Southern Baptist chaplains report that an SBC website has been blocked at military installations around the nation. An Air Force officer told Fox News that when he tried to log on to the website, he received a message that his Internet usage was being logged and monitored for trying to access a blocked site. The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and known for its support of the pro-life movement and its strong belief in traditional marriage. The censorship was made public after an Army officer tried to log onto the denomination’s website and instead received a warning message. “So the Southern Baptist Convention is now considered hostile to the U.S. Army,” the officer wrote in an e-mail to the American Family Association. Sing Oldham, spokesman for the SBC, told Fox News he had been in touch with the Department of Defense and had serious concerns. “This is deeply disturbing,” he told Fox News. “While the Deputy Chief of Operation of the US Army has assured us this is a random event with no malicious intent, the Army must run this to the ground to assure that this is the case.” However, Fox News has received reports from across the country of Southern Baptist chaplains unable to access the website. “If the government blocked any portion of the Web site for any purpose, that would be an unconscionable breach of trust with the American public,” Oldham said. “The First Amendment exists to protect the church from governmental censorship of or infringement upon religious speech and the free exercise of religion.”
- The judge in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial admitted Wednesday he made an error when dropping one of the charges against the abortion practitioner, reports lifenews.com. Common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart admitted he “erred” when dropping the murder charge for Baby C, who was killed in an abortion-infanticide when he was a victim of an attempted abortion but was born alive and tossed in a shoe box, with Gosnell staffers confirming they saw him breathing for 20 minutes. Gosnell faces eight total murder counts—one for killing a woman in a botched abortion and seven for killing babies in abortion-infanticides that involved live-birth abortions and snipping their necks after birth. The judge received heavy criticism for dropping three of the murder charges. One of the three charges the judge dropped includes a 28-week unborn baby who was killed in an abortion-infanticide and eventually discovered in a freezer at Gosnell’s clinic. Another involved “Baby B,” about whom a Gosnell staffer testified was a newborn child who survived a failed abortion and was still breathing in a shoe box. The third murder charge thrown out was for “Baby G,” who was the subject of testimony of a former Gosnell staff who, in the grand jury report, said he saw alive. Steven Massoff said he saw “a respiratory excursion,” meaning a breath. Kareema Cross told the jury she saw at least 10 children who were breathing after botched abortions but killed afterwards. What happened shocked her so badly she took photographs to document what happened. Cross took pictures to document filth in the abortion clinic and a picture of a huge baby boy tossed in shoe box breathing, moving, and too big for the box. Cross testified of large babies birthed, moving, and moaning, some for 20 minutes, before their necks were snipped. “If Gosnell gets off scot-free, that will send a message that murdering live babies and abortion patients is now acceptable behavior in America and that abortionists who engage in such depraved practices are above the law. This would put women and babies in grave danger—more than they already face—at abortion clinics throughout the nation,” said Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue, who has observed the trial and published firsthand accounts of the proceedings.
- Christians around the world are being asked to help plead for the release of an 11-year-old boy who was abducted by government officials in 2009 because his parents chose to homeschool the child, christiannews.net reports. Domenic Johansson was seized by the Swedish government in 2009 as he and his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, were boarding a plane to move to Annie’s homeland of India. He was only 7 years old at the time, and social services state that they removed the child because he was being homeschooled by his parents. The Johanssons were allowed to see their son for only one hour every five weeks. He was placed in foster care and forced to attend public school. The following year, the government cut off all parental visitations to Domenic. Last June, a district court ruled that it could not ignore the fact that everyone who had testified about the Johanssons’ care of Domenic showed that the family was doing just fine before he was removed from the home, but the decision was later overturned on appeal. Now Alliance Defending Freedom and Homeschool Legal Defense Association, along with the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, are petitioning the high court in Sweden to free the boy and return him to his parents. “After the district court victory, we had hoped the end of this nightmare was approaching,” said HSLDA Director of International Relations Mike Donnelly. “As the district court found, Annie and Christer Johansson are good parents. It is unconscionable that the court of appeals—or any court in a democratic country like Sweden—could somehow think that it is in Dominic’s best interest to remain separated from his parents. The pain, suffering, and harm done to this family are incalculable.” “The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children–and especially not because it doesn’t like home schooling,” stated ADF senior legal counsel Roger Kiska. “Instead of protecting its citizens, Sweden’s government has become a frightening threat. There is no justification for taking a child away from his parents for four years simply because the parents wanted to educate their child at home. This is a tragedy and injustice of epic proportions, and we are asking Sweden’s highest court to right this egregious wrong.”
