Archive - March, 2012

Jesus Would Not Approve of Abortion, Says Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter told The Christian Post that he believes Jesus would not approve of abortion with the exception of a few cases. He also criticized the Democratic Party for taking such a strong stance on supporting abortion for all women and encouraged them to soften their language in the party’s platform.

I never found any incompatibilities though between my religious faith and my duties as a politician except in the case of abortion,” Carter told CP in an interview. ” I don’t believe that Jesus would approve abortion except in the case of incest, rape or the mother’s life in danger.”

“But I had to enforce the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade so I tried to do everything I could to minimize the need for abortions, making it easy to adopt children and by caring for women and infant children in the so-called WIC program,” Carter continued. “So, that was an incompatibility that I had, to maintain peace and to put my basic Christian moral values into practice, were the things that were most challenging for me.”

Outside of his personal belief that abortion is wrong, the former one-term president maintains that if Democrats moderate the party’s platform on abortion that they may be able to win back some Republicans who left over the party’s full support of abortion rights.

“I’ve signed a public letter calling for the Democratic Party at the next convention to espouse my position on abortion which is to minimize the need, requirement for abortion and limit it only to women whose life are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest,” Carter said Thursday on Laura Ingraham’s radio program.”

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Tiger’s Back and So Am I

In August of 2010 I posted a short article on this site titled Tiger’s Fall and Rise (Click here to read my original post). It addressed with the public’s fascination with high profile sex scandals, specifically that of Tiger Woods. After winning last weekend’s PGA tournament, Tiger appears to be back on top of his game and I too feel the same.

To my amazement, my initial article was picked up by the Tennessean and run as an editorial in their Sunday paper. They characterized it as my taking up for Woods since I too had an affair publically exposed after a failed extortion attempt. Some of my other “detractors” at the time also commented, criticizing my reference to Woods infidelity, saying I was defending his actions. Apparently didn’t read or fully comprehend the article.

The rhetorical question I asked in the original post is why are we so infatuated with someone’s downfall or the details of their personal lives? The reality is because we are all broken people and want to relish in the fact that someone else’s brokenness may be worst than our own.

When The Christian Post covered Amy Winehouse’s death from a drug overdose, it was one of the most highly read stories on our site. I found that amazing, especially since I had no idea who she was until her death. The same was true when former Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned over inappropriate tweets and text messages he sent to other women (btw, I wrote most of the Weiner stories including one today on Andrew Breitbart’s latest chapter on how he uncovered the scandal).

“No, it’s not the details of the story or even of the affairs themselves, but rather the fall from Mount Everest that holds our fascination for such long periods of time,” I wrote in my original column.

A year and seven months has passed since I penned that post and last weekend Tiger won his first tournament since 2009 by capturing the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Before Tiger stumbled by succumbing to sexual temptation, he was considered the best golfer in the world – maybe of all time. He’s been through a difficult period, losing his marriage and several major sponsorships. But through the peaks and valley’s he has pulled his game back together and is now poised to compete in next week’s Master’s.

In an Associated Press article on Monday, former champion golfer turned commentator Johnny Miller described what he called the “two careers” each golfer experiences. I believe the same can be said for other careers.

“Every golfer has two careers,” Miller said at the end of NBC’s telecast on Sunday. “You have the first burst, and then sometimes you have a lull, and then you have a second career. Some guys have a pretty darn good second career. If I was coaching him, I’d say, ‘OK, you made the mistakes you made. Let’s just start over. This is the second career. You’ve got a new swing. Let’s see what you can do with this one.’ “It wouldn’t totally surprise me if he were to win 35 to 40 times from now,” he said. “He could do it. The way he is playing right now, he is going to kick butt.”

Is Tiger back on top for good? Only time will tell. But no one can argue that he is once again a force to be reckoned with. I ended my original Tiger post with this last paragraph.

“I remind my eleven-year old son that it’s not what happens to you, but more importantly, how you handle what happens to you.  At such a young age he’s watched his Dad achieve success and fall flat on his face.  He’s made the cut on a competitive baseball team only to log onto the team website the next season to discover his name missing from the roster.  I think that had more to do with me than my son’s athletic ability. Falling is not fun and it leaves us cut and bruised and sometimes broken.  But getting up and dusting ourselves off sure does feel better than wallowing in the mud.  After all, a sponge can only take on so much water. Let’s all pull for Tiger to reach the top once more in both his professional and personal life.  That would be a story worth reading about.”

Last night my son and I were dining at a local pizza restaurant before his baseball practice. As we ate our supper we watched an ESPN story on Tiger’s latest victory. When the story ended, my now 12 year-old son looked up and said, “I’m glad Tiger won last week.”

“Why,” I asked.

“Because like you, he’s had a rough couple of years,” he said, smiling as he looked up at me. “Now you’re both back.”

Unlike Tiger, I haven’t won a major golf tournament but I have more than I can say grace over. Two great kids, a challenging job as a journalist and a two-book deal in the works. And my son is right. Tiger I are both back and it feels good.

