Chick-fil-A has cleared up rumors that it has revised its charitable donation policy to exclude “anti-gay” groups, reports The Christian Post. The fast-food chain’s president told Fox News host Mike Huckabee that it has not made any “concessions” and remains committed to strengthening families. “There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago,” Cathy told Huckabee. “That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.” On Wednesday, Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno—along with a gay rights group known as The Civil Rights Agenda—publicly declared victory that he had gotten Chick-fil-A to change its corporate giving policy. Moreno then announced he would “allow” the chain to build a restaurant in Chicago after a period of negotiations. The Chicago alderman had earlier threatened to block the chain from coming to his ward in protest of Cathy’s “homophobic” comments. Cathy had stated in separate interviews this year that he supports the “biblical definition of the family unit” and that America is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”
- As the administration’s narrative about the events leading up to the sacking of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the killing of the U.S. ambassador continues to unravel, a sordid detail has come to light, reports redstate.com. The leader of the attack is believed to be an alumnus of Guantanamo Bay who was released from custody via an anti-American left wing group headed by an Obama donor. Bin Qumu, according to his Guantanamo file, was picked up in Pakistan in early 2002 after being identified by the Libyan government (the same government the U.S. helped jihadists overthrow) as an al Qaeda operative. He arrived at Guantanamo in May 2002. He had extensive links to a wide variety of Islamist terrorist groups, including the men directly responsible for 9/11. In the aftermath of last week’s attacks, he was identified by U.S. intelligence sources as being a leader, if not the leader, of the group that attacked the U.S. consulate. Yet President Barack Obama is about to release or transfer 55 Gitmo prisoners, reports breitbart.com, despite reports that the Libyan believed to be behind the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was a former Guantanamo inmate transferred to Libyan custody.
- Most voters think the recent protests at U.S. embassies in the Middle East were preplanned and not a reaction to an anti-Islamic video on YouTube, finds Rasmussen Reports. They also believe overwhelmingly that terrorists are likely to have been involved in the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57 percent of likely U.S. voters feel that the recent embassy protests largely have been planned in advance. Just 23 percent think they were spontaneous reactions to the anti-Islamic video; 19 percent are not sure.
- Several Republican senators introduced a bill to cut all foreign aid to the three countries until specific terms were met, reports godfatherpolitics.com. For Egypt and Libya, reinstating foreign aid would be contingent upon those governments arresting all of those involved in the embassy attacks and then hand them over to U.S. authorities. For Pakistan to receive any more foreign aid, they would have to release from prison the doctor who assisted the Navy SEALS’ raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) were among those who supported the bill, but Senate Republican leadership did not. The measure failed miserably by an 81-10 vote against the bill. The 10 votes for the bill were cast by Republicans. Rep. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) has vowed not to let the issue die and will continue to push to cut U.S. money from going to countries who are no longer allies to the U.S.
- The Department of Education is giving morning-after pills and other birth-control drugs to students at 13 high schools, nypost.com has learned. School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents—unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program. While Big Apple high schools have long supplied free condoms to sexually active teens, this is the first time city schools have dispensed hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. It might be a nationwide first as well.
- The owners of a historic campus in the hills of western Massachusetts announced Friday that they’ll give it away to a Christian college from Arizona that plans to eventually host 5,000 students there, reports Fox News. The Northfield campus will be a new home for Grand Canyon University, the first for-profit Christian school in the country. Grand Canyon was the choice after the other finalist, the North American Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, backed out of the running. The two were the last standing after more than 100 organizations, from culinary schools to TV ministries, expressed interest in the free 217-acre property along the Connecticut River, which its owners value at about $20 million. In the end, Grand Canyon’s financial strength, growth, and vibrant Christian life made it a great choice, said Steve Green, president of the Oklahoma City–based Hobby Lobby craft store chain, whose family owns the campus.
- The University of Tennessee has decided to continue its tradition of opening home football games and other events with prayer despite complaints from a national atheist group, which claims it violates the separation of church and state, reports The Christian Post. The Freedom from Religion Foundation had written to UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, insisting the offering of prayers violated a 1997 U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision—Chaudhuri vs. State of Tennessee—that struck down sectarian prayers at public universities. However, Cheek announced that “the university will continue to allow prayers before university events.” “Public universities should respect, not squelch, the religious traditions of students. We applaud the University of Tennessee for continuing prayers at events, including football games,” Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Staff Travis Barham said in a statement on Friday.