- In accepting the “Advocate of Change” award at the GLAAD Media Awards on Sunday, former Democratic President Bill Clinton invoked the Declaration of Independence as confirming support for homosexuals as being “endowed with certain rights” but omitted the words “their Creator” as the source of those rights, cnsnews.com reports. The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (GLAAD was formerly known as Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.) In his remarks, Clinton said he felt GLAAD staff, board, and supporters should have received the award “because they are the real agents of change.” “They actually believe that people could think and feel differently because we are, after all, a country founded on the principle that all of us were created equal and therefore are endowed with certain rights—a country with a Constitution that guarantees us equal rights under the law,” Clinton said. The GLAAD Media Awards are designed to “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives,” according to its website. Clinton has been criticized for signing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 that limits marriage to the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes. He now says he regrets signing that legislation. The Supreme Court is now deliberating the constitutionality of that law and is expected to rule on the case this summer.
- Parents of children attending a Red Hook, N.Y., middle school are outraged after a recent anti-bullying presentation at Linden Avenue Middle School, reports cbn.com. The workshop for 13- and 14-year-old girls focused on homosexuality and gender identity. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.” Parents say their daughters were told to ask one another for a kiss and they say two girls were told to stand in front of the class and pretend they were lesbians on a date. “She told me, ‘Mom we all get teased and picked on enough. Now I’m going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her,'” parent, Mandy Coon, told reporters. Coon says parents were given no warning about the presentation and there was no opportunity to opt-out. Both the school principal and the district superintendent are defending the workshops and advising they will schedule more. “The school is overstepping its bounds in not notifying parents first and giving us the choice,” another parent said. “I thought it was very inappropriate. That kind of instruction is best left up to the parents.” “I was absolutely furious—really furious,” a parent who asked to remain anonymous told reporter Todd Starnes. “These are just kids. I’m dumbfounded that they found this class was appropriate.” Superintendent Paul Finch told The Poughkeepsie Journal the presentation was “focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions.”
- The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue its much-awaited decisions on gay marriage, but a handful of state legislatures, under Democrat control, are seemingly racing to become the 10th state to redefine the institution to include same-sex couples, Baptist Press reports. Rhode Island’s Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would legalize gay marriage by a vote of 26-12, one day after a key Senate committee passed it on a 7-4 vote. The House must pass it again. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent, has said he would sign it. The Senate version of the bill got two big boosts in recent days. First, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed—who opposes gay marriage—said she would not block the bill. Second, all five Republicans in the Senate announced their support for the bill. A bill that would have placed the issue in front of voters was defeated in the Senate committee, 6-5. Rhode Island is the only New England state not to recognize gay marriage. A survey of Rhode Island voters earlier this year found 74 percent of them supported the issue being on the ballot. “Marriage is intrinsically the union of a man and a woman and has been for thousands of years,” Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage said in a statement. NOM opposes the bill. “When the definition of marriage has been changed elsewhere, we have seen countless examples of people being punished if they do not abandon their deeply held beliefs that marriage is and can only be the union of a man and a woman. Wedding professionals have been fined, small businesses have been sued, church groups have lost their tax exemptions and religious-based charities have closed down, unable to compromise their beliefs about the true nature of marriage.”