Paul Stanley is a freelance writer who lives in Tennessee. He is writing a memoir about his own life in business and politics.  He can be reached at paul@paulstanley.org

Fla. ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Under Microscope in Wake of Trayvon Martin Shooting

The shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has created an outcry over the state’s self-defense statute, commonly known as “Stand Your Ground.” What is being debated is whether the law could be used as a viable defense in Martin’s death.

Gov. Jeb Bush signed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law after the State Legislature passed it in 2005. The part of the statute that may apply in cases such as Martin’s reads:

“Title XLVI, Chapter 776.012 Use of force in defense of person. – A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

“And 776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm –

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

It is not entirely clear since details of the shooting death remain sketchy, however, Bush is backing away from the law, saying that it should not be used as a defense in Martin’s shooting death and calling the shooting a “tragedy.”

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‘Stand Up for Religious Freedom’ Rallies Draw Attention to Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to gather Friday in 131 cities across the nation to rally around the mantra of religious liberty brought on by President Obama’s mandate on birth control.

“We are honored to be hosting a ‘Stand Up for Religious Freedom’ rally here in Washington, D.C. at the HHS building,” the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Fund, told The Christian Post. “When the president issued the HHS mandate, what he failed to understand is this is not an issue about health care – it is one of religious freedom.”

The rallies will take place at noon on Friday and will feature prominent religious leaders and elected officials at each location. What began as an effort to plan rallies in 40 to 50 cities has now grown to over 130.

More than any other policy issue that has come before the American public, President Obama’s directive to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that religious institutions must cover contraception, abortifacients and sterilization in their employees’ health insurance even if it violates their conscience has brought the debate to the point of personal attacks from both sides.

Even before the mandate was issued by President Obama in late January, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, led now by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, encouraged the White House not to overreach and put religious institutions in the position of having to publicly oppose the White House.

However, the mandate extended far beyond the Catholic community, touching other Christian groups and denominations who felt the government had over-stepped its boundaries by forcing Christians to compromise on their beliefs.

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Book: The Four Laws of Forgiveness

I haven’t written much lately about my manuscript, but I am close to completing the final chapter on forgiveness.

Writing this chapter was more difficult than I imagined – not because I haven’t forgiven those I needed to – but I want to convey the process of forgiveness in the proper prospective. It’s been a challenge.

In the meantime, I’ve had some phenomenal conversations with people who have gone through similar experiences as mine, some of whose names you would recognize if I listed them here (but I never will).

Others are not famous or well-known, but had to deal with the same issues. There stories are no less important that someone who is well known.

Recently, one of my colleagues at The Christian Post, Alex Murashko, wrote a piece on Brad Johnson, a Southern California pastor whose affair was exposed how he had to learn forgiveness all over again. You can click here to read the story.

The book is titled, The Four Laws of Forgiveness: How to Forgive Yourself and Others, and is available on Amazon. You can find it here.

My experience in writing has taught me that it’s not the specifics of my story that is the most compelling, but the need to forgive others in order to receive God’s complete blessings for my life.

I would love to hear your stories of how forgiveness (or the lack thereof) has impacted your life.

Student Bias Against Chick-fil-A Focuses on ‘Equality’ Agenda

When Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy unveiled his fried, boneless breast of chicken sandwich in 1946, he had no idea that 66 years later college students like Taylor Cotter would protest his restaurants inclusion on their campuses.

Last week the Student Senate at Northeastern University in Boston voted to halt discussions with the privately held Atlanta, Ga. based restaurant chain, citing the company’s affiliation with Christian organizations they say have an “anti-gay” agenda.

Taylor Cotter, a senior journalism major who has been a member of the school’s student senate for three years, led the protest to oust Chick-fil-A, but was “shocked” when the university gave in so quickly to the student’s demands.

“I first found out that the school was interested in Chick-fil-A in January of 2011,” Cotter told The Christian Post in a phone interview. “Only about 15 of us knew of the schools plan for several months and that’s when I grew concerned about a company who supports causes that I feet are divisive.”

Cotter stated there were two primary issues that led her to lead the protest.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Ann Romney Doesn’t Consider Herself ‘Wealthy;’ Cites Compassion From Her Disease

Ann Romney, the wife of GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, said Monday that she didn’t consider herself wealthy, and as someone suffering from multiple sclerosis, she now has more compassion for others who are suffering.

“[O]ne thing this disease has been for me has been a wonderful teacher,” Mrs. Romney said during an interview on Fox News. “And with that comes an ability for compassion for others that are suffering from M.S. or cancer or any disease I feel like I want to throw my arms open and say, welcome to my family and welcome to the place where I’ve been and, so you know, we can be poor in spirit and I don’t look – I don’t even consider myself wealthy which is an interesting thing. It can be here today and gone tomorrow…”

Moments after the candidate’s wife made the comments, media sites including Twitter and blog posts began circulating her comment about not being wealthy. Think Progress, an ultra-liberal website, first reported the story.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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