- A group of Texas high school cheerleaders is at the center of a spat over religious speech after the school district told them they had to stop using Christian-themed banners at school football games. The large signs, carried onto the field at Kountze High School, included messages such as, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and “But thanks be to God which gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” according to a report by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Kevin Weldon, superintendent of the Kountze school district, about 85 miles northeast of Houston, informed the cheerleaders’ parents Tuesday that the religious banners would not be allowed, the station reported. Weldon’s decision set off a tempest in the community of about 21,000, but he told The Houston Chronicle that it was based on 2001 Supreme Court decision that keeps religion out of public schools. “The decision I made is not my personal opinion,” Weldon told The Chronicle earlier this week. “I’m a Christian. This puts me between a rock and a hard place.” Weldon reportedly made the decision after receiving a letter of complaint from the left-wing Freedom From Religion Foundation. But the cheerleaders scored a partial victory on Thursday, when a judge granted a temporary restraining order on enforcement of the ban after parents of the cheerleaders filed a discrimination suit earlier in the week. Under the injunction, the cheerleaders will be allowed to use the Biblical banners at games at least until an Oct. 4 hearing. The nonprofit Liberty Institute, which is representing the cheerleaders’ parents, argues that it is unconstitutional to censor religious speech in this manner.
- A Brooklyn, N.Y.–based abortion center will stop doing abortions after 22 years and will reopen as a legitimate medical center offering help to patients rather than death to unborn children, reports lifenews.com. Msgr. Philip Reilly and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, a local pro-life group, have stopped praying outside the Brooklyn Ambulatory Surgery Center in Sunset Park. For the past 22 years, the priest and his devoted pro-life friends have been seeking an end to abortion at the Brooklyn location. Their prayers have been heard as the new owners of the building have said abortions will no longer take place when it reopens as the New York Center for Specialty Surgery. Lifenews.com also reports that a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Ohio has been forced to settle a lawsuit from a teenager on whom it did an abortion and failed to report suspected child rape to authorities.
- Under the Obamacare HHS mandate, every health plan except those held by houses of worship conceivably must not only cover contraceptives but sterilization for children as young as 12, reports lifenews.com. Many states require parental consent for the sterilization of a minor, but as CNS News reported, some don’t. In Oregon, for example, girls as young as 15 can now undergo sterilization procedures without their parents or legal guardians knowing a thing. All these children have to do is sign a consent form—something which Edwin Black, bestselling author of War Against the Weak, points out was routinely faked during the dark days of American eugenics and forced sterilization. “I find it abhorrent,” says Black, “that a 15-year-old girl who’s not old enough to consent to sexual activity, who’s not old enough to consent to buying a beer, who’s not old enough to drive herself to the hospital could possibly be considered old enough and mature enough to give informed consent for her own sterilization.”
- The release of Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax returns shows that he freely gave away more than $4 million to charity last year (about 30 percent of his income), reports weeklystandard.com. In comparison, when Joe Biden was first running for vice president, his tax returns showed that he had given away just $3,690 to charity over the previous 10 years (about 0.2 percent of his income). Romney gave away a thousand times as much to charity in one year as Biden gave in a decade, despite the fact that the Bidens earned well over $2 million over that decade. Last year, Romney freely gave away more than $10,000 a day to charity, said to be “an impressive sum by nearly any standard. Of course, it’s not too hard to beat Biden’s tally. Over the span of that decade, or 3,650 days, he gave away $3,690—an average of $1.01 a day.”
- Suicide is the cause of more deaths than car crashes, according to an alarming new study, reports The Daily Mail. The number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased, while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death. Suicides via falls or poisoning have risen significantly, and experts fear that there could be many more unaccounted for, particularly in cases of overdose. While the number of Americans killed in car crashes has declined over the last decade, the suicide rate has increased. “Suicides are terribly under-counted,” said Ian Rockett, author of the study, published on Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health. “I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe. We have a situation that has gotten out of hand.“
- Michael Voeltz, a registered Florida Democrat, earlier this year filed a lawsuit challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to appear on the November ballot, believing that Obama did not meet the legal qualification for president. One of his arguments stemmed on the definition of natural-born citizen. The legal definition of natural born citizens was established in 1875 by the U.S. Supreme Court case of Minor v. Happersett. The high court ruled that the definition of natural-born citizen as applied by the authors and signers of the U.S. Constitution was that both parents must be U.S. citizens at the time of the person’s birth. Since Obama’s father was a British citizen (Great Britain ruled Kenya at the time), Obama was not a natural-born citizen. Also, Voeltz felt that there was sufficient evidence to question the legality of Obama’s birth certificate. Evidence from the investigation conducted by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department was submitted in the case to show due concern about the possibility of those documents being forgeries. However, Judge Terry Lewis ignored the evidence submitted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation and ruled that Barack Obama was indeed a natural-born citizen of the U.S. and that his name could appear on the November ballot. Obama’s attorneys never presented any evidence to prove he was a natural-born citizen or to refute the evidence submitted by Sheriff Joe. Lewis decision equated “citizen” with “natural born citizen,” which is not what the 1875 Supreme Court said. Now Voeltz’s attorney, Larry Klayman, who is the founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, has filed a new motion with the courts in this case. They have filed an order of legal discovery, the process where both sides of a case are allowed to examine all of the evidence held by opposing side—Voeltz and his attorney are seeking a court order to allow them to see all of the evidence held by Obama’s attorneys in this case, reports godfatherpolitics.com.