Authorities took a gunman into custody in the wake of a shooting Wednesday at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., reports onenewsnow.com and AP. Police say an armed man walked into the building and was confronted by a security guard, whom he shot in the arm before the guard and others wrestled him to the ground. The man was taken into custody by the FBI and was being interviewed. Like many of the country’s pro-family groups, the Family Research Council takes a strong stand against abortion and homosexual marriage. FRC President Tony Perkins released a statement saying, “Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.” Gary Bauer, who heads the pro-family group Campaign for Working Families, issued the following statement: “Sadly, there are press reports that the alleged gunman opened fire after expressing his opposition to FRC’s pro-family, pro-life beliefs. These are views that are widely shared by good and decent Americans across the country. Yet in recent years we have seen a disturbing level of intolerance and hate aimed at those who share traditional values, whether it is vandalism against churches or businesses whose owners embrace traditional values, or today’s shooting at the Family Research Council.” The president of the American Family Association, Tim Wildmon, added his concerns about the incident and asked people to pray for the security guard and the gunman. Bauer, who knows personally the guard who was wounded, told OneNewsNow, “The early indications are that the shooter was an extremist, a left-wing or gay rights extremist,” he stated. “If that is the case, then it is one more piece of evidence that rhetoric being used on the left against conservatives, [against] Christians is leading to violence, intimidation, and threats.” But people of faith, he says, must not be intimidated. “This is a poison in a democratic society, and it can’t be allowed to continue,” offered the pro-family spokesman. “And no matter how much it does continue, men and women of faith cannot cave in to intimidation or threats.” Bauer said it is appalling the country has reached a point where defenders of traditional values have to be fearful of going to work or speaking in a public forum.
- As hordes of bikers attend the world’s largest motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., churches of the Dakota Baptist Convention partner with Southern Baptists from across the United States to spread the gospel. The annual August event draws hundreds of thousands of bikers from around the world to this town of 6,600 people in the Black Hills. Among them, 315 people were said to have accepted Christ this year after hearing three-minute testimonies from workers at the Dakota booth, reports Baptist Press. The effort has a worldwide impact; this year a biker from Japan gave his life to Christ. About 150 volunteers from various states served during the rally. Several area churches provided housing for workers. Other churches provided breakfast or shuttled workers to and from the tent. State and regional conventions and the North American Mission Board provided funds.
- While the pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List conducts its bus tour, Planned Parenthood, the number-one abortion company, will head out on the road as well in its own bus tour covering 11 states, reports lifenews.com. The tour will promote abortion and pro-abortion President Barack Obama. The bus tour will launch Aug. 18 and travel through 11 states in 17 days. Exact dates and locations will be announced later this month, the abortion business said. This bus tour is part of Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s largest-ever campaign effort, it added. Meanwhile, the Susan B. Anthony List “Abortion Is Not Health Care” bus will travel to 30 cities throughout the swing states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, Aug. 20–30. National and local pro-life leaders will rally Americans to defeat President Obama and pro-abortion House and Senate candidates including Christie Vilsack (Iowa), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tim Kaine (Virginia), and Bill Nelson (Florida). “Pro-life women from across the country are hitting the road to expose President Obama’s abortion record—and that of his extreme team,” the group says. “Across Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Florida, women will be speaking out, calling on voters to defeat President Obama—and those senators and Senate candidates that seek to rubber-stamp his extreme abortion agenda—at the ballot box.” In other news, a federal lawsuit against Planned Parenthood in Texas is moving forward after a federal court agreed Friday with a suit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, reports cbn.com. The ACLJ alleges that the abortion provider defrauded taxpayers by charging state and federal governments for services not actually provided, unnecessary procedures, and other services not covered under Medicaid or other programs. The suit asserts that Planned Parenthood regularly falsified patient charts and submitted false claims to the United States and Texas governments for reimbursement.
- New York City may be one of the more liberal cities in America, but Baptist Press reports that more than 80 percent of voters there believe public officials should neither prevent Chick-fil-A from opening new franchises nor discourage citizens from visiting it, a new poll shows. The Quinnipiac University survey of 1,298 New York City voters showed that by an 82–12 percent margin, the city’s voters don’t think that the Chick-fil-A president’s stance on marriage should “have an impact on their ability to obtain government permits to do business.” Similarly, by an 83–11 margin, voters don’t believe elected officials should “try to publicly discourage people from patronizing Chick-fil-A because of the owner’s opinions on same-sex marriage.” The mayors of Boston and Chicago initially threatened to block new Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.” In a tweet, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray called the restaurant’s food “hate chicken” and said its “support of bigotry is an embarrassment.” San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.” Philadelphia Councilman James Kenney told NPR that Cathy’s comments amounted to “hate speech.”
