Activists with the National Black Prolife Coalition were lobbying on Friday to have their Twitter account restored after the social media company yanked their Tweeting privileges for attacking the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People online last week. The group, which is working to draw attention to what they claim is the failure of the civil rights organization to represent the best interests of the black community, say they are disappointed with Twitter’s decision and are still unclear why it was made. “It is unfortunate that they have suspended us for reasons that are not clearly articulated,” said Pastor Stephen E. Broden of the NBPLC in an interview with The Christian Post on Friday morning. “We are still trying to figure out why we were suspended,” he added. In the meantime, he said, “We are in conversations with them [Twitter] to get back online.” The last Tweet sent out was a quote by Dr. Johnny Hunter, national director of Life Education And Resource Network, who said, “Racist elitists no longer need the Ku Klux Klan to control blacks; they have Planned Parenthood. And Planned Parenthood has the NAACP on a leash.” The account was suspended shortly after that. “The NAACP’s departure from the wisdom and life affirming principles of the Bible is very alarming, and must be stopped for the safety, security, and future of our children,” said Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., and pro-life activist.
- An Alabama boy is set for the “greatest” birthday of his life after being freed from a week’s captivity in an underground bunker, reports nbcnews.com. The boy, snatched from a school bus in a fatal shooting, was rescued after a daring raid by FBI agents that left his kidnapper, Jimmy Lee Dykes, dead. The 5-year-old, who is recovering in a hospital, turns 6 on Wednesday. “I would image it’s going to be the greatest birthday that family and that little boy has ever experienced and probably will ever experience,” local pastor Michael Senn told Today. The boy was reunited with his mother and is “laughing, joking, playing, eating,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Richardson at a press briefing Monday.
- The Boy Scouts of America has excluded gays from membership or leadership since the inception of the organization in 1910, notes Jim Denison in The Christian Post. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the BSA has a legal right to continue this position. The Scouts reaffirmed this policy just last year. However, companies such as shipping giant UPS, drug manufacturer Merck, and the United Way have stopped or postponed donations as long as the no-gays policy is in force. A gay-rights advocacy group gathered more than 1.2 million online signatures to protest the Scouts’ position. Now the Scouts may give troop sponsors the authority to accept gays as scouts and leaders. This change could be announced next week. “If you believe God’s word on this subject, how can you act on your convictions?” asks Denison, who notes that “when 1.2 million gay advocates protested the Boy Scouts’ policy, they were instrumental in persuading the organization to consider changing its long-standing position. There are 247 million Christians in America. What would happen if we voiced our support for biblical values with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15)?” Baptist Press reports that some of the nation’s leading pro-family groups ran an ad in USA Today Monday urging the Scouts to stand by its current policy. WorldNetDaily reports that many Boy Scout leaders will resign if the Boy Scouts of America’s national executive board follows through this week with a proposal to reverse a century-old policy and allow homosexuals in its ranks. Steve Elwart of Vicksburg, Miss., says he is one. Elwart, a 30-year veteran of Scouting, explained to WND that with a model program already in place to protect Scouts from sexual abuse, his concern is not that pedophiles will infiltrate the organization if the policy is changed. Calling that issue a “red herring,” his concern is more fundamental. “Homosexuality is not a value I want to see imparted on my children,” he said. “And a lot of parents feel the same way, that homosexuality is not OK.” Meanwhile, President Obama, honorary president of the Boy Scouts, is urging the Boy Scouts to allow gays, reports latimes.com.
- With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate, which forces every American to purchase a government-approved insurance plan or pay a penalty, came another mandate that many see as an unprecedented threat to their liberty, reports lifenews.com. Buried within the individual mandate is the “abortion premium mandate.” This mandate requires that all who are enrolled in insurance plans that cover elective abortion must pay a separate premium that serves as a direct abortion subsidy. This mandate could potentially leave many Americans stuck between a rock and a hard place as they must choose between following their conscience and providing for the health care needs of their families. In March 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule regarding the health care exchanges. Despite the Hyde Amendment, the annual appropriations limitation that bars federal funds from being used to pay for most abortions, Section 1303 of PPACA prescribes a mechanism for plans that use a separate surcharge in order to cover elective abortions for each enrollee. The surcharge can only be described to the customer during enrollment and the insurance plans may advertise the total cost of the plan while not making known the abortion charge. The law requires that new exchanges be functional by Jan. 1, 2014, although many states are now balking at setting up their own exchanges. The final rule notes that the federal government will implement and operate an exchange itself in any state that refuses to create one. The number of states that become subject to this approach appears to be increasing as governors and legislatures exercise their right not to enact certain features of ObamaCare. Meanwhile, 20 states have taken action to prevent elective abortion from being included in their exchanges. Along with states that have prohibited abortion funding via Medicaid, or via state employee insurance and private insurance plans, these states are trying to ensure that their rights as states and their citizens’ rights of conscience will be protected. In a final regulation issued last Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service assumed that under ObamaCare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year, reports cnsnews.com.
- New York City schools have given out more than 12,000 of the Plan B morning-after pill to students without parental permission, according to a new report from The New York Post. The newspaper indicates the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing the drug hard, according to records obtained by The Post.
