where David brought down the giant Goliath, signaling the beginning of the end of Philistine hegemony over the Israelites. Similarly, the discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa herald the diminishing influence of minimalist Bible critics who have discounted the importance of the Biblical kings. John Monson, an archaeologist at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is excavating at Khirbet Qeiyafa this summer. He believes Garfinkel’s excavations are revealing a fortress built to defend one of the most important routes between the Israelites in the Judean hills and the Philistines on the coastal plain. “This is a front-row seat to what transpired in that ebb and flow between Israel and the Philistines, as we see it recorded in 1 and 2 Samuel,” he said. Archaeologists have been arguing for decades over whether David and Solomon had the kingly stature described in the Bible or were more like tribal chieftains. Garfinkel is helping clear up the dispute.
- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is asking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to launch an investigation into voter-registration forms that are being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets, and others ineligible to vote, reports conservativebyte.com. The errant mailings from the Washington-based nonprofit group Voter Participation Center have befuddled many Virginia residents, leading to hundreds of complaints. The organization has been mass-mailing the forms—pre-populated with key information such as names and addresses—to primarily Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as young adults, unmarried women, African-Americans, and Latinos.
- The United States could soon become a large-scale Spain or Greece, teetering on the edge of financial ruin, according to Donald Trump, who painted a very ugly picture of where this country is headed under its current leadership, reports moneynews.com. Trump made the comments during a recent appearance on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. According to Trump, the United States is no longer a rich country. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others. We’re up to $16 trillion in debt.” It’s clear that Trump holds President Barack Obama responsible for the ballooning debt. Trump stated that the way Obama is running the country is “stupid.” He went on to point out that the downgrade of U.S. debt is inevitable. “We are going up to $16 trillion [in debt] very soon, and it’s going to be a lot higher than that before he gets finished. When you have [debt] in the $21–$22 trillion, you are talking about a downgrade no matter how you cut it.” Ballooning debt and a credit downgrade aren’t Trump’s only worries for this country. He says that the official unemployment rate of 8.2 percent “isn’t a real number” and that the real figure is closer to 15 percent to 16 percent. He even mentioned that some believe the unemployment rate to be as high as 21 percent.
- Sources confirm North Korea has eased or lifted a number of restrictions for citizens since Kim Jong Un succeeded his father, Kim Jong Il, reports WorldNetDaily. Kim Jong Il’s tenure as dictator was marked by intense persecution of Christians, including imprisonment of generations of a family for a single individual’s offense and executions. Bans have been lifted on Western foods such as pizza and french fries, and restrictions on the number of cell phones have been loosened, for example, according to Ryan Morgan, an analyst with International Christian Concern Asia. “The new ruler has even been uncharacteristically shown on state television, smiling and visiting an amusement park,” Morgan said. He said, however, “We have not heard any reports of improvement for Christians in the country and have no reason to believe anything has changed. The regime still has up to 70,000 Christians locked away in virtual concentration camps.” Morgan explained a Christian believer and three generations of his or her family can still go to prison for life just for owning a Bible. “We’re hoping and praying this changes soon, but we haven’t seen any sign of it yet,” he said. In fact, recent media reports say Kim Jong Un has moved to restructure the nation’s security apparatus to maintain his control. Morgan pointed to a report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom stating that the North Korean regime is increasingly viewing refugees with religious beliefs or contacts as “potential security threats.”
- Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, demanded that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta explain why the Pentagon allowed uniformed service members to participate in this past weekend’s gay pride parade in San Diego, reports cnsnews.com. The Pentagon said last week that it would allow approximately 300 military personnel wearing uniforms to march in the San Diego parade, but that it was not making a blanket exception for the future. In a letter to Panetta sent Tuesday, however, Inhofe said the move was a clear violation of the longtime ban on military personnel marching in a political parade in uniform. “Based on the current standing DOD Directive 1344.10 and separate service department regulations, service members ‘shall not march or ride in a partisan political parade,’” Inhofe wrote. “These directives and regulations are unambiguous and straight forward with the intent of preserving the military’s apolitical stance,” he added.
- A pro-family leader contends that as the fall semester begins, officials at one California Christian campus should respond according to Scripture in light of the formation of a homosexual group on campus at the end of the spring semester, reports onenewsnow.com. In May, a group of students at Biola University introduced “The Biola Queer Underground” on the same day President Barack Obama announced his support of gay marriage. The group posted flyers across the small La Mirada campus, stating that there are lesbian, “gay,” bisexual and transgender students at the Christian university who are “followers of Christ” and want to be treated equally. Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality said, “Anybody who declares openly—especially at a Christian university—that they are ‘gay’ and out and proud and all that, at that point you are an advocate, at the least, and on your way to being an activist,” says LaBarbera. “In order to be faithful to scripture, [the school] can’t allow the promotion of homosexuality on campus—it’s that simple—or any immorality.”
- The death of 24-year-old Tonya Reaves of hemorrhaging following an abortion performed at a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic last Friday has reinvigorated calls more congressional oversight of the abortion provider, reports dailycaller.com. “I would like to put them under oath,” Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns told Fox News Tuesday. “I would like to find out how they spend our half a billion dollars, and I would also like to explore some of the safety aspects, particularly in light of this death, of this tragedy.” Stearns launched a probe of Planned Parenthood earlier this year. The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List also called for further investigations into the group following Reaves’ death. “Congress has an obligation to exercise clear and regular oversight of businesses like Planned Parenthood that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding and have such dramatic impact on the lives of women and unborn children,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We must not allow Tonya Reaves to have died in vain, but rather heed this warning and call on Congress to exercise its full capacity to investigate Planned Parenthood,” she added. “As the nation’s largest abortion provider, in 2010 alone Planned Parenthood ended the lives of 324,008 unborn children and ill-served their mothers.”