- Nellie Gray, founder of the March for Life event that now draws hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers to rally for the unborn, has passed away, reports cbn.com. She was 86. On Jan. 22, 1974, Gray held the first rally in Washington, D.C., that would become known as the March for Life. Since then, as many as 225,000 people have gathered to attend the event, according to the March for Life website. American Values President Gary Bauer remembers Gray as “a tireless defender of women and the unborn.” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research council, was thankful that “Nellie lived a life of heroic service to the unborn.”
- A national Assemblies of God pastor and his wife were viciously attacked by a mob in Sri Lanka after being accused of “spreading Christianity,” reports charismanews.com. According to reports, the pastor, who is also a regional presbyter, and his wife went to visit a church member. On their way home, they were suddenly cut off by an SUV, and a mob of about 40 people surrounded them. Grabbing the pastor, they dragged him along the ground and beat him, accusing him of spreading Christianity. The pastor and his wife were then dragged to the home they had just left. The angry mob demanded the church member and her daughter tell how much the pastor paid them to convert to Christianity. Despite the family’s adamant claims that they had been Christians a long time and made the decision voluntarily, the mob beat the pastor again. Although the pastor and his wife managed to escape and alert authorities, their ID cards and the pastor’s mobile phone, Bible, and other documents were stolen during the assault. Several church members whose phone numbers were stored on the pastor’s phone have since received calls from a person pretending to be the pastor, asking them to meet him at various locations. The ID cards have been returned, but the phone and Bible are still missing. “Dreadful scenes like this are tragically becoming all too common in many areas of the world,” said Omar Beiler, AG World Missions regional director for Eurasia. “This pastor, his wife, their children and their entire church family are in desperate need of our prayers.” This was not the first attack on the pastor and his family. Unknown assailants attacked the pastor’s home Aug. 1, using clubs to smash all the windows. Although no one was injured, the incident left the couple’s children, ages 14, 10, and 8, traumatized and fearful, and glass fell on the 10-week-old baby’s bed while the child slept. Greg Mundis, AG World Missions executive director, says that about 500 Christians are in that area of Sri Lanka, but Christians throughout the country—as well as in other areas of the world—are also being persecuted.
- Dr. James Dobson, evangelical Christian author of Dare to Discipline, Bringing Up Boys, and dozens of other books, is telling likely GOP candidate Mitt Romney he needs to take a stand on the social issues that deeply concern conservative Americans, reports WorldNetDaily. Dobson says, “In my view, it is not enough for a national leader to talk only about money, (taxes, the economy, jobs, the deficit, etc). Doing so fails to tap into the soul of America.” Dobson, who founded the Colorado Springs–based Focus on the Family ministry, now runs Family Talk, a radio program addressing numerous family-related issues and subjects. “Millions of conservatives who revere the Constitution, with its guarantees of freedom and limited government, have watched with alarm as the campaign season has unfolded,” Dobson wrote. “Could the American people actually give this radical narcissist four more years at the helm, after his having wrecked the economy, undermined religious liberty, weakened the institution of the family, surrounded himself with Marxists and leftist czars, turned his back on Israel, virtually bankrupt our nation, forced recipients of health insurance to support abortion, declared himself to favor same-sex marriage, weakened our armed forces, covered up the Fast and Furious debacle, and assaulted the principles of free enterprise that made the United States the most envied and prosperous nation on earth? Obama is ‘incompetent’ and holds a ‘dismal record,’” Dobson says. Dobson, who has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2008, said the prospect of another four years for Obama is “disturbing.”
- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed an executive order directing state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration program, reports weaselzippers.us. Brewer’s order issued Wednesday says she’s reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants. Young illegal immigrants could start applying Wednesday with the federal government for work permits under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program defers deportations for young illegal immigrants if they meet certain criteria. Brewer’s order says the program’s federal paperwork doesn’t confer lawful status on illegal immigrants and won’t entitle them to Arizona public benefits. She directs state agencies to start emergency rulemaking processes as necessary to implement her order.
- For the first time since he began his presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney has the support of more than 40 percent of America’s youth vote, a new JZ Analytics poll reveals, reported by newsmax.com. In the survey of likely voters conducted after the presumptive Republican nominee selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, President Barack Obama received less than a majority of the vote—49 percent—among respondents ages 19 to 29, while Romney got 41 percent. “This is the first time I am seeing Romney’s numbers this high among 18-to-29-year-olds,” John Zogby, JZ Analytics managing director, told the Washington Times. “This could be trouble for Obama, who needs every young voter he can get.” In 2008 Obama received an overwhelming 66 percent of the youth vote, the highest percentage for a Democrat in three decades.