- In the administration’s latest push to limit the Second Amendment rights of its citizens, the term “mental health” is being bantered about and used as common ground between anti-gun activists and staunch defenders of gun rights, reports bighealthreport.com. Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican and NRA backer, objected to President Obama’s proposals but agreed the “focus should be on mental health.” Others, while proclaiming support for the Second Amendment, propose “a meaningful conversation about mental health,” or that we should “identify people who are mentally ill.” After all, how could anyone support guns in the hands of the mentally ill? But who is mentally ill? The use of psychiatry against dissidents in the Soviet Union was one of the major human rights scandals of the 1970s and 1980s. Overt tyrants don’t need to employ psychiatry as a weapon, but establishing a dictatorship that pretends to be a republic requires a stealthy way of silencing opponents. As the Soviets discovered, not everyone is afraid to speak out, and when dissidents are perceived by the public as speaking truth, they must somehow be discredited. What better way than to be labeled mentally ill? That accomplishes two things: First, the mentally ill person can be silenced and secreted away into a mental institution. And secondly—this is especially important for prominent people who may have left behind their written statement—it discredits the person’s beliefs. If the dissident is determined by “great medical men of learning” to be “mentally ill,” then people will be less likely to take his words seriously. Nuclear Physicist Andrei Sakharov was sent into interior exile in Gorky for his “peace of mind” after being diagnosed by psychiatrists at the Leningrad Institute as a “talented but sick man.” His sickness came to light when he published a tract in the U.S., recommending build-up of the nuclear arsenal. Soviet psychiatry in the Brezhnev era and beyond was predicated on the concept of “heterodoxy.” Under the politburo, this meant not believing in Marxism, or having some form of God-centered religious belief.
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who campaigned as a budget hawk and rode the Tea Party wave to victory in 2010, has agreed to accept ObamaCare funding to expand his state’s Medicaid program, breaking ranks with fellow Republican governors and the Tea Party that elected him, reports breitbart.com. Kasich’s decision, announced yesterday, could encourage other Republican governors to do the same, joining the five who have done so already. Philip Kelin of the Washington Examiner notes that Kasich was likely feeling weakened after losing a referendum on public sector union reforms in 2011. Ironically, voters who rejected those reforms also passed a constitutional amendment on the same ballot that prevents the state from participating in ObamaCare’s insurance mandates. Kasich has now retreated from a stance against ObamaCare that once enjoyed wide public support.
- The shock waves are still being felt following Sen. Chuck Hagel’s disastrous hearing on his nomination for secretary of defense, says Jay Sekulow, head of the Americans for Law and Justice. “Sen. Hagel took a softer line toward Iran’s dangerous nuclear program, contradicting Obama Administration policy. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff refused to express confidence in his potential future boss. Sen. Hagel’s performance was so bad that influential columnist Charles Krauthammer said that he displayed an ‘astonishing lack of competence.’ We already knew that Sen. Hagel’s anti-Israel policies were far out of the mainstream. He continues to appease Iran, which is said to be just months away from building a nuclear bomb and is imprisoning and persecuting an American pastor. Simply put, Sen. Hagel is the wrong man for the job.” Sekulow urged Christians to make their voice heard. Despite his weak performance at last week’s Senate confirmation hearings, opinions of secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel are little changed, and most voters think he is likely to be confirmed, according to a Rasmussen survey.
- The website txcscopereview, reports eagnews.com, carried a lesson plan for sixth-graders in government schools that read as follows: “Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag. What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?” Texas legislators looked none too kindly on this revelation as they questioned the curriculum’s creators at a recent hearing. The Star-Telegram reported, “Members of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday grilled the creators of a curriculum system used across Texas that critics say promotes anti-American values and stifles classroom flexibility. Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, called it ‘a mess.’ One witness compared the system to ‘mind control,’ and an algebra teacher wept as he described quitting because he felt he was ‘aiding and abetting a crime’ by using CSCOPE in his classroom.”
- The Obama administration has been trying to convince people for the past couple of months that the economy is recovering. One of the signs of a recovering economy is consumer spending. Increased consumer spending generally means that retailers begin to see more sales and business is improving. However, that’s not the case with many major retail chains as they continue to see poor sales figures and loss of profits, reports politicaloutcast.com. Last year, J.C. Penny Co. saw quarterly losses of 26 percent compared to the same quarters a year earlier. Kmart and RadioShack have been closing stores because of lost sales and revenues. In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., a number of major retailers are expected to start closing more stores this year: Best Buy (estimated closing of 200–250 stores); Sears Holding Corp. (estimated closing of 175–225 Kmart stores and 100–125 Sears stores); J.C. Penney (estimated closing of 300–350 stores); Office Depot (estimated closing of 125–150 stores); Barnes & Noble (estimated closing of 190–240 stores); GameStop (estimated closing of 500–600 stores); and OfficeMax (estimated closing of 150–175 stores); RadioShack (estimated closing of 450–550 stores). “If their predictions are accurate, that means that between 2,090 to 2,665 stores will be closed this year from just those eight companies. How many other chains, large and small or just single stores are also going to be closing their doors?” asked the report. “How many thousands of people are going to lose their jobs this year because of the economy? How many other businesses that supply products to these stores will lose business and have to shut down or layoff people? Many people don’t realize that when a large store closes its doors, it’s not just those employees that lose their jobs, but it affects every other business that they do